The Obligation to Change

This is a guest post from Chris Guillebeau, the author of the great book, The Art of Non-Conformity. Julien was in Iceland, he’ll be back tomorrow. 🙂

A quick read of In Over Your Head confirms that Julien is an advocate for change, in business and in life. In the battle of change vs. more-of-the-same, change wins out almost every time over here.

I read the posts and cheer along, because I’m pro-change too; the decision to question expectations and strike out toward something new has always served me well. Lately I’ve been thinking even further—not only does change offer plenty of opportunity, it comes with its own set of responsibilities as well.

In my part of the online world, I write a lot about opportunity and possibility. I choose invincibility and adventure. I also try not to be an asshole, which means that I’m not really in the business of telling people what to do. I don’t judge anyone except the closed-minded. Whatever rocks your world without harming someone else, go for it!

But along with opportunity comes responsibility. We can do things that few people in the world have ever been able to consider. We have conversations about what kind of work we’d like to do, and how we’d like to spend our time. Like Julien and me, many people who read this post spend part of their days in shops where we pay $3 for a cup of coffee and a free WiFi connection.

It’s a nice world we live in. And it’s a world that comes with responsibility, not only to think about contribution, but also about change. I don’t usually like obligations, and I wrote a book about how to ignore them. But I’m not sure we can ignore the obligation to give change the attention it deserves.

If you’ve benefitted from the same opportunities, what are the corresponding responsibilities? What can you change right now?






2 responses to “The Obligation to Change”

  1. Michael Bigger Avatar

    I am enjoying reading your book Chris!

  2. Marcella Avatar

    Great point, and I’ve found that my responsibility (thus far) has been to really spread the word, showing people how change is actually possible and very, very beneficial. I read the books, spend the time experimenting, and then show others how they can do the same. Best part is, it’s fun to share!

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