Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Alchemist

Hard to believe it’s already March 20th—the first day of spring! The past few weeks have gone by quickly because of my new job—so needless to say I haven’t had much to write about or the time to do it. But I did read a book recently that I thought I’d talk about briefly.

I had never heard of the book The Alchemist until recently when my friend Kristin read it in a day and really liked it. As it turns out, The Alchemist is an allegorical novel by Paulo Coelho, first published in 1988. It was originally written in Portuguese and has been translated into 67 languages, winning the Guinness World Record for most translated book by a living author. It has sold more than 65 million copies in more than 150 countries, becoming one of the best-selling books in history. But alas, I had never heard of it.

The plot tells the story of a young Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago. Santiago, believing a recurring dream to be prophetic, decides to travel to the pyramids of Egypt to find his treasure. The entire book is about his journey -- who he meets along the way and what he learns from each person and event that happens. Essentially it’s a book about discovering your own personal legend: what you have always wanted to accomplish in your life. It’s a book about following your dreams and understanding that everything that happens along the way is meant to happen.

Personally I think it’s a book that everyone would enjoy—and is a really easy and quick read. Here are several quotes to give you a better idea of some of the lesson’s Santiago learns on his journey:

“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.”

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

“Intuition is really a sudden immersion of the soul into the universal current of life.”

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

“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. Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we’re living now.”

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

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