Have you ever read Paulo Coelho’s book “The Alchemist”? Then you’ve probably heard the words “Personal Legend”.
It’s about a boy who leaves behind everything he knows to go after his Big Dream, his Life’s Purpose, his Personal Legend. Of course, then you find out happens when he does. (Spoiler alert: it’s not always a pretty picture….)
Not too long ago, a friend of mine did a live chat on Facebook about this very popular book. Knowing me as you all do, I bet you can see why that got my attention and I jumped right on it.
What surprised me, though, was not that the topic was right up my alley. It was that she brought up a point that made me think about Personal Legends in a way that I hadn’t in a very long time. How, exactly?
The point was this: at what the moment does a person deviate from the path? For that matter, is it that moment the same for everyone?
So did I conclude? That big realization is NOT the same for everyone. In fact, the point where you wander off is sometimes just as unique to you as the path itself.
Not that I know this from experience, or anything! When did I “deviate” from the path, so to speak?
I remember being overwhelmed and sometimes not being able to breathe at the prospect of doing what I did one…more…day. The day job, the professional life, the money, the dream. Yeah, right.
I felt something was rumbling inside of me and I just wanted to ditch the mask once and for all and shout out to the world, THIS IS WHO I AM!!!
Instead, though, I kept going back to the day job, every day. Watching the dream life drifting away. Did I know that I wanted something different? Of course I did.
The thing is, I had known who I was for YEARS. I just didn’t DO anything about it for a very…long…time….
Others, though, have had a totally different experience here. One that I hear the most often was getting to the point in life where people expected a serious answer to “what do you want to be when you grow up”. (Somehow, saying “a princess” or “a race-car driver” wasn’t as cute as it used to be.)
In other words, the moment where we’re told to “be realistic” is a BIGGIE. You know, that moment when someone tells you to do something that’ll actually make you a living. Stop being so silly. Settle down like everyone else.
Then all of a sudden you see the cycle repeating itself (telling your own kids that they can “be anything they want to be”…..until the time comes to “grow up”, that is!).
Either way, whether you took a turn in favor of the ordinary when you were expected to, OR you were always a rebel at heart (like me) but stayed in the security of a J-O-B and a normal L-I-F-E anyway, the result is the same.
You lose touch with your Personal Legend. Then you lose touch with YOU. Eventually you forget what the Life’s Dream really IS for you (or you know it, but you kick the can down the street, like I did!).
Pretty soon, FEAR kicks in. Fear, that is, and its FAR more insidious cousin COMPLACENCY.
THAT can result in a “holding pattern” that lasts INDEFINITELY.
Until you decide NOT to let it matter anymore. That is, you realize that the only thing in life that really matters really IS your Personal Legend.
That’s a seminal moment, y’all. AND a scary one.
But folks, it is the ONLY moment. It is THE event that puts you on the path to where you need to be.
Does it have to be some big, bolt-out-of-the-blue, angel chorus moment? No. Not necessarily. Then again, it might be! But there isn’t a “right way” to have an epiphany. So don’t worry about that!
Sometimes the best way is to let the Universe know you’re ready for it. (And the good news is that you can do this whether you’re aware that you’re doing it or not!)
It requires patience, trust, and courage….and it does a LOT better if you actually see it as a process to LOVE and ENJOY, too! (Trust me, I’ve tried it the WAY too serious way before. The FUN way is better!)
Your Personal Legend is there, and it never really leaves you. It’s just a matter of being ready to hear it. Being unafraid to let it out. And most of all….BELIEVING that you can and will go for it when it comes.
And knowing that no matter where you are on the pathway, that you are JUST where you need to be. You’re being supported, loved, and protected.