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Personal Legend

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One thing I am always open to is a good book. A close friend of mine recently introduced me to the author Paulo Coelho (and no, I don’t mean personally, introduced me to his work). The only book of his that I have read all the way through is The Alchemist. It is a great story following a young boy through his life decisions as a shepherd, and as more than a shepherd.

I will try not to give any spoilers, but the main reason I enjoyed the book was because of the balance between an engaging narrative and the presentation of interesting and applicable concepts. As we follow the protagonist on his journey, relatable ideas are presented to us along the way. One of these ideas was called a “Personal Legend.” This is, in a nutshell, what that person’s goal is. It may be something small or big, but only the person is able to identify it.

As the book says, regarding the Personal Legend:
“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

If an individual wants to achieve their Legend enough, they will receive help in doing so. If someone has found their Personal Legend, it is often easy to tell. That person is happy and clearly enjoying the majority of life. It seems that things come easy, and at just the opportune time. Some perceive this as luck, or as some unfair advantage. In actuality, these people simply know what they want and aim to get there. This is often much more than coincidence. I will use my own Legend as an example.

I believe my Legend, at least short term, is to hike the Appalachian Trail. This process I think would make me happy, and it is something I really want to experience. Certainly there are many people who try to discourage me from ever doing it, and this is common with most aspirations. However, I find that the more accepting I am that it is my ambition, the closer I get to achieving it. Again, this is not simply coincidence or some sort of magic. People who talk to me about the trail can sense that I am very excited about it and want to help me get there. Often, I will bring it up, and whoever I am conversing with (though they may discourage me) will offer up some great advice, ideas for experience, and sometimes even use of their gear.

Recently, I had been considering being more active in the winter. I wanted to camp, but it would be very cold, and I don’t yet have winter camping gear. I began talking to a friend who cross country skis, and I expressed an interest, admitting that I had never tried before. He offered to teach me at any time. Not three days later, I was talking to a member of my choir, and the subject of skiing came up. I explained that I had never done it, but that I had been invited to learn recently. He said that he didn’t ski anymore, but that he might have some old skis I could use, and our feet were just about the same size.

Mostly because I have been occupied with other activities (work, school, writing, researching for the AT), and because of circumstances out of my control, I didn’t follow up on the skiing lesson yet. But I can in the future, and this is the sort of coincidence that excites me into knowing that I am on the right path. People, and the universe, will help you along your path if it is the right one.

The other quote from the novel that spoke to me was this:
“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”

You will notice a vast pooling network of people who have a dream, and likely even know exactly what it is, yet they will be afraid to follow that dream. Most likely, this is because they are afraid of failing. As Coelho says, this is the best method of ensuring that you never realize your dreams.

My plan is to really focus on preparing for the Appalachian Trail and meeting interesting people in the meantime. I plan to soon witness how the universe guides me in that direction.

About Human Living

Not just a Human Being, not just a Human Doing, I'm a Human Living.

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