Finding and Achieving Your Personal Legend Lacey White

Introduction: Following your Personal Legend can be a painfully difficult decision. Although, if you do chose to do so, the ending result will be rewarding, but the journey to get there is worth so much more.

Thesis: After analyzing Paulo Coelho's "The Alchemist", a poem, a song, and an inspirational film, I have perceived that following your dreams or Personal Legend can not only be challenging, but also test your faith. But, with some guidance and a touch of perseverance, you can overcome nearly anything.

Detail #1: In a poem from Rupi Kaur's "Milk and Honey", she explains that each person as an individual has something unique to offer the world, and when you doubt this you are doubting a fate larger than yourself. Similar to how in The Alchemist, Santiago has a dream about the pyramids, but does not dwell on it, because he is a mere shepherd. Then, the King of Salem gives him encouragement and hope by saying, "'Don't forget that everything you deal with is only one thing and nothing else. And don't forget the language of the omens. And above all, don't forget to follow your Personal Legend through to its conclusion'" (Coelho 33).


Detail #2: While listening to the song "Fast Car" by Tracy Chapman, I soon realized that it shared many similarities to "The Alchemist" and the theme of following your Personal Legend. The song is about her wanting to move away with her lover and build a better life. She had grown up with an alcoholic father, so she decides to leave, but as they build a life her lover drifts away. So, in order for her to continue making a better life she has to leave him as well. Likewise to the sacrifices Santiago, the boy, made to follow his Personal Legend. Throughout the story he has to leave people who have helped him along the way to carry on. He had to say goodbye to his flock, the king, the crystal merchant, the Englishman, Fatima, and even the Alchemist himself. The Alchemist advises, ""You must not let up, even after have coming so far"" (Coelho 115). So, no matter the sacrifices you must make, you should always continue to follow your Personal Legend.

Detail #3: In the movie Facing the Giants, directed by Alex Kendrick, a football team struggling to obtain their faith and win a game with a coach trying to overcome fertility issues and doing everything to keep his job, portrays the difficulty of maintaining faith and praising God when life seems impossible. Although, it seemed the world was against them, they remained faithful and were rewarded with a state championship, resolved fertility issues, and an unbreakable bond with God. This closely relates to the struggles Santiago faced throughout the novel and how conflicting it can be to follow your Personal Legend, whether it be religious values or following your dreams. In "The Alchemist", the King of Salem states, ""It's what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their Personal Legend is. At that point in their lives, everything is clear and everything is possible. They are not afraid to dream, and to yearn for everything they would like to see happen to them in their lives. But, as time passes, a mysterious force begins to convince them that it will be impossible for them to realize their Personal Legend"" (Coelho 23-24). So, following your Personal Legend will not be easy, but after overcoming the obstacles you will realize it was all worth it in the end.

Conclusion: In conclusion, finding your Personal Legend will not be easy by any means, but sometimes we as humans complicate things by defying fate. Often, we are simply mules staring at a gate, too stubborn to try something new and take a risk. In "The Alchemist" Santiago doubts himself and his destiny, nearly giving up everything he had worked for, which we often do on a daily basis. This novel and the comparisons that were made should inspire you to persevere through the toughest of times and to continue to follow your own Personal Legend.

Works Cited

Coelho, Paulo, and Alan Clarke. The Alchemist. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1993. Print.

Facing the Giants. Dir. Alex Kendrick. N.p., n.d. Web.

Kaur, Rupi. Milk and Honey. Kansas City, MO: Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2015. Print.


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