The Happiness of Pursuit

Favorite quote from the author:

It’s your life, so why not be intentional? - Chris Guillebeau

Chris is one inspiring dude. He’s written several books that help people break free from conventional jobs and conventional life overall.

This book was written after he completed visiting every country in the world, along the way he met plenty of people doing great things. He calls these missions, which people are on to find purpose and meaning in their life, quests.

This book is all about helping you find yours too.

The 3 things I learned from this book are:

  1. When the world calls out to you, listen.
  2. Adjust your life to accommodate your quest.
  3. Your quest will give you purpose because it is a reward in itself.

Okay, let’s take a closer look at what quests are all about!

Lesson1: When the world calls out to you, listen to that call!

Chris says quests often arise from external events, which shake awake an inner calling we carry. 

Whatever the internal feeling is, feel like its an internal call to you. Listen to that feeling whether that’s your passion, discontent or self-awareness..don’t play it down!

Trust your gut, because the worst cause of unhappiness is regret.

Lesson2: If your quest seems too big, just adjust your life to make it fit.

At times, going on a quest will often require you to adjust your life, but that doesn’t make your quest any less meaningful.

Sasha Martin wanted to travel the world, but like most people, she didn’t have the money. Instead, she decided to cook a meal from every country in the world and thus, bring the world right into her home. By documenting her journey she’s inspired thousands of people around the world, probably much more than she had if she had just gone to travel around on her own.

Chris himself had to live a very minimalist life for several years, in order to afford all his travels. After initially calculating, and seeing that a trip around the world would set him back $30,000, which wasn’t as bad as he had thought, he, of course, didn’t have that money just lying around.

So he decided to cut back on a lot of material possessions, travel lightly and stretch his travels over a few years and voila, he completed his quest.


In order write these book summary, I had to make some adjustments as well. I’d love to read a book a day, but I can’t just go on to buy it neither had enough hours in the day to read through them.

Then I subscribed to Blinkist & Audible, it helped me read a summary every day and then pick a full audible version. This gave me a freedom to listen to audio summaries anytime anywhere.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Lesson3: Your quest is a reward in itself, which will give your life a purpose.

You might have a question, what if I have small quest..will it really fulfils me? 

Answers YES. 

That’s because when you do something you love, doing the thing is a reward in itself. Most of us think we’ll only feel good when we finally reach our goal, but that’s not true.

True happiness comes from the struggle towards your goal, not the goal per se.

This really hit Chris when he listened to a TEDx talk by independent musician Stephen Kellogg

The following quote stuck with him:

It’s better to be at the bottom of the ladder you want to climb than the top of the one you don’t. – Stephen Kellogg

When you love your quest, it doesn’t matter how small the steps you take care. You’ll love it so much, you won’t want to let go and you’ll become positively obsessed with your work. This is important because not all days will be great.