The Art of Non-Conformity, page 37
I recommend you read the book The Art of Non-Conformity by Christ Guillebeau. Chris is an author who travels the world and writes books about how to make a living by traveling the world and writing about how to make a living doing it… did you follow that? ANYway, he wrote this book about how to change the way you see the world and basically sort through your life and decide what is helping you and what (or who) is holding you back. He talks a lot about why the world is the way it is, and how others will try to control you and your life for their own gain. Below is a short summary written by Bryann Alexandros.
When you decide to live your life your own way, you will find yourself up against two types of people: Sleepwalkers andGatekeepers.
“Sleepwalkers are the conformist majority and passive energy vampires who are ruffled by anything new. They’re comfortable with staring through the glass while dragging others into the dark crypt of excuses of “being practical” or “being reasonable.” They can only defend their case by reciting “history” even if their recollection is vague, inaccurate, or incomplete.
They’re there to justify the real world and remind you of your impending failure.
Gatekeepers keep the sleepwalkers in their place. They block access to what really matters. They’re the “No” people who limit the choices and reinforce the busywork. They’re the ones who directly prevent you from reinventing from the inside or doing remarkable things for yourself and others. Rulebooks are the canon which gives their authority legitimacy. They’re skillful at marginalizing, demoralizing, and using circular reasoning as a lukewarm defense, but that’s their job: To enforce the status quo.“
The basic point: when you do your own thing, people will oppose you. When you go around someone, they won’t appreciate it because they want you to feel like you need to go through them. They will tell you ‘no’, and if you ask why, they say, ‘because that’s the rule’… when it’s really just their rule. Some examples given are the way employers don’t want you to go into business for yourself, because they want you to work for them, so they can make money… so they make people think that working for yourself is just too hard. Also, the way collages try to convince everyone that they’ll never get a good job if they don’t go into debt and give up four years of life to get a degree with their stamp on it… When in reality 70% of college graduates end up doing something that doesn’t have anything to do with that precious degree, and would have been much better off with experience instead of a diploma for the wall.
When you tell someone in “authority” that they really aren’t, it’s not going to go over well… so be prepared to remove these Gatekeepers from you life. Not that we should reject authority, but that we should practice some discernment when deciding who we really should be under and who is just holding us down. Bosses and employers aren’t the enemy, they can be exactly what you DO want! Freedom can also be the enemy if it’s in the way of achieving you goals… be smart about what and who you let into your life! Also be prepared to deal with the Sleepwalkers, those people who are, themselves, afraid of the Gatekeepers and will try to hold you back “for your own good”, to “watch out for you” or to “keep you from making a fool of yourself”. They aren’t ready to do things their own way or to chase after a dream… reject them.. lovingly, but get them out of your life before they suck all your energy and enthusiasm! In the book, Chris also talks about Energy Vampires… these people can drain you by constantly demanding your energy and attention be spent on them… sometimes it’s hard to take a step back, but I think you all knew exactly the sort of person I’m talking about as soon as I said it… the friend who always needs a shoulder to cry on, like, every single night… the coworker who does nothing but complain, that guy from college always hitting you up for a ‘loan’ that you both know he’ll never repay…
It’s your life, be smart about who and what you let into it.