Lessons from The Alchemist


I don’t know about you, but I very often had these thoughts: Is this <job/decision/plan> right for me?, Should I do this?, What do I want in life?, Where is my happiness? And ever since I moved here and had to adjust to living with people I haven’t lived with and cope with the difficulties of finding work, I began to really wonder about my destiny. I mean, is this it? I kept asking for a sign, an omen, anything to point me in the right direction.

And so, The Alchemist came to my rescue. Reading it is such a joy and the ending is simply splendid and rewarding. The tale provided pretty much all the answers to my questions and doubts in life. Here are some of my favourite lessons:

>> What is a personal calling? Whenever we do something that fills us with enthusiasm, we are following our legend. But we do not have the courage to confront our own dream. Why?

>> First, we are told as a child that everything we want to do is impossible. We grow up with this idea and as the years accumulate, so do the layers of prejudice, fear and guilt.

>> We are then faced by the second obstacle: love. We know what we want to do, but are afraid of hurting those around by abandoning everything in order to pursue our dream. We do not realise that those who genuinely wish us well want us to be happy and are prepared to accompany us on that journey.

>> The third obstacle is fear of the defeats we will meet on the path. We who fight for our dream suffer far more when it doesn’t work out because we have staked everything on it. We must be prepared to have patience in difficult times and to know that the Universe is conspiring in our favour, even though we may not understand how.

>> In order to find the treasure, you have to follow the omens. God has prepared a path for everyone to follow. You have to read the omens he left for you. The principle of favourability is when you play cards the first time, you are almost sure to win. Beginner’s luck. Because there is a force that wants you to realise your destiny; it whets your appetite with a taste of success.

>> The closer you get to the realisation of your dream, the more difficult things become. It seemed as if what the old king had called “beginner’s luck” were no longer functioning. In the pursuit of your dream, you are being constantly subjected to tests of persistence and courage. So you cannot be hasty nor impatient. If you pushed forward impulsively, you will fail to see the signs and omens left by God along his path.

>> Why do we have to listen to our heart? Because it knows all things and because where your heart is, that is where you’ll find your treasure. Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than suffering itself. 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.

>> Every search begins with beginner’s luck. And every search ends with the victor’s being severely tested.

>> Most people see the world as a threatening place, because they do, the world turns out, indeed, to be a threatening place.

>> Why didn’t you tell me my treasure is just on my doorstep? Because if I did, you wouldn’t have experienced all the other wonderful things in life.

>> Life is generous to those who pursue their destiny.

Dedicated to Shir-leen and Melissa.

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One Comment on “Lessons from The Alchemist”


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