Are You Pursuing Your Personal Legend?

Last month I savored every moment while reading The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho.  I found myself lingering in the passages rich with profoundly simple wisdom.  This parable-style story follows a boy as he travels far from home, across the African desert, in search of a treasure.  Along the way he meets many wise mentors who encourage him on his journey.  But as you can guess, the rewards of this journey are not found in a chest of gold, rather they are gifts discovered in pursuit of his “personal legend”.
 
“To realize one’s Personal Legend is a person’s only real obligation.  And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” –Paulo Coelho
 

I love the notion in the book that each of us has a personal legend.  While this book was translated from Portuguese, I think the word choice is purposefully unfamiliar to be thought provoking.  For me, it’s akin to your life’s work, path, purpose and calling, even destiny if you prefer.
 
The lesson in the story, from my perspective, is that each one of us has unique gifts to offer, lessons to learn, and trails to blaze in this world.  And, it is our obligation to pursue them if we are to become evolved and enlightened versions of ourselves.  In doing so we become the best expression of our unique self, live fully, and become a positive force in our relationships, communities and as global citizens.
 
But the road less traveled on the way to fulfilling each of our personal legends is rarely the easy path.  It requires tremendous valor and mettle in the face of the unknown.  Often we will forgo our comfort zone and take risks for learning and experience.  We will learn to listen deeply to our hearts, bodies and minds, and connect to that wisdom.  We will step into vulnerability, embrace compassion for ourselves and others, stay present, and continue on with one foot in front of the other, with curiosity and openness, come what may.  And, while we will experience successes, we will also have failures.  Those failures will be our teachers.  And if we can do all of this while remaining unattached to outcome, we will struggle less, appreciate more and enjoy the ride.  Unsurprisingly, it’s the journey, not the destination, that brings the good stuff in life.
 
Perhaps you’re wondering, "Is there a final destination in my personal growth journey?”  I'm inclined to say no, that we’re always evolving.  While each of us as individuals may not choose to pursue our personal legends, a look at history is evidence that progress and evolution are unique conditions of our collective human race. The finite time each of us has on earth marches on - what will you choose to do with it? Will you take your journey?
 
As a coach, I’m privileged to walk with people for part of their journeys.  Sometimes clients are moving on the path, and other times they are stuck along the way.  Being stuck in itself is not the issue – we all make pit stops there.  What can cause pain for people is when they’re stuck and don’t know it or choose to stay stuck. 
 
So this month I offer you an invitation to check-in with yourself and your personal legend by reflecting on the following quotes from The Alchemist and my accompanying questions:
 
 “People are afraid to pursue their most important dreams, because they feel that they don’t deserve them, or that they’ll be unable to achieve them.”…. “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”
 
What limiting beliefs are holding you back from pursuing your most important dreams?  If you fail, what is the worst case scenario?  Challenge yourself to change your internal dialogue into one of self-compassion, gentleness and encouragement.  If you were giving advice to your best friend instead of yourself, how would what you say change?
 
“When I have been truly searching for my treasure, I’ve discovered things along the way that I never would have seen had I not had the courage to try things that seemed impossible…”
 
Neale Donald Walsch is often quoted for saying, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”  Think back, what is the most significant thing you have done in pursuit of your personal legend?  What gifts did you discover along the way as a result of your courageousness?  How did that experience shape who you’ve become and what you’ve accomplished?  Do you have the courage to move beyond your comfort zone and try what seems impossible right now?  If so, what is the next small or big step? 
 
“Most people see the world as a threatening place, and, because they do, the world turns out, indeed, to be a threatening place.”
 
Many of us carry inflexible and fixed opinions, mindsets and stories about the world around us.  As a result, we attach to data points that confirm our personal narratives, and we interpret events through those lenses.   We live into our stories.  Do you want different outcomes than the ones that come from your habituated patterns?  If so, what do you need to believe for that outcome to become possible? 
 
“Later, we simply let life proceed, in its own direction, toward its own fate.  But, unfortunately, very few follow the path laid out for them – the path to their Personal Legends, and to happiness.”
 
With a pace of life that only seems to get busier, many of us set our courses to autopilot.  The passage of time sneaks up on us.  Don’t let it lead to regret!  We don’t get any time back in life.  Are you living intentionally or defaulting to your present circumstances?  What have you been putting off that is important to you?  How will you prioritize it so it fits into your life?  What do you have to gain by pursuing it?  What do you have to lose if you don’t?
 
Looking for a guide on the next leg of your journey?  Get in touch with me to set up a conversation – katrina@point-of-arrival.com.