Do you know your personal legend?

Last month I read a book called The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. It’s a pretty short paperback coming in at just under 200 pages with nice margins and ample thumbspace. Wow that sounded geeky. Anyway… A quick read for most, but what really surprised me was the impact the contents had on me. It was exactly the book I needed to read at that moment in my life. A simple, eye-opening story that leaves you wanting more for yourself. At least it did for me. It tells the story of a sheperd boy who is following his personal legend.

From Goodreads:

The Alchemist is the magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found. From his home in Spain he journeys to the markets of Tangiers and across the Egyptian desert to a fateful encounter with the alchemist. The story of the treasures Santiago finds along the way teaches us, as only a few stories have done, about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path, and, above all, following our dreams.

Listening to our hearts. Paying attention to the omens. Following our dreams.

So right on. Sometimes so hard to do. Why? What is it going to take to motivate me enough to listen to my heart? To listen to my body. To be more than what I am at this moment. To be exactly what I want to be. To take that leap of faith and just do it.

I feel so close to it and yet…I’m just not there. Sometimes I feel like it is a money thing. Like, if I just had SOME, things would be easier. Or if I knew how to reach out, how to write for grants, how to find those interested in helping out. Sometimes I feel like it’s because of who I don’t know. Because of my ridiculous fear of introducing myself to strangers and making small talk. It’s bizarre. So much so that it almost kept me from attending a design-related function tonight. Which is ridiculous. But I’m trying to get over that and did indeed go to the event. Where of course I had a good time and met new people.

Most of all I feel like it is just me. It is me being lazy. It is me being responsible. It is me being afraid.

But I’m working on it.

15 comments to Do you know your personal legend?

  • I’m afraid too. I was also once told that you need money to make money. How true. Sometimes it’s only a small amount of money, but my dream got away from me so many years ago because I needed $10,000 or so just to get off the ground, and who knows how much per month to keep my dream afloat until this thing we all now know as the Internet really took off. Someone else did what I wasn’t able to do, a few years later they sold it all to Earthlink for several million dollars.

    I have another dream I’m kicking around, but again, I don’t have the money to make it happen. Plus I’m too scared to even go look for the money to do it. What if it all goes wrong? Who will put a roof over my kids heads?

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    *pixie* Reply:

    It’s the kids that really make the difference. They make being safe such a great option. I guess you just need to have faith that even if it does go wrong you will always do what is necessary to keep your family safe, fed and sheltered.

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    Nobody Reply:

    I’m barely doing that now due to past failures of mine.

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  • Lisa

    Yay for going to the event, and meeting new people, despite your worries!! That’s great. It’s not easy but you’re making it happen. So cool.

    I’ll have to check out that book. (Like you were, I’m bored to death with the Picture of Dorian Gray and I doubt I really will finish it. I’ve been trying for awhile now and it just isn’t going to happen. I need a positive, interesting read!)

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    *pixie* Reply:

    Ugg, Dorian Gray was awful! Trust me when I say The Alchemist would be a welcome reprieve from DG.

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  • I think this is something almost everyone feels. You are not alone in these feelings. It is hard these days to go after your dreams. For myself I feel like since I did not do certain things when I was younger I can no longer achieve what I reallyw ant in life. So sad.

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    *pixie* Reply:

    I feel like if I would have done things a little differently when I was younger I would be in a much better position to do what I want now. Instead I’m suffering the repercussions of a sometimes foolish youth.

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  • jq

    I say do it. Life is too short to worry about losing or failing. I had a decent job (that I couldn’t stand) and gave up the financial security to pursue my lifelong dream of being a musician. I wish it hadn’t taken me so long to realize this, I would be a much better musician. It’s hard, and I sometimes question myself but I am going to realize that dream one day before I die. That way I can look back on my life and say “Well maybe I didn’t always have the latest gadget or extra spending money for material things that I really didn’t need anyway, but I did what I loved to do and for that my life was enjoyable and fulfilled.”
    I am not afraid to fail. I have done it my whole life. But I have also succeeded at least one time more than I have failed. Fall down 7 times and get up 8.
    I have a beautiful wife, an amazing son and for now my health. I’m going for it baby!Wooh!

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    *pixie* Reply:

    Somehow we are doing it.

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  • Hey now, you’ve at least inspired me enough that I logged on to the universities website and am looking at their engineering program. I’m horrible at math, and it’s been a stumbling block for me to go back to school.

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    *pixie* Reply:

    That’s awesome! Good luck with whatever path you decide on. :)

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  • Hmmm, I may have to look into that book. I read a book called The Power of One, about a boy who has many challenges in life. Every time he gets knocked down, he has to pick himself up again. I remember being really motivated by that book, more than any other book I’ve ever read. Author is Bryce Courtney. You may want to look into it.

    Don’t watch the movie though. It was nothing like the book and it royally sucked.

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    *pixie* Reply:

    Alright, I added it to my Goodreads list. Looks like a thick book. And I’ll be sure to avoid the movie.

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    Lynda Reply:

    It was thick. I remember that because normally I get bored with books over 400 pages. :)

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  • naynayfazz

    I was going to say what VP said that a lot of people feel the way you do. Not that that makes it any easier or even justifies how you feel but maybe, in some way, it helps to know you’re not alone. For me, the hardest thing is to think about what I have not done with my life and then I compare myself to others. I don’t know how people really are behind closed doors, if they are even happy or feel complete. But because they have, say, a college degree or a nice house, I automatically think they are better off. It’s a silly, irrational thought but that’s just the way we humans think.

    I already told you how fabulous I think you are (hehe) so I will keep this brief. I do think that you have accomplished many wonderful things in your life. Also, that list of 1001 things you want to do is admirable as well. Since not doing everything you “should have done at one point” seems to be an issue with you, maybe pay more attention to the items on your list that you feel would be the biggest challenge and work on them. Then you would not be looking back at the past but focusing on the here and now, which is really all you have control over. If you do things in smaller steps, you will build up courage and then harder things may seem a bit easier.

    I have been having a very hard time lately with a similar issue and beating myself up for what I have not done in my life. I am back in therapy because my depression turned into something more serious. What I am working on is what I mentioned above; I am working on one thing at a time and trying to get to my goal. Actually, at least one goal. I will take just one! It has helped me clear my mind of (most)negativity and helping me move forward. Wish me luck and I will do the same for you!

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