“To realize one’s destiny is a person’s only obligation.”
— The Alchemist
The Alchemist is among the top 25 most selling books of all time. If you haven’t read it yet, do so immediately.
In the book, a young boy meets an African King who teaches the boy how to live out his “Personal Legend,” or life purpose.
Most people are content simply dreaming about their dreams — that is enough for them. Only those who are willing to pursue their dreams will see the “omens” along the way — what most consider luck or coincidence.
When you become willing to sacrifice everything to discover and live your life’s purpose, as The Alchemist relates, “all the universe will conspire to make it happen.”
38 time NYT-bestselling author, Richard Paul Evans, has a concept he calls the “Five Kingdoms.” Kingdom One is reserved for only yourself and your connection to your higher power (or whatever you prescribe to). No other human being is allowed in your First Kingdom. The problem, Evans’ explains, is that people allow their spouses, friends, and others into their First Kingdom.
This clouds and confuses everything. It sends you on a path of conformity.
You must live in alignment with yourself, first and foremost. Otherwise, you have no powerful, conviction, or clarity to offer your relationships. You’re just a clone of whatever others want you to be. You have no sense of being and no clear purpose in life. The only way to truly live congruently in life AND in your relationships is to be congruent with yourself.
In order to fully live out your dreams, you must understand and embrace the following truths:
Both Success And Mediocrity Take The Same Amount Of Energy And Time
“The boy could see in his father’s gaze a desire to be able, himself, to travel the world — a desire that was still alive, despite his father’s having to bury it, over dozens of years, under the burden of struggling for water to drink, food to eat, and the same place to sleep every night of his life.”
— The Alchemist
Whether you live out your dreams or not, life will be a struggle. It may be more convenient to settle-in to a life of mediocrity, but even still, life will be a struggle.
You’ll have to struggle through jobs you hate.
You’ll have to struggle through relationships that crumble due to lack of confidence, clarity, and openness. The only way to truly be powerful and present in your relationships is to live in congruence with yourself. Otherwise, you always appear and act in weakness in all of your relationships. You can’t fake it. It’s subconscious and energetic.
Deep inside of you will be a gnawing regret for the life you could be living and the person you could be. Even more, you’ll realize the negative impact your lack of congruence is having on those around you. To quote Dr. Stephen R. Covey, “We control our actions, but the consequences that flow from those actions are controlled by principles.”
Similarly, the famed surgeon and religious leader, Russell Nelson, said
“Decisions you first thought to be purely personal virtually always impact the lives of others… You must be mindful of the broader circle of family and friends who will be affected by the consequences of your choice[s].”
If you’re a parent, your children are intensely affected by your choices. If you’re out of alignment with yourself, how do you expect them to live a life of alignment?
If you’re out of alignment, how do you expect them to truly respect you? Of course they’ll love you. No matter who you are, you deserve love. No matter where you are or what you’ve done, you need other people to help you. The opposite of addiction is connection. Rather than judgment, what people need to get out of their dark hole or negative pattern is compassion. You can’t punish the pain out of people.
Similarly, you can’t punish yourself for not living in alignment with yourself. That won’t help you. What you need is connection — with yourself and other people. The longer you attempt to fight a silent battle through grit and willpower, the deeper you’ll bury yourself in your own negative cycles. You’re as sick as your secrets. You need to vulnerable and honest. Otherwise all relationships and situations around you are artificial.
Is there challenge and pain in living your dreams?
Are you often clueless as to what you’re doing and where you’re going?
Does it sometimes feel you’ve sacrificed too much?
Of course. But even in the midst of enormous difficulty, you’ll be living congruently. And nothing external is more important or powerful than being at peace with yourself.
You Can’t Be Overly Attached To Your Money Or Possessions
“‘If you want to learn about your own treasure, you will have to give me one-tenth of your flock.’… The treasure is at the Pyramids; that you already knew. But I had to insist on the payment of six sheep because I helped you make your decision.’”
— The Alchemist
The attachment of what you presently own will stop you from making a concrete decision and commitment to pursue your dreams.
“Here I am, between my flock and my treasure, the boy thought. He had to choose between something he had become accustomed to and something he wanted to have.”
The act of decision and commitment is generally tied to the donating of money (or possession) in some form of fashion. When you begin giving your money away, it starts to flow back to you much more powerfully. Because you’re not holding on to it so tightly. You realize you can have as much of it as you want. You begin being far more generous.
“Giving as you get acknowledges the Universe as truly abundant. Giving taps into the spiritual dimension that multiplies us, our thinking, and our results. There is an ocean of abundance and one can tap into it with a teaspoon, a bucket, or a tractor trailer. The ocean doesn’t care.”— The One Minute Millionaire
If you haven’t yet committed to making the decision to live your life in congruence — it’s because you’re still holding on too tightly to what you have. You need to being willing to give it all away.
What you’re holding on to is the price of what you could have. Your scarcity mindset is keeping you stuck. You’ll know you’re ready when you start giving away what you’ve got to a cause you believe in — or to other people in need.
Once you start mindfully giving your money away, you’ll open yourself up getting much much more. The reason is simple, it is the act of donating your money that cements within you the DECISION to live your life more powerfully.
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness… The moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.”
— William Hutchison Murray
You Must Be Willing To Risk It All
“If you want to change the world sometimes you have to slide down the obstacle head first.”
— Admiral William McRaven
In the book, MAKE YOUR BED, Admiral William McRaven tells the story of training to become a Special Operations Officer for the Navy Seals. The most intense training program imaginable.
According to Admiral McRaven…
At least twice a week, the trainees were required to run the obstacle course. The obstacle course contained 25 obstacles including a 10-foot high wall, a 30-foot cargo net and a barbed wire crawl, to name a few. But the most challenging obstacle was the slide for life. It had a three-level 30-foot tower at one end and a one-level tower at the other. In between was a 200-foot-long rope. You had to climb the three-tiered tower and once at the top, you grabbed the rope, swung underneath the rope and pulled yourself hand over hand until you got to the other end.
The record for the obstacle course had stood for years when my class began training in 1977. The record seemed unbeatable, until one day, a student decided to go down the slide for life head first. Instead of swinging his body underneath the rope and inching his way down, he bravely mounted the TOP of the rope and thrust himself forward.
It was a dangerous move — seemingly foolish, and fraught with risk. Failure could mean injury and being dropped from the training. Without hesitation the student slid down the rope perilously fast. Instead of several minutes, it only took him half that time and by the end of the course he had broken the record.
If you want to change the world sometimes you have to slide down the obstacle head first.
According to the Biopsychological Theory of Personality, all behavior is either triggered by your “Behavioral Activation System” (BAS) or “Behavioral Inhibition System” (BIS).
Your BAS activates your behavior and moves you forward, despite risks. Your BIS inhibits your behavior and stops you from moving forward, because of risks.
According to the Strategic Principle of War,
“The best defense is a good offense.”
In his book, When Violence Is the Answer: Learning How to Do What It Takes When Your Life Is at Stake, Tim Larkin explains that when you’re in a hostile situation, if you’re hesitant, you’ll lose.
If you’re retreating backwards, that’s exactly what a perpetrator wants you to do.
If you hold your arms up in a fighting position — you’re also in a position of weakness, because you don’t know what you’re going to do. You’re acting socially — being reactive — and you’ve given your power of choice to them.
The only way to successfully win in a hostile situation is to aggressively move forward on the offensive. This is exactly the opposite of what a perpetrator is expecting. And it’s the only truly powerful defensive.
When you’ve committed fully to living in complete congruence, despite the risk — when you’ve passed your point of no return — you will often be in positions where you’re required to risk it all. To go on complete offensive.
Of course, you likely won’t be required to risk it all. But you must be willing to. It must be YOUR decision, not indecision that determines what happens. And if you’re in alignment with your First Kingdom, you’ll follow your gut and know what to do — and you won’t let the opinions of others cloud your final decision.
You will likely be very misunderstood. The cost will seem too high to most people. They aren’t operating at the same level as you. They don’t realize that your security is internal, and that you’re no longer tied to the outcome. You’re simply tied to living in congruence with what you believe you should do.
“To realize one’s destiny is a person’s only obligation.”
— The Alchemist
Sometimes, you’ll have lots of money coming your way and be required to give it all back to what you’re trying to accomplish. Consider Elon Musk, who was willing to sink all of his money into his companies. Had he not been willing to do that, he probably wouldn’t be where he is today.
Money for him is a tool. Not something he’s attached to. He doesn’t work to make money. He makes money to do more work. He makes money to fuel the mission.
Let Go Of The Need For A Specific Outcome
In an interview with Success Magazine, actor Jeremy Piven explained that as an actor, the only way to work is to go out and audition for specific roles.
The challenge most actors/actresses face is that they get in their own way. It doesn’t matter how much homework they’ve done. If they’re too tied to a specific result, they can’t be present in the moment. They can’t truly perform their art. They come off as desperate. They get in their own way. Their performance isn’t what it could have been.
Jeremy said that when he quit worrying about a specific result, he was able to be present during his auditions. He was able to be completely who he wanted to be. He wasn’t trying to be what he thought others wanted him to be. He performed his art.
If he didn’t get the gig, either they didn’t get it or it just wasn’t the right fit. So he moves on to the next. In this way, he’s able to get the jobs he’s supposed to have. He’s not just trying to get anything he can get.
According to Robert Kegan, Harvard Psychologist, the only way to truly experience the highest levels of transformation and “conscious evolution” is to detach from the need for specific outcomes.
THIS specific outcomes isn’t what matters. THIS outcome, regardless of what it is — win or lose — has no bearing on what you’re committed to doing and being. You’re fully committed and invested. You’ve already made the decision. And in your mind, you already know what you are. So THIS outcome doesn’t affect any of that.
You won’t be derailed by success nor defeat — as most people are. You’ve already made a decision. You’re committed to that decision. And you will move forward regardless of what happens here.
“The closer one gets to realizing his Personal Legend, the more that Personal Legend becomes his true reason for being.”
— The Alchemist
Living your dreams is available to everyone. Whether you choose to live your dreams or not, your life will be a struggle and a challenge.
Joe Polish, founder of Genius Network often says,
“Life is easy when you live it the hard way, and hard when you live it the easy way.”
However, you will age yourself much quicker due to internal conflict if you choose the struggle of fear, conformity, indecision, and selfishness.
You have the option of evolving to very powerful places and having transformative experiences if you’re willing to. You won’t regret it. Your life will be far fuller and more powerful. The relationships you have will be deeper and more meaningful.
You’ll have a sense of purpose — and other people will respect you for that.