As I read The Alchemist many years back, a word really caught my attention and always stayed with me — maktub. It’s a theme, a saying to be precise, that’s beautifully explored in the book and that simply translates to “It is written.”

In other words, it can also be translated to “everything that happens, happens for a reason.” Or “our paths have already been laid out in front of us to walk on, and our fate is predetermined.”

Often we experience fear — the most prominent ones being the fear of failure and fear of uncertainty — in the pursuit of our personal legend. Maktub helps us overcome this and get it out of our way. We start cultivating love within us, a love of fate (Amor fati) that dispels all kinds of fear. Because we believe with every fiber of our being that it is written, and what is meant, will be. We move past the labels of “good” and “bad” and are able to look at things more objectively. 

We are mere actors in this play of life. Our role is pre-written and we are enacting the script. All that we do, whoever we meet in this lifetime, and each and every lesson that we learn is part of a Grand Plan, a subplot in the story of the Universe. This story has already been written, and we are just fulfilling our duty by contributing to it. 

Maktub empowers us to continue walking on the path of our personal legend and remain focused on living our purpose. For everything is written in the soul of the world, and we are just fulfilling our destiny. As Paulo Coelho writes in the book, “I saw that everything really was written there before me, and that the doors had only been closed before because I hadn’t realized that I was the one person in the world with the authority to open them.”

In our day to day life as we face challenges and obstacles and get deterred or engulfed in despair and disappointment, Maktub gives us perspective and helps us look at the big picture. We understand that in the grand scheme of life, we are just individuals doing our part. Regardless, it’s our duty to keep pursuing all and everything that our heart and soul resonates with and keep on doing what we are meant to do.