We all have hopes and dreams, but only a few of us ever take the necessary steps to turn them into reality. Why?
My favorite answer comes from the crystal merchant in Paolo Coelho’s must-read fable, The Alchemist.
The main character, Santiago, a Spanish shepherd in search of a treasure, meets the crystal merchant in Morocco when he’s down and out. The merchant gives him food, a job, and a place to stay, and as they get to know each other better, he reveals his own dream: to travel to Mecca.
(He doesn’t have the time or money to travel to Mecca right now, but someday….)
Soon, an interesting thing happens.
As Santiago works in the merchant’s store, sales start to take off. Before long, the merchant has all the money he needs for his Mecca trip, and could safely leave store operations in the hands of Santiago.
But he doesn’t go.
When Santiago finally asks why, the merchant answers:
"Because it's the thought of Mecca that keeps me alive. That's what helps me face these days that are all the same, these mute crystals on the shelves, and lunch and dinner at that same horrible café. I'm afraid that if my dream is realized, I'll have no reason to go on living."
In other words, it never really had anything to do with money. And it wasn’t about time.
By keeping his dreams as dreams, he could hold on to the status quo rather than risking the unknown.
The trade-off? He lives an unsatisfactory life that never measures up to his dreams.
Using the lottery ticket example from last week, the crystal merchant’s story is like buying a lottery ticket in the hopes that it will enable you to live an entirely different life, and actually winning(!!!) … but then doing nothing.
So now a question for you: If you’re not currently pursuing your dreams, what do you think is the deeper reason?
(I’d love to hear the answer, and would be so honored if you’d share it with me in the comments below or in our group, The Uncommon Way Community. No matter how big it seems, voicing it in the open will start undercutting its power.)
The bottom line is this: Defining what you want is the critical first step, but it isn’t enough.
To actually get what you want, you’ve got to decide that you’re really going to go after it. (And that’s what most people never fully do.)
Here’s to allowing yourself to ask for something more,