Personal Legend in “The Alchemist”

In The Alchemist, Coelho talks about the importance of the “”Personal Legend””, that is, the path that each person should take to achieve the greatest happiness. In the book, a young shepherd boy, named Santiago is sent on a journey to find his own Personal Legend. On his journey he deals with frustration, devastation, hope, love, confusion, learning all along the way. From the people he meets to the scenarios he must adapt to, the boy persists on his journey in the faith that he will eventually discover his Personal Legend.

In the book, there is a sense of adventure and life references. Santiago, the protagonist of the story, learns to open, listen, and to communicate with his heart. He learns to go against others, man vs. man, man vs. nature, and for him and the alchemist man vs. society. For Santiago’s journey, he needed motivation, inspiration, and communication.

As a competitive athlete, you are expected to do a lot. My parents make me do extra training outside of AAU, school ball, and practice. Most times the only things I feel like going to are games. You have to really love something for you to put that much effort into it. Motivation is always a key factor.Without my parents’ love and support, I would not to love the game of basketball as much as I do now.

In this novel, motivation drives Santiago. Fatima keeps him going on his journey because she understands that she is a desert woman and allows Santiago to pursue his personal legend even though they love each other. As a sign of this, Santiago says, ‘I’m going away and I want you to know that I’m coming back.’ When Santiago met her he found out the language of the world was love. He is driven by his love of Fatima. Motivation helps him find out his true personal legend.

My brother, Cliff is a freshman at Langston University on a full basketball scholarship. He went to St John’s for high school and broke all kinds of records as a freshman and throughout his high school career. He is the person I look up to most as a basketball player. He is my inspiration and he is why I love the game of basketball like I do. Cliff faced many hardships at St John’s, but that did not deter him from his goal of graduating and earning a full athletic scholarship to college. He graduated with honors and is now enrolled as a college athlete. This is one of many reasons he inspires me. He is my inspiration.

Inspiration was a key factor for Santiago. He was inspired by the alchemist to keep pursuing his personal legend. The alchemist understands the desert and people and helps Santiago understand nature and people. For instance, when the alchemist saw Santiago reading the falcon’s flight he had to understand who he was. He said,”” I had to test your courage.”” In that sense, he had to understand him. The alchemist knows how to understand and get to know people. Therefore, the alchemist mentions and adds a sense of inspiration to Santiago.

Around June of this summer during aau basketball season I was playing in a tournament with my team. We played Texas Elite in pool play. We all played together well as a team and communicated well and we won as a result. In the championship game we ended up playing Texas Elite again. We started the game off well shots were falling consistently, everyone was working well together, and most importantly communicating. The score went back and forth the whole first half about 10 lead changes. After halftime everything went downhill. Ad decisions were made, nobody was communicating which resulted in multiple turnovers that could’ve been avoided and we lost the game all because of lack of communication.

Communication was essential for Santiago, and it started with patience. Early in the novel, Santiago was challenged to walk around with oil on a spoon. He was to see all the features of the store. The first time, he kept the oil, but didn’t look around. The second time was the complete opposite. This lesson taught him patience, which he needed to communicate with the sun, wind, and desert and by doing this, he wasn’t killed. “”It’s going to take a while.”” That was the words that came out of Santiago’s mouth. Those words signaled confidence and patience. Therefore, communication and patience were essential and allowed him to turn himself into the wind which would save his life.

Looking back on his travels provided these life lessons for me: treasure the little things and be a risk taker, because in both situations there is a lesson to be learned. After reading this book, I have learned the little things that normally bother me will mean absolutely nothing in the future. Now, I choose to focus on my many blessings. This generation, everyone seems to be focused on materialistic things when life means so much more and offers more. It is easy to get caught up in what you do not have because someone else has it. Everyone is so worried about what other people are doing or what other people are wearing. But, this mentality can cause a person to lose sight of the small things: like waking up this morning, being blessed with good health, having food and shelter, and support from family. Every day is a new chance to change. Life is what you make it. Today is not yesterday and yesterday does not have to be your tomorrow. By focusing on what I have rather what I don’t will make me a happier person and a better person. I want to be able to see things and be thankful for things that could be easily overlooked, and it is these littlest of things that are going to enhance my life for the better.

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