Last week I ran away with Jen to the mountains of North Carolina for a short retreat. It was refreshing and inspiring to be there and gave us both some time to chill, read, reflect, and plan for our year. It was amazing and I highly recommend it.
The book I chose to take with me on our trip was Chris Guillebeau’s new book The Happiness of Pursuit. The whole book is full of stories of people doing incredible things like running 250 marathons in one year and a family of four cycling from Alaska to Argentina. Chris calls these adventures “quests.” For those who don’t know, Chris completed a quest of his own not too long ago. He visited every country in the world (193) before he turned 35. He defines a quest like this:
-A quest has a clear goal with a specific end date.
-That presents a clear challenge.
-Requires a sacrifice.
-Driven by a sense of mission.
-Taking small, incremental steps to reach the goal
-The quester has a significant amount of personal growth throughout the quest.
In all these stories, the thing that most inspired me was when these crazy people start their new adventures, there is a clear, relentless drive to accomplish the goal. In the face of everything that could possibly come at them, they continued on their quest.
So, I was wondering, are you thinking of starting a new adventure? Your own quest? Ask yourself this one question:
Can I be happy in the pursuit of this adventure?
If the answer is yes, despite the very vocal negative comments form people you love. Despite the sacrifice you’ll likely have to make to reach your goal. Despite the hard long work days that test your spirit. If the answer is yes, then you’re ready.
Why is it important to be happy in the pursuit? Because the beginning and the end are what the rest of the world gets excited about. Only you will be there for the pursuit. Everybody else shows up at the finish line. (Except for critics because they don’t want to admit they were wrong). You have to be the one excited about the pursuit.