THE BLOG
09/21/2010 05:18 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

The Case Against Bridge-Jumping

When you were a kid and wanted to do something your parents or teachers didn't like, you may have heard the question, "If everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you?" The idea is that it's not good to do something stupid, even if everyone else is doing it. The logic is think for yourself instead of following the crowd.

It's not bad advice, even if it's sometimes used to exert control more than to support independent thinking. But one day, you grow up and suddenly the tables are turned. People start expecting you to behave very much like they do. If you disagree and don't conform to their expectations, some of them get confused or irritated. It's almost as if they are asking: "Hey, everyone else is jumping off the bridge. Why aren't you?"

The goal of the new book The Art of Non-Conformity is to bring the childhood message up to adulthood application. The central message is: "You don't have to live your life the way other people expect you to. You can do good things for yourself and make the world a better place at the same time. Here's how."

But wait! There's more.

I usually visit at least 20 countries a year, but in the fall of 2010, I'm scaling down. Sort of. Instead of seeing the world... I'll be visiting all 50 states in the U.S. Then in January 2011, I'll visit all 10 provinces in Canada. Throw in San Fran + L.A., Houston + Dallas, and Washington, D.C., and you've got a total of 63 cities.

It's a book tour like no other -- self-funded, collectively-organized, and most importantly of all -- not boring. If you'd like to join me and a small army of remarkable people from your own hometown, sign up to come out at UnconventionalBookTour.com.

I'm doing this because authors should work harder than anyone to make sure their own books are successful. Publishers (and some authors) think that book tours are no longer practical. I think it's because they're doing it wrong, and I'm setting out to prove my case.

Will it work? Check back in December to find out. Or better yet, check it out now, and join me on the journey. But whether you do that or not, remember: you don't have to live your life the way other people expect you to. You can do good things for yourself and make the world a better place at the same time.

Chris Guillebeau travels the world and writes for a small army of remarkable people on
his website. Follow his live updates from every country in the world on Twitter. His book, "The Art Of Non-Conformity," can be ordered here.