New book from NYT bestselling author Lewis Howes is now available!

New book from NYT bestselling author Lewis Howes is now available!


Chris Guillebeau

Happiness Through Hardship

What is your underlying motivation?

We’ve all been through a lot in life. I know there’s been a lot of times you’ve felt tested, and even just beat down.

As you’ve gone through these challenges you’ve acquired sets of skills to help you get through them. Those are important skills that have helped you along your journey, whether you realize it or not.

Unfortunately, though, your skills may not help you with what’s next. Life is about continually growing your tool box and being adaptive and not giving up on what you were meant to do.

Even though it may be hard to know what that is, you just have to follow your heart. Live for yourself, not for others.

That doesn’t mean be malicious. You still need compassion and companionship. Just know you can do good for yourself and others at the same time.

On this episode of 5-Minute Friday, I wanted to bring you back and episode from Chris Guillebeau.

Chris is a NY TImes Best Selling Author, a modern day explorer, and has been to nearly every country in the world.

He’s certainly faced an overwhelming amount of challenges, some we can only imagine. That’s why I felt he was the best person to dive even deeper into this lesson.

Learn all about compassion and building your skill sets through your personal trials, on Episode 678.


“Compassion is a skill you acquire.”  

Some Questions I Ask:

In this episode, you will learn:

  • What makes a true quest (00:42)
  • How to know when to continue the quest and when to stop (1:39)
  • Why you need to keep building skill sets (2:24)
  • Something you should give that’s better than advice (3:49)
  • If Chris feels he’s been getting enough companionship (4:16)
  • Chris’ definition of happiness (5:18)
  • Plus much more…
Connect with
Chris Guillebeau

Transcript of this Episode

Lewis Howes:                 This is 5-Minute Friday!!

I’m very excited to be on with you guys in this episode, and thank you guys for being here. We’ve got my good friend Chris Guillebeau. For those who don’t know who Chris is, he’s a New York Times bestselling author and a modern-day explorer.

He’s travelled to every country in the world, and every summer, in Portland, he hosts the World Domination Summit. He’s also the founder of Pioneer Nation, Unconventional Guides, The Travel Hacking Cartel and numerous other creative projects.

* * *

Chris Guillebeau:            I think, though, sometimes something unpredictable happens, in any situation. Like everything you just expressed, it’s going to be terrible, it’s going to be okay, but just like in a quest, any good quest, there is this progress toward  goal, there is an end point, et cetera, but if it’s a true quest, something happens along the way that changes thing and you don’t necessarily know what that is.

And despite all the skills that you have, despite all the life experience that you have, it’s going to be put to the test, actually, because whatever this unpredictable thing is, by it’s nature, you didn’t know it was going to happen, and you didn’t necessarily say, “Okay, here’s where I was going to be sad,” or, “Here’s where I’m going to struggle and then I’m going to be okay.

Like, you might think you’re okay at a certain point and then something else.

Lewis Howes:                 Which brings me back to the point of born for this, and giving up. If you’re one a quest for something you were born to do, you believe in your heart, “I’m born to do this thing,” and then something comes at you and stops you and makes you go off track, how do you know when to continue the quest and when, as it’s part of the quest, as every quest has this, and when you’re actually just supposed to give up?

Chris Guillebeau:            Sure. Well, I think it’s important in these kinds of situations to look at what is the underlying motivation? What is the goal? Maybe, what is the value? And, like if we talk about different things, like becoming a professional athlete, what was the real goal? Wasn’t the real goal greatness? Essentially?

Which is exactly what you have, I don’t want to just say, parlayed it into, because that’s kind of like a career thing, but I mean, your life. Greatness was the goal. Writing books and hosting these events, I mean, ultimately the goal is community, and serving humanity in some way.

Lewis Howes:                 Connection, community, yeah.

Chris Guillebeau:            Connection, right. So, I think sometimes you’re working towards this thing, you think you’re going to do it, but then you can’t, there’s still some direction there, as you go deeper. Which is exactly what I’m learning to do.

The tools and the skills and the resources that I have, that have helped me throughout my life, that have helped me get into college without going to high school, get out of being a juvenile delinquent, make something of my life, travel, be an entrepreneur, all of these different skills, they are not sufficient for what I need to do right now. That’s what I know.

Lewis Howes:                 Interesting.

Chris Guillebeau:            So, that kind of thinking, “Let me schedule it, let me do this,” yeah, I like it, I want to do that, but what I’m saying is, it hasn’t quite worked. I kind of run into this wall, or this ceiling, or whatever you call it, barricade that I can’t apply the same reasoning to.

My philosophy, which is true in life and careers, “You don’t have to live your life the way other’s expect.” You can do good things for yourself and for others at the same time. It’s not a false choice, it’s not a dichotomy.

This is been my message for a long time. I still very much believe in it. Know it’s just a question of adding to that, and applying it in a different way. And realising that the goals that I have now are not necessarily related to deliverables.

Because, just as I like to schedule things on my calendar, I also like to have a deliverable. Here’s the next book, here’s the next thing, here’s the next whatever. But I don’t see quite what the deliverable is here.

I don’t think I would give you advice. I would give you companionship, and I would give you empathy, and I would say, “I’m so sorry. I’m so, so sorry.” And, “This is not okay,” and, “Yes, you should hang in there. Let us know what you need,” et cetera, but that’s going to sound very hollow to you, so the biggest thing I can say is, “I’m so sorry.”

Lewis Howes:                 Have you been getting enough of that?

Chris Guillebeau:            Yeah, I think so, sure.

Lewis Howes:                 Companionship?

Chris Guillebeau:            Yeah, and I think a lot of people don’t know what to do with this kind of thing.

Lewis Howes:                 It’s tough!

Chris Guillebeau:            Yeah, I get it.

Lewis Howes:                 It’s like, what do you, so that you don’t sound, like you said, hollow, just like everyone says the same thing. How do you truly, because I think it goes against both walls. It goes against the person’s walls of not knowing how to deal with it, with all the mixed emotions of going through it, to someone who’s not going through it, “Well, this is uncomfortable for me, too,” because now I have to face things that I have to really go somewhere to be able to connect with someone at a level that they feel loved and accepted.

Chris Guillebeau:            But that’s compassion.

Lewis Howes:                 That is compassion. And a lot of people aren’t good at that, though.

Chris Guillebeau:            Compassion is a skill that you acquire, probably, as well. And maybe you can acquire it through your own life trauma, or you can just also acquire it through caring, and understanding that being there or being available or reaching out is good, not expecting a reply, or something.

Lewis Howes:                 What’s your definition of happiness?

Chris Guillebeau:            Forward motion. Continuously improving. Improving my circumstances, my life, as well as improving others’ lives. I like the word, ‘impact’, that you used. I think of influence, same thing. Not influence in a celebrity way, influencers, but true influence. And probably a lot of people who are listening, they don’t have blogs or podcasts or books, but they still have a lot of influence.

Lewis Howes:                 Yeah, with their community, their friends, their family.

Chris Guillebeau:            Right, and that influence is actually much stronger. We’re impacted much more by the people who are around us, than by somebody who is out there doing something. So, I’m interested in influence.

* * *

Lewis Howes:                 Hey, guys! If you enjoyed this inspirational clip from a past episode of the show, then you’ll love the free book I’m giving away right now. It’s called The Millionaire Morning. It includes some of my best tips for starting off your day with a millionaire mindset. Get your free copy at and just pay shipping.

Again, check it out right now,

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