The Possibility Box

What positive messages appeared to you today?

Loving What You Do for a Living


Photo credit: Elizabeth Cerza

“I loved The Alchemist!” a woman exclaimed at a cocktail party when I mentioned the book recently.

There’s a lot to love in this bestselling parable by Paulo Coelho, originally published in 1988. According to Wikipedia, The Alchemist “has sold more than has sold more than 30 million copies in 56 different languages.”

Why does it resonate so much with so many people? I can tell you one reason why it resonated with me.

It’s a parable about a shepherd boy, Santiago, who goes on a quest to find his “Personal Legend” – what he has always wanted to accomplish – and his treasure. Along the way, he receives guidance from an old king, and also of course, from the alchemist.

One of many reasons this book now ranks high on my list of favorites: it explores loving what you do for a living. I’ve been on a quest to prove to my kids (and myself) that this is possible.

So far I haven’t made a dollar. In fact, I’ve spent money. But I have already gained – and been able to give to others – more than I imagined possible before beginning this journey, which began long before reading The Alchemist.

What will be your Personal Legend? What treasure will you seek? Figuring that out is one of the hardest parts of treasure-hunting. Maybe reading (or re-reading) The Alchemist could help.

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