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 at any numbers like that, so for the most part I base the response on a broad feeling more than anything else.
This was the most shared-post, perhaps because it’s lengthy and insightful and offers lots of jumping-off points. I usually avoid writing posts in this style because it be overdone (see: virtually every post ever made on Buzzfeed) but once in a while there’s a place for it.
A good question to ask as a writer is “Is this helpful?” And if you can honestly answer yes, then you might as well use whatever form brings in readers!
This one set off a small firestorm in my inbox, mostly of the thoughtful and insightful kind. The biggest takeaway I took from it was that a lot of people think differently of capitalism now—but I think part of this is because they define it quite differently than ever before.
There are a lot of fascinating contradictions and interactions to this subject. I’ll be writing about it more in next year’s book, Gonzo Capitalism.
I got a lot of feedback about this one too! I originally thought about titling it “Is meditation slowly killing you?” but decided to soften it a bit. (Once in a while I take the high road…) 😏
Overall, the response was more positive than negative, but there was definitely a range of perspectives. Which is great, of course—I’m always happy to hear from people with thoughtful opinions of all kinds.
This is one of my personal favorites. Until recently, much of my adult life has been negatively impacted by regret and obsessing over counterfactuals—all those things that “could have been.”
Of course, this thinking is both harmful and illogical. It’s harmful (well, speaking for myself at least) because it can send you into a downward spiral of fixation, and it’s illogical because you never really know the counterfactual history of something. What you know is merely your own imagination, a projection of sorts that is informed by inherent bias.
One way or another, you need to find a way to let go.
I’m no minimalist, but it’s clear that “more” is not the answer to “too much.” Like capitalism, there’s a lot of irony in how many people deal with feeling overwhelmed. As I wrote in the post:
Feeling overwhelmed is a common condition—yet in trying to deal with the problem, we often end up compounding it by adding more programs, systems, and solutions.
In other words: we need more purpose in our lives, not more productivity tips.
The true story of my last book launch and tour, which (sadly) did not result in the sale of 500,000 copies. In fact, it did not result in a tour at all, thanks to that little pandemic we’re all familiar with!
Alas. But—as noted in the post—in these situations, I think the best thing you can do “try your best.” I don’t always accept that as a personal evaluation, but when things are completely out of your control, it’s a better choice than continuing to beat yourself up.
Now that I look at them together, this post is similar to “Did you do everything you could?” because it’s also about self-talk.
I’m often skeptical of positive thinking just for the sake of itself. You need something to be positive about! And it’s certainly possible to find something in almost every circumstance, but the answer is to truly find it instead of just lying to yourself.
If that doesn’t make sense … read the post. Oh, and also see “Change Your Future to Rewrite the Past.”
There were many more posts this year—more than 30, in fact. I tried to make most of them evergreen in the sense that they will remain relevant for a long time. To browse them, head to the blog and click on a heading for Life, Work, or Travel.
Many posts are interlinked, so there are multiple ways to read depending on your preferences. Everything is free and I hope you enjoy the blog. More to come in 2023!
Happy New Year’s, everyone. 💥