1-Sentence-Summary: The Happiness Of Pursuit is a call to take control of your own life by going on a quest, which will fill your life with meaning, purpose, and a whole lot of adventure.
Read in: 4 minutes
Favorite quote from the author:
Chris Guillebau is one inspiring dude. He’s written several books that help people break free from conventional jobs and conventional life overall.
The Happiness Of Pursuit was written after he completed visiting every country in the world, along the way of which he met plenty of other people out in the world to do 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.
The 3 things I learned about quests from this book are:
- When the world calls out to you, listen.
- Adjust your life to accommodate your quest.
- 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!
Lesson 1: 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.
For example, you might have always wanted to be a race car driver (ahem), but you only realize it while sitting in the train to work one day, because it hits you that you never even drive any more.
Maybe you just feel like the king of the world when you find a new way to hack your blog’s HTML code, or suddenly realize your life might be shorter than you think.
Whatever the event is that feels like the wold calling out to you, listen to that feeling!
The idea to go on a quest can arise for the most various reasons, whether that’s passion, discontent, or an awareness of mortality, but the important part is that you don’t play it down.
Trust your gut, because the worst cause of unhappiness is regret.
So you have a crazy idea, and the will to take action, but what now?
Lesson 2: If your quest seems too big, just adjust your life to make it fit.
Yeah, I know, you can’t become a race car driver tomorrow, but there is always something you can do.
For example you could spend 30 minutes a day learning everything there is to know about race cars, while saving up money in order to book a day at a race track where you can drive one.
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.
For Four Minute Books, I had to make some adjustments as well. I’d love to read a book a day, but I have neither the money to buy so many books, nor the hours in the day.
But I can get a Blinkist subscription, read a summary every day, and then write about that.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Lesson 3: Your quest is a reward in itself, which will give your life a purpose.
Now I know what your next objection will be: If I have to play it small, will that really fulfill me?
Yes. A definite 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 are. 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. Do I have to drag myself to the computer some mornings at 5:40 AM, because I’d still rather sleep instead of write these summaries?
But once I press publish for the day, I always feel good.
And that’s all you need to be able to tell whether your quest is worth it.
My personal take-aways
Before Chris initially released the book, I downloaded a sample, the first chapter, and was hooked instantly. Soon after release, Blinkist had the summary on it, so I jumped right in.
I’m kicking myself for still not reading the full book, the preview and summary alone inspired the crap out of me, but I guess at least I’m living my quest.
When reflecting I realized that Four Minute Books is my quest for 2016 and boy, am I having fun.
I’m grateful for this reminder, and if you haven’t found your own quest yet, I highly recommend you start taking a serious look at Chris’s stuff 🙂
What else can you learn from the blinks?
- What quests allow people to achieve
- The two things you have to do to stay motivated until you complete your quest
- How Stephanie Zito gave her life its own purpose after years of frustration in the charity industry
- Why your quest will not only change your life, but also change you
- What to do once you complete your quest
Who would I recommend The Happiness Of Pursuit summary to?
The 14 year old teen, who knows her calling in life already, but is not sure on whether to pursue it, the 32 year old, who’s settled well into his job, and wants to give his life a sense of adventure, and anyone who thinks their goal is too big.