on setting quests and pain points


Recently I’ve talked about setting quests–finding big goals in life and pursuing them. This is all inspired by Chris Guillebeau’s recent book.

The few people who haven’t pushed me away, thinking I’m an evangelical preacher, when I talk about setting life-quests, have told me that they don’t have any idea of the quests to pursue. I tell them to sit for a while and think deeply about their interests–if money were no object, what field would they study, pursue, or read about? That often steers people in the right direction.

What you have to recognize, however, is that sometimes even getting to the first step of your quest takes some unpleasant work. Some people are interested in traveling to a foreign country and getting by in the local language. Well–in order to even “get by”, you need to learn even the basics from home (yes, the boring “hello, how are you” phrases). And those people who take on the daunting task of riding their bike across the state? Believe me, they spent a lot of time in the gym, working out, probably on days that they would’ve rather slept late.

But these people all had their bigger goal in mind, and the day-in, day-out drudgery didn’t stop them.

Goals keep us alive. They give us meaning. Heck, they give us bragging rights, too. 🙂 But a goal worth pursuing takes some mental pain to get there (and sometimes some physical pain). Don’t let that stop you from doing what you want to do, because it’s worth it in the end.

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