by Andrea Jones
I picked up The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho in 2003 not knowing that it would change my life. Working as an intelligence analyst at the time, I carried my Brazilian dictionary and copy of the Alchemist with me for weeks, carefully translating its words and processing Santiago’s journey while working abroad. A dozen years later, now operating under the business name Alchemy, the story still hits home and continues to push me to try new endeavors and overcome fears. These are the top three lessons I learned that are still explicable today:
Lesson 1: Follow your passion.
If you not sure what that means, start paying attention to the conversations and activities that bring you energy. Take a look at the people you spend time with and try to spend more time with those that light you up. Think of a time when you dared to dream of accomplishing anything without fear of how it may look or whether it would pay the bills. That is your purpose, your passion, your Personal Legend. You may have more than one passion, and it may take a seemingly wrong turn before you find it. It took leaving my family, friends, career, and the state of Virginia in 2007 before I took the plunge (and serious pay cut) to discover and pursue my passion for fitness. If still aren’t sure. Come to Alchemy. The strength and support, and absolute fun experience is the perfect place to be inspired and share your passion.
Lesson 2: Take action.
Discovering your Personal Legend is like honing your internal compass. That being said, we may stop and reorient but we always march forward. The end goal is important but not as important as the actions we take to get there, and really where is “there”? In taking action, you might discover a new path or transformation that aligns with your internal compass and further fuels your passion(s). The hardest part is taking the first step. Alchemy is my new path. It drives my passion to make a credible group fitness that delivers results accessible to the masses.
Lesson 3: Enjoy the Journey
The alchemist says to Santiago, “before a dream is realized, the Soul of the World tests everything that was learned along the way. It does this not because it is evil, but so that we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve moved toward that dream.” Which brings me to my last point and my daily affirmation. Enjoy the journey. Set time each day to identify what’s going well without letting qualifiers like “could, should, and if only” muck it up. When you come in for a workout, recognize that it won’t always go as planned but you showed up. The failures and set backs we encounter are part of the journey. Embrace it.
Andrea Jones is a coach and founder of Alchemy and Union Fitness. When she is not working, working out, or hanging with her 3 small children, you can find her sipping on a Brasa Breeze.