FC: ASCEND a visual book response by: Alexander Kim | All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible. T.E. Lawrence
1: Synopsis of: The Alchemist-Paulo Coelho The Alchemist traces the path of Santiago, a young Spanish shepherd who is compelled to follow his dream of finding hidden treasure in Egypt. To do so, he must leave the comfort zone of home learn to trust the "soul of the world" and believe that there are forces in the universe that want to make us happy. He must also overcome those who have told him since childhood that his dreams can never be realized and that those who truly love him will not begrudge him the pursuit of his dreams. In order to find happiness, however, Santiago must first discover his "Personal Legend"-that is to say, he must to discover what he is meant to do in the world. Fortunately, Santiago soon takes the first step in his acquisition of happiness: he listens to his heart and overcomes his fear. As Santiago continues his sometimes-painful journey, he discovers that one cannot be dissuaded from pursuing a "Personal Legend" even if the choices seem impossible to bear. During his journey he must let go in order to achieve real love, find fortune, and achieve understanding but he keeps his eyes on the path and his task in mind. When he eventually realizes his dreams, they are better than he could have imagined...
2: Quotes from: The Alchemist -There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure. -It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life so interesting. -Everyone, when they are young, knows what their personal legend is. At that point in their lives, everything is clear and everything is possible.-But as time passes, a mysterious force begins to convince them that it will be impossible for them to realize their personal legend. It prepares your spirit and your will... -The desert, often known as a dead land, is full of life. -When everyday is the same as the next, it's because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives everyday the sun rises. -The boy and his heart had become friends, and neither was capable now of betraying the other. -All things are one.
3: When does being satisfied with life become the wrong choice to make? At what point are we suppose to be greedy in life? The alchemist was extremely vague about this, and it seemed to me that it was saying that satisfaction is bad, greed is good. I think that being satisfied when you have opportunity is the wrong choice. Simply being satisfied alone has no harm in itself, often making a person quite happy, however being satisfied does pose a problem when it interferes with what you could be doing. But in the end, there is nothing wrong with being satisfied, it seems be looked down on by society because the most notable human characteristic is selfishness and greed. It is also the way we expect most people to generally act, if we saw someone who was notably chivalrous and selfless, he would stand out to us, in one way or another. Personal legends are to fulfill your desires, to find a true balance between satisfaction and greed/selfishness without loosing yourself amiss all the opportunities and paths you could take.
5: Not everything in out lives that happen are up to us; some things are simply out of our control. When we are born, our parents could be anyone, rich or poor, on our way to work or school, an unpredictable accident might occur. Where we live, anything could happen, anyone could be there, whether it be for your good or not. Even though the chances are small, it does not mean it doesn't happen. Everyday, unpredictable events occur that destroy of completely change people's lives. Opportunities for better lives are destroyed everyday, all of the people were born into it or happened to them, by chance. In the alchemist, the old king of Salem described these events like destiny, a way to guide you towards your true goal. However, peoples lives are sometimes changed by unpredictable events that are completely up to chance, even if they were on their way towards their goal and completely innocent. I do not believe that people are destined to have their lives ruined, and i do not believe that our fates are set in stone. -In order to find the treasure, you will have to follow the omens. God has left a path for everyone to follow. You just have to read the omens he left you.- Old king to Santiago. Although omens may have foretold the future for Santiago, guiding his path. In reality, the future is unpredictable. If Santiago lived in reality, chances are, he would not have gotten too far on his personal legend. Even less in a modern society where we are under social pressure and require money to travel and stay alive and out out of extreme poverty.
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7: -In the alchemist, it was said that true happiness can only be achieved by full filling your dream. But then what are the feelings that i feel now? I am sure that what i feel is not fake happiness... My life, although relatively short has taught me that nothing lasts forever, we have to be prepared to change for it. The things from our youth lose their worth to us as we grow older and change for the world around us. We will always be changing in this world or be seeking something new or different. I believe that our happiness doesn't last forever either, there are many things in life, and perfection is not one of them. When we accomplish our personal legend, we are happy, but overtime, that happiness will fade away into a memory. This is much like starting a timer. When the timer runs out we are no longer happy. So if we choose, when our timer runs out we can find another objective in life to start another timer. All the small things we do in life can also be considered as a timer, only smaller. The Alchemist seems to imply that personal legends are a once in a lifetime thing that is on a grand scale. I believe that a personal legend is the combination of accomplished goals throughout your life until the happiness on your timers exceed your lifetime. Our time in life is pretty much a timer, as represented by the red digits, built up of smaller timers, representing our happiness.
8: Discover yourself as you are an undiscovered species; get rid of your doubt and fear and acceptance to reveal the truth within. Set goals based on what you want to live for and what you want to accomplish in life. Then do it.