How Beer Made Me See More Clearly

So, I went out drinking last night.  Normally not a big deal, but I’ll admit that since becoming a stay-at-home dad, my energy level lacks luster by 8pm instead of holding out until midnight or more.  But last night was special.  Last night I was out until past 11pm.  {oooooh!}

Last night I got to share a few beers with Chris Guillebeau, an online hero of mine.

Chris Guillebeau In Town

Yesterday Chris was here in Halifax on his cross-continent book tour.   At a local Chapters bookstore, he spoke to 20-25 of us for a half hour, then opened it up for “questions and attempted answers.”  Then the group mingled amongst ourselves for more sharing and chat.

Chris briefly gave his history, then highlighted about being unconventional and finding answers to the 2 all important questions (see the manifesto to learn those 2 questions).  He spoke of “selfish generosity,” meaning we find ways to contribute to the betterment of others, while we in turn benefit ourselves, a natural win-win.  He also touched on how privileged we all are to be able to choose our path, make choices such as volunteer work, blogging, creative outlets or the conventional 9-5 desk job.  I think that point is especially important, considering just how fortunate a person is with one opportunity.  Beyond the millions of people without clean water or sanitation, there are millions more that have no choice but to exist and die – their lot in life.  And then there is all of us, folks with so many choices, we’re easily blinded by overwhelm.  So, we all know having choices but not considering them is more sad than not really having a choice at all.

Beer Therapy

beer versus therapy

So, of the 25 or so people, about 12 continued out for a beer.  That’s where the real clarity happened.  It was like a group therapy meeting for the dissatisfied and life-hungry minority.  Over just a few beers, we all talked and helped each other a lot.  Having the face-t0-face time was truly awesome.  There was a passionate interest and immediate feedback that’s not possible over e-mail, twitter or skype.  It was real rewarding to me and I can say that the brief couple hours shared with Chris and the others will help this blog (and you!) for a long time to come.  I look forward to making changes (big and small) over the weeks ahead.

Note: to anyone having a beer with Chris in the future, he chose our local Garrison Red, saying he enjoys the reds.

Unconventional Thinking and Pursuit

Chris’ book is not for everyone.  Like the back cover says, “If you’ve ever thought, ‘There must be more to life than this,’ The Art of Non-Conformity is for you.”

If you haven’t thought that, then don’t waste your or the book’s time (refer to the blue pill).  Pass the book onto someone else if gifted.

There are 4 prerequisite assumptions before you can confidently say the book is for you (as stated in the book):

  • You must be open to new ideas.
  • You must be dissatisfied with the status quo.
  • You must be willing to take personal responsibility.
  • You must be willing to work hard.

Of course, these are well expanded on, but you get the message.  In short, life’s happiness is not for the lazy or the timid.

Well, that’s it for me today.  I’ve got some work to do.

For now, if you want a further and immediate look at what Chris offers, check out his online, downloadable stuff – much of it for free.



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An American who likes to move around. I now live on the eastern Canadian seaboard. My job? A stay-at-home dad for two cute but demanding bosses. My wife? Also cute; not so demanding. My wife and I both love travel. We met in South Korea, travelled across Australia, India, Europe and beyond. We lived in Czech Republic for four years. Many stories to tell and experience to share. If you let me, I will help you travel as we do. Enjoy.

11 thoughts on “How Beer Made Me See More Clearly”

    1. Alison, I’m equally jealous about TBEX.
      TBEX will be a great meet-up, but I had to choose between two June events out that way and I chose Chris’ “World Domination Summit” in June (3rd to the 5th).

      So for TBEX, you’re flying through Ottawa or Montreal to get to BC? Or even perhaps Halifax?? Andrew coming, too?

      1. Honestly we haven’t booked anything yet. We haven’t decided if we will do our annual Halifax trip then or in the autumn. I think trying to do both coast in one trip may be a bit much. I’d love to go to the World Domination Summit too but maybe you can talk him into doing a Euro version for me 🙂

  1. Nice! I’ve always thought that beer helps with clarity 🙂 If so, then Belgium must be one of the most enlightened places in the world!

    Definitely helps to be able to bounce ideas and concerns off people that have been there before, and sharing a pint makes it much more convivial.

    Waiting for Chris to do his Euro tour… there’s a spare futon here in Brussels 🙂

    Good luck with the new ideas and changes… can’t wait to read/see them!

    Andrew C

    1. “Belgium must be one of the most enlightened places in the world”
      — Truly! 🙂

      I would advocate for a Euro tour, but it’s more genuine coming from Europe. There is proven interest, with some WDS attendees flying in from Europe & Asia. But the futon offer, that may just be the tipping point he’s holding out for.

      You & Alison are great! I look forward to your NS visit, be it summer or autumn.

  2. Hey Peter, I must say I enjoyed the time together just as much as you did. And I’m thinking maybe we should do it again sometime.

    It’s just as unusual for me to be out that late (although I’m a known night owl at home) so maybe we can meet a little earlier next time. How great would regular doses of beer+clarity be?!

    1. OOOOPS!! Sorry Jeff! Can’t believe I got your name wrong with it right there above in the comments. D’oh! (I’m bad with names when I have to learn a lot of them in one evening.) Apologies.

    2. _Absolutely_

      I’m totally for the idea of meeting up regularly. Not only to bounce ideas off of each other, but meeting regularly would keep us accountable, too.
      After a couple meets, I wouldn’t want to hear “hey Jeff, I’m waiting on that change you were excited about – what’s the hold up?”


      I just dropped you an e-mail Susan. We’ll fix a date. I’ll try to rally some others’ interest as well. Great!


  3. Hi Jeff, thanks for stopping by my blog. I’ve enjoyed stopping by yours as well – it looks intriguing! I’ll be back to learn more.

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