4 Powerful Life Lessons from The Alchemist
“You came so that you could learn about your dreams,” said the old woman. “And dreams are the language of God. When he speaks in our language, I can interpret what he has said. But if he speaks in the language of the soul, it is only you who can understand” from The Alchemist.
I recently read the book, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. The Alchemist tells a story of a young shepherd boy who goes on a journey and quest for treasure to realize his ‘personal legend’. Along the way, he runs into many obstacles and the journey quickly turns into an adventure.
The constant theme in The Alchemist is to pursue your dreams by following what your heart desires.
During the young boy’s journey, he learns to listen to the heart and to follow the language of omens.
With each passing obstacle and hurdle that the young boy encounters, there is a lesson to learn. Each lesson teaches the young boy that he must always follow his heart, as it is the language of God. He realizes that he must go on with his own ‘personal legend’ no matter how difficult the journey becomes.
He learns to use his heart to overcome fear. He learns to use his soul to never lose hope when faced with adversity. He learns to focus on his own journey, disregarding the influences of society.
For those things always have truth.
We all have a dream.
We all have our own personal legend.
The Alchemist has many lessons and nuggets of inspiration sprinkled throughout the story. The four most powerful lessons (in my opinion) are:
1) No matter what you do, make sure that you do it because it is what your heart and soul desire.
Our soul is the guiding force of our lives and it is only you who has the awareness of your soul’s desire. An awareness that at many times you may not be mindful of, which often occurs when the soul disconnects from self.
As a self-proclaimed blogger, it is my own disappointment in myself that it has been over a month since I wrote my last blog post. I broke a rule I set for myself to never go over two weeks without writing a post.
I often use the term ‘writers block’ as an excuse for my hiatus to writing, which is, against the desire of my heart and soul.
My lack of writing hasn’t been because of a lack of inspiration or that I didn’t have anything to say. Life got in the way. Although that’s not an excuse not to continue to pursue something that I know, deep down, is what my heart desires.
Yet, it can be contributed to the disconnect between my soul and self, as I’ve been ignoring my own personal legend.
Life will get in the way, but we must not let life disrupt what our heart truly desires.
It is my desire to use writing as a form of expression and to inspire. It is my desire to tell my story in the best form of communication that I am capable of. It is my desire to listen to my heart, for each word typed, is inspired by it.
If you aren’t doing what you know you are supposed to be doing. Or if you aren’t following your dreams and pursuing your passion, you are not fulfilling your personal legend.
Each personal legend is unique to your identity, your dreams, and to where you want to go.
2) You will fail. Don’t give up in the process.
“To realize one’s destiny is a person’s only obligation” The Alchemist.
The destination of where we want to go is often defined as a dream. You should live each day so that it gets you one step closer to that dream and destination.
The past few weeks, or even months, I’ve done a lot of reflecting.
It is important to know and remember where you are and whom you are in order to get to where you want to be and whom you want to be.
“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it” The Alchemist.
Nothing worth having ever comes easy. If you want something, you have to be prepared to risk it all. You have to get rid of all doubt and ignore your fears.
But if you think big, listen to your heart and dedicate your life to achieving whatever it may be, the universe will always reward you with attainment.
But know this, you will fail. Failure is a part of the process. As when you work out and lift weights, it is the failure that makes it possible for you to grow. You have to be broken down in order get back up stronger.
“The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times” The Alchemist.
For it is only up to you to become the best possible version of yourself.
Like the young boy, you will run into obstacles that you didn’t plan or account for. Each obstacle is stepping stone, an opportunity to build on, and a step closer to your personal legend.
3) Maktub: It is written
There is another theme in the Alchemist, or saying, which is Maktub. Maktub is translated to “it is written”. That all of your actions are in the context of fate, which God has written.
In a very simple manner, maktub can also be translated to “everything that happens, happens for a reason”. “That our paths are already outlined for us to follow. That our fate is written within the universe.”
To me, Maktub means that we must not let fear and most importantly, the fear of failure, to get in the way of our own pursuit of our personal legend. For it is written, and what is meant to be, will be.
You should not let fear get in the way. Maktub. Some things are meant to be; everything is indeed pre-written. Everything that happens is for a reason.
“No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world. And normally he doesn’t know it” The Alchemist
Everything that we do, everyone that we come across, and each lesson learned is a part of the story of the universe. A story that has been already written, but it is our duty, to contribute to it.
For in the grand scheme of things, we are just participants in life. However, we still have our duty to ourselves to pursue all and everything that is unique to us.
On your journey of your personal legend, remain focused on your goal. As your destiny is written in fate and everything is written in the soul of the world.
4) “It’s the simple things in life that are the most extraordinary”.
To be different is the greatest and simplest thing that we can do.
For being different is being yourself, it is the realization that you are your own unique you. To be different is to realize that your personal legend is yours and yours only.
You are you. This makes you unique, as nobody else has your experiences. Nobody else is you and that is your power.
Very few of us are lucky enough to be doing what we actually love doing. We strive for status in society and participate in the rat race. A major part of life is spent trying to please others.
Pursue your dreams, passionately, and with your heart. Live the life that you want to live, work the job that you want work, and don’t let anyone knock you off of your own path. As the key to happiness is the satisfaction of being able to do all that you love doing.
Be inspired to be different. Dare to be different. Do not let the fear of others opinions dictate your actions. This life to live is yours.
Think for yourself and think big, as thoughts become things.
Life comes with its twist and turns. It is never a straight line. If it is, you aren’t living or fulfilling your personal legend. As to pursue your personal legend you will have obstacles. Each obstacle is an opportunity to learn from and about yourself.
If there is anything that I want us to take away from this post it is this:
- Be passionate.
- Don’t be afraid to fail.
- Follow your personal legend. Maktub, it is written, “what you seek, is seeking you” Rumi.
- Be you.