I’ve just finished reading The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. It’s a story of a journey and of all journeys. Santiago, a shepherd, embarks on a journey to find his Personal Legend. The Personal Legend is your story – your true story. It is your calling. Most people don’t pursue their Personal Legend and thus live their lives compromised. The first example of this in the book is a baker. The baker wants to travel and so should have been a shepherd. However, he knew that bakers were valued more by society than shepherds and he would be more likely to be accepted as a husband as a baker. So he became a baker and thought about traveling his whole life while his wife wondered why he was so sad.
The Personal Legend is very much a hero’s journey. There is a call to adventure – often from an omen or sign. There are mentors, friends & foes, and a path of trials. At the end of the path, the greatest struggle comes, but once you get through it you are the master of two worlds. “Every search begins with beginner’s luck. And every search ends with the victor’s being severely tested.” The boy remembered an old proverb from his country. It said that the darkest hour of the night came just before the dawn.
Do you know what your Personal Legend is? Have you spoken to your heart to find out? What compromises are you making that are keeping you from following that journey, from creating your legend? It’s a courageous thing to follow the call, that’s why so few people do it. When those people do follow their Personal Legend, they make the world a better place. “That’s what alchemists do. They show that, when we strive to be better than we are, everything around becomes better too.”