Recently, I read a book titled The Alchemist written by Paul Coelho. This was probably one of my favorite novels I have read and had a deep impact on my life.
The book is about a young man named Santiago who left life in his simple town to become a shepherd because he loved to travel. He thought this was his destiny; however, as the story goes on he finds out otherwise.
One day during his travels, Santiago has a dream of traveling to the pyramids and finding treasure. Thinking nothing of the dream he continues on with his life as is, until he meets a wise alchemist who tells him that he has found his destiny and encourages him to follow it.
The core principle behind this book is stated to Santiago by the alchemist: “when you really want something to happen, the whole universe conspires so that your wish comes true”. The point he is trying to state here is that your future and life is in your control and if you are willing to do what it takes, then you can make anything happen no matter how crazy your dreams may seem to other people.
The story communicates the idea that everybody is born with a unique personal legend. For example, maybe growing up you had aspirations to be an actor or a singer. However, as you grew up everybody around you encouraged you to go to school, get a job and retire at age 65 because your dreams were not realistic and that was the normal thing to do. This book really argues the opposite and says that the dream you were born with or what you believe in is what you were destined to do with your life. This is your personal legend. Following your own personal legend is the only true way to achieve happiness and fulfillment.If you choose to follow your personal legend then everything in the universe will help you reach your goals.
Fear is often people’s biggest obstacle in the way of achieving their personal legends. People are afraid of the consequences of what will happen if they do not attain their dreams. It might be tougher and a lot longer of a journey than they originally expected. Also fearing that if they attain their dream it might not be everything they had hoped for. However, the novel states that if you do not follow your dreams because of the fear of failure, you are destined to a life of emptiness, unfulfillment and a lack of happiness.
I know this may sound a little bit depressing but the point is that if you have a passion you should chase it because life is way too short to not follow your dreams. You have that passion for a reason and with full commitment it is destined to work out for you!
The book goes on to talk about the journey to reaching your personal legend. It states that once you begin to chase your dreams everything in your life will fall into place to help you reach your goals. This is what most people commonly refer to as luck or as I like to call it laboring under correct knowledge. The thing about luck is the people who get “lucky” are the ones working hard to meet their goals and dreams. When an opportunity comes their way they are able to recognize it and capitalize, because they have developed the proper skills necessary to succeed.The book talks about how once you follow your dreams you will experience a lot of luck and omens that will guide you in the right direction.
Along the journey of your personal legend, you will realize many things about yourself. You will encounter struggle, fear, failure, rejection and many other things and you will have to overcome them. As you begin to defeat the obstacles and build momentum you will be tested to your limits right as you become close to reaching your dreams. This is much like the saying “the darkest hour is the one before dawn”. The world wants to test you and make sure you are worthy of your dreams and achieving your goals. Once you make it through these obstacles anything is possible!
I encourage anybody who reads this to go and read the alchemist. This book will truly inspire you to follow your goals and dreams. I promise it will motivate you, as I still carry the lessons from this book with me today.
If you have had the chance to read the novel please feel free to comment below and open up a discussion about what you enjoyed and didn’t like about the novel.