“The Alchemist” is a fictional story by Paulo Coelho that is about a shepherd boy, Santiago from Andalusia. He has set out to realize his destiny to find a treasure in the Egyptian pyramids. It is a long and dangerous journey to Egypt. But Santiago decides to follow his dream and sells his flock of sheep and sets off for his adventure. Along the way he finds more than just treasure–he finds himself. He encounters new friends, thieves, chiefs, his one true love, and finally, the alchemist. This colorful journey teaches him the ancient wisdom and secrets of the universe. Santiago’s faith, courage and perseverance are tested right until the end where him and destiny meet an unexpected twist.
Everybody who read this book has come with profound impacts in their life. I’ll be very happy to hear what anybody has learnt from the book. Here are 5 greatest lessons I learn from “The Alchemist”.
Lesson #1: Fear is a bigger obstacle than the obstacle itself
“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”
Any new pursuit requires entering uncharted territory — that’s scary. But with any great risk comes great reward. The experiences you gain in pursuing your dream will make it all worthwhile.
Lesson #2 : We all have a treasure worth finding
Throughout the book, Coelho has weaved the consistent message about the importance of discovering, and then realizing your “Personal Legend”. You can call it your destiny, your calling, your dream, your purpose, or your mission in life.
“…there is one great truth on this planet : whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It’s your mission on earth.”
“Then you’ll die in the midst of trying to realize your Personal Legend. That’s a lot better than dying like millions of other people, who never even knew what their Personal Legends were.”
I bet we ask ourselves, what’s our Personal Legend?
Lesson #3: Embrace the present
“Because I don’t live in either my past or my future. I’m interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man.”
There’s no point dwelling in the past and letting it define you, nor getting lost and anxious about the future. But in the present moment, you’re in the field of possibility — how you engage with the present moment will direct your life.
Lesson #4: There’s a price to pay when pursuing your Personal Legend
Following and realizing your Personal Legend has a price attached to it. It is not out of greed or a punitive spirit that a price is required. It is a form of testing your commitment and resilience for your dream. Here’s how Coelho so elegantly phrases this lesson in his book :
” ..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. That’s the point at which most people give up. It’s the point at which, as we say in the language of the desert, one ‘dies of thirst just as the palm trees have appeared on the horizon.”
Lesson #5: Be unrealistic
“I see the world in terms of what I would like to see happen, not what actually does.”
Some of the greatest inventions would not have happened if people chose to accept the world as it is. Great achievements and innovations begin with a mindset that ignores the impossible.
“The Alchemist” was the very first really deep and introspective book I ever read. In a nutshell.. it’s an intricate and masterful story that’s one big metaphor on how to live life purposefully, vibrantly and joyfully. Knowing my cowboy background, a friend of mine was always pushing me to read it. Some people even have broke into discussing about it being sure that I read it. I downloaded its soft copy into my phone and started reading. I stopped reading many times right from the preface, and on a whim–not realizing what a classic and massively successful book it already was. Of course, if you have had the pleasure of reading this book already, you would know that nothing ever happens by accident. Now after reading it after many suggestions, Whatever caused me to finally finish that book, I am forever grateful for the lessons and insights it has imparted and for the author who had the courage, gift and vision to create it and share it with the world.
Have you read Paulo Coelho’s book “The Alchemist”? What life lessons did you get from it? How have you applied those lessons to your life and experiences? Would love to hear your thoughts and answers. Please share and comment below.