The Happiness of Pursuit – Finding Purpose in Life Through Quests

One of my favorite book is Chris Guillebeau’s book “The $100 Startup”. Because I read that book, NLB app recommended “The Happiness of Pursuit” to me.

I have been pondering the question since my 20s: what is the purpose of my life? It can’t be just to graduate, get a job, get married and have kids? If that’s all to life, how am I different from animals?

The Happiness of Pursuit

“The Happiness of Pursuit” suggests that we can embark on quests to bring meaning into our lives.

A quest is different from general life improvements such as getting in shape or quitting smoking. A quest has the following characteristics:

  • A clear goal and a specific end point: You can clearly explain a quest in a sentence or two. Every quest has a beginning, and every quest will come to an end.
  • A clear challenge: You need to overcome something, it does not have to dangerous or impossible but it shouldn’t be easy.
  • Requires sacrifice: To pursue a big dream, you must give something up along the way.
  • Driven by a calling or a sense of mission: It need not be divine inspiration but most people feel pushed or driven to pursue their quest.
  • Incremental progress towards the goal: Many quests are composed of a long and slow march towards something.

To sum it up, a quest is a journey towards something specific, with a number of challenges thoughtout. Most quests also require a series of logical steps and some kind of personal growth.

I, for one, have a quest. I want to visit every country at least once   in this lifetime. I have had this dream since young. I don’t know why, but I just have this burning desire to travel the world.

My parents kept telling me that it is meaningless and a total waste of money. I kind of accepted that and made peace with myself that I will go to as many counties as I can.

But after reading “The Happiness of Pursuit” and reading about how Chris Guillebeau achieved his quest of visiting every country before the age of 35, I realised that if he can do it, why can’t I? It rekindled the fire for this lifetime quest and I am going to finish it. I don’t know what kind of personal growth I will get out of it but at least I know I will be happy that I have done it.

What is your next quest?

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