From my own 193-country journey to the stories of many other people who were kindly willing to share, The Happiness of Pursuit attempts to extract and convey the lessons of modern-day quests. This series explores some of these lessons.
Lesson: Everyone has a calling. Follow your (own) passion.
Pay attention to the things that excite you and the things that bother you.
In the book I wrote about Jiro Ono, a world-famous sushi chef from Tokyo. In one of my favorite clips from a documentary on his restaurant, he talks about how excited he becomes over a particularly nice tuna.
“When we have a good tuna, I feel great,” he says with a smile. “I feel victorious!”
I laughed out loud when I heard Jiro talking about feeling victorious over a good tuna. But I also got the message: the man loves what he does.
But what if you don’t have a “passion,” or you haven’t yet fallen in love with fish? Instead of thinking about what excites you, try thinking about what bothers you.
Miranda Gibson, a young women from Australia, had a different kind of mission. Hers was rooted in a grave concern for the environment, and when loggers threatened her native Tasmania, she took to the treetops and lived there for an entire year (read the book for the whole story).
Your passion or pursuit may not matter to anyone else—in fact, often it doesn’t. If it matters to you, though, don’t ignore it.
Other lessons (more to come!):