The Rise of the Anti-Authority

The Rise of the Anti-Authority

 

For a long time, authorities needed to be well decorated, institutionalized and formally educated.

Not anymore.

People everywhere are rising up and becoming their own authorities. They’re self qualifying, rather than relying on outside approval and traditional sanctioning.

The old path to success is fast becoming a graveyard. The new route is the next great adventure. But it’s not like The Wild West, a mystery waiting to be unveiled that will soon lose its luster. This pursuit will remain unknown, because you are the only one that can trek it. You’re the only one that can walk this path. All others are taken.

If you’d like to bypass all the ladders and stepping stones, I’m here to tell you that it’s possible.

So, what is an anti-authority and how do you become one?

An anti-authority is someone that gains their expertise not through formal training, but by self education and their own experience. Their inborn talents, unique path and achievement allow them to be a conduit and channel for helping others. Because they have walked the path, they can light the way for fellow trailblazers. They’ve created their own maps along the way, then burned them.

Anti-authorities know that being true to themselves is the route to genuine fulfillment. They become leaders and experts not by seeking to improve themselves, but by embracing and actualizing their highest selves. The light they shine is brilliant because it comes from a roaring fire of passion within, not by fluorescent bulbs lit by the nods of others.

What are some of the benefits of being an anti-authority?

Autonomy. Self expression. Bypassing gatekeepers.

Who are these self determined individuals?

  • Cara is doing it through 17,000 days, her journey to finding happiness and sharing her story with the world.
  • Ethan is doing it with Cloud Coach; transferring his knowledge to help offline small business owners create an online presence.
  • Vashte is changing the handmade community with Make One, and inspiring her generation to make knitting and upcycling cool.
  • Dave is helping people with Stress Free Productivity, using his own unique experience of getting frustrated with systems that didn’t work for him, and helping people create habits that work for them.
  • Ev’Yan is leveraging her own unique experience to help people embrace their true selves and become sex positive with Sex, Love and Liberation.

These are just a few people that are leaving the template to create something on their own terms. There is a whole community out there waiting to support you too.

What unique experience do you have that self qualifies you as an authority? When will you join us?

PS: If you think this message needs to be shared, please share it on Facebook or Twitter. If you know someone personally that needs to hear this message, please email them this link.

photo courtesy of jpf

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40 Comments on "The Rise of the Anti-Authority"

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David William
Guest

This couldn’t have come at a better time! I’ve just starting writing a short weekly series called Ignore the Experts.

http://almostbohemian.com/ignore2/

It’s all about how flawed the experts opinions can be and how we should take control of our own destiny.

The Anti-Authority! I like it!!

David William
Guest

Yikes, I hope that comment didnt come across as spammy. I just like that folks are uniting to say we gotta believe in ourselves first!

Molly Mahar
Guest

Yes! “Lighting the way for fellow trailblazers” is the perfect way to describe how each of us, by creating our own path/authority, gives others permission for others do the same. Leading (or unleading, or dancing, or creating) by example is where true inspiration sparks.

Thanks for being an Anti-Authority Jonathan, and introducing me to some fellow mapmakers and burners!

Noah
Guest

I would argue that an anti-authority doesn’t need to be self educated, rather just needs to be able to filter what come in to suit his beliefs.

Cedric
Admin

That’s a great point Noah, I didn’t think of that. I love how much my readers expand my awareness. :)

Cara Stein
Guest

Autonomy. Self expression. Bypassing gatekeepers.

Woohoo! It’s hella exhilarating, people! Definitely try it!

Miramah
Guest

Wow! I’ve been working with a (paid) mentor who doesn’t get me, constantly knocks my ideas saying they’re not marketable and pushing me to move forward with ideas that don’t resonate with me. I was just thinking to myself that I need to create my own trail–not follow the so-called “experts”! Thanks!

Steve
Guest
Hi Jonathan, My (not so) unique experience is that I’ve been wearing hearing aids for about 30 years. About 5 or 6 years ago I started writing about my experiences of hearing loss. I try to help out other people who are just experiencing hearing loss for the first time. I’m lucky that I’m able to help a lot of people out as I know that being partially deaf can be a very isolating thing. I’ve also been able to put readers with unused/unwanted hearing aids in touch with others who need them. I’m fighting against the status quo in… Read more »
kate
Guest

I spent far too many years in the corporate world, listening to the should and shouldn’t’s; having my weaknesses prodded and poked and my ideas considered too out there. I complied because thats what you did to get ahead. Crashing 5 years ago I now have the courage to blaze my own trail with unique talents, doing what feels right and true and helping others. Jonathan you are magnificent in your thinking.

Delisa
Guest
When I first started looking into starting my business, I felt I needed some kind of training. What I found were a lot of self proclaimed experts teaching “The One” right way of doing things and printing out certificates for it. Yuck. It took me awhile to realize I didn’t need to do things that way. I don’t know why. I left public school to homeschool myself. Every thing I have wanted to learn I have been able to with out schools. I still fight the feeling of not knowing enough or not being good enough, but I’m going after… Read more »
Sandra / Always Well Within
Guest

Jonathan,

I love the ideas you present here, but I don’t resonate with the idea of being “anti” anything. I suppose it’s part of an evolutionary process to reject tradition, but is it really necessary to be against something to be true to yourself?

Cedric
Admin

Being anti anything isn’t really necessary. And it’s important to use rejection as a tool to something greater, than to discard it (otherwise you keep the canoe on your back).

So yes, you’re absolutely right. Instead of anti authority we can say Self Qualified if it’s more beneficial. :)

Danielle
Guest
Oh WOW Jonathan, This post struck such a chord with me. I struggled with this for a long time. When I moved from the job of being a traditional teacher to coaching and having my own business I got soooo hung up on the fact that I wasn’t ‘certified’ (certifiable maybe;)that I lost all the things that made me so passionate about coaching in the first place: my strengths, my experiences, my skills, my self education, all hard fought for and so valuable. Love “They become leaders and experts not by seeking to improve themselves, but by embracing and actualizing… Read more »
Evan
Guest

I agree with you Jonathon (irony intended).

I think at the moment the blogosphere is a great place to put out there what you have to offer and for people to decided for themselves if there is a match. Long may it last!

kelly
Guest

I think we have all gone through those moments of “oh I am not good enough, smart enough or have enough degrees for that” – but that’s just our own fear of change – even if change is what we want the most.

Owen Marcus
Guest

Jonathan I couldn’t agree more.

If I am going to be a Remarkable Man I need to be or risk being seen as an unreasonable man.

I never saw an organization that I couldn’t quit if it wasn’t serving me.

Cedric
Admin

I like the way you put that Owen. Thanks for stopping by.

Greg
Guest
Completely agree. Sure, we can bypass the ladders and steps but it isn’t without a lot of work! Self-qualifying is just as hard as formal education (if not much harder!), but is usually in the direction that is aligned with your passions, goals, and personal purpose that is unique to you. More than ever, we are able to take advantage of technologies available to us and carve out our own paths and build reputations that aren’t necessarily tied to a degree or certificate. This article is concise, to the point and perfectly appropriate for this day. Thanks!
Jeffrey Platts
Guest

Great post, Jonathan. I agree that a new shift is happening. I think the more people that share WHO they are, rather than regurgitating what they learn from others, the world is going to be a beautiful place.

– Jeffrey

Cedric
Admin

That’s the beautiful thing. Just sharing your story can often make you self qualified and connect with people in a deep and meaningful way. We’re blessed to live in an age where this is made so easily possible.

Kate Bacon
Guest

I love this Jeffrey and Jonathan. When we allow ourselves to simply be ourselves we can create magical connection with others :-)

Leigh
Guest

Yes! Or as I exclaimed on a call with a coach, “Eff authority!” I moved to Cambodia to start a social enterprise. Along the way I became an entrepreneur and had a crash-course in the world of start-ups. I made a lot of mistakes, some that could have been avoided.

My authority doesn’t come from a business degree or a masters program. No, I’m living and breathing social entrepreneurship every day.

Now, I’m working on a site to help others navigate starting a social biz. Hoping to launch next month! :)

vivek
Guest

just what i needed the most, completly agree with it,now i got to use it-thankyou jonathan

NomadicNeill
Guest

One of my projects is my guitar lesson site in which I teach theory in a different way than is normal. It upsets some people, so I know I’m on to something.

http://www.guitartheoryrevolution.info

Ethan
Guest

Great article, and I’m so honored to be included! All I can say that the hardest part is just deciding to become an anti-authority and starting. If you choose something that you’re already passionate about, it will feel so natural. You’ll wonder why you’ve been waiting so long.

Jackie
Guest
Dear Jonathon and readers of this excellent blog. I am approaching my 49th birthday this year, and I am undergoing a spell of self reflection, wondering what the heck I have done with my life so fa. It doesn’t feel very much frankly.. I have always felt a failure about not having an ology in this or a diploma in that, or feeling generally “qualified”. My conclusion to this self reflection is actually who am I not to actually declare myself an expert in certain areas.. I have more life experience than probably many of the folks who have researched… Read more »
Roy | cruisesurfingz
Guest

Good post. I think everyone has the ability to be an authority on something. Authority doesn’t need to be hierarchical. I am an authority on drawing with MS paint, haha.

Cedric
Admin

That’s a pretty awesome authority if you ask me Roy. :)

Justin | Mazzastick
Guest

Just because someones wears a costume with shiny things on it doesn’t make them an authority.

Truth is that everyone has the right to be their own authority or “guru” as I put it.

Cedric
Admin

A costume with shiny things. That’s absolutely true… or merit badges. That’s a nice image.

We’re all experts in plain clothing.

Cheryl Chavarria
Guest

So glad I read this before going to bed. It’s complete validation for blazing my own path in wanting to curate a more convivial world and express myself as a writer.

I see the world you’re talking about unfolding every day. Thanks for the great post. Anti-authority…new phrase to be reminded of each time I doubt myself.

Nea | Self Improvement Saga
Guest

What a wonderfully motivating post. I’ve never been one to follow the straight & narrow path, but I have big plans to take my life in a whole new direction. My family and I are working together on a project that incorporates all of our talents into something amazing. Good times ahead!

Stay Hydrated Get Focused
Guest

This is so sick. I’ll have to sign up for this. Really motivating and inspiring.

Jennifer
Guest

I think this is so timely for a generation waiting out the economy in grad school. A degree cannot replace hard work and hands-on knowledge. I’m the anti-authority on MFA programs. =)

GabrielleHolmefjord
Guest

I just love this!!! After many years of working within ‘the system’, I’ve stepped completely outside it and am starting my own business, writing about and teaching all that I have learnt through my own process of spiritual transformation. It’s a GREAT adventure:)))

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[…] Experts say we need more work/life balance. That we need to leave our work at the door, and create more boundaries and limits. (I say screw the experts, be your own authority.) […]

ProcrastWriter
Guest

I am a board-certified Holistic Health Coach, but it wasn’t until a year ago when I discovered that I have serious food allergies that I finally felt like I was an anti-authority. No, I do not have an MD, no I am not a Registered Dietician, but I HAVE learned how to live with food allergies. And not just live, but thrive and still be fabulous. That kind of education can’t be taught… it can only be learned. Up with anti-authority!!!

trackback

[…] think we all start as philosophers, and too often the impulse to question authority is educated out of […]

Jeff
Guest

I may have a piece of paper (diploma) that tells others that a group of people say that I’m educated. But in reality, it is just a worthless piece of paper. True, independent knowledge comes from studying, deciding, and doing on your own. If others want to follow, I would say they are limiting themselves. If others want to lead, I would say they are limiting themselves. One day I hope there is no such thing as a follower or a leader because we all will be both.

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