Decision Making "waiting hurts. forgetting hurts. but not knowing which decision to make can sometimes be most painful."

Matthew Meyers

Opening Statement: We've all had that feeling; whether in our gut, or our head, we sometimes have this nagging feeling that can influence a decision. That feeling is known as a non-rational factor. On the contrary, we also can make decision by logic, like in The Alchemist, how the boy wanted to have tea sold in crystal glasses in the crystal shop. There are also what seems to be a sign from a higher power, whether it's two hawks attacking each other as a sign of a bad omen, and a butterfly is a sign of a good omen.

Thesis: In Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist, Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, a quote from Steve Jobs, and the old saying, "Red Sky at Night, Sailors Delight; Red Sky in (the) Morning, Sailors take Warning.", there are themes shown of non-rational factors of decision, and signs of omens.

Commentary: "One day, Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. 'Which road do I take?' she asked. 'Where do you want to do?' was his response. 'I don't know', Alice answered. 'Then', said the cat, 'it doesn't matter.'" (Carroll).

Detail: "Whenever he could, he sought out a new road to travel. He had never been to that ruined church before, in spite of having traveled through those parts many times. The world was huge and inexhaustible..." (Coelho, 10-11).

Explanation: These quotes show that, in a sea of decisions and roads, there are an inexhaustible amount of ways to take that will eventually lead you somewhere. That every step you take will lead you to something greater, something that will "...carry (you) into places (you) had never dreamed of...".

Commentary: "So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, karma, whatever." (Steve Jobs)

Detail: “In order to find the treasure, you will have to follow the omens. God has prepared a path for everyone to follow. You just have to read the omens that he left for you.” (Coelho, 29).

Explanation: These two quotes from the book and from the famous co-creator of Apple, show that you need to follow the signs that life (or God, depending on if you are religious) gives you to get to your better future, your "Personal Legend", if I may. These omens wrapped together show that "...all the universe conspires to help you achieve it." (Coelho, 22, 40, and 114).

Commentary: "Red sky at night, sailors delight; Red sky at morning, sailors take warning."

Detail: "Suddenly, one of the hawks made a flashing dive through the sky, attacking the other. As it did so, a sudden, fleeting image came to the boy: an army, with its swords at the ready, riding into the oasis... 'Always heed the omens...'". (Coelho, 103).

Explanation: In short, omens can also show off bad events to come. As a sailor can predict the weather by this old saying, Santiago was able to predict an attack on the oasis, saving many lives. And, in the quote before, following the omens can also be a good thing, considering Santiago's omens led him across the desert, he learned a new language, and knows the secrets of a new environment.

Closing Statement: In short, outside sources can connect and show that non-rational factors played a huge role in the alchemist, considering an omen would be classified as a non-rational factor. As the boy chose his roads like Alice did, he soared to new heights he never knew before. He also learned to trust the omens and his gut instinct, as Steve Jobs had, and was able to have a slight sense of knowing what was coming next. But, as the old saying says, he also stumbled across some bad omens, as well. Overall, The Alchemist broadened my perspective of life. Considering I am a Christian, it helped me to see more of God's blessings for me, and allowed me to open my eyes to more of what was going on around me.

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