The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho is one of those books that is considered a once-in-a-lifetime gem. While it was originally written in Portuguese, it became a widely translated best-selling novel.
The Alchemist Summary:
The book chronicles the adventures of a young Andalusian shepherd as he travels to the Egyptian pyramids. In his journey to find treasure, he also cites some life-changing lessons.
The Alchemist has continuously provided hope and inspiration for many. While it’s not a typical self-help book, it moves readers in a way that inspires them to aim high for their dreams. Here are some life lessons from The Alchemist:
1. Be courageous in finding your personal legend.
The book mentions the term “personal legend,” which means something you have always wanted to do. When we were younger, our dreams were vivid and straightforward, but as we grew older, the reality of our situation dulled the goals we thought of as children.
In The Alchemist, the main character, Santiago, constantly faces obstacles while pursuing his personal legend. However, the reason why he was able to achieve this was that he never gave up.
Naive as it may sound, the universe tends to make it happen and work for you when you work hard and courageously pursue what you want.
2. Fear is the only thing holding you back from your dream.
Fear is not always a bad thing. After all, fear is a way of letting our conscious self know when there is danger or risk. However, fear can also be irrational. Many people develop phobias even though, deep down, they know it’s not rational to fear such a thing.
We are held back by specific fears when working on what we want. Fear of failure, criticism and even success are hindrances that can influence our decision.
Regarding your personal legend, these fears can be both valuable and obstructive. While they can help warn you, they may also hinder you from achieving your true potential. It is your responsibility to see how to use this fear and make it work for you.
3. You will never fail if you keep trying.
The truth is that both failure and success are subjective. Many people think that when you attempt something and fail at it once or a few times, it is a sign that it may not be for you. However, there are also instances where your methods of achieving such goals must differ so you can have different results.
In The Alchemist, failure is a part of success. The more we fail at something, the more we become appreciative when we finally achieve our goals. Think about it, if you had everything you wanted without effort, would it be as meaningful as embracing the journey?
4. Your journey is your own.
Nowadays, it’s easy to compare our lives with others, especially on social media. In this competitive society, we always want more, and many people chronicle their journey toward their goals in real time. However, most people rarely post their struggles on social media; what you see is usually the results, not the hard work and sacrifices that come with it.
In The Alchemist, the book encourages us to focus on our personal journey. We must not derail in achieving our personal legend by focusing on other people’s goals. Their dreams, wants, and methods may be similar, but it’s never the same. This sentiment means that we can never truly understand their journey, much like they can never understand ours, so why compare?
Takeaway: The Alchemist is a book full of life lessons that inspire and encourage readers to achieve their personal legend. While the journey is not easy, the book teaches us that anything worth doing is not effortless. When you finally reach your dream, you’ll find you’ve grown and learned various lessons, much like the protagonist.