Derek Sivers said, “Don’t be on your deathbed someday having squandered your one chance at life, full of regret because you pursued little distractions instead of big dreams.”
Those big dreams are what Paulo Coelho called “Personal Legends” in The Alchemist. It’s comparable to your life purpose.
You will experience the synchronicities of living your personal legend, which can help you feel in control and allow you to live your life fully. That’s the path to soul-level fulfillment.
All people long for meaning and purpose. We often look for them in the wrong places. Fulfillment doesn’t come from grandiose accomplishments, prestige, or doing what others expect of us; it comes from living our Personal Legends.
If we disregard the urge to take that specific path, it is easy for us to go about our lives with that nagging feeling of missing something. It is possible to regret the decisions made in the past. However, that’s totally avoidable; there’s still time to pursue your Personal Legend.
Here’s how you can do it.
1. Follow the Breadcrumbs
To live your Personal Legend, you must follow your heart—your heart-centered dreams and desires. These are what make you feel excited, alive, and motivated.
Too many people discard their dreams because they’ve convinced themselves that they aren’t “reasonable.” But your heart-centered desires aren’t just childish fantasies; they are breadcrumbs guiding you to your most authentic and fulfilling life.
Plus, as Paulo Coelho wrote, “You will never be able to escape from your heart, so it’s better to listen to what it has to say.”
2. Don’t Fall for the Ego’s “Wants” or the “Shoulds” of Society
One of the main difficulties in living our Personal Legends is differentiating our heart’s desires from the “wants” of our egos or the “shoulds” of conditioning.
The ego’s “wants” are rooted in fear, need, and feelings of lack. When I was young, my dream of living in Hollywood as a well-known actress was what I longed for. I was doing theater and enjoyed acting, but wanting to be famous wasn’t a heart-centered desire; it was just my ego. I was a nerd who craved praise and recognition. It wanted to feel valuable.
As for the desires that come from conditioning, those are the things our education and society taught us we “should” do. As an example, when I was growing up, it was believed that only intelligent people go to college. This is false. I wasn’t particularly excited about going to university, and it ended up being a waste of time and money.
Write down your desires and heartfelt dreams to distinguish them from your conditioning or ego. Write down each item. Why?You want it. Ask yourself “why” five times to go deeper. For each item, think about why you would like it. Do you want to be praised, gain a social status or feel superior? That’s the ego. Is it because you were told it’s what you should do? That’s conditioning. Does it make you feel happy, alive, and invigorated? That’s your heart.
3. Make a commitment to pursuing your Personal Legend
Pursuing our Personal Legends requires commitment, even devotion. If we keep putting our dreams on the back burner, we’re not committed and probably won’t achieve them.
You can commit to your dreams by starting with a list and then reading it daily. It is possible to create vision boards and visualize your dreams. Make sure you make space for them in every area of your life. You can learn salsa dancing by taking a class. You can volunteer once per week at a shelter if animals are your passion. You might feel attracted to the deserts, so plan to go on a trip.
My mother has felt a strong attraction to deserts since childhood. She asked for a travel book with beautiful images of deserts around the world for Christmas, collects silk scarfs, and has photos of Northern Africa all over her office’s wall. She never saw one in person, and she didn’t go on any trips. “It’s too complicated,” she’d explain. “It’s too far.” A portion of her Personal Legend will die within her, and it’s a bit sad.
4. Rely on Your Inner Knowledge
Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, “The quickest way to kill a dream is to tell a small-minded person about it.” Until you’re entirely confident in your ability to make your dream come true, it’s best to keep it to yourself or, at least, only share it with those you know will support you.
Especially don’t share your dream just to seek validation. When you seek validation, you aren’t entirely confident in yourself, and it’s in those moments that your vision is the most at risk of being crushed by “small-minded people” or people who don’t understand what you’re trying to accomplish.
Your Personal Legend is unique and no one can know it better than you. Therefore, their advice should be of little use. Trust your inner wisdom and don’t rely on others for validation.
5. Let Fear Feel You and Do It!
Paulo Coelho wrote in The Alchemist, “Don’t give in to your fears. If you do, you won’t be able to follow your heart. […] There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”
When you set out to live your Personal Legend, you inevitably encounter resistance—fears, doubts, and insecurities—that can sabotage your progress and success. That’s because living your Personal Legend requires you to step into the unknown, which your ego sees as risky. Your ego’s job is to keep you safe, meaning within the confines of what’s known and habitual. It is important to stand taller than your ego. Take a deep breathe, feel the fear and smile. It is possible to do it.
Here’s an effective way to remove the resistance caused by fear: visualize yourself having achieved your goal. Because your subconscious mind doesn’t differentiate what’s real from what you vividly imagine, you’ll trick it into believing that you’ve already done it. And, since you’re still alive, your ego will also think that it’s safe for you to pursue that dream, and it won’t cause as much resistance.
Your heart-centered dreams aren’t childish fantasies; they are guiding you to living your Personal Legend, your life purpose. You must be bold to follow them. You’ll thank yourself for it when you get to the end of your life.
Addicted 2 Success published the post 5 Steps to Living Your Personal Legend.
Addicted 2 Success published 5 Steps to Living Your Personal Legend.