The Happiness of Pursuit
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 Startupand 100 Side Hustles
“If you like complacency and mediocrity, do notread 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 manypeople 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 afterthe 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 aboutsomething while at the same time remaining clear-eyed about the commitment—The Happiness of Pursuitwill 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