The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life

The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life

by Chris Guillebeau


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The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life by Chris Guillebeau

A remarkable book that will both guide and inspire, The Happiness of Pursuit reveals how anyone can bring meaning into their life by undertaking a quest.
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. And, interestingly, these quests aren’t just travel-oriented. On the contrary, they’re as diverse as humanity itself. Some involve exploration; others the pursuit of athletic or artistic excellence; still others a battle against injustice or poverty or threats to the environment.
Everywhere that Chris visited he found ordinary people working toward extraordinary goals, making daily down payments on their dream. The more Chris spoke with these strivers—including 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, a teenager crossing an entire ocean alone, and scores of others writing themselves into the record books—the more he began to appreciate the direct link between questing and long-term happiness—how going after something in a methodical way enriches our lives.

He was compelled to complete a comprehensive study of the phenomenon and extract the best advice. 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’ examination of questing’s other side, including questers’ acute awareness of mortality, their struggle against monotony, and their wistful feelings once a quest has succeeded. 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385348843
Publisher: Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale
Publication date: 09/09/2014
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

CHRIS GUILLEBEAU is the New York Times bestselling author of books including The $100 Startup, The Happiness of Pursuit, and The Art of Non-Conformity. He is also the founder and host of Side Hustle School, a daily podcast with more than 2 million downloads per month. During a lifetime of self-employment and side hustling, he visited every country in the world (193 in total) before his 35th birthday.

Table of Contents

I Beginnings

Prologue: On the Road 3

Chapter 1 Awakening 13

Chapter 2 The Great Discontent 26

Chapter 3 The Calling 39

'Dispatch: Courage 51

Chapter 4 Defining Moments 54

II Journey

Chapter 5 Self-Reliance 71

Chapter 6 Everyday Adventure 87

Dispatch: Routine 101

Chapter 7 Time and Money 105

Chapter 8 Life Listing 122

Chapter 9 Forward Motion 137

Chapter 10 The Love of the Craft 151

Chapter 11 Joining Forces 165

Dispatch: Struggle 176

Chapter 12 Rebel for a Cause 179

Chapter 13 The Long Road 193

Chapter 14 Misadventures 212

Chapter 15 Transformation 225

Dispatch: Community 237

Chapter 16 Homecomings 240

Chapter 17 Finale 257

Appendix 1 Lessons from the Journey 267

Appendix 2 Cast of Characters 271

Appendix 3 A Quest for Everyone 279

Index 285

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The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
jeverettmorton More than 1 year ago
This is a fun read if you've ever thought of doing something a little different. I'm just cynical enough to not let the words of one person set the rules for my own quests and ambitions, but hopeful and quirky enough to to let it act as a good guideline. I've read Chris Guillebeau's previous two books, The Art of Non-Conformity and The $100 Start-Up. This one shares some parallels with the Art of Non-Conformity, yet still stands alone. The Happiness of Pursuit looks at a number of people who have completed what the author calls quests. The quests all have a specific criteria, but range widely. One woman was determined to cook a meal from every country for her family, one guy studied and passed the entire MIT curriculum in a year, one guy walked across the entire United States, and one guy is working on taking one million quality photographs. These aren't spoilers, more like teasers. From these various quests the reader learns about the rewards and obstacles each quester faced and gains insights on how to identify his or her own quest. I was an easy sell on this book because I was a fan of his earlier works and I subscribe to similar thoughts as the author. I'm a fan of tests of endurance (I once sang "This is the song that doesn't end" for an hour just to see if I could), working on something that seems impossible, and I've toyed with the idea of breaking a world record just to say I did. I'm inspired by artists that have accomplished unusual feats and thought, "There is no reason I can't do something remarkable, too." I'd never thought of my life goals as quests before, but this book has got me to reexamine some of the things I want to do and see how they might be quests. I've got a couple ideas already and I'm both scared and excited when I really consider them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thumbs up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you're looking to get motivated and looking for great ideas on things to do I think this book is right for you
Just_Tony More than 1 year ago
Many people are looking for ways to create a meaningful life.  These same people know that they are worth more than they are right now.   Sure, these people could go to life changing events, but they need something more---something that they can take with them.  I would like to introduce you, the reader, to this masterpiece called "The Happiness of Pursuit." This book is about the art of finding your Quest.  What is a Quest?  Many people have different meanings about of what a Quest is, but Chris Guillebeau stated the definition of a Quest, beautifully and expertly. A Quest is a goal that has a specific end point.  It is something that is meaningful to you and it is something you would die for.  A Quest is something that consumes you that you will do just about anything, to make it a reality in your life.  If you read this book, it will cause you to raise your standards.  This book will also force you to want to do more with your life.  Do not read this review any further.  Just go ahead and buy this book.  You will not regret it.