5 key elements of a great quest (plus book giveaway update)

quest

Before updating you on the book giveaway, I just wanted to say THANK YOU!  You guys are fantastic.  To enter the contest for the free copy of The Happiness of Pursuit, all you had to do was leave a comment or drop me an email to tell me where in the world you call home.  You did that for sure (hundreds of you in fact), but you didn’t stop there.  Many of you thanked me, showered me with kind words, shared inspiring stories from your own retirement, and otherwise were just all kinds of awesome.  So thank you.  It was great to hear from each and every one of you.

This morning I printed all your emails and comments, dropped them in a pillow case, shook it up, and picked out somebody at random.  That somebody was Dennis from Pacific City, Oregon.  Congrats Dennis!  The book is on the way.  (Note: After the drawing everything went into our secure shred/recycle bin).

If you didn’t win, I’d still encourage you to swing by your local bookstore and pick up a copy.  It’s a fast read and timely as you start to think and plan for 2015.

What makes a great quest?

All this talk about having a quest might have you wondering, “What exactly qualifies as a quest?”  Chris shares 5 things:

  1. A quest has a clear goal and a specific end point
  2. A quest presents a clear challenge.
  3. A quest requires sacrifice of some kind.
  4. A quest is often driven by a calling or sense of mission
  5. A quest requires a series of small steps and incremental progress toward the goal.

Let’s look at an example.  In the emails over the last few days a reader shared with me her plans to hike the 500-mile Camino de Santiago between France and Spain next year.  Does that qualify as a quest?

  1. Clear goal and specific endpoint = Walk 500 miles. Stop at the steps of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostella.  Check.
  2. Clear challenge = Did I mention it’s 500 miles?  Check.
  3. Sacrifice = Expense, time off work, weeks of walking.  Check.
  4. Often driven by calling or mission = This particular quest is often done as a spiritual pilgrimage, but many do it as a way to answer the call of adventure and excitement in their life.  Check.
  5. A series of small steps and incremental progress toward the goal = It takes about 2,000 steps to walk a mile, so 500 miles equals 1,000,000 steps.  Hiking the El Camino is literally taking small steps toward your goal.  Check.

How about you?

We have a few months left in 2014. As you think about 2015 and beyond, consider the list above and see if you can dream up a quest that brings meaning, excitement, and purpose to your life. As I mentioned last week, I’m doing this over the coming months as well, so touch base if you have any questions or if there’s anything I can do for you.

Have a great weekend, and remember…Life is short. Be intentional.

Joe

Photo by Nick Kelly.

One Response to “5 key elements of a great quest (plus book giveaway update)”

  1. Dennis September 26, 2014 at 11:08 am #

    Hi Joe,

    I tried replying to your email about winning the “Happiness of Pursuit” book and had the mail returned as undeliverable, so I’ll try this route.

    Mailing address:

    Dennis Criss
    PO Box 655
    Pacific City, OR 97135

    Thank you so much for the gift. I’ve benefited a lot from your postings (and “Bell Lap” book) and your blog is a regular stop in my browsing.

    Thanks again,
    Dennis

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