A great coach, Walter Sawatzsky, took the time to summarize a fantastic book. I believe in these words wholeheartedly.
PURPOSE AND FOUR OBSTACLES ON YOUR PATH TO IT
Adapted from “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho
(The Alchemist is the second most popular book in history, behind Rick Warren’s
purpose-driven book, and an engaging parable about pursuing one’s unique calling, or
What is your treasure or purpose? Why are you on this earth?
Many of us lack the persistent courage to follow and finally achieve that authentic purpose. Why? Coelho says there are typically four obstacles.
First, we are told from childhood onward that everything we want to do is impossible. We grow up with this idea, and as the years accumulate, so too do the layers of prejudice, fear, and guilt. There comes a time when our personal treasure is so deeply buried in our soul as to be invisible. But it's still there.
If we have the courage to unearth the dream, we are then faced by the second obstacle: love. We know what we want to do but are afraid of hurting those around us by abandoning everything in order to pursue our dream. We do not realize that love is just a further impetus, not something that will prevent us going forward. We do not realize that those who genuinely wish us well want us to be happy and are actually prepared to accompany us on that journey.
Once we have accepted that love is a stimulus, we come up against the third obstacle: fear of the defeat we will meet on the path. We who fight for our destiny suffer far more when it doesn’t work out, because we cannot fall back on the old excuse: "Oh, well, I didn’t really want it anyway.” We do want it and know that we have staked everything on it and that the path of the personal calling is no easier than any other path, except that our whole heart is in this journey.
So, why is it so important to live our personal calling if we are only going to suffer more than other people?
Because, once we have overcome the defeats – and we always do – we are filled by a greater sense of fulfillment and confidence. In the silence of our hearts, we know that we are proving ourselves worthy of the miracle of the Creator’s work. Each day, each hour, is part of the good fight. We live with enthusiasm and inner joy.
Then comes the fourth obstacle: the fear of realizing the purpose for which we fought so hard. This is the most dangerous of the obstacles because it has a kind of saintly aura about it: renouncing joy and conquest. But if you believe yourself worthy of the thing you fought so hard to get, then you become an instrument of God, and you understand why you are here and your life takes on a transformative quality.
Which of Coelho’s four obstacles poses an immediate threat to pursuing your purpose/destiny? What are you currently doing to overcome this obstacle?
What is the unique calling that attracts your time and attention? How are
you pursuing it? Which part of your life seems to be most excited? What is
the next step for you to fully embrace it?
Adapted by Customized Coaching LLC www.customizedcoaching.org from “What’s Purpose Got to do with My Business?” by Marcia Bench; “The Path” by Laurie Beth Jones; “True Purpose” by Tim Kelley. Used by E³ Coaching Studio with permission.