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The Happiness of Pursuit
Cover of The Happiness of Pursuit
The Happiness of Pursuit
Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life
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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
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
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About the Author-
  • Chris Guillebeau is an entrepreneur, traveler, and New York Times bestselling author. His first two books were The Art of Non-Conformity and The $100 Startup. Recently, he completed his quest to visit every country in the world before the age of 35. Host of the World Domination Summit, an international gathering of creative people, Chris is focused on encouraging individual quests while also "giving back." His main website, ChrisGuillebeau.com, is visited by more than 500,000 people per month.
Reviews-
  • Susan Cain, Quiet Revolution co-founder and New York Times best-selling author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

    "Chris Guillebeau is a rare combination of sage and adventurer, and The Happiness of Pursuit is both a distillation of his wisdom and and a demonstration of his -- and others'-- passion for the questing life. The passion Chris chronicles is infectious, and it becomes even more so as we read about life-focusing action delivering deep meaning. Even if you prefer never to leave your armchair, this book will inspire you to to take a beautiful voyage -- one that can be either physical or mental as you chase the thrill of steady accomplishment."

  • A.J. Jacobs, New York Times bestselling author of The Know-It-All and The Year of Living Biblically "If you like complacency and mediocrity, do not read this book. It's dangerously inspiring. It will make you want to do amazing things with your life. You may not end up visiting every country on Earth or directing a global protest from the top of a tree (I certainly won't), but Chris made me want to dive into an adventure. The Happiness of Pursuit is a how-to guide for avoiding a boring life."
  • Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Daring Greatly
    "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!"
  • Gretchen Ruben, New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Project "It's not easy to dream big--and it's not easy to turn that dream into reality. The brilliant Chris Guillebeau provides the essential blueprint for those of us for whom the happiness of pursuit--such as Chris's successful quest to visit every country in the world--is a key part of the pursuit of happiness."
  • Joel Stein, columnist, Time magazine and author of Man Made: A Stupid Quest for Masculinity "The incredible quests Chris Guillebeau explores in The Happiness of Pursuit, including his own to visit every country, left me feeling exhausted. Of course, as a person who works from home, I limit my quests most days to taking a shower. Bottom line: these stories are inspiring--and very, very entertaining."
  • Rita Golden Gelman, author of Tales of a Female Nomad, Living at Large in the World
    "Passion is the quickest route to joy -- the kind that gets your heart beating and your soul smiling. It involves committing to something bigger than yourself, taking risks, trusting; there's no passion in your comfort zone. Guillebeau's route to happiness is taking on a quest -- something that will get you up in the morning, impatient to begin your day. His stories, biographies, observations, and personal insights will get you thinking about a greater purpose. And there's a lot of how-to in here. If you've been wondering 'what it's all about?' this book could change your life."

  • -Lissa Rankin, MD, New York Times bestselling author of Mind Over Medicine

    "When a quest is a journey or a sought-after goal, it can be satisfying, fun, even paradigm-shifting. But when a quest begins with an inner yearning and transforms into a calling, it becomes medicine for the soul, and this changes everything. The Happiness of Pursuit is an invitation to listen to the part of oneself that craves purpose. It says. "Hey! Wake up! Your unique adventure awaits you."
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Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life
Chris Guillebeau
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