Destiny. Fate. You may believe in it and you may not.
I recently read the book ‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho. It has been around for a number of years and I was a bit late to read it, but I am glad that I did because it is among one of the best books I have ever read (which is probably the reason why it has already sold millions of copies around the world).
Although this post is not meant to be a book review, I want to give you a very brief summary of what ‘The Alchemist’ is about, because it will help you understand the rest of my post.
‘The Alchemist’ is a story about a boy named Santiago who lives his life as a shepherd somewhere near the north of Africa. One day, as part of his life as a shepherd, he went to a village to sell some wool from his sheep. In this village he knew of a gypsy woman who could interpret dreams. He went to see her because he had experienced a very strange dream that he wanted to know the meaning of. The gypsy woman told him to go to the Pyramids of Egypt so that he will find a great treasure that is destined for him.The boy was very sceptical and unbelieving, and he walked out thinking that the gypsy’s words were utter nonsense.
However, back in the village, he meets an old man who was actually a great king. This king gives the boy the inspiration and the belief in the gypsy’s spoken words and the boy proceeds to sell his sheep and travel across the water to reach Egypt in search of his treasure.
From that moment on, Santiago embarks on a journey across the dessert. On his journey he learns much about himself and the world. He overcomes incredible challenges and he meets and parts with an Englishman, the woman of his dreams, angry tribe leaders and finally the alchemist. (An alchemist is someone said to be able to transform lead into gold).
As Santiago learns more about himself and the Soul of the World, he comes closer and closer to realizing his destiny and how to get there and eventually he does, while it was right in front of him all the time, he needed to go through the entire journey of crossing the dessert and overcoming incredible difficulties to be able to see and find his treasure.
Everybody Walks Their Own Path
You are you, and you are unique. Your life is unique and nobody else in this world will experience exactly the same things as you will. Nobody will perceive the world to be exactly the same in all aspects the way you perceive the world.
One of the best things you can do is to accept this fact. While it is okay to look up to others, and learn from their success and their habits, it is not okay to wish you were them. You have to be content with the fact that you are you, and it is up to you to become the best possible version of yourself that you can be.
Every single person in this world needs to walk their own path, from beginning to end. Your life path is different from mine which is different from my friend’s life path and so forth. Sometimes that path may be very clear and easy to follow, and sometimes it is like a jungle with no clear path. That is when you need to make the path, pick up the machete and cute the bushes,plants and branches out the way so you can make progress. (Figuratively speaking of course).
When there is no path and you have to make your path, it is by no means easy. It will go very slowly, it will be very tiring, and sometimes you have to go back and start a new path in another direction because the current direction leads to a dead end.
You can compare cutting your own path to for instance quitting your job to pursue your dreams and passions of starting your own business. The fact that it is so difficult and that it costs so much effort is the reason why so many people do not do it. They are too scared to start the journey towards their dreams by making their own path where there is no path.
If you choose to follow an entire path that someone else has already made you will likely not live up to your full potential. You don’t learn as much from it, you don’t grow as much and your success is not the same as when you cut your own path after the easy path ends.
The Only Way To Learn Is To Do And To Make Mistakes
Theory and observation can only teach you so much. You can sit next to your parents in the car for years and yet when you have to drive it is really difficult. The chance is big that you are going to make many mistakes before you are as good as your parents are at driving.
You can study the theory and techniques of boxing for years, but when you get into that ring for the first time, you are going to make mistakes and take a lot of punches. It takes experience to become good at something. Experience is just a fancy word for having made many mistakes and having learnt from them.
Making mistakes is not a crime, it is not even a failure. It is what you need to do to get better. Ask any successful person and they will tell you they have made tens if not hundreds of mistakes when they were learning to do what they are now so good at. I have made many mistakes in my life so far, and I will continue to make many more in the future, I’m certain of it. Yet, I do not regret making these mistakes because they have made me who I am today, and they are part of the path that I have to walk.
The most difficult part of forging your own path is the fact that you have to take responsibility. You have to take action and risk failure. You risk making mistakes, wasting time, losing money and being laughed at. To take this kind of responsibility takes serious courage and determination, but in the end, that which does not kill you only makes you stronger.
Do not view taking responsibility for your actions as a burden. Instead, see taking responsibility for your actions as taking responsibility for your own life. You are taking control of your own life so that you can head towards where you want to go and how you want to live.
I cannot tell you what your destiny is, I don’t even know what my own destiny is. I do believe that when you live your life to the fullest, be the best person you can be (love generously) and work hard, that your destiny will reveal itself. My definition of destiny is that one thing that feels like you were put on this earth to do it or to complete it.
Life is full of surprises, both good and bad, that is what makes it interesting and fun! Whether you believe in destiny and fate or not, you have one life and it is yours to live and enjoy. Make the most of your life and become the best person you can be. Do not let your fear or other people’s opinions hold you back from living the way you want to live. Follow your heart and follow your dreams and do not be afraid to have to forge your own path in order to get to where you want to be.
Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Don’t just read this article if you agree with it, put it into action. Take that first step of your thousand mile journey today, and take it one step at a time.
P.S. If you have not read The Alchemist yet, I really suggest that you do because it is an amazing book.