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Unconventional Strategies for Life, Work, and Travel

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Unlock the Power of Out-and-Back Living

There are two ways to plan an outdoor run: in a loop, or out-and-back. You could also call these methods by their practical names: quit early or keep going and see it through. Nine times out of ten, when I run more than a few miles, I try to do out-and-back. Why? Because I know myself, and if I give myself an escape route, I might take it. If I’m...

The Unexpected Benefits of Travel

When I think of “how travel changed me,” most of what comes to mind is fairly typical. I learned more about the world, I gained a wider worldview, I felt more creative, and so on. I don’t mean to dismiss those things at all. They are real benefits! They matter. Still, if I think about the unexpected benefits of world travel, specifically my eleven-year...

The Importance of Controlling Your Time

We often hear statements like “time is money,” or “time is your most precious resource.” How, though, does this translate into action? I’d suggest the following: many of us will say that time is important, yet so often we live otherwise. Of all the gaps between belief and behavior, this has to be one of the greatest. Over the past year I’ve been writing...

Shipwrecked in the Arctic: A Lesson in Exposure Therapy

The Auckland Islands are not advertised as an ideal honeymoon location.  Consisting of an uninhabited archipelago with arctic tundra and barren conditions, they aren’t good for much at all—and they aren’t usually home to anyone other than seals. In 1864, a parallel survival story took place when two shipwrecks occurred on different ends of the main...

This Year, Give Up on Your Dreams

New year, new you: time to set some intentions and fail to achieve them, then feel guilty about it. You know the drill, right? If that doesn’t appeal to you, here’s an alternative: make this your year of giving up on dreams. Don’t worry, it’s not as bad as it sounds. In fact, giving up on your dreams can have the odd effect of leaving you feeling...

Top AONC Posts of 2022

As the year draws to a close, I thought I’d look back at the most popular posts from this blog, The Art of Non-Conformity. I chose seven, which is close to 12% of the total. These posts either received the most traffic, the most engagement (likes / sharing), or the most email replies from my newsletter. I’m not very analytical and very rarely look...

Special Powers 💥

I recently filled out a medical form where I was required to answer this question: “Do you have any special powers that most people don’t possess?” This question came from the form’s mental health subcategory, and I suppose what they were really asking was, “You’re not totally delusional, are you?” Against my strong inclination, I answered no. I...

Book Edits, Ending WDS, and the 2022 Annual Review

Vote on book covers! My next book, GONZO CAPITALISM, will be published in August 2023. I’d love to get your input on some cover art options. *** This past week I had seven days for my 2022 Annual Review, but it felt like only two. What happened? Well, a book needed editing … my next book, specifically. Because of a combination of circumstances, I...

Next Stop, Annual Review

This week I’m heading off-the-grid for the 2022 Annual Review trip. It’s a tradition I’ve held mostly without fail every year since 2006. The limited failures include a) 2020 (you know what happened then) and b) the year I was too depressed to look forward. Otherwise, though, it’s been one of the few things that are consistently present in my life....

The Energy Story You Tell Yourself

Traveling in Atlanta last week, I hurt my back when I went to lift something. I could tell that it wasn’t serious and would get better in a couple of days. Still, it was annoying! For the rest of that day and most of the next, it hurt to move. Walking was more of a hobble. Worst of all, I felt embarrassed. Though I tried to hide it, the hobble was...

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