Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Lessons From A Terrific Book--The Alchemist

 The Alchemist is a novel by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho first published in 1988. Originally written in Portuguese, it has been translated into at least 67 languages as of October 2009. An allegorical novel, The Alchemist follows a young Andalusian shepherd named Santiago in his journey to Egypt, after having a recurring dream of finding treasure there. The book is an international bestseller. It has sold more than 65 million copies in 56 different languages, becoming one of the best-selling books in history and setting the Guinness World Record for most translated book by a living author. It is recommended by Will Smith, Julia Roberts, Bill Clinton, Oprah, and many others.

  • Empower yourself to dream.  Above all else, The Alchemist is about the power and importance of following your dreams. Before you can follow a dream, however, you have to actually have a dream. And to have a dream, you must want or desire something – whether it be an object, a place, a person, or something else – that you do not currently have. And to desire something outside of your current realm, you must have learned of it somehow. Maybe you saw it before. Maybe you read it in a book. Maybe someone told you about it. Maybe this, maybe that. The point is: you learned. And learning new things is essential for dreaming. By learning you empower the dreamer within you. Then, once you’ve learned, and once you’ve fixated on a particular thing, you can want it and dream about; and you should allow yourself to do exactly that. Do not be afraid to dream, do not be afraid to think big, and do not be afraid to believe that your dream and your big thoughts can come true.
  • Do not be afraid to fail.  For those who have not yet read The Alchemist, I will not spoil the ending and tell you whether Santiago finds his treasure or not, but I will tell you that one of the lessons I learned is that it ultimately did not matter. I will tell you that he goes after for it, and he does so with all of his heart and might. That’s what matters. The path to achieving a dream is paved with lessons and memories that will stick with you and shape you for the better, no matter what the final outcome is. Because of this, there is no reason to be afraid of “failure”. The only true failure is failing to go after your dream at all.

  • Relationships should never hinder the passionate pursuance of a dream. This is applicable for a boyfriend/girlfriend, a spouse, a family member, a friend, or any other person with whom you have a relationship. Anyone who would get in the way of you passionately pursuing a dream does not have your best interests at heart or their own. Such a person is, in fact, harming the "Soul of the World" by standing in the way of a person whose actions would serve to nourish it. True love will still be there, on both sides, once the journey towards a dream has ended and the dreamer has returned. Giving up a dream because of a contingency placed by a relationship may work out in the short-term but will become progressively negative over time.
  • A dream worth chasing most likely involves something you are naturally good at doing. A terrific passage in The Alchemist is: “Every search begins with beginner’s luck. And every search ends with the victor’s being severely tested. It is an oft-repeated theme in the book. The lesson here is quite simple: when you embark upon the journey towards your dream, you will experience good fortune at the beginning. The specific reason for this cited most often in the book is the notion that the universe conspires to help those who go after their dreams. Look at it from another angle.We all have natural skills, natural talents, and things that we naturally enjoy doing and naturally do well. There must be a reason for this, and the reason is that these natural abilities are all part of our Personal Legends. So as much as that “beginner’s luck” may be the universe conspiring to help us, it also is partly the manifestation of our true dream through the natural talent we possess that, when developed and harnessed, can lead us there. So we all should pay attention to what we are good at and enjoy naturally. It is, most likely, a clear path towards what we are naturally passionate about.
--Adapted from primility.com by Jerod Morris


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