The Happiness of Pursuit | Chris Guillebeau

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


Embark on an enthralling journey of self-discovery and purpose with Chris Guillebeau’s ‘The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life’. This book summary will take you through the different stages of a quest, the motivating factors behind embarking on one, and the overwhelming feeling of accomplishment. Get ready to explore real-life examples of individuals whose lives have been transformed by their quests, and learn how to develop your own plan, set manageable goals, and create a strategy for success. The book illustrates the significance of identifying passions and how sometimes, external triggers are necessary for a quest to come into fruition.

The Power of Quests

A quest is a journey towards a life-affirming goal that involves overcoming various challenges. Many people embark on quests for different reasons, such as self-discovery, taking a stand, or responding to external factors. Tom Allen cycled around the world, Sandi Wheaton documented her journey on Route 66 after being laid off, Laura Dekker circumnavigated the world by sailboat, and Miranda Gibson lived in a tree to protest illegal logging. Quests are born from hard-to-shake ideas or urges and are intended to benefit either the individual or the wider world.

Pursuing Personal Quests

Identifying and Chasing Life Quests

In his book, the author highlights the idea that everyone has a calling, something that motivates them to pursue a personal quest. Identifying and pursuing this quest brings a sense of fulfillment, and it could come from anything that captures our attention. Identifying this passion isn’t always easy, but it can be triggered by a triggering event that forces us into action.

One such event is dissatisfaction coupled with a big idea and willingness to take action. Take Juno Kim, for instance, who was unhappy with her stable engineering job in South Korea and decided to go traveling. Her quest eventually turned her into an advocate for Asian female travelers.

Other events that trigger quests are growing awareness of mortality, which pushes us to start living every day as if it were our last. For example, bird enthusiast Phoebe Snetsinger embarked on a journey to identify birds worldwide when she realized she only had a year to live.

In essence, quests arise when an inner calling meets external factors, and pursuing them is essential to leading a fulfilling life.

Believe, Divide, and Conquer

To achieve great things, believe in and divide your quest into manageable tasks, and draw energy from rejection and failure, as illustrated by Gary Thorpe, Steve Kamb, and Jia Jiang.

Believing in oneself is critical to attaining challenging goals, as highlighted in “The Art of Impossible” by Steven Kotler. This belief is what kept classical music DJ Gary Thorpe going for 28 years while trying to produce the longest symphony ever written, despite how seemingly unconventional that goal was. After many failed attempts, his efforts were fruitful, and his Gothic Symphony was a massive success. The belief in accomplishing one’s aim should be complemented by dividing the quest into manageable tasks. Steve Kamb transformed his life and created a video game, “His Epic Quest of Awesome,” to help him break down his dreary existence into smaller yet still challenging goals. Kamb moved from getting fit to piloting a stunt plane and learning Portuguese. Finally, Jia Jiang’s approach to rejection and failure is unconventional but effective. Jiang spent 100 days seeking rejection to overcome his fear and discovered its empowering benefits. Drawing motivation from rejection helped him overcome his inhibitions and allowed him to try anything. Therefore, believing in oneself, dividing the quest, and using rejection as fuel helps to achieve the impossible.

Quests for Everyone

The possibility of fulfilling a dream quest is accessible to anyone. The author proves it by giving examples of people who created their unique journeys with simple yet effective methods. Sasha Martin cooked meals from different countries, while Allan Bacon implemented life experiments. With creativity and smart budgeting, one can realize their most daring dreams, which might seem initially impossible. The key is to break down the quest into smaller portions and adjust them to your lifestyle. No matter what your circumstances are, there’s a quest for you, and the author encourages you to explore your imagination and embark on an adventure that fits you.

The Thrill of the Quest

The satisfaction of a quest is more than just the end goal, it’s the process of striving towards it. Those who turn their quest into their vocation tend to be obsessed with what they do and continually strive to refine their skills. Despite the difficulties and challenges along the way, the overall process brings pleasure and fulfillment. Famous comedians like Jerry Seinfeld demonstrate the importance of keeping up with their craft to prevent deterioration of skills. Independent musician Stephen Kellogg’s experience shows that it’s better to be at the bottom of a ladder you want to climb than at the top of one you don’t. The ultimate appeal of a quest is the feeling of accomplishment and striving towards something you love and believe in.

Want to read the full book summary?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed