The Happiness of Pursuit

Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life

by Chris Guillebeau

A remarkable book that will both guide and inspire, The Happiness of Pursuit 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, interestingly, these quests aren’t just travel-oriented. On the contrary, 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. The more Chris spoke with these strivers--including 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, a teenager crossing an entire ocean alone, and scores of others writing themselves into the record books--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.

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.
 
Equally fascinating is Chris’ examination of 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? 
 
A book that 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--The Happiness of Pursuit will inspire readers of every age and aspiration. It’s a playbook for making your life count.


Recent Reviews

Channel your inner Quixote and achieve your impossible dream.

Ryan DeJonghe

4 Stars

This book is not about happiness. Throughout, the author writes about loneliness, failure, despair, and the “post-quest funk”. If you are seeking a book about happiness, I have some recommendations for you below. Instead, this book is…

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Nothing New Here

Kimm Schaut

1.5 Stars

Not really different from other books in thus genre, The Happiness of Pursuit comes from a viewpoint of privilege. While it does provide examples of quests that cost nothing, it also does not seem to take them quite as seriously as those…

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The Joy of the Pursuit

Michael Deutsch

4 Stars

Chris Guillebeau's new book The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life, was a very interesting book.  The author is a life traveler, business leader and motivator.  He believes each…

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Review of The Happiness of Pursuit

Emily Fritz

5 Stars

This book is a brilliant work of art.  I was so happy that I was given the opportunity to read it and it definitely didn't disappoint me!  The Happiness of Pursuit is a book that inspires people to go on a quest.  To…

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The Happiness of Pursuit

Matlin Zitting

5 Stars

This book is a brilliant work of art. I was so happy that I was given the opportunity to read it and it definitely didn't disappoint me! The Happiness of Pursuit is a book that inspires people to go on a quest; to pursue the things…

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