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: As you make progress toward a small goal, the bigger vision expands.
Many people featured in the book started with a small goal that grew in scope as it became more feasible. As they gained confidence, their goals expanded as well.
This was certainly the case for me, too. I didn’t begin the quest to visit every country without having gone anywhere. I first began traveling, and I loved traveling for its own sake. After I’d been to a lot of places, I started to think… “What would it be like to visit 100 countries?”
As I approached 100, the goal grew in scope—I decided to attempt all of them!
Without the original, lesser goal, I don’t think I would have taken on the task of “going everywhere.” The progress I made gave me confidence that I could attempt a real challenge.
If you can’t picture a tremendous accomplishment at first, start with an achievable one. Also, when you work toward a tremendous accomplishment, watch out! The next one may be even bigger.
- Unhappiness can lead to new beginnings
- Everyone has a calling. Follow your own passion
- Before beginning, count the cost
- Every day matters. The awareness of our mortality can help us pursue a goal
- It feels good to check things off a list
- Misadventures produce confidence
- Some adventures should be shared
- All you have to do is put one foot in front of the other