Important life lessons learnt from The Alchemist

5 minute read

It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting

The Alchemist is a very popular novel written by Paulo Coelho which was first published in 1988. The book is about the journey of a small boy named Santiago in finding his dream. One morning, Santiago dreams of a treasure hidden inside the Pyramids of Egypt. In his journey to the Pyramids of Egypt, he meets a lot of people and each of them teaches him some important lessons about life. We look at some of the important lessons the boy learns in his journey.

Follow your dreams

At the core, the book is all about following your dreams. It’s having a dream come true that makes life interesting. When a dream gets fulfilled, it’s not only the result that matters. What matters most in pursuing a dream is the journey itself. The journey to our destiny teaches us a lot of important things about life and people. The job is almost half done when one makes a decision in his mind to follow the dream. When you start the journey, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.

An Alchemist is the one who can change ordinary metals into gold. There are three types of people we see in our day to day life.

  1. One who works hard and learns the process of how to convert ordinary metals into gold through practice.
  2. One who stumbled upon the gold by accident. They are very gifted and are rare.
  3. The others who are only interested in gold but don’t want to work.

The above context can be applied to dreams too. Some just keeps on dreaming, some work very hard towards achieving it and some rare and talented people achieve it by accident.

The principle of favourability or beginner’s luck

One of the important people the boy meets in his journey is a king who teaches him about beginner’s luck. You would have noticed that when you play a game like cards for the first time, you are almost sure to win. This is called the beginner’s luck. A beginner has not much to loose and doesn’t have much expectations unlike the others who are playing the game for long. At the beginning of the journey towards your dream, the luck will favour you and everything will go as planned. It’s in the middle and end of the journey you will be tested the most and most of us give up at this point in the journey.

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 when the palm trees have appeared on the horizon.

Learn to live in the present and become better

If you live in the present, you will be a happy man. If one keeps on making himself better and better by each passing day, the future will also be brighter for him. We should also not live in the past but we should carry the learnings from the past to the present. In the book, the child learns from the past and improves upon it.

When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too 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

Love is a language everybody stands

There is only one common language in the world and it’s the language of love. You can use this language to talk to every creature in the universe whether it’s humans or animals. In the book, the boy is in search of the language that everybody stands. The boy was able to talk to his sheep, the camel, the wind, the sun and the candy maker even through they didn’t understand his language. It’s only when he meets Fatima in the dessert that he realises the the language that everybody stands.

When he looked into her eyes, he learned the most important part of the language that all the world spoke – the language that everyone on earth was capable of understanding in their heart. It was love. Something older than humanity, more ancient than the desert. What the boy felt at that moment was that he was in the presence of the only woman in his life, and that, with no need for words, she recognized the same thing. Because when you know the language, it’s easy to understand that someone in the world awaits you, whether it’s in the middle of the desert or in some great city. And when two such people encounter each other, the past and the future become unimportant. There is only that moment, and the incredible certainty that everything under the sun has been written by one hand only. It is the hand that evokes love, and creates a twin soul for every person in the world. Without such love, one’s dreams would have no meaning.

When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.

Always listen to your heart

In the journey to make the dream come true, one has to follow his heart. Our heart is a place of emotions. The emotions will keep changing during your journey. Sometimes, you will be frightened with the idea that you will fail in this journey. And sometimes, you will be happy when everything is going good. It’s natural to have a fear inside our self since we may lose everything while pursuing our dream or we may fail in the journey itself. Since you also have dreams and wishes in your heart, the heart will be able to deal with your fear and other negative emotions.

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. Don’t give in to your fears. If you do, you won’t be able to talk to your heart. Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure

Focus on your own journey

If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.

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