What is your Personal Legend?
Recently conversing with a young friend of mine, she recommended a very nice small book called “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. The book is a story of a young shepherd in search of what the author calls his personal legend. The book is an easy read and surprisingly I had the time to read it in a couple days.
The book makes the case for everyone having a personal legend a destiny if you desire to see this way. The story makes the case for looking at life as a learning experience. Whether the situation is what you would consider bad, it has an ultimate purpose and can provide a teaching lesson. In the story, the boy had all of his money stolen by a thief in the middle of a trip, and this event caused the young boy to seek employment with the owner of a glass shop. While he was working at the glass shop, he learned much from the people he interacted with, as well as learning to speak another language.
While reading the book it made me reflect on my own personal life and those events that I thought were “bad” that actually made me into the person I am today.
My own personal legend had its own turns and it is only when I reflect on it that I see the positive effect. Some events that I thought were bad that were actually very good for me:
I grew up in Mexico City with a very nice family. My father was an entrepreneur and my mother was a housewife. I was the oldest of three and the only male. I always thought that not having a brother was a bad situation. This led me to appreciate the incredible male friendships that I have yet today after 45 years. They are my friends and call themselves my brothers. I then came to the USA and stayed with a family who had a two year old boy, he became my brother and he doesn’t remember a day without me. He is an uncle to my daughters and I am uncle to his.
While studying at the University of Minnesota, my father who was responsible for all of my financial affairs gave me two options: comeback to Mexico and go to the best Private University or find a job to pay for your expenses and stay in Minnesota. I had very good grades and INS (immigration and naturalization service) gave me authorization to work, rare for everyone. I believe it was a sign that I was meant to stay in MN. I became a janitor at the time, and I disliked it very much, but as I think back it was one of the best things that happened to me. I learned about hard work, sweat a bit, and the overall experience humbled me a bit. I learned the value of a dollar and finished my degree on my own with scholarships.
In 1985 I fell in love with a Minnesota girl. She introduced me to her parents and family and we were together for over two years. I knew it would not work for us long-term, but I really liked my relationship with her father and step-mother. I talked to her father and step-mother and told them I didn’t want to lose my relationship with them. They agreed and our friendship continued for over thirty years. Her father was my best man when I got married to my current wife. Without knowing her I would not have met her parents, my friends ?
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho — Amazon
Do you believe we all have a personal legend or destiny?
Do you think you know what your personal legend is?
What life experience you thought it was bad, has made you a better person?
Are you following your personal legend?