An inspiring new book will get you thinking in entirely new ways about giving your life a fresh sense of purpose and mission.
I thought I’d done pretty well to visit 17 countries in the year’s travelling I did when I was forty, but my achievement was as nothing when compared to the extraordinary odyssey undertaken by Chris Guillebeau.
Chris, you see, set himself the goal of visiting every single country in the world by the time he was 35, and to cut a long story short, he pulled off this mission in exemplary style by travelling to all 193 countries before it was time to blow out the candles on his birthday cake in 2013.
Chris blogs and runs events, and also writes rather good books, the latest of which is published today – I had the privilege of reading a proof a couple of weeks ago.
The Happiness of Pursuit (great title by the way) is an awesome collection of stories about people who found ‘quests’ that brought purpose to their life, just as Chris’s own world-travel mission has done to his own.
Three of my favourites?
1. Two guys who got fired by Apple, but then carried on sneaking into their office for months to finish off a project they were working on, which actually ended up getting shipped to customers. By Apple.
2. A young man who walked across America. Oh yes, traversing the Mojave Desert on the way.
3. A woman who went on dates in all fifty of America’s states from Alabama to Wyoming.
There are dozens more tales where these came from, and something that struck me powerfully as I read the book is (a) how empowering it can feel to have a sense of purpose and mission in your life, and (b) how dreadfully easy it is to lose this if you’re going through a shabby time mood-wise.
On a grey day I know it’s probably unrealistic to set yourself big audacious goals, but I do wonder if reading about others’ missions might inspire you, leaving you believing that you may be capable of more imaginative objectives than you’ve previously felt possible.
The Happiness of Pursuit has certainly got my own goal-setting juices flowing. Perhaps it could do the same for you?