The Happiness of Pursuit

The Happiness of Pursuit

Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to your Life

Book - 2014
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The author shows reveals how anyone can bring meaning into their life by undertaking a quest.
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. And these quests aren't just travel-oriented; they're as diverse as humanity itself. Some involve exploration; others the pursuit of athletic or artistic excellence; still others a battle against injustice or poverty or threats to the environment. Everywhere that Chris visited, he found ordinary people working toward extraordinary goals, making daily down payments on their dream. 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 a teenager crossing an entire ocean alone. There was also a do-it-yourselfer tackling M.I.T.'s computer-science course, a nerd turning himself into real-life James Bond, 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 -- how going after something in a methodical way enriches our lives -- and he was compelled to complete a comprehensive study of the phenomenon and extract the best advice. 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. Chris also examines questing's other side, including questers' acute awareness of mortality, their struggle against monotony, and their wistful feelings once a quest has succeeded. What happens after the summit is climbed, the painting hung, the endurance record broken, the "at risk" community saved? The resulting book 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.
Publisher: New York :, Harmony Books,, [2014]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780385348843
0385348843
Branch Call Number: 158.1 GU
Characteristics: viii, 292 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm

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I'm not interested in an enormous quest like traveling the world, but this book inspired me to find several smaller scale challenges to take on over the next year or two. For all of you bucket-listers, 'top ten' rankers, 'best of' aficionados, give this one a look.

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meg09
Feb 07, 2017

A book full of inspirations, you might find something that must have been lying latent in your heart. Do read this book to know how people kept moving with an earnest quest in their heart coupled along with Chris' own quest to visit all the countries in the world. Ofcourse in the practical world nothing is so rosy, hence the book also talks about struggles faced by many characters. This is my third read book of this author and I must say he has lived upto the benchmarks created by his previous books.

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BotNote
Jan 16, 2016

Didn't take me in and didn't finish this book. This guy has the luxury of travelling the world on a "quest". He compares this experience to others who have gone to extremes and made some type of life altering journey like running every ultra-marathons on the planet in a year or something to that effect. I couldn't get it out of my head what a first world cause this all stands for.

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eliseweatherby
Nov 09, 2014

The stories of people pursuing seemingly random or obscure dreams “just because” never gets old but I did find some of the points a bit slow moving and the author did write about himself a lot in between. Some of the stories were quite heartwarming think chicken soup for the soul stuff and others were pretty out there and I felt the need to skim. I would not describe this book as life changing or particularly motivational but it was mostly a fun read.

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