For the second blog post in our February podcast series, we would like to share this podcast from Gretchen Rubin, the New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Project. In this episode, she reflects on the importance of having a quest for your life. A quest is not simply a collection of personal goals; a quest is an adventure, a journey toward something that will always remain a little bit out of reach. While goals are oriented around achievements or milestones, quests are experiential and ongoing. In this podcast, Gretchen talks about what distinguishes a quest from a mission, and explains why having a quest is an essential ingredient for happiness and satisfaction.
One of the reasons having a quest brings zest to our lives is because all quests are inherently challenging. It is only through embracing and overcoming challenges that we gain a sense of reward.
Quests are also thoroughly mysterious; and it is this sense of elusiveness that pulls us forward toward something we may never quite approach, and gives us something to look forward to, something to build towards.
The principles behind Grechen’s reflections are similar to those used in Existential therapy. In existential therapy, the therapist aims to help the client orient their life toward meaning. It is believed that happiness, and the resolution of troubling neurotic symptoms, can only occur as a side effect of a meaningful, engaged life.
Existential psychotherapist, Viktor Frankl, wrote: “For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself.”
If you are reading this and are wondering, what is my quest? Have I found one yet? It’s never too late to begin! We hope you will find some inspiration for your personal quest in this uplifting podcast: Happier with Gretchen Rubin
If you are interested in learning more about existential therapy, we recommend these books to start:
- Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
- Irvin Yalom, The Gift of Therapy
- Rollo May, Freedom & Destiny
photo: Kristin Horsman