The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is a book with lessons that will no doubt transcend from generations and generations to come. In fact it has already made history by being one of the best selling books with over 65 million copies sold in over 56 languages across the world.
The story of Santiago, the protagonist in the book is one that appeals to everyone because of how relatable it is. Santiago, a shepherd boy from a small town with a big dream to travel the world with his flock takes us on a journey through a series of trials, patience, friendship, love, hope and more to find his personal legend.
Upon completing The Alchemist, I knew I had finally understood life and how to relate with it. This is why Coelho is a master at what he does. He provides answers as though he were life’s true expert. I could finally breathe clearly after completing the book because I now knew my purpose, what life had to offer and who and what I had to listen to. In essence, The Alchemist is a life guide, and these are 5 major lessons I learned.
Break the monotony
“When each day is the same as the next, it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises.”
We hear it all the time that beauty lies in every single thing around us. From the flower that blooms to the caterpillar that morphs, we are surrounded by beauty, and the moment we fail to recognize it is the moment life begins to feel mundane and lackluster. We begin to feel that there is no point waking up every day; dreaming and living. So, in order to avoid monotony, wake up each day with gratitude, choose to see the beauty of the world all around you and no matter what you are going through, with gratitude always comes a silver lining.
The universe is your friend
“When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream.”
Ever heard phrases like, “take the leap” and “thoughts become things”? We often use these types of phrases to persuade ourselves and people we know to dream and take risks, and avoid being afraid of the great unknown. In this quote by Coelho, he tells us that if you really desire something, no matter who you are, the universe will conspire to make it happen for you. Oftentimes, we hear successful entrepreneurs say something along the lines of … “getting to where I am right now was a dream”. So embrace your dreams, fight for what you want to achieve and the universe will help you.
Another great explanation Coelho gives in the book to explain why the universe is indeed your friend is this…imagine everything in this world had a soul, from the ground you walk on to a simple grain of sand. Now imagine that every soul had their personal legend, or vision, goal or purpose in life. Now picture the universe as your support mechanism; it will bend over backwards to help you achieve your goal or vision. This is because the universe’s true purpose is to help us all out, because we are all souls of the world.
Patience and Persistence
“The secret of life is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.”
Patience and persistence are one and the same on the journey towards achieving your goal and finding out your purpose in life. Oftentimes, we forget that success is the product of failure and so in order to truly become successful we need to understand the test of failure and the true message it leaves in its wake. This is why when you fall down, strive, persist and be patient enough to get back up and try again.
The language of the world
“In order to find the treasure, you will have to follow the omens”.
What are omens?…Coelho describes them as the language of the world. It is the way the universe chooses to speak to you. Everything and every step we take, in fact every coincidence and every move we make is a result of the universe speaking to us. Omens come in various forms: intuitions, whispers, thoughts, etc. So, Coelho mentions that listening to these omens is very important because the universe is communicating with you to help you achieve your goal in life.
Fear shouldn’t be an obstacle
“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. So embrace fear and the great unknown. Fear shouldn’t be considered an obstacle rather a tool to be used to strive for what you believe in.
For more information on The Alchemist and for more great quotes by Coelho, visit his official website.