Lessons from the Journey: Before Beginning, Count the Cost
From my own 193-country journey to the stories of many other people who were kindly willing to share, The Happiness of Pursuit attempts to extract and convey the lessons of modern-day quests. This series explores some of these lessons.
Lesson: Before Beginning, Count the Cost.
In the early days of my journey to every country, someone criticized it by saying all it required was a certain amount of time and money. I later realized that this perspective could actually be helpful. If I clearly understood exactly what was involved in “going everywhere,” and if I then began working on each part of the goal step-by-step, it no longer seemed overwhelming.
In the case of going to every country, I had to answer a few basic questions:
- How much money?
- How much time?
- What are the other costs?
- What could go wrong along the way?
- What could go right?
In the book I told the story of Matt Krause, who walked across Turkey. Matt was a meticulous planner (far more than me!) and created detailed spreadsheets in advance of his quest.
I don’t think everyone needs to create detailed spreadsheets before setting out to pursue a big goal or change the world. But thinking through as many details as possible helps a lot.
Whatever you choose to do, count the cost before beginning.
The Happiness of Pursuit is available from Amazon.com or your favorite local bookseller. You can also join me on tour in your choice of more than 40 cities.