A friend of mine recently wrote in to request that I start a series on things we’re reading over here at CTK. I thought it was a great idea. And so it begins today.
First up, The Happiness of Pursuit by Chris Guillebeau. Chris is the dude who traveled to every country on Earth by the age of 35. Yes, every, single country. And if any new ones pop up, like South Sudan, he goes there too. He’s the publisher behind the insanely popular blog, The Art of Non-Conformity (now Chris Guillebeau.com) and the author or The $100 Startup, The Art of Non-Conformity and, most recently, Born for This. And finally, he’s the creator of World Domination Summit, which seems like an amazing event, though I’ve never personally been.
Back when I was angsting my face off at the hedge fund, reading his blog in my downtime taught me one, important lesson that shaped my immediate future: you don’t have to live your life like others think you should. Simple, but deeply impactful. We can set out to do whatever we want in life, and as long as we’re self-sufficient, we don’t need anyone’s permission to embrace non-conformity.
In the book, The Happiness of Pursuit, Chris compiles a long list of stories from people around the world who are passionately pursuing a quest. As he pursued his own quest of seeing every country on Earth, it became apparent that there were many others out there like him. Not on the same quest of course, but on some type of quest of their own. He also began to notice a direct correlation between long-term happiness and fulfillment and this type of ‘questing’. From a young widower completing the life goals his wife would never get to, to a midwestern housewife attempting a wildly ambitious culinary feat, the quests of all these people are incredibly diverse, as are their secret motivations and logistical challenges. But the quests become passionate obsessions, teaching them about themselves and the world around them like nothing else before.
And the one thing they all seem to share, is the deep and lasting happiness of their pursuit.
A fascinating and motivating read that had me listing every place I’ve been to and thinking about some sort of quest of my own. And just as Chris’s other work has helped to shape my perspective, The Happiness of Pursuit challenged me to rethink what I believe is possible for my life, and inspired me to recommit to making it about something awesome. I’d also say it’s an especially poignant read for any latent adventurers, itching to get out and do something amazing.
And if a quest sounds interesting to you, why not start your own today? Pop your email in below and we’ll send you one sentence to that will help you lose weight, be happy and figure out your life.
Also published on Medium.