The Road To Freedom Through Unconventional Living

By Chris Guillebeau

My memories of bicycling are relatively few, but they include a head concussion, a broken arm, and most recently, being the victim of a bike theft that happened in the middle of the day right outside the bike shop. With those events in mind, I’m probably not the best person to talk to you about bicycling or bikes.

My track record with other issues is better: in my quest to visit every country in the world, I’ve made it to more than 100 so far. I’ve been self-employed my entire life (I’m 30 years old now, so there’s no turning back), and I’ve racked up a good track record fighting authority and bureaucracy from college completion to non-profit leadership.

That’s who I am in a nutshell, but enough about me — let’s talk about you. Make no mistake, the greatest thing about working for yourself, or any kind of unconventional living, is freedom. No matter what your personal goals are or how you plan to take over the world, I recommend you ask yourself one question:

How can I get more freedom?

When lifestyle design is done right, it focuses on freedom. When you start a small business, it helps bring you freedom. When you find an unusual (but productive) way to get around an obstacle, you’ll end up with more freedom for yourself.

What you do with the freedom, of course, is up to you. Freedom can help you travel (as it does for me), ramp up your training program, or just give you the chance to take off for a long ride one afternoon without worrying about the consequences of the work you’ve left behind. If something like that feels like a luxury to you now, what would it feel like if you could do it every week… or even every day?

Don’t get me wrong – in the end, you’ll need to do more than just help yourself. Our lives are connected with other people all over the world, and you’ll want to find a way to help others in a way that is unique to your own talents. But to get there, you’re going to need freedom too.

Never underestimate the power of small choices. If you can’t completely change your life right now, what small steps can you take to get started?

How can you get more freedom for yourself today?

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Chris Guillebeau is an entrepreneur and world traveler who writes at The Art of Nonconformity. From 2002-2006 he worked as an aid worker in West Africa, and over the next five years he will be traveling to every country in the world.

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