Unlike Santiago, in Paulo Coelho’s book’s The Alchemist

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Unlike Santiago, in Paulo Coelho’s book’s The Alchemist, who is filled with humility, gratitude and an open heart; my pride, willfulness and selfishness have lead me into unnecessary suffering.

Like Santiago, in Paulo Coelho’s book’s The Alchemist, who gains self mastery by understanding that he has within him all of the answers to the questions, I, too, am on a quest to reinvent myself and become my own master after having been in a coma, because I now know that “when you seek out your personal legend the universe conspires to work for you” (Coelho ___).


To change the tense, singular/plural, or gender of a word in a quote, use brackets to indicate that you are changing the author’s words to match your own sentence. Example. “You must always know what it is that you want.” Change to: [One] must always know what it is that [one] want[s]”

AVOID USE OF SECOND PERSON (YOU) IN ALL FORMAL WRITING. USE ONLY IN INFORMAL WRITING. First person is “I” and third person is “one, he, she, it.” Use first person whenever you are sharing an anecdote , personal story or experience. Thus, you will be alternating between first person and third person.

Never assume that your reader knows what you are talking about. Your reader does not have a clue. Most likely, they have never heard of the book or topic you are writing about. Even if they know the topic, that does not mean that they understand it from your view point.

The goal of writing, speaking or any form of communication is to be understood.

Avoid using absolutes (never, always, everyone, etc) in an essay because there is always an exception to the rule and writers need to leave room for exceptions, otherwise your argument will have holes in it. Leave wiggle room to write a convincing argument.


Even though difficult obstacles often occur in life, one should never give up on one’s personal legend because achieving one’s goal often leads to a new beginning.

“It’s called the principle of favorability, beginner’s luck. Because life wants you to achieve your personal legend” (Coelho 52).

One should not forget oneself while focusing on the world neither should one forget the world while focusing on oneself, because “the secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never forget the drops of oil on the spoon” (Coelho 32).

One’s thoughts and actions influence one’s belief as to whether or not one will be able to achieve one’s dream in life. For instance, my short term goal is to get an “A” in my English class and I now believe that I have the ability to achieve this goal because I understand that “when [one] really want[s] something the universe conspires in [one’s] favor.”

Candid means marked by sincere honesty. So be candid, open and clear in your writing.

In order to pass half of the tests to become a detention officer, I have had to sacrifice time with my friends, family and school; thus, I can relate to the sacrifices that Santiago, in Paulo Coelho’s book The Alchemist, had to make in order to achieve his personal legend.

Any action in the present will reflect upon the future; thus, one is creating one’s future, good or bad, by the choices made in the present moment because “the secret is here in the present. If you pay attention to the present, you can improve upon it ” (Coelho __ ).

One may stay close to one’s heart by listening and following what it has to say and not closing it off, “because [one] will never again be able to keep it quiet. Even if [one] pretend[s] not to have heard what it tells [one], it will always be there inside of [one]self, repeating to [one] what [one] is thinking about life and about the world” (Choelho __).

”When one door closes, another one opens;” however, it is up to the individual to walk through the new door with the same courage that Santiago in Paulo Coelho’s book The Alchemist, used after he had his family fortune stolen by a stranger.

Dan, in the film The Peaceful Warrior learns that “happiness is in the journey, not the destination” which is the same lesson that Santiago, in Paulo Coelho’s book The Alchemist, learns. What stops people from achieving their goals and from being happy in life is believing “the world’s greatest lie” which is “that at a certain point in our lives we lose control of what is happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate” (Coelho 18).

While pursuing one’s dreams, one can often get lead off track by one’s doubts, fears and regrets, however, learning to read the “omens” or signs along the way can lead one back on track, according to Santiago in Paulo Coelho’s book The Alchemist.

In that one is not born with a manual on how to live one’s life to the fullest, one is given “omens” for guidance along the way; however, it is up the each individual to learn how to read the “omens” or signs. For instance, Santiago, in Paulo Coelho’s book The Alchemist, says, “if you pay attention to the present, you can improve upon it … forget about the future and live each day according to the teachings, confident that God loves his children (Coelho 103).

It is the simple dreams that can inspire a person to achieve his/her goals in life because “it’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting” (Coelho 11).

One’s goal can be found if one looks for it, but if one stops searching, it will be forgotten and lost. The problem for many people is that they do not understand the duality of nature in that “treasure is uncovered by the force of flowing water and it is buried by the same current” (Coelho 24).

Stuart Wilde says in one of his books that “life was never meant to be a struggle.” A powerful way to avoid struggling and simply surviving is by learning how to live fully in the moment as advised by Santiago, in Paulo Coelho’s book The Alchemist, when he says, “If [one] pays attention to the present [one] can improve upon it” (Coelho __).

One must trust onself in order to trust others and the universe because “when [a person] wants something, all of the universe conspires in helping [that person] achieve it” (Coelho 40).

Even though distractions occur in the pursuit of one’s goals, being able to follow one’s dream makes life exciting, because “it is the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting” (Coelho 11).

Being stuck in the pain of the past or worrying about a future that has yet to occur, prevents a person from being “interested only in the present …” moreover, an individual is unaware that “If [he/she] can concentrate always on the present, [he/she ] will be a happy man [or woman]” (Coelho 85).

“People learn early in their lives what is their reason for being;” unfortunately, far too many forget themselves while focusing on pleasing others or worrying about the future (Coelho 24).

To achieve my Personal Legend of graduating with a degree in special education, I am learning how to read the signs and to follow my heart rather than the money in that I now understand the meaning of the following quote: “In order to find the treasure, [I] will have to follow the omens” (Coelho 29). Moreover, all of the signs are pointing to this career choice for me.

Socrates in the film, Peaceful Warrior points out that much of one’s suffering comes from being unaware that an individual “can live a whole lifetime without ever being awake” because most people “fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises” (Coelho 27).

Instead of doing what they love to do, often individuals will forsake their dreams to please others because “In the long run, what people think about shepherds and bakers become more important than their own personal legend” (Coelho 23).

What is fear? According to my Ipod dictionary, fear is “an emotion experienced in anticipation of some specific pain or danger;” thus, overcoming one’s biggest fear can enable one to live a more fulfilling life mentally, spiritually and physically because “fear evaporates when [one] understands it” (Coelho 76).

One may refuse to change one’s lifestyle and miss out on a once in a lifetime opportunity because “every blessing ignored becomes a curse” (Coelho 58).

Life may bring struggles and obstacles, however, one can find the strength to achieve one’s goal in that “when [one] want[s] something, all the universe conspires to help [one] achieve it” (Coelho 62).

If a person has no dream or purpose, then that individual will be lost and unable to find happiness because many do not know that “to realize one’s destiny is a person’s only obligation.”

The journey one takes to achieve one’s personal goal is like a treasure hunt; some will find it right away while others will struggle lost in the desert because they do not know how to read the “omens” or signs along the way.

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