I first read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho some years ago: http://myjournalofbecomingawriter.blogspot.com/2011/09/alchemist.html It was like a lovely fable, and I vowed then to read it every year. But I haven’t.
I finally re-read The Alchemist last week. This time, the message of following your Personal Legend was not lost on me. I had forgotten my Personal Legend for so long, in favour of doing what I thought I should be doing, and of pleasing people that I don’t even care about!
In a particular passage, our hero is talking about his heart:
“People are afraid to pursue their most important dreams, because they feel that they don’t deserve them, or that they’ll be unable to achieve them … Their hearts become fearful just thinking of loved ones who go away forever, or of moments that could have been good but weren’t, or of treasures that might have been found but were forever hidden in the sands. Because when these things happen, we suffer terribly. My heart is afraid that I will have to suffer …”
Then the alchemist says to the boy:
“…The fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself … No heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams … Unfortunately, very few follow the path laid out from them – the path of their Personal Legends, and to happiness. Most people see the world as a threatening place, and, because they do, the world turns out, indeed, to be a threatening place.”
The book also says that the world’s greatest lie is that “…at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate.” I don’t believe in fate – I want to believe that I have control and choices in the course of my life.
One of the main messages, which is repeated about four times, and which I somehow missed on my first reading, is that when you want something the whole universe will conspire together to help you get it.
We must also be aware of the principle of favourability: beginners luck. And be aware that we will be tested the closer we get to our goal: the darkest hour of the night comes just before the dawn.
This little fable is a message of hope – and it’s come at just the right time for me.