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A remarkable guide to the quests that give our lives meaning—and how to find your own—from the New York Times bestselling author of The $100 Startup and 100 Side Hustles
 
“If you like complacency and mediocrity, do not read this book. It’s dangerously inspiring.”—A. J. Jacobs, author of The Know-It-All
 
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. These quests are as diverse as humanity itself, involving exploration, the pursuit of athletic or artistic excellence, or battling against injustice and poverty. Everywhere that Chris visited he found ordinary people working toward extraordinary goals, making daily down payments on their dreams. These “questers” included 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—and scores of others writing themselves into the record books.
 
The more Chris spoke with these strivers, the more he began to appreciate the direct link between questing and long-term happiness, and he was compelled to complete a comprehensive study of the phenomenon. 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’s examination of questing’s other side. 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.
 
The Happiness of Pursuit is smart, honest, and dangerous. Why dangerous? Because it is as practical as it is inspiring. You won’t just be daydreaming about your quest—you’ll be packing for it!”—Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW, author of Daring Greatly

Review

“Chris Guillebeau is a rare combination of sage and adventurer, and The Happiness of Pursuit is both a distillation of his wisdom and a demonstration of his—and others’—passion for the questing life. The passion Chris chronicles is infectious, and it becomes even more so as we read about life-focusing action delivering deep meaning. Even if you prefer never to leave your armchair, this book will inspire you to take a beautiful voyage— one that can be either physical or mental as you chase the thrill of steady accomplishment.” —Susan Cain, cofounder of the Quiet Revolution and New York Times bestselling author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
 
“It’s not easy to dream big—and it’s not easy to turn that dream into reality. The brilliant Chris Guillebeau provides the essential blueprint for those of us for whom the happiness of pursuit—such as Chris’s successful quest to visit every country in the world—is a key part of the pursuit of happiness.” —Gretchen Rubin, New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Project
 
“Guillebeau’s stories, biographies, observations, and personal insights will get you thinking about a greater purpose. And there’s a lot of how-to in here. If you’ve been wondering ‘What it’s all about?’ this book could change your life.” —Rita Golden Gelman, author of Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World
 
The incredible quests Chris Guillebeau explores in  The Happiness of Pursuit, including his own to visit every country, left me feeling exhausted. Of course, as a person who works from home, I limit my quests most days to taking a shower. Bottom line: these stories  are inspiring--and very, very entertaining.” —Joel Stein, columnist, Time magazine and author of Man Made: A Stupid Quest for Masculinity
 
“When a quest is a journey or a sought-after goal, it can be satisfying, fun, even paradigm-shifting. But when a quest begins with an inner yearning and transforms into a calling, it becomes medicine for the soul, and this changes  everythingThe Happiness of Pursuit is an invitation to listen to the part of oneself that craves purpose. It says. ‘Hey! Wake up! Your unique adventure awaits you.’” —Lissa Rankin, MD, New York Times bestselling author of Mind Over Medicine

About the Author

Chris Guillebeau is the author of  The Art of Non-Conformity, The $100 Startup, The Happiness of Pursuit, Born for This, Side Hustle, and 100 Side Hustles. During a lifetime of self-employment that included a four-year commitment as a volunteer executive in West Africa, he visited every country in the world (193 in total) before his thirty-fifth birthday. His daily podcast, Side Hustle School, is downloaded more than two million times a month. He is also the founder of the World Domination Summit, an event for cultural creatives that attracts thousands of attendees to Portland, Oregon, every summer.

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4.4 out of 54.4 out of 5
603 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A book about finding your quest: For privileged people
Reviewed in the United States on January 8, 2020
Overall the book is meh. I read it for class. Theres not really anything I didn''t already know. Most of the stories are possible because the person is in a place of privilege (which was never addressed). Theres really no spiritual insight, Its almost materialistic. Its... See more
Overall the book is meh. I read it for class. Theres not really anything I didn''t already know. Most of the stories are possible because the person is in a place of privilege (which was never addressed). Theres really no spiritual insight, Its almost materialistic. Its almost a feel good book although it does address some of the challenges to finding your quest. Honestly you''ll get more just listening to Joseph Campbell on youtube.
12 people found this helpful
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Kelsye Nelson
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Yes you can
Reviewed in the United States on May 26, 2015
With clear voice and positive import, Chris illustrates exactly how to transform impossible daydreams into achievable goals. The stories shared throughout, of Chris''s adventures as well as the quests of so many others, make the pages fly by and kept me... See more
With clear voice and positive import, Chris illustrates exactly how to transform impossible daydreams into achievable goals.

The stories shared throughout, of Chris''s adventures as well as the quests of so many others, make the pages fly by and kept me entertained with narratives. However, what sticks with me most after reading, is the simple bits of knowledge that seem so obvious, yet have been hard to grasp without seeing them so clearly outlined.

For example, Chris shows how our assumptions about the ridiculous-ness of our dreams are false. We might think that traveling to every country in the world would be way too expensive and take too much time. Chris encourages us to move beyond, to ask, well, HOW expensive exactly and how much time would it take? When assumptions are written down and countered, it''s easy to find solutions that are stunningly reachable.

Sections on documenting your quest and rough guides for setting specific goals also provided valuable help.

Another great book from Chris to add to shelf, and even more ideas sparked on how to add to my self.
17 people found this helpful
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David Mullens
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Excellent
Reviewed in the United States on May 30, 2017
I purchased the book on a whim, but have found it both inspiring and sad. The quests were inspiring, but, at times, the end of the quests could be sad. Best thought was to not ask what you are willing to die for, but what are you willing to live for.
14 people found this helpful
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Steven R.
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Anyone, any age will get something out of this book!
Reviewed in the United States on July 5, 2018
Well written and definitely helpful. It basically carried the age-old adage "It''s the journey, not the destination". Your journey towards finding and achieving your life''s purpose/calling is what makes all the difference, and many times you''re going to have to buck... See more
Well written and definitely helpful. It basically carried the age-old adage "It''s the journey, not the destination". Your journey towards finding and achieving your life''s purpose/calling is what makes all the difference, and many times you''re going to have to buck convention to find out exactly what your "It" is. This book, along with what musician Stewart Copeland said says it all: "Your level of Happiness will determine your level of success".
4 people found this helpful
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Steven Vandenburg
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Quests for All!
Reviewed in the United States on August 9, 2017
Chris G. created a well rounded book that will influence all that read it. The book is about creating and going on quests. The author takes the audience through the stages of a quest while seamlessly intertwining details of his own and other''s quests to provide examples and... See more
Chris G. created a well rounded book that will influence all that read it. The book is about creating and going on quests. The author takes the audience through the stages of a quest while seamlessly intertwining details of his own and other''s quests to provide examples and demonstrate the highs and lows that can come along during a quest. Reading through theses stories is both entertaining and inspiring. The author also spends time helping the audience to design their own quest. This book shifted how I looked at some of my goals and how taking a quest of my own could be impactful not only to myself but others.
4 people found this helpful
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Just what we needed
Reviewed in the United States on September 1, 2016
I bought this book for my 24 year old son who was stuck in a self described indesisive rut. He was so inspired by Chris and all the "characters" that he is now in the process of narrowing down some choices, weighing the pro''s and con''s, and committing to a decision.... See more
I bought this book for my 24 year old son who was stuck in a self described indesisive rut. He was so inspired by Chris and all the "characters" that he is now in the process of narrowing down some choices, weighing the pro''s and con''s, and committing to a decision. I also read the book and am also excited to take some big leaps in my life that I''ve been putting off. I''m recommending this book to everyone!
11 people found this helpful
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Esther Dan
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
5 Stars
Reviewed in the United States on December 8, 2019
I have thoroughly enjoyed this book as I embark on my 70th country this year. An easy read with thought provoking questions that locate your heart to pursue change in your life.
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Carolyn Mahdi
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
What''s stopping us?
Reviewed in the United States on June 16, 2017
According to this delightful journey, we have options to live life doing more than 9 to 5 until retirement. Most people never consider, or quickly dismiss. Chris followed his own path, and on the way discovered a great deal more about life and opportunity. This shared... See more
According to this delightful journey, we have options to live life doing more than 9 to 5 until retirement. Most people never consider, or quickly dismiss. Chris followed his own path, and on the way discovered a great deal more about life and opportunity. This shared knowledge can prompt us into positive action.
2 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

Cosmin Lapovita
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
but this one is the "worst" of his books you are better reading the other 2 much helpful
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 26, 2015
I read all of Chris books and i''m a big fan, but this one is the "worst" of his books you are better reading the other 2 much helpful, or maybe i read to much and this book didn''t teach me/open my eyes not at all. If you don''t read to much and want to get an insight...See more
I read all of Chris books and i''m a big fan, but this one is the "worst" of his books you are better reading the other 2 much helpful, or maybe i read to much and this book didn''t teach me/open my eyes not at all. If you don''t read to much and want to get an insight on "what happiness means" it''s a good book. for you.If you read much this book won''t blow your mind, but the other 2 Chris books are brilliant.
One person found this helpful
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Carl P
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Another Modern Day Classic from Mr Guillebeau!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 18, 2014
I''ve been a fan of Chris''s work for a long time and he had a big influence on finally getting me out of the blocks with my own writing so I was looking forward to reading this new release. It didn''t disappoint. The book is interwoven with Chris''s own experiences of...See more
I''ve been a fan of Chris''s work for a long time and he had a big influence on finally getting me out of the blocks with my own writing so I was looking forward to reading this new release. It didn''t disappoint. The book is interwoven with Chris''s own experiences of travelling the world as well as many other tales of people on their own quests. It digs under the importance of quests in all our lives and helps the reader find their own version of a quest they might like to target. It''s a book with many layers and as with all his work is very readable, accessible, uplifting, challenging and extremely motivating. Highly recommended!
2 people found this helpful
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Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Blend of travel and self-help
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 26, 2021
This is an interesting book. It has some useful tit-bits on achieving goals but the more interesting sections deal with the authors adventures in different countries. Overall it is worth a look
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Tara
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A bit disjointed
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 29, 2014
I really wanted to love this book, but i just found it a bit disjointed and repetitive and only read half. There were some interesting stories, but the author kept returning to them later in the book to illustrate a point which I found a bit annoying. I much preferred his...See more
I really wanted to love this book, but i just found it a bit disjointed and repetitive and only read half. There were some interesting stories, but the author kept returning to them later in the book to illustrate a point which I found a bit annoying. I much preferred his previous book $100 startup which I still flick back through sometimes.
One person found this helpful
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Victoria
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
It is good to hear how people stay motivated to get things ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 11, 2016
This was a very inspiring read. It is good to hear how people stay motivated to get things done, especially when there is no monetary value attached. Definitely worth a read.
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