The Happiness of Pursuit & Why You Need a Quest
Have You Got a Quest? Last year I completed the 52 Exercises Quest, doing a different exercise every week and blogging about it for one year.
I felt pretty good when I succeeded but that’s nothing compared to Chris Guillebeau who completed a quest to visit all 193 countries in the world. Imagine that!
I enjoyed my quest and grew through it, as did Guillebeau. He believes that quests and adventures bring meaning to our lives and so do I. Now Guillebeau has written a book all about it called The Happiness of Pursuit which I loved.
The book weaves Guillebeau’s travel quest with stories of many other people who have taken on quests. Just like Chris visiting every country in the world, others have achieved the unimaginable by setting themselves a quest such as sailing the world alone, reading the Encyclopedia Britannica in one year, walking across an entire country, completing the MIT computer science curricula in one year or giving $10 every day to a different non-profit three-year.
I keep telling my computer addicted teen son about Steve Kamb who turned his love of quest-based video games into a personal life quest, setting himself goals like a James Bond weekend where he rented a tuxedo and checked into a luxury casino resort in Montecarlo. For every dare he set and completed he awarded himself points and promoted himself to higher levels in his real life quest game.
You need to read the book yourself for the adventure stories and free spirits it will introduce you to. But it’s only right for you if you’re the kind of person who needs a quest. I think I am!
Would having a quest make you happier or more fulflilled? Here’s a checklist to find out. This is an excerpt from the book and the more you’re inclined to answer “yes”, the more you are likely to enjoy a quest of your own.
- Do you like making and checking things off?
- Have you always enjoyed setting goals?
- Do you feel motivated by making progress towards goal?
- Do you enjoy planning?*
- Do you have a hoppy passion that not everyone understands?
- Do you ever find yourself daydreaming or imagining a different kind of life?
- Do you spend a lot of time thinking about your hobby of passion?
* Research shows that we enjoy planning a vacation as much as taking a vacation. Anticipation is a powerful source.
Well, it’s obvious I need a quest! I’d give a hearty yes to all of those questions and am currently looking for a new quest of my own.
How about you? Do you need to quest? Or have you already got one?
Disclaimer: I count Chris Guillebeau as one of my blogging friends although we have only met once at a blogging conference in 2012. It was a thrill – for me anyway!
I’m a big fan of Chris’s blog, writing, business courses and travel hacking program so my views may be a bit biased. He sent me a review copy of the book but I only wrote about it here because I genuinely enjoyed it and recommend it.
You can find out more about The Happiness of Pursuit book on Amazon. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
My quest is not to have a quest! Or, perhaps it would be more accurate to say my quest is an inner one. I’d rather have a rest than a quest! But, I know those hoppy types need to keep questing.
An inner quest sounds fascinating! I want to know more….
I love the idea of quests as Chris Guillebeau puts it …. he is one of the best authors I’ve read in the past five years!
I love the idea of quests! Just finished a book by a German journalist whose quest had been to wear the same blue dress every day of the year. The next year her quest was to win Who wants to be a millionaire. And what did she do with the money? Go travelling of course! I look forward to reading Chris’ book. Sounds fascinating! My humble quest for the next few months is to write one quality blog post a week….rather unimpressive by comparison :)
I think I would really enjoy this book. Maybe when the kids leave home I will start a swimming quest… around the world in 80 pools and 20 ocean swims!
That sounds like a great quest Seana!
I love the idea of quests, and this book is going on my reading list. I met Chris at the very same event as you, but I think only squeaked out, “Oh please could I have my picture taken with you,” and then scurried off all embarrassed ;) so I can’t count him as ‘friend’ :( lol!
I just picked up the book and think I’ll enjoy it. I have felt a bit directionless since finishing my 101 things list, which I liked for a while, but then I started feeling kind of bored.
Without a purpose in mind, we’re lost. With no pursuit, we’re hopeless. Really. I worked as a security guard before I become an island hopping pro blogger. I saw men drop dead – or head of them doing so – weeks after retiring from da’ docks. They lived for work and pursued nothing but money, and they ran from most fun things in life, simply working until they retired, then they died, because they had no purpose.
I look at my dad. He retired early and the 7 years that have flown by since he hung them up have been amazing for him, because he’s always pursuing something, from following sports, to being on the board of a local high school, to helping out his political party by volunteering for hours during election times, in New Jersey. He has a purpose unlike few I’ve seen to get the most out of life, and he had this same drive while working full time.
Chris is an absolute inspiration, because he gets it, and he embodies the book, and I see him as a role model of sorts. May not be looking for a country record but I’m going super prolific with my eBook creation – #5 coming out tomorrow – as I circle the globe. It’s been a blast, and an absolute honor, to be happy, to pursue, and to inspire others to do the same.
Thanks Annabel, loved the post! Tweeting, and signing off from Fiji.
Oh I love a quest – my problem is not finding one – it is hanging on until I have achieved it – or maybe THAT is my quest – to begin as many quests as I can – I guess it is about the journey; the destination is just the half of it…hmm now I shall be pondering this – however I love always having something on the go, so I quest seeker I am – and a great thought provoking post…thank you