What is your opinion of Paul Coelho's idea that when you pursue your destiny, all the universe conspires to help you.?
There is a piece called "Desiderata" that was written by Max Ehrmann in 1927. It is considered "prose poetry," and it experienced a great deal of popularity during the 1960s and 1970s. Part of this poem reads:
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
So the idea of the universe conspiring for our benefit is not new. As a person of faith, I believe that our paths can be directed if we are open to God's will. In essence, this is what Coelho's book is about—oneness with the universe: and his Christian references are really hard to miss.
This is a very "hippie-esque" attitude, but also very spiritual, regardless of the faith one follows or does not. The concept that following our heart or searching for a Personal Legend is, in essence, never giving up on one's dreams. Perhaps those who work hard achieve success if they are dedicated and give their best efforts. They must also be honest with themselves and realistic in their expectations. If I want to be an astronaut and am claustrophobic, it may be hard to achieve this goal. If my math and/or science skills are poor, I must realize that attaining that dream will require extra effort on my part.
Shakespeare's Polonius in Hamlet, says, "Unto thine own self be true…" This also seems to support the idea of knowing your heart and following it. In essence, I do believe that the universe conspires to help us when we pursue our "destiny" or our heart's desire.
This is the sort of feel good statement that is impossible to prove or disprove. I don't believe it, but there is no way to prove that I'm right or wrong.
There are lots of people who fail when they pursue what they think is their destiny. We see this all the time in sports where a person aspires to play professional sports (or even high school or college or whatever) and is unable to make it. Obviously, the universe has not conspired to help these people. But, you can argue, that level of sports wasn't that person's destiny.
The problem with this whole line of thinking is that it's utterly unprovable. If you believe in this quote, you can always just say that people who fail weren't pursuing their destiny.
I dislike these sorts of aphorisms because they can't be proven. Therefore, my opinion of this idea is low -- anyone can say something that sounds wise but can't be proven right or wrong.