The Happiness of Pursuit
Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life
A remarkable guide to the quests that give our lives meaning—and how to find your own—from the New York Times bestselling author of The $100 Startup and 100 Side Hustles
“If you like complacency and mediocrity, do not read this book. It’s dangerously inspiring.”—A. J. Jacobs, author of The Know-It-All
When he set out to visit all of the planet’s countries by age thirty-five, compulsive goal-seeker Chris Guillebeau never imagined that his journey’s biggest revelation would be how many people like himself exist—each pursuing a challenging quest. These quests are as diverse as humanity itself, involving exploration, the pursuit of athletic or artistic excellence, or battling against injustice and poverty. Everywhere that Chris visited he found ordinary people working toward extraordinary goals, making daily down payments on their dreams. These “questers” included a suburban mom pursuing a wildly ambitious culinary project, a DJ producing the world’s largest symphony, a young widower completing the tasks his wife would never accomplish—and scores of others writing themselves into the record books.
The more Chris spoke with these strivers, the more he began to appreciate the direct link between questing and long-term happiness, and he was compelled to complete a comprehensive study of the phenomenon. In The Happiness of Pursuit, he draws on interviews with hundreds of questers, revealing their secret motivations, their selection criteria, the role played by friends and family, their tricks for solving logistics, and the importance of documentation. Equally fascinating is Chris’s examination of questing’s other side. What happens after the summit is climbed, the painting hung, the endurance record broken, the at-risk community saved?
A book that challenges each of us to take control—to make our lives be about something while at the same time remaining clear-eyed about the commitment—The Happiness of Pursuit will inspire readers of every age and aspiration. It’s a playbook for making your life count.
“The Happiness of Pursuit is smart, honest, and dangerous. Why dangerous? Because it is as practical as it is inspiring. You won’t just be daydreaming about your quest—you’ll be packing for it!”—Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW, author of Daring Greatly
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Get ready to learn about people who’ve set off on amazing journeys of self-discovery—and how to create your own. When motivational expert Chris Guillebeau reflected on his adventures—like visiting every country on earth before he turned 35—he had an epiphany: There’s a deep happiness that comes when you’re striving toward a very special goal or what you might even call a quest. Guillebeau interviews many unique and inspiring quest seekers, like a man who biked around the world and an activist who protested illegal logging by living at the top of a tree for over a year. Hopping from country to country, Guillebeau recounts these individuals’ impactful stories, discovering that no matter their path, the common denominators among them were persistence and determination. Even if your own personal quest is smaller in scale, like wanting to run a 5K or teach yourself to draw, The Happiness of Pursuit proves that happiness isn’t waiting at the end of the journey—it comes from the journey itself.
Chris takes you by the hand and shows you first-hand his ten-year quest to visit every country in the world, while also sharing the stories and quests of others. THe intention of helping the reader to discover their own quest makes this book that much more satisfying.
Many examples, none too impactful
My opinion about this book is that the stories contained are too short to make a lasting impression or catalyst for growth. If you are looking for lasting inspiration, probably best to look elsewhere.