“The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho is one of those novels you never want to put in the corner of your bookshelf to collect dust.
When you’re feeling down and want to give up on something you’ve been working on, pick up The Alchemist and read a random section; you could learn something that will inspire you to believe in your aspirations once more.
This book is undoubtedly a dreamers paradise. It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting. – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist.
We all are Santiago, the Shepherd boy in search of our treasure
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho was initially published in Portuguese in 1988 in the author’s native Brazil, but no one noticed.
A bookseller told him that in the first week, only one person purchased a copy & it took another six months for a bookseller to unload a second copy. And he didn’t know how long it may take to sell the third.
At the end of the year, it was clear that The Alchemist was not working, and the publishers cancelled the contract.
But he never lost faith in the book and his vision. Why? Because he was set out on a journey, dreaming of a beautiful or magical place, pursuing some unknown treasure. He was following his Personal Legend.
As he wrote in The Alchemist, “when you want something, the whole universe conspires to help you.” So, he started knocking on the doors of other publishers, and one such door opened, and The Alchemist got the second chance.
Slowly, the book started selling book by the book, gradually throughout the year.
Eight months later, an American in brazil picked up a copy of The Alchemist from a bookstore. He wanted to translate the book and helped him get a publisher in U. S., and Harper Collins agreed to bring it to an American audience.
However, it took some time to sell, and it slowly found an audience in the United States. After Bill Clinton was photographed leaving the White House with a copy, The Alchemist gradually became a spontaneous and organic phenomenon.
The book debuted on the New York Times bestseller list, a significant achievement for any author.
At the start, when only copies were sold, and the publisher terminated the contract. The author did not even imagine that this book would be on the list of New York best sellers for 300 weeks and be translated into more than 80 languages, most by any living author.
The author was Santiago, the shepherd boy searching for his treasure, who believed in his dream and decided to act upon it and got what he wanted like the shepherd boy.
We all are Santiago, the shepherd boy in search of our treasures. We need to believe in our dreams and act upon them.
Dreams are the Language of God
The most prominent theme in the book is one about dreams. The author’s message on dreams is that they require a lot of effort and desire to realise, but it’s all worth it in the end.
Santiago must embark on a journey to fulfil his destiny throughout the narrative. To achieve his future, Santiago had to overcome significant obstacles. Santiago learns from his mistakes, becomes more daring, and learns how to take many risks and confront challenges.
“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist.
Magical Lessons to learn from The Alchemist
- To overcome fear, you must learn to use your heart. When faced with misfortune, you should learn to use your soul to maintain optimism. You must learn to focus on your journey while ignoring societal influences.
- You should live each day as if it were the first step toward your dream and destination. To go where you want to be and who you want to be, you must first understand and remember where you are and who you are.
- Nothing worthwhile is ever simple. If you desire something, you must be willing to put everything on the line.
- You must eliminate any doubt and overlook our fears. However, the universe will always reward you with achievement if you think big, listen to your heart and dedicate your life to attaining whatever you want.
- Allow yourself to be inspired because it is only up to you to become the most nuanced version of yourself. We, like the young boy, will face challenges that we did not anticipate or plan. Each setback is a stepping stone, a chance to improve, and a step closer to our legend.