The Alchemist – Paulo Coehlo
“The Alchemist”, is a brilliant book about optimism; that everything is possible as long as you really want it to happen.
Santiago, is an Andalusian shepherd boy who one night dreams of a distant treasure in the Egyptian pyramids. And so he’s off: leaving Spain to literally follow his dream.
Along the way he meets many spiritual messengers, who come in unassuming forms such as a camel driver and a well-read Englishman. In one of the Englishman’s books, Santiago first learns about the alchemists–men who believed that if a metal were heated for many years, it would free itself of all its individual properties, and what was left would be the “Soul of the World.” Later he does eventually meet an alchemist, and the student-teacher relationship they have clarifies much of the boy’s misguided agenda, however, it also makes him to stay true to his dreams.
As the alchemist himself says, when he appears to Santiago in the form of an old king “when you really want something to happen, the whole universe conspires so that your wish comes true”.
Coelho also suggests through the book that those who do not have the courage to follow their “Personal Myth”, are doomed to a life of emptiness, misery, and unfulfilment. As the old crystal-seller tragically confesses: “I am afraid that great disappointment awaits me, and so I prefer to dream”.
In the desert, Santiago meets his “twin-soul” and discovers that love is the core of existence and creation. As Coelho explains, when we love, we always try to improve ourselves, and that’s when everything is possible. The subject of love inspires a beautiful lyricism in Coelho’s writing: “I love you because the whole universe conspired for me to come close to you.”
“The Alchemist” is a book that I loved. It shows through the story how it is important to have dreams and to follow them to have a fulfilling life. That anything can happen if you really want it badly enough and are willing to go for it. I particularly love this “when you really want something to happen, the whole universe conspires so that your wish comes true”. Here my thoughts run to energy and how the universe uses our positive thoughts. The book just combines words of wisdom, philosophy, and simplicity of meaning the whole way through leaving you under no illusions…………it is inspiring to read and beautiful.
From a coaching point of view it is a story of setting a goal and going for it no matter what. Being strong along the way and being accountable.
Rachel Boydell, Graduate of The Diploma in Executive and Life Coaching Course
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