The Alchemist

“Why do we have to listen to our hearts?” the boy asked…

“Because, wherever your heart is, that is where you’ll find your treasure.”

The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho

A week or so before coming to Abu Dhabi, a close a friend of mine, let’s call him J, gave me a book. He may or may not have realized how fitting that book was to my upcoming journey. Either way, being given a story of a young boy who leaves everything he knows in search of adventure could just be a coincidence. Good books are fun like that. Coincidences.

A story about a Personal Legend.
A story about a Personal Legend.

But upon reading what the young boy does to find his adventurous treasure, I saw it was much more than coincidence. This shepherd travels through Spain into Morocco, eventually crossing the desert with a caravan of individuals he’s only just met. With the sole guidance of a few stones in his pocket and an acute awareness of the omens around him, he goes in search of his own Personal Legend – “what you have always wanted to accomplish when you are not afraid to dream.”

There was a point in the boy’s story where he meets a man that forces him to take the final steps. To realize the path ahead would not be simple or easy, but exponentially worthwhile. This man was an alchemist, a man of wisdom and knowledge. The alchemist provided guidance and truth at a time of transition and uncertainty.

Forced to pay attention to the omens in my own life, I began to see more than plain old happenstance, I began to see perfection. Perfection in the cogs and wheels of this world. Perfection in my journey. Perfection through a close friend’s simple gift. For some it would have been just that… a simple gift. A book. But I am glad I was given the insight to see that this story was no accident. And that the relationships that have formed in my life have deeper purpose and meaning.

I’m blessed to have such friends that would be the omens in my own Personal Legend, the alchemists illuminating the desert trail ahead. My friends and family know how much space they hold in my heart, and I wish you the same fortune, because…

“No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world. And normally he doesn’t know it. Good-bye,” the alchemist said.

“Good-bye,” said the boy…

…for now.