What is the world’s greatest lie?” the little boy asks. The old man replies, “It’s this: that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate.”
(An excerpt from The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho)
As children, we eagerly conjured up fantasies about our future grown-up selves. We imagined what careers we would have and what we would be like. Innocently optimistic, we imagined a life for ourselves that would be exciting and fulfilling. When asked about our futures, we got a twinkle in our eyes as we told others, “When I grow up, I’m going to be… (A ballerina! A fireman! A Doctor! A Basketball Player!)”
Don’t you sometimes wish you could recapture that childlike wonder? Sadly, somewhere along the way to adulthood, dreams often get buried under the realities of daily living. We can barely make it through the day, and chasing our fire is often the furthest thing from our minds. The focus shifts from ‘living the dream’ to just ‘finding a good job that pays the bills.’ Life, as messy as it is, often teaches us that we are mere products of fate and circumstance, and that dreams can only be realized if you are one of the lucky and/or wealthy…which (let’s be honest) most of us aren’t.
Thankfully, Paulo Coelho blows a hole right through that theory. Allow him and I to assure you that fate and luck have very little to do with happiness. Life doesn’t just “happen” to us. We are not mere passive recipients of fate, living the life that has been dealt to us. Oh, no. Our lives are a culmination of choices (big and small), each breath building on another. Read the rest of this entry