Like life itself, Santiago's perceptions about himself and his world begin to change as his life experiences change. Unlike many, however, it's not so much the changes that take place, but his reactions to those changes that make the difference.
At first, Santiago's world view are colored by his rather provincial upbringing. His journey out of his known world bring him into contact with people who and experiences that open his eyes to the possibilities for fulfilling his "personal legend." One of the many telling episodes in the story is the tale he's told of the "oil and the spoon." In this story, he learns of the challenge of recognizing the possibilities before you and those present in the larger world context. Once open to this new reality, Santiago is able to see himself in terms of the world while recognizing what he already possesses. This enables him to go forward with more confidence knowing that in his possession are many of the tools he needs to realize his potential.