I need to decide to live out my Personal Legend.
Currently, I am reading the book “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho and it tells the story of a young shepherd who has a dream to travel to Egypt to find a treasure. An old king interprets this as the young man’s process of realizing his Personal Legend. As the book goes on, it is apparent that a person’s Personal Legend is his/her purpose in life. It is made up of dreams and goals. And in order to fully realize your purpose, you must take a journey that involves twists and turns. So the young shepherd does just that. He takes risks, he loses, he gains and is challenged in many ways. However, he keeps on going and because of this “the whole universe conspires to help [him]” achieve it.
I feel that God is talking to me through this book. It may sound crazy but as I read, I stumble upon quotes that directly speak to me.
Just to give you a little background, I have a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Political Science. My dream has always been to empower the black community and I believed becoming a mayor would help me achieve this. I believed that it is truly possible to be an honest altruistic politician. I knew that I wanted to live a life of justice. However, since receiving my M.A. in 2011, I’ve been in a mostly unemployed or part-time employment situation either working or volunteering with youth. Most recently, I’ve been teaching as an adjunct GED Instructor. I am grateful for what I am doing, however, for two years I’ve been struggling to find full-time work.
During this period, I read this book entitled “Our Black Year” by Maggie Anderson, in which an African American family from Chicago decided to buy from solely black businesses for a year. The authors basically found that there were virtually no black businesses and they found themselves struggling to survive on this experiment. They argued that a huge reason for the plight of the black community was lack of black owned businesses. There wasn’t and still isn’t enough money being circulated in black communities. After reading this, a light bulb switched on in my brain and I began reading about entrepreneurship, small businesses, startups and their effects on communities. I reasoned that we need more black owned businesses and more avenues to allow blacks achieve this. So I decided that I wanted to start a social entrepreneurship, a business that is social justice oriented. I came up with idea after idea and ended up with failure after failure.
A good friend of mind was aware of my entrepreneur pursuits and connected me with an entrepreneur in the startup stages who was looking for some help. I learned so much about business development and had the opportunity to network and go to business related events. Through that experience, I realized that I was failing at my business ideas because I didn’t know a thing about running a business! So I decided to stop with my own pursuits. However, in the back of my mind as I continued to apply for full-time work, in which I would later receive rejection letters; I kept thinking that I need to own a business. I also realized that I didn’t want to work at any of the jobs that I was applying for!
In fact, this past month, I’ve came up with my grandest business idea yet and it has been all I’ve been thinking about. I told myself that I really need to do everything in my power to make it successful. I’ve begun to take business workshops and classes at a non-profit that helps entrepreneurs. I’m also meeting with a business mentor.
Before reading this book, I’d been struggling with whether I should stop looking for full-time work completely in order to go full force with this business idea. That would be a huge risk. But I’m going to take the advice of Coelho, “if it is still in your mind, it is worth taking the risk.”
I’ve also been wondering if becoming a social entrepreneur is my purpose in life. Was I not meant to be a mayor?
However, as I continue to read the book I am becoming more assured that it is my dream. And as Coelho has said, “if you have a dream, don’t waste your energies explaining why”.
I’m realizing that I need to be like the young shepherd and embark on this journey with full force.
“When you want something, the whole universe conspires to help you.” –Paulo Coelho
When I read this quote I thought of the verse in the Bible that asks, “If God is for you who can be against you?” (Romans 8:31)
In my heart, soul and mind I know that my Personal Legend is to become a social entrepreneur. God is for me, and the universe is doing everything to help me realize my dream. This means that nothing will stop me but myself.
I can’t let that happen! I’m deciding to live out my dreams, my goals, my Personal Legend.