The Alchemist

The AlchemistAuthor: Paulo Coelho
Title: The Alchemist
Published: Apr 25, 2006

I read this book in 2013 thinking it wasn’t going to have that much of an impact. I was completely wrong. Not only does Paulo create an intriguing storyline, he also peppers the story with life lessons that can literally apply to everyone or anyone. I finished this book in a matter of days and drove myself crazy highlighting passage after passage. If you are looking for any kind of inspiration in any piece of your life (work, personal, etc), I would highly recommend giving this a read. Be sure to bring your highlighter.

Reading Notes

The secret to life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.

But if you believe yourself worthy of the thing you fought so hard to get, then you become an instrument of God, you help the Soul of the World, and you understand why you are here.

It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.

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

“It’s this: that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fat. That’s the world’s greatest lie.”

“At that point in their lives, everything is clear and everything is possible. They are not afraid to dream, and to year for everything they would like to see happen to them in their lives. But, as time passes, a mysterious force begins to convince them that it will be impossible for them to realize their Personal Legend.”

The old man continued, “In the long run, what people think about shepherds and bakers becomes more important for them than their own Personal Legends.

“If you start out by promising what you don’t even have yet, you’ll lose your desire to work toward getting it.”

And when each day is the same as the next, it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises.

…The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world, and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon.

I’m like everyone else – I see the world in terms of what I would like to see happen, not what actually does.

As he mused about these things, he realized that he had to choose between thinking of himself as the poor victim of a thief and as an adventurer in quest of his treasures.

When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dream of when he first made the decision.

Because I don’t live in either my past or my future. I’m interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man. You’ll see that there is life in the desert, that there are stars in the heavens, and that tribesmen fight because they are part of the human race. Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we’re living right now.”

“One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.”

There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”

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