After saying I would complete this entry for a few months, finally have some time to think through this. Don't even remember all of it now, but here goes what I still remember of it.
This book showed up literally out of nowhere... A book given to me by a person I haven't talked to in a year+. But what timing it was that I am introduced to this book at this particular moment in my life. At a point where I am asked to think what my next steps should be, and what is it that I want out of life. At a time when I am undergoing a full self reflection on my past year, to find that it seems to me that I still cannot identify what makes my eyes light up. I have gained the strength to persevere and attain what I am told to attain, but the sparkle that can inspire and motivate others, the 'it' that makes me be the person to dictate what to obtain, is lacking.
The merchant, the shepherd, the alchemist, the englishman, and the baker. All 5 of these characters were pretty interesting in this book. Each with their own personality and traits...The Merchant
- A man with a dream. It's the dream that keeps him wishing and regretting, because while it is a dream that he has and see himself achieving, he would never go and achieve his dream. Not really stuck in a rut, but afraid to chase his dream once he realizes he is able to chase it. The Shepherd
- the main character in the story. He had a comfortable enough life, but trades it for more so he can see more of the world. In the process, he loses everything not once, but thrice. Only to see that the treasure he had been trying to find was at the very place where his journey first started.The Alchemist
- the one who had completed his own objective it seems. He recluses at an oasis, and seems content with his life. Yet in this book, isn't he a contradiction? Isn't the point of dreams to spur on the next dream? Is his next goals to show others the way? Is that his purpose?The Englishman
- the one who reads and reads but does not read the signs and languages of the world. Though he is very knowledgeable, he misses critical signs around him. Reminds me of people who are heads down and not doing anything other than studying. They will achieve a goal, but because he is so focused on his goal, he misses all the experiences it could have given him. Pigeonholed I guess...The Baker
- the one who probably had a dream like the shepherd in the past; but because he is all settled in, he is content with his life and no longer wishes for the same dream. If someone approaches and tempts him with the dream, the baker would probably ponder for days about it... Minimal risk, not greatly happy with what he is, but not sad by any means.
In some aspects, I guess like most people, I have been one of these 5 people at some point in my life depending on the situation. Being so young, it almost seems that I should always be a shepherd... charging forward and ready to give up anything and everything if it means I can get one step closer to my ultimate dream. But like another friend has said, it is not too realistic in our society today that we can get up and leave absolutely everything behind... or is it?
Onto my dream... what is it? It is not so much that I don't know what it is. In a way, I am the merchant... I know what I would want to try, but in the process of acquiring what I need in order to proceed with the journey, I have become stuck in this crystal shop - watching others pursue their dream instead of being one of them. For the merchant, the loss associated of packing up the crystal shop has trumped the idea of the dream of Mecca.
Unlike the shepherd, the merchant had invested time and sweat into this shop. Maybe during this time, though his original dream was going to Mecca, the crystal shop has become a part of him. Would you give up your limbs to achieve a dream? Let's say you have achieved your dream, then what? Without your limbs, you can reminisce that you have achieved your dream, but the price you have paid would have been far too great...
I do not think that the merchant is naive to think that he cannot just get up and leave (within a reasonable time frame), it's just that he is already too attached. If say a storm came in and took out his shop, then I'd bet he probably go to Mecca. Sure, one could argue that the merchant doesn't have to wait for fate to strike him, that he can strike himself. But seriously, I don't think the delay of gratification entails purposely removing yourself from something that is going well...
Maybe what the merchant should consider is the combining and integrating of his reality with his dream. I wonder if it ever crossed his mind to set up a crystal shop outside of Mecca - then he'd be able to go any day. But then again, maybe his first mistake was getting too attached to creating a successful base, so successful he can longer leave.
The goal of this book was suppose to give me courage to pursue this dream. But the more I see the world, the more I see how unrealistic this dream is in its raw form. If I had infinite resources and no responsibilities, then I would carefreely pursue this dream like the shepherd - but the truth is I do not just own sheep and walk around all day. My ultimate dream is not only composed of this particular dream, but composed of several other goals/dreams as well. I am a greedy person - I do not intend to achieve one dream and let other dreams fail. I want it all. This does not mean that I am half-a55ing each individual dream, but rather, I am choosing (or rather, I want to choose) to live a life that will mean that at any moment, I can look back and be satisfied with my life, because I am seeing all my dreams coming true, intermingling and complimenting one another. Though this may mean that my pursuit will be that much harder; I would never expect anything that is worthwhile can easily be achieved...especially the dream that I call the 'ultimate dream'.
This book is right though that to achieve a dream, you must be moving. Two years ago, I had the idea of how to combine my dreams together. I didn't know how then, but at least the idea was there :P. With all the things that have gone on in the past year, I had become distracted and had forgotten about it. The merging of dream and current circumstances, that is my 5 year plan. But I am not moving fast enough, time to step it up a notch or two.