“To realize one’s Personal Legend is a person’s only real obligation.
All things are one” (Coelho 24). The words of Paulo Coelho perfectly describes what many people seek in their lives. Whether it is through education, travel, or work, most people are trying to realize what their destiny is. The Alchemist tells the story of Santiago, a shepherd who sets out on a journey to find his treasure, after realizing that this is his destiny.
Throughout his travels from Spain to Egypt, Santiago learns a lot about himself and the world. Coelho uses omens and guides to teach Santiago important lessons and that can be applied to real life for all those who are in search of their Personal Legend. In the beginning of his journey Santiago meets his first guide, an old king by the name of Melchizedek. As he speaks to Santiago, the king confirms that finding the treasure is his destiny and also reminds him to enjoy the beautiful sights of his travels but to maintain focus on the purpose of his travels. The king also mentions to Santiago that, “.
..when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it” (Coelho 24). The silence that follows this statement in the book, indicates that this perhaps what inspires Santiago to gain the courage to begin his journey. This phrase is repeated constantly throughout the book and the simplicity of the statement almost makes it sound like a universal law.
In turn, this inspires the reader to rekindle their dreams and gain the courage themselves to make active decisions in their journeys. This phrase is also very encouraging and shows the readers that although there will be ups and downs in their journeys, they are parts of the journey that will eventually lead them to their Personal Legend. This is true for Santiago as well, without the all the setbacks and his hope, he would have never moved forward with his journey or fulfilled his Personal Legend.
Although the old king is a guide that Santiago meets only once, he teaches both Santiago and the readers a lesson about having a purpose in life and trusting the process that will lead one where they need to be.