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The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life
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The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  5,881 ratings  ·  521 reviews
A remarkable book that will both guide and inspire, The Happiness of Pursuit reveals how anyone can bring meaning into their life by undertaking a quest.
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
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 9th 2014 by Harmony
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Average rating 3.67  · 
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 ·  5,881 ratings  ·  521 reviews

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Sep 29, 2014 rated it it was ok
This is an alright book. I really enjoy Chris Guillebeau's work, his blog and his outlook, and I loved The Art of Non-Conformity. But I was a little disappointed by this one. It has some interesting stories, for sure; it was fun to read about the different bizarre and wonderful quests that people the world over have taken on. But although it tried, it didn't really offer any solid advice. Sure, there were tips for how to go about picking a quest and pursuing it and drawing it to an end. I think ...more
Oct 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Full disclosure - my story is one of the many featured in this book. Even if this were not true, I would still love this book. Here's why: I recently finished my quest and found myself struggling with the "what next" which can feel quite a bit like postpartum depression! While Chris addresses this in the latter part of the book, there are also valuable nuggets to be gleaned throughout the text (from other people's quests). As I read through all the stories, I found myself marking favorite passag ...more
Sep 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I received an advance review copy of this book and enjoyed reading it. Like The $100 Startup, which I am using in class this fall, The Happiness of Pursuit uses case studies as a way to explore the philosophies and realities of undertaking a great quest such as visiting every country, walking across America, visiting every baseball stadium, cooking a meal from every country in the world, and so on. Each person's story is fascinating in its own way. I can't imagine wanting to do most of these thi ...more
Mar 11, 2015 rated it liked it
I found this book to be too superficial to be life-changing. The message boils down to "having a big, long-term goal can lend order, structure, and purpose to your life, which in turn can make you more satisfied." OK, good premise so far. But the book lacked any deep exploration of the hows or whys, the practical steps to finding and completing this quest that is supposed to make your life so much better. The book tells the stories of dozens of people who pursue a range of different kinds of "qu ...more
Brittney S.
May 01, 2016 rated it liked it
The Happiness of Pursuit by Chris Guillebeau is a book purported to assist creative individuals launch and fulfill their life quest. For those unfamiliar, Guillebeau rose to fame after proclaiming and pursuing his life quest of visiting each country on Earth before the age of 30. His quest for such an amazing feat, has been inspiring to many and he has authored three books. Many are familiar with his first book, The $100 Start Up. Although his quest was for travel, this book is positioned to hel ...more
Sep 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who thinks "there must be more to life"
I was sent this book because I signed up for the street team and I'm SO glad I did because this book changed my life. I didn't think I was going to be able to read it in a day but I did because there is just so much good advice and it's written so well that I couldn't stop.
Basically, this book is about pursuing a quest, centered around your passion or interests, that will challenge you and bring meaning and happiness. Chris has so much advice to share from his own life, but he also share's other
Mireille Duval
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was really inspiring. I've been feeling aimless for... an embarrassingly long time, this perpetual "what next?" hanging over me, and though I don't think visiting all the UNESCO World Heritage sites will really give my life meaning or make the world better, it sure sounds a lot better than waiting for time to pass before I die, right? Plus it fits really well with the completist part of my personnality. We'll see if I end up doing anything - but I'm planning on checking two more UNESCO site ...more
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was ok
This book hit me at a time when I was desperate for change. Yet, funny enough, I stayed the course after choosing to pick up The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck midway through reading The Happiness of Pursuit, and suddenly the ideologies of needing to have a big wild adventure fell flat to me.

I worry that our generation is losing the meaning of happiness by trying to make our lives greater and bigger and "the best". We have to have it all, which means if our lives aren't in the pursuit of a gre
Aug 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I had an incredible opportunity to read this book prior to publication. You cannot possibly dislike a book written by Chris, who has been to every country in the world. His books are top notch and powerfully written. I would argue that The Happiness of Pursuit is Chris's best yet. This book has given me a new inspiration to engage in and begin quests individually and with my family.

Although I am working full time, finishing a masters degree, expecting a baby, and paying off thousands to student
Dec 02, 2014 rated it did not like it
I was really hoping to learn something new about happiness from this book. That definitely did not happen. This book could easily have been understood just by reading the first appendix. In the first chapter, he decides to define what a quest is. I didn't agree with his findings. According to the author, worthy personal pursuits like losing weight, getting fit, or quitting smoking are not lifelong focus types of activities. Suffice it to say we didn't get off on the right foot with this book.

Sep 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Listened for Review (Random House Audio)
Overall Rating: 4.00
Inspiration Rating: 4.00
Story Rating: 4.00

Audio Rating: 4.00 (not part of the overall rating)

Read It File It (short review): The Happiness of Pursuit by Chris Guillebeau is one of those books that will inspire you take on a quest for your life. To pursue something you have always wanted and accept all the things that come with it. I was impressed that he tackled the highs and lows of questing. That made it all the more inspiring. It was
Marjorie Elwood
Aug 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: inspiration
I love books about goal-setting, and this book is even better, because it's about quests. Quests provide a clear challenge and bring meaning and fulfillment to our lives. With inspiring examples of quests, ideas on how to structure them, and a call to action, this was a motivational read.

"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."
Jun 16, 2020 rated it it was ok
there are many good things about this book but the title is a bit off the mark
Feb 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Slightly longwinded, telling and retelling the story of his (the author's) journey to every country in the world. Decent read nonetheless, and it's always inspiring to hear of the countless people who have set big goals and given their all to achieve them.

The end of the book was bittersweet, and this was the very point Chris was trying to make about life-quests: they don't always end well and when they do, you might miss the journey itself.
Feb 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Interesting collection and reflections on the perspective of life projects as quests. Inspiring and easy to read. Have a browser handy so you can look some of the questers up!
Vikki Herrett
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
loved the journeys featured in this book , real inspiration for the every day joe. the book as a steady flow revealing another persons journey as you go along . filled with information and inspiration this page turner is a winner for you to get up and just “ put one foot in front of the other” ...
Jun 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever felt discontent in your life? Have you ever wanted to do something inspired? Are you feeling like something is missing? If any of these sound like you, this may be the book for you.

In this book, Chris Guillebeau introduces to some amazing people who have felt empowered to take a quest. In doing so, he interviews people who have done all sorts of unique things with their lives. I loved reading the stories and hearing about the amazing challenges that they have achieved in their live
Nov 29, 2016 rated it did not like it
Yesterday I started and finished “The Happiness of Pursuit” by Chris Guillebeau. Guillbeau visited every country in the world by the time he was thirty-five (a fact he reminds readers of every few pages) and the book is supposed to be an exploration of how you too can find your own quest. According to Guillebeau, quests are projects that have a clear goal, a specific end point, and a defined set of milestones. Examples of quests are Guillebeau’s journey to visit every country in the world, a pro ...more
Jun 05, 2018 rated it liked it
I liked the general premise. Finding quests in your life is a great idea, having them be measurable is good, having "big" things to attempt to attain is great. However, the book itself was very repetitive.

First, I think the great majority of the book could have been one long blog post. He didn't cover a long wide range of techniques and tricks to find/do quests, it was primarily a rambling way to convince you that you should have one, they're good for you, should be measured, etc.

The actual numb
Mindful Reader
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
I think maybe I would have felt inspired by this book in high school, when the only person I had to think about was myself. No job, no responsibilities. But now? Nope. The woman who abandoned her four kids to fulfil her “quest” to see as many bird species as she could? I just kept thinking that there were better ways to “find your life purpose” than the ways suggested in this book. (Like Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, for starters! I did just read The Happiness Trap.) I suppose it didn’t hel ...more
Apr 16, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I’m not sure why, but I didn’t really warm to this book. It wins my current award for “books I looked forward to reading that were really kind of meh.”
I just felt a kind of preachy smugness in the writing, and it seemed to be a bit boring and obvious. It wasn’t very cerebral or thought provoking to me. Oddly, because normally I enjoy this type of self-help book, despite the descriptions of expansive quests and experiences enjoyed by many of the book’s subjects, I reached the last page feeling ra
Van Hoang
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Oct 28, 2017 rated it liked it
A former entrepeneur decides to set a life goal of visiting every country in the world, and in the process of communicating his progress and talking with other people, he discovers that pursuing a large lifetime goal is, well, a process, almost no matter what your goal is.

This book seems to me a lot like Joseph Campbell's The Hero With A Thousand Faces, but identifying universal aspects of setting and achieving large life goals instead of universal aspects of stories. And much more readable rath
Apr 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book seems like a ramble. It doesn't match the title and the author gives a bunch of random examples while trying to say how to choose a fulfilling life quest.

However even then, his views are haphazard. For example, he says that "lose weight this year" is not a good goal because it isn't specific enough. Totally agreed! However his example to show what an improved version would be is NOT:
- lose 12 lbs this year OR
- lose 1 lb each month of this year
- etc.
Instead his example of an improveme
Dustin Raymer
May 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was an incredibly inspiring book. I read this at a time I was making a transition from working in an office to actually pursuing a dream of mine. I gained some really valuable insights and inspiration that I believe I can utilize in my own pursuit. Very easy to read but filled with incredible stories and feats that will motivate you to do that thing you have always wanted to do. highly recommend to anyone who has ambitions of doing something more and is on the edge of doing so to break the ...more
Monika Sembiring
Nov 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
I bought this book several years ago but I never finished reading it. Before moving out of my precious place, I packed this book into cardboard, placed the cardboard in the corner of my room, and I never see it again. This year, during this pandemic, I rearranged all of my stuff and found this book which I should finish a long time ago. Then, I decide to read it again from the beginning, and I enjoy this book so well, oh my hidden gem which one has lost.
Should I start my quest after this one? Su
Christine Ofslager Halpaus
A fun way to think about extracurricular projects or goals. Reminded me of a few things I had said I’d want to do one day and started putting the pieces in motion. Would have loved to read more about other people’s quests in depth instead of how pieces of their quest helped him make his point.
Donny Teeter
May 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
When it first started, I thought it was just going to be stories of people pursuing their quests, but there turned out to be quite a bit of information about how to discover, plan, and pursue a quest. Includes some pretty interesting and inspiring stories.
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic! Shouldn’t we all follow our heart and chase our dreams?! What may be intriguing to one might seem ridiculous to others. Therefore let the haters hate. Pursue your passions! You never know what you can accomplish, but you will be happier if you are actively engaged in a good cause.
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
An enjoyable read but I didn't necessarily find that it helped me personally discern what it purports to help with according to the cover "finding the quest that will bring purpose to your life". It was interesting to read about others who have embarked on fascinating quests. ...more
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Chris Guillebeau is the New York Times bestselling author of The $100 Startup and other books. During a lifetime of self-employment, he visited every country in the world (193 in total) before his 35th birthday. Every summer in Portland, Oregon he hosts the World Domination Summit, a gathering of creative, remarkable people. Chris also hosts Side Hustle School, a popular podcast that is downloaded ...more

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