Personal Legend


One of my favorite books I’ve ever read is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. The main idea of the story is that each one of us has the opportunity in life to follow our dreams and our destiny. The sad thing though, is that most of us don’t. We give up on our dreams, we lose ambition as we get older, and we settle. Whether it’s a career or even a significant other, we settle for what’s convenient, average, or “okay.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked a friend how his job is going and he’ll say, “Oh, it’s okay” or “It pays the bills” or my favorite: “It sucks, but it’s a job, it’s not supposed to be fun.”

This is settling. This is giving up. And in my opinion, this is sad and pathetic.

So why do people give up on their dreams or their Personal Legends as Paulo Coelho refers to them? Because pursuing a passion is terribly difficult and requires so much sacrifice. Right now I’m seeing this happen. My dream has always been to teach internationally, but in order to achieve this dream I’ve had to sacrifice so much. I gave up a job I loved in California. I’ve said goodbye to students and friends I’ve loved as well. And in less than two weeks I will have to leave my family and even a young woman I am becoming more intimate with to go live in a country for two years where I know virtually no one.

But I’m doing it despite the challenges and obstacles because it feels right. The more I reflect, and the more I question what it is I’m doing, the more confident I feel about my decision. And the people who truly believe in me and care about me, will support me regardless of where I end up in this world, whether it’s Guatemala, France, California, or anywhere else.

If you follow your Personal Legend, if you pursue your dreams, not only will you be happier and more fulfilled, but the world will be far better off as well!

Tikal Guatemala

7 thoughts on “Personal Legend

  1. Hello, Mr. Topf!
    I’m also a big Paulo Coelho fan and I don’t know if you heard about his blog
    I’ve started as a fan and now I’m collaborating with him and thought that you would like to enter his universe.
    Check the blog, if you want, or subscribe to his newsletter
    You’ll see a community of warriors of light sharing ideas, dreams and most importantly following their personal legend.

    “Dreams nourish the soul just as food nourishes the body. The pleasure of the search and of adventure feed our dreams.”

    See u there and have great day!

  2. Pingback: Personal Legend by Mr. Topf at Paulo Coelho’s Blog

  3. Hello, I agree with you too. I read the Alchemist 3 times…and love it.
    It’s hard to follow our dreams, but can give huge satisfations.
    And even if one will not reach the dream at the end, the proverb says:
    it’s not the final object that make you grow, but the path to reach it.

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