I think everybody has a purpose. Some state it. Some are silent about it. Some are conscious about it. Some are unconscious about it. Some follow it subconsciously. The book ‘The Happiness of Pursuit’ by Chris Guillebeau gives a kind of structure to find the quest that shall bring purpose to our life. I found it an easy, absorbing and engaging read.
Chris defines Quest has something that has
· Has a clear goal and a specific end point
· Has a specific challenge
· Requiring a sacrifice of some kind
· Often driven by a calling or a sense of mission
· Requires a series of small steps and incremental progress towards the goal
The book draws upon from stories of varieties of quests in a variety of areas like Academic, Athletics, Travel, Activism, Documentation, Exploration, Self-Discovery and explores the motivation behind those quests.
If I want to summarize the reading of the book and give the secret sauce behind pursuing a quest, I can possibly state the below. However reading the actual stories in the book is what will possibly help you identify with each of the below subjective points that you might be already aware of.
· Believe in your quest or in other words Believe in your ‘Why’. If you do not, no one else will
· Do not wait for validation about your quest. If you wake up in the middle of the night thinking about your quest, you are on the right track.
· Choose your risk appetite
· Create a structure around the realization of the quest. Creativity and Structure are not mutually exclusive
· Plan and Pursue the Plan.
· Take small steps. Make progress one day at a time. Celebrate small wins. Keep going.
· Endure, Endure and Endure especially when you feel like giving up
· You are your best cheer leader
· Know when to stop
· Once you reach your quest, start planning for the next!
A quick and quiet reflection will possibly get you to agree to the fact that everyone of us has either a dominant or a dormant quest. If you have a dominant one and already pursuing your quest, you shall possibly identify with many others listed in the book. If you have a dormant one, then this book is sure to kindle that quest up.
Chris quotes a passage from the book ‘Into the Wild’ by Jon Krakauer which in my view advocates that ‘Change is the only constant’
“I’d like to repeat the advice that I gave you before, in that I think you really should make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you previously may never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is not greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun”
Happy Questing and Happy Reading
Tail piece – I cannot help noticing in the recent books that I am reading are more and more pointing towards the joy in exploring and being accountable to your own self and also the merit of opening up the hidden adventurer in you. ‘Who Am I’ – Not yet , Not yet !!
Stay Tuned. Have Fun.