Recently I heard about a book that I should have already heard about and maybe I had. It’s “The Alchemist,” and it’s an allegorical novel about finding one’s destiny, or so Wikipedia tells me. 


Of course, I’m a busy doctor so I haven’t actually read “The Alchemist,” but I look forward to it. I’ve already downloaded it onto my iPad, so I’m sure once I get sick of watching my grumpy cat videos, I will read it and learn a lot. But I do know that, in the book, Señor Paulo Coelho wrote that we all have a Personal Legend. I agree. 

What is your Personal Legend? In other words, what’s your purpose in life? Why are you here?

If you want to be happy and successful, it’s really important that you figure out the answer to this question. Of course, if you prefer to be miserable and average, you are excused from reading the rest of this column. Bye!

Live the Legend
OK, the rest of you must want the happy/success stuff, so here’s a test that will help you figure out how close you are to living out your own Personal Legend: 

1. A longtime patient, who hasn’t been to see you for two years, calls to ask if you can supply a sample pair of his contact lenses. He promises he’ll call you for an examination when he gets back from the beach. You reply: 
a. “Sorry, you need an exam first.”
b. “Sure, see you soon!”
c. “This makes me vomit.”

2. Your second cousin never paid you for the glasses you provided in 2008. You run into him at the family reunion and he’s sporting a new pair of expensive drill mounts that he got somewhere else. What do you do?
a. Grab the glasses, point a gun at them and swear you will blow them to smithereens unless he forks over YOUR cash.
b. Ask how his divorce went and how his kid is doing in prison. 
c. Eat another piece of grandma’s fried chicken. 

3. A patient asks you how you feel about the Affordable Care Act. You respond: 
a. “I never talk politics while typing 8,000 words into the computer to make sure it believes I actually looked at your eyes.” 
b. “You know how you felt about your last kidney stone…?”
c. “It’s a wonderful first step toward starting my new profession as a house painter.” 

4. On Saturday afternoon, a patient calls your cell and says something that starts with “On Tuesday, my eye…” You say: 
a. “At the sound of the tone, please leave a message. BEEEEP!
b. “Run to the ER!”
c. “Dr. Vickers retired Wednesday.” 

5. A patient calls and wants a copy of his records from the past 15 years and he’ll be by to pick it up in 30 minutes. You assign a trusted staffer to:
a. Get the job done. 
b. Explain that you will need a few days to gather the info. 
c. Dig a grave in the backyard. 

OK, pencils down! Let’s grade the test. 

It works like this: If you actually took the time to take this test, you have no clue what your Personal Legend is and you should get a life! Geez! Go find yourself, man.