Why You Must Not Ignore The Call to Adventure

closeup of hands holding a map

The following is an excerpt from Chris Guillebeau’s new book, The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life.

In ancient myths, most quests were ones of discovery or confrontation.

A kingdom was under siege, so it required defending. A minotaur in a faraway land guarded a magic chalice, and only the hero could wrest it back.

Happily, real-world quests offer more possibilities than storming castles and rescuing princesses, and with some exceptions modern-day quests can be placed into a few broad categories.

Travel is an obvious starting point.

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How to Craft an Offer That Can’t Be Refused

image of orange on a tree

A few years ago, I ran my first marathon in Seattle.

I’d love to tell you I ran strong to the finish, but by mile 18 I was wiped out, focusing entirely on putting one foot in front of the other. As I trudged along in the final hour, I spotted a volunteer handing out fresh orange slices on the side of the road ahead of me.

Tired as I was, I made sure to change my position, slow down, and gratefully accept the gift. The piece of fresh orange was an offer I couldn’t refuse — even though it was free, I would have gladly paid for it if I’d had the money and was in the right frame of mind to have a conversation. 

Two miles ahead, I saw another volunteer handing out a different gift: halves of Krispy Kreme donuts. Unfortunately, this offer did not excite me (or any other runners I saw) at all.

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Why Your Marketing is Missing the Mark
(And How You Can Fix It)

image of fish chasing a hook

Picture this scenario: it’s Friday night, and you head out to a nice restaurant after a long week of work.

While you’re relaxing over a glass of wine, the waiter comes over and informs you of the special. “We have a delicious salmon risotto tonight,” he says.

That sounds perfect, you think, so you order the dish. The waiter jots it down and heads back toward the kitchen as you continue your wine and conversation.

So far, so good, right?

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Why Preaching to the Choir is a Good Thing

Choir

“Hey man, spare some change?”

Rain or shine, the professional panhandler works a busy corner every day in my neighborhood. He sets up shop right by the ATM, on the theory that people who have just withdrawn a hundred bucks are more likely to give him a dollar or two.

The location is good, but prospecting is tough. Day in, day out, he sits on a stoop, asking people for a couple of bucks. He sees it as a numbers game – 98% of the people who pass by will say no or just ignore him, but if he asks enough people, a few will pony up.

Is panhandling effective?

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