Ten lessons I learned from the book The Alchemist
Reading is one of the simple things in life that really gives me a lot of pleasure. I started reading at age of 13. At the time, Angola was still at war and in the small town where I lived there was no library, nor stores where I could buy books for my age. However, one day I found my friend who at the time was already 15 years old reading a small and old novel. The photo of the couple on the cover in a romantic pose caught my attention and I asked my friend if she could lend me the book. She said yes, but that I had to read it within three days because after that she had to return it to the owner. Well, despite being a small book, I didn’t think I would be able to read it in three days, but I promised I would.
Among my household chores, I managed to finish reading the book in one day. A new world had opened up for me. In that little romance, I traveled to Venice, met great castles and discovered a world of passions that until then I did not know existed. I went back to my friend the next day, not only to return the book, but to lend me more books to read. I found out that day that although we didn’t have a library or store from which we could get books, there was a group of young people and teenagers who exchanged books. They were usually old books, which passed from hand to hand. And I never stopped reading after that.
However, for personal reasons for some time now I was unable to have the concentration and the necessary disposition that reading a book requires. If I wasn’t busy with one of my responsibilities, I was busy thinking about them while trying to get some concentration to read. Fortunately everything in life is a passing phase and this is a passing phase. Last week on a train trip (round trip) to Rotterdam I started reading Alchemist, a book by the Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho. I felt like that 13 year old girl who was discovering the world of reading for the first time.
The book “the Alchemist” tells the story of a young man from Andalusia who dives on his journey in search of his precious treasure. The Alchemist is a very inspiring book, which motivates any dreamer to listen to his heart, to trust his instincts, face his fears and follow his dreams. I had many awakening moments in reading this book, from the first chapter to the last. So today I want to share with you 10 of the many lessons I learned from reading the Alchemist.
1. Live to fulfill your dream. Our dream is, in fact, the reason why we came to this world, it is our mission on earth and each one of us has his. Eric Thomas likes to refer to this as our “why”, each one has his own. In the Alchemist our dream, the reason we are in this world is referred to as the “Personal Legend“. The personal legend is what you always wanted to do. All people in their early years know what their Personal Legends are. At this point in life everything is clear, everything is possible, and they are not afraid to dream and wish for everything they would like to see come true in their lives. However, as time goes by, a mysterious force begins to try to prove that it is impossible to carry out the Personal Legend.“
2. Don’t let life’s obstacles make you give up your dream: In the Alchemist, life’s obstacles are called “the mysterious forces”. ” These are forces that look bad, but in reality, they are teaching us how to realize our Personal Legend. They are preparing our spirit and our will, because there is a great truth on this planet: whoever it is or what it does, when something is wanted willingly, it is because that desire was born from the soul of the Universe. It is your mission on earth.” I confess that sometimes, it is difficult to recognize an obstacle as a learning or preparation for something bigger. But if you pay close attention, it is exactly when we manage to overcome our obstacles that we grow and learn new things.
3. Don’t get used to the monotony of life: Monotony usually happens when we start to feel comfortable with the life that happens to us instead of persisting in the life that we really want. “When every day is the same, it is because people fail to notice the good things that appear in their lives whenever the sun crosses the sky” . Everything has its positive side, to break with the monotony, we need to choose the changes and focus on our goals.
4. Life wants you to make your dreams come true: Usually when things go wrong, we have a habit of thinking that everything and everyone is against us. And maybe there are some who are really against us, but the truth is that it doesn’t matter. Les Brown likes to say that: ” if there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do us no harm” . It is all about what we let in. In the Alchemist Paulo Coelho says that “Life wants you to live your Personal Legend. To reach it, you will have to follow the signs. God wrote in the world the path that each man must follow. Just read what HE wrote for you“.
5. Always overcome fear: “Tell your heart that fear of suffering is worse than suffering itself. And that no heart suffered when it was in search of a dream, because every second of the search is a Second encounter with God and with eternity.”
6. Make your own decisions: “When a person makes a decision, he or she really plunges into a strong current that will take him to places he never imagined, when he made the decision for the first time”. Whatever you want to do, just decide to do it and start doing it. One thing will lead to another. You will learn things you never thought to learn, you will meet people and places you never thought to know and you will achieve things you did not think to achieve.
7. Focus on your own path: “If someone is not what others want him to be, others are angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should live their lives, but none about how to go their own way ”. In life we have to learn to live with these things, without letting them influence our choices. Because happiness consists in living our own purpose.
8. Do it with love: “there was a language in the world that everyone understood. It was the language of enthusiasm, of things done with love and desire, in search of something that was desired or believed in. And when someone wants something, the whole universe conspires so they can do it ”.
9. Don’t ignore your presentiment: I already lost count of the times I regretted ignoring my presentiment. Well, the opposite would have prevented so many mistakes that even learning was useless. “The presentiment was the quick plunge that the soul gave into this universal current of life, where the stories of all men are linked together and we can know everything, because everything is written.”
10. Never give up: “before realizing a dream the Soul of the world decides to test everything that was learned during the walk. It does this not because it is bad, but so that, together with our dream, we can also conquer the lessons we have learned by moving towards it. It is the moment when most people give up. It is what we call, in the language of the desert, “to die of thirst when the date palms can be seen on the horizon”. A search always begins with the beginner’s luck. And it always ends with the proof of the conqueror. The darkest hour is the hour that comes just before the sun rises.
“The Alchemist” is an extraordinary book that I advise you to read. The 10 lessons I just enumerated, are summarized in the following:
Life is a balance of positive and negative emotions in which often the greatest obstacle to the realization of our dreams is in us. Staying in your comfort zone will not get you anywhere, watch out for signs, but be fearless, make your own choices, do things with dedication, follow your path and never give up because in it is the key to success.
I hope you enjoyed it and don’t forget to dream and fight for the realization of your dreams.