Thursday, September 25, 2014

Book Notes - The Happiness of Pursuit

I loved this book from Chris Guillebeau and just like his two previous books [The Art of Nonconformity and The $100 Startup] it's filled with fun stories, great personalities and the sense that life is an adventure to be lived.

In this book, Chris unpacks the idea of a quest and gives us some compelling examples of people that have pursued something quests: something with a clear goal and a specific endpoint, a clear challenge, sacrifice of some kind, a sense of calling or mission and something that requires a series of steps. Along with telling us about quests, he inspires us by visiting the big ideas as adventure, personal vision, risk, courage and personal growth.

Probably my favorite part of the book talks about what happens when people are done with their quests - they gain independence and confidence, they mature, their vision seems to grow, and they are empowered for more. I've seen this first hand as the organization I work with has tried to send as many young people as we can on some kind of quest or adventure. Time and time again, those experiences have helped grow people along the lines that Chris has outlined.

Here are a few more quotes I loved from the book:
Discontent is the first necessity of progress. - Thomas Edison
He had decided to live forever, or die in attempt. - Joseph Heller
The most courageous act is to think for yourself. Aloud. - Coco Chanel
When you've given everything you have in pursuit of something great, it's hard to toss off a few quick sentences on "what it's like."
Why pursue a quest? Because each of us in our lives is writing our own story, and we only have one chance to get it right.

The Happiness of Pursuit is a great read and even though all of us could probably stand to read about more adventure in our life, this might be the motivation to get you to actually take the first step.

Disclosure - I was provided a copy of this book for free.


  1. Tony - thanks for sharing. Adding this to my list.

  2. Thanks Jorge - you will love it. Hope you are doing well!