Last night was the book club meeting for The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho. I promised in my post yesterday that I would review the book after the book club meeting was over. So now is the time!
Essentially, The Alchemist is about a young shepherd who goes on a journey to find treasure. This journey is described as his Personal Legend, which basically means it is the thing he was meant to do. He goes through quite a few trials on his way to the pyramids in Egypt, which is where he told his treasure is. On the way to the treasure, he meets many interesting people, including an alchemist, who teaches him quite a bit about how the world works.
The beginning of the book is about peoples’ Personal Legends. Basically, a person’s Personal Legend is a thing that they are meant to do or be. At some point, everyone knows what their Personal Legend is, but they can ignore the signs and not follow the path to realize their destiny. If someone doesn’t ignore the signs and tries to attain their Personal Legend, the entire universe conspires to help. There will be opportunities to stumble along the way, and many times people will not fulfill their Personal Legend.
Reading this book was really inspirational to me. Within the first 10 pages, I wanted to leave my job, which isn’t particularly fulfilling. I obviously didn’t, because I’m practical and can’t just not have a job. One of the things this book was good for is that it really got me thinking. Being in my late twenties, there are times where I feel a little directionless. I think that’s somewhat common for people my age, but having dreams, goals and aspirations that are being honored with your job can make the day go by a little faster.
This book really made me think. I spent many hours this week thinking about goals, and how to meet them. Of course, I don’t have all the answers, but I do have an idea of what my Personal Legend might be.
When I was a kid, I wanted to be an actress or singer. These aspirations seem silly now because I really don’t want to be in the spotlight. They do, however, give me a rather good indication of things I am passionate about. Therefore, perhaps my Personal Legend is not to be an actress, but to be creative. I love being creative; it’s a huge part of why I started this blog. If I had my way, I would quit my job to blog professionally and sell things on Etsy. It is not a risk I am currently willing to take. I feel as though I need to.make sure that whatever I leave a job for is worth it, and not having another job lined up just seems so risky.
So, instead of just jumping head first into things I don’t know how to do (like blogging professionally), I am going to start by doing something that will be an excellent stepping stone for me. In my Q&A post, I mentioned that I want to learn to build websites. I have a good friend that is a web developer, and I talked to her about her job. Learning to build websites is something I would love to do, but I am lacking the training to do so. Therefore, instead of just dreaming, I am going to jump head-first in learning the things I need to know to acheive my goals.
Today, I started taking free online courses in building websites. These classes themselves will not get me a job, but they will teach me skills necessary to push further. They will give me the foundation I need to build websites and get closer to my goal.
I honestly think everyone should read this book and figure out what they are meant to do. The book had an interesting story, and so much to think about. It’s also really short: less than 170 pages! Many people can read it in a weekend. It changed my mindset into one that is more grateful. Hopefully all these lessons stick!
Have you ever read The Alchemist? Any thoughts on the book?
What do you think your Personal Legend is?
Let me know in the comments!