Chris Guillebeau’s Secrets to the Happiness of Pursuit
Want to conquer the world, or at least your very own tiny piece of it? Then get to know Chris Guillebeau, the easy-on-the-eyes, hard-to-put-down-books-writing self-help helper extraordinaire. His very popular blog, The Art of Non-Conformity, explores entrepreneurship, travel, and personal development topics. At his site you can also download his Brief Guide to World Domination and learn more about the World Domination Summit he organizes each year. As the author of The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future, Chris is the go-to guru for fledgling entrepreneurs. I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of Chris’s brand-new book, The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life. It’s a great read full of inspirational stories of people who find purpose in their lives pursuing their own unique “quests.” A “playbook for making your life count”, it encourages readers to make their lives about something -- and follow-up with the focus and commitment needed to make their quests a reality. (Chris knows from where he speaks, literally. He recently completed his quest to visit every country in the world before turning 35!) I was extra lucky to get a chance to catch up with the very busy Mr. Guillebeau to find out about the book’s backstory and get his insights on how we can find happiness and success pursuing our own “quests”: DIXIE: WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO WRITE THIS BOOK? WHO NEEDS THIS MESSAGE MOST? CHRIS: I wrote the book partly as a way to reflect on my journey to every country in the world—but fortunately I didn’t stop with that. Along the way, I also met a lot of people who were also undertaking quests. Many of these quests were travel-oriented, like mine. I met a young woman who sailed around the world in a small sailboat, and I met a young guy who walked across America. But many of the people undertaking quests had very different projects: to knit 10,000 hats, for example, or to produce the world’s largest symphony, or to train an untrainable horse. I wanted to take all these stories and combine them into a single message: the story of living for adventure. The book is for everyone who wants more out of life, everyone who enjoys a challenge and wants to craft a truly remarkable life as they make plans for the future. DIXIE: HOW DOES ONE FIGURE OUT JUST WHAT ONE’S LIFE PURPOSE IS? HOW DO WE IDENTIFY OUR “QUESTS”? CHRIS: Well, “life purpose” can be a tough one—but I think you start by figuring out what you’re excited about and what you’re bothered by. In the book we used a checklist to ask people if they might be especially well-suited to a quest. It looks something like this:
- Do you like making lists and checking things off?
- Have you always enjoyed setting goals?
- Do you feel motivated by making progress toward a goal?
- Do you enjoy planning?
- Do you have a hobby or passion that not everyone understands?
- Do you ever find yourself day-dreaming or imagining a different kind of life?
- Do you spend a lot of time thinking about your hobby or passion?