Read-view: The Alchemist

The Alchemist
25th Anniversary Edition
By: Paulo Coelho

I took a deep breath, and when I looked at the clock, it was already 5:00 a.m.

I couldn’t believe that I did not sleep the entire night because I was reading a book.

What was unusual about this book that kept me reading the whole night? Why couldn’t I put it down?

Here’s what I can tell you about it. It’s everything!

When I finally put it down to grab at least a couple of hours of sleep, I looked at the cover of the book once again and sighed, WOW!

WOW, for one extraordinary reason that it was breathtaking and engaging.

The story has two parts.

  • Part One is all about the boy’s desire to travel and to know the world. It is what he always wanted to accomplish. It is his Personal Legend.
  • It is also about the recurring dream that set him on a journey to go to the Pyramids of Egypt to find the treasure that will make him very rich.
  • In Part Two, the boy met the Alchemist who taught him lessons about life, people, the Soul of the World, and about following his dream.

This post is not a book review, but only my interpretation of the story and what brought me to react towards certain things and everything around me.

The entire story contains messages that are so broad, intense, and meaningful. It is vibrant and truthful because we all have lived through it in our lifetime. It made me rethink our approach towards life, people, and loving someone, and how some of us abandoned our strong desire to achieve our dream.

The story took me to another part of the world – my world, and my journey.

Here are some passages that I got particularly connected with:

          “Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.”

Come to think of it, it is true.

You and I have probably experienced this one time, or more often in our lives. Some people seem to know what is best for you and what is not. They push to you their own opinion about how you should live your life without regard to your feelings or your situation in life. They want you to be the person they think you should be. They seem to know who you should be. And if you didn’t listen to them, they get angry, and they believe you deserve the life you currently living now.

But the truth is, we all have the ability to choose our path and how we want to lead our lives. No one could do that for you, nor could know this except you – because your heart knows what is best for you.

The boy in the story knew that. He traveled to different places, met new people, and become friends with them but he doesn’t need to spend so much time with them because he has to move around again. That is why travelling appealed to him.

       “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

Some of us have chosen to abandon our dream. We allowed those negative feelings and beliefs prevent us from fulfilling our strong desire to see the reality of our vision.

Sometimes, we embraced the idea to dream about our dream because we have already got used to the way things are. We are afraid of change – to change our ways of life, our environment, or who we are.

Some are only afraid that they may not realise their dream. And that there is nothing left for them except concede defeat and give in to disappointments.

But there was a boy, the boy in the story had decided to follow his dream-his Personal Legend and find the treasure. He would travel to Egypt, and from there, he would look for the treasure.

Everything that had happened to the boy occurred between sunrise and sunset. He was a shepherd that morning when he left the fields of Andalusia. He crossed the sea to another continent. By the time the sun began to set, he was already in another country, a stranger in an unfamiliar place, no money and no longer a shepherd.

He understood that the chain of events that happened were all linked together to help him achieve his dream.

In conclusion, the boy didn’t realise that he was already living his dream. He achieved his goal to travel and to know the world simply because of his desire to find the treasures.

He met different people along the way. He made new friends and learned from them. He walked the Sahara Desert, felt the wind on his face, and discovered that even the sun, the wind, and the desert have their limitations on what they can do.

He found out that the treasures he was searching for that would make him a wealthy man were right where he came from because they were just within him all those times.

The treasures were material symbolism. I believe that the true meaning of this is that the treasures were all about the wisdom and experiences he learned on his travel. These are gems that he can share with other people to help them understand everything about life, people, and the world itself.

So, what do think? Feel free to send in your comment. I love to hear it.

Till next time.

Cheers!

Ninagracia

There is a Writer in You

We were all storytellers once upon a time. Why? Because we were children once upon a time.

Children are good storytellers. If you haven’t noticed, well let me tell you something.

Children use different behaviour and tactics to get your attention, to make you listen to them, and most of all, to get what they want from you.

They don’t hesitate to tell you what they think they know.

They are not afraid to say what they have on their minds.

And most importantly, they have vivid imaginations.

They spin and weave stories from what they heard, saw, or even just their imaginations.

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And here’s how:

  • They know that Grandma would be happy to hear about their day at school so, they sit on Grandma’s lap and tell their story in detail.
  • Their eager eyes had never missed noticing their sister’s side glances on that particular boy. So, they sensed that their sister would be anxious to listen to them about the girl they saw the boy was kissing.
  • And of course, who would believe that they saw a ghost. Still, they made you believe them because they described it to you candidly and believably.

You and I were those kinds of children once before. We told stories without fear, hesitation, boundaries, or limitations.

Our stories appealed to children of our ages and to people older than us.

YOU were that child. You have a keen interest in everything around you. You are filled with energy and spirit, and nothing is enough.

You were simply a child telling a story without being judged for accuracy or quality of your account.

And you humbly took the stand to be a storyteller, the way you knew how.

So, what happened to this child?

You have become older, and suddenly, that little voice inside you had stopped telling stories.

You began to fear limitations – the set of rules, the do’s, and don’ts of writing effectively.

You feel inadequate with limited knowledge of your craft because you continually compare yourself to the young and more accomplished writers out there.

Perhaps, you put your desires and dreams on hold or delaying it for another day.

Perhaps, you created a life based on what others are expecting you to do.

And maybe, you worked hard and drained your life and energy for the approval of your family, friends, or peers.

So now, you became entrapped with FEAR – fear of failure, rejection, and fear of being judge by the same people you tried to please.

You sacrificed what matters to you the most, and that is to let that little voice inside you tell great stories, just like you used to do.

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Press your Re-start Button

It’s not too late in life to re-visit your dream or create a new goal. You only need to know what you want in life.

The problem with dreams, it becomes impossible to reach because you lost the patience and the perseverance to learn new things.

You continually told yourself that you are not good at it, and you talked yourself out of it.

You stopped to progress, improve, and develop yourself, simply because you don’t want to be disappointed if what you were hoping for may NOT turn out the way you want it.

But, doing nothing is already a decision you made for yourself. It is a failure itself.

Just like you, it scares me to death to imagine failing to achieve my dream and that strong desire that remains unfulfilled.

My fears of disappointment, failing, and being rejected, led me to put aside and postpone my writing. I have this idea that I could write or have a better idea tomorrow or next week, maybe next month.

I put aside for tomorrow what I could do today. I was hoping it would be a different day until I realised that what I put off for tomorrow remained the same and that tomorrow becomes today.

Whether it was your writing or chores that needed your attention, breaking free from the habit of postponing things was a real challenge.

It would only rob you the ability to focus on what is possible for you to do.

It may sound crazy, but what makes me get up every morning and turn my laptop on was this quote from Paulo Coelho. It always hits me on the head like a ton of bricks (Ouch!).

Paulo Coelho said, “Remember your dreams and fight for them. You must know what you want from life. There is just one thing that makes your dream impossible: the fear of failure.”

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I don’t know so much about Paulo Coelho, except that he is a Brazilian lyricist and novelist. He is known for his novel The Alchemist. When he was 17 years old, his parents committed him to a mental institution because he told his mother that he wanted to be a writer. He abandoned his dream of becoming a writer and enrolled in law school at his parents’ wishes. A year later, he left school and lived a life as a hippie, and he turned to drugs. Despite his success as an actor, journalist, and theatre director, his life seemed incomplete because he never achieved his dream of becoming a writer. He continually pursued it and published his books. One of them was The Alchemist which became an international bestseller.

There is one thing for sure: You don’t have to be perfect to achieve what you want in life.

You were a different person ten, twenty, thirty, or forty years ago. You are not that same person anymore. You grew up, and you learned new things.

You succeeded in one area of your life but maybe failed in another.

You fell down, but you got up and moved on and tackled the day ahead of you.

As long as you find the courage to keep going, and not to be too concerned too much about failing, you can achieve your dream.

It doesn’t matter how long it takes you to realise your dream as long as you don’t stop. So, take your journey at your own pace.

I am here as a friend to encourage you and once in a while, nudge you with my elbow each time to you stop.

Do not let anybody say NO to your dreams. It’s yours. Own it!

Always remember: Dream big and make it happen.

Hey, next time I come back, put your kettle on. I’ve got some stories to tell you.

See yah!

Ninagracia

 

Sources:

https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/paulo_coelho_620614
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paulo_Coelho