The Happiness of Pursuit by Chris Guillebeau

Salam Woke! people,

This time we would like to share one inspiring book written by Chris Guillebeau, the traveler and best-selling author $100 Startup (which is a very recommended book too! Hope we can discuss about it in another post ?).

Since this month’s BBC topic is about passion, we decide to take a look at the Happiness of Pursuit and share to you the summary for us to benefit from its lessons.
This book is written after Chris completed his long quest to visit every country in the world by 35.  The book is a contemplation of such quest (and other sample quests by other people too) and learning about finding purposes in life to accomplish big goals and enjoy the adventure on the way. It doesn’t need to involve travel, though many profiles mentioned in his book involve travels in one way or another. Listen to your own calling, trust your gut, even if the idea sounds crazy.
From this book, we learned that happiness is often obtained when we are on quests, rather than when we achieved the big goals.  Chris profiles many people who has been on quests and identified how they went about it, their common mistakes, what happened when they hit the wall and how their lives changed when the quests are over. Some other lessons we learned from this book are as follows:
1. Choosing a quest
It has to be unambiguous, challenging, has clear criteria that are measurable, requires sacrifice, effort and persistence. Otherwise, it is not much of a quest and you will not get much of experience.
2. Risks and costs
Count the costs, take the risks.
Quests are not free. You will need significant amount of time, money and energy to complete them. Those are finite resources, but most people assume big projects are impossible without actually sitting down and figuring out what the project will costs. That’s huge mistake. Ask yourself: “What would it take?”. Consciously taking time to calculate the costs before you start a quest.  You’ll know exactly what you are going into, and what will you have to do to complete it.
As to risks, nothing is perfectly safe. Even if you sitting down and do nothing, there is always risk coming with everything. Take risk, but be smart. Prepare, plan and mitigate any risk you can in smart way.
3. Persistence
Maybe you will face many walls along the way, be persistent and keep moving. Even if it is your mistake, it is fine, don’t let it stop you from the quest! Rather, learn from it, and keep going. Persistence will correct many errors and obstacles.
4. Every quest will change you forever
You will be leveled up. You won’t go back, you won’t be able to. Every quest will change you in a unique, valuable way.  Your experience will change you in deep way that may be difficult to be explained to other people. Whatever quests you are in, expect improvements in your self-confidence, skills and maturity.
5. Post-quests funk is normal
It is normal to feel down and lost between quests.  Recovery is straightforward: take a bit rest, reflect on your experience, then when you are ready, choose your next quest.
Happiness doesn’t come from achieving a quest, it is from pursuing the quests. Keep moving.
6. Quests are personal, do it for you
Some people will not understand your quests and that is fine. You are doing this for yourself. As long as you find your experience worthwhile, keep going! ?

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