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When I was a kid, the greatest adventure I knew was trying to avoid my canine nemesis, Bruno, on the walk home every day from Elm Street Elementary. The cool kids were the ones who were dominate at video games, it seemed. Sure, there were books about adventure, but those were written by book people, and back then, published book people were the esteemed literati, not regular people like me.

Then came the internet and it was suddenly easy to find stories of people who were living life differently–lives of non-conformity, if you will. People like Corbett Barr, Tim Ferris, Colin Wright, and the guy I’m talking about today, Chris Guillebeau. These were just normal people who were living real life adventure, not just video game adventure.

I stumbled across Chris’s stuff sometime around 2008, just as he’d begun his quest to visit every country in the world before he turned 35. I was fortunate enough to have gotten in on his story early enough, so to me he isn’t “The dude who’s been to every country in the world.” He’s the dude who got a passport and went to one country, then another, figuring it out one step at a time.

He’s also made a solid business out of the deal, helping & inspiring other to do a quest of their own. His first book, The Art of Non-Conformity, talked about that, and it was perfectly timed with my departure from corporate life in 2010.

His second book was more business oriented, titled The $100 Startup. This was a nice departure from the rampant tales of angel investors and venture capital–it was a reminder that great companies can still be built from the ground up, starting with little more than an idea.

His new book, however, comes on the heels of him finishing his quest to visit all 193 countries in the world. It’s called The Happiness of Pursuit and wins my book title of the year award.

Oh, and he’s also the guy who started the World Domination Summit that I talk so highly about every July.

From the beginning, Chris hasn’t been much of a “look at me” type of guy. He spends most of his time now shifting the focus on others that he’s met who are all doing equally notable quests.

The Happiness of Pursuit continues that imperative. It’s part how-to, part case-study, with a heap of inspiration. If you can take the “All these people followed their dream, so I can too!” mindset, you’ll ride this book high into a passionate quest of your own.

What inspires you?

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