The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho (7/10)

A self-help book that's wrapped inside of a nice and enchanting story about a Shepherd boy from Spain who travels to Egypt in search of his 'Personal Legend'

The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho (7/10)

Rating: 7/10
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⛰ What It's About

It's about a Shepherd boy named Santiago from Spain who keeps getting the same dream about treasure lying in the Egyptian Pyramids. After meeting an old King who offers him some advice and magic stones, he embarks on a journey to follow his 'Personal Legend' and travel to Egypt in search of the treasure.

The book details his journey and the various encounters he experiences when following his dream - a thief, a merchant, an Englishman, an Alchemist, the love of his life, etc. He experiences a lot of difficultly in pursuing his dream and this ultimately helps him learn and grow as an individual the entire way.

🔍 How I Discovered It

Kiran mentioned it to me and it's a famous book. Trying to get through some of these famous classics etc. and because it seemed short and digestible, I thought I'd give it a go. It's also mentioned in a Tim Ferris podcasts.

🧠 Thoughts

I wasn't much of a fan of this book. It wasn't gripping enough and feel like it was written in a bit of a pretentious way. Not only the micro writing, but also the macro point in that you can make anything happen if you dream it into existence and put your mind to it. This is something I believe and try to apply for myself because it's empowering, but it's not something I feel particularly passionate about or prescriptive that it's the right way to go for others.

Overall it's a nice and enchanting story and there are a few parts about dreaming, love, optimism that I liked. But, in terms of a story, there are probably better books. And, in terms of self-help, there are also probably better books. So I don't really see too much of a point in this book.

🥰 Favourite Quotes

  • Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that 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.
  • If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.
  • Love is not to be found in someone else but in ourselves; we simply awaken it. But in order to do that, we need the other person.
  • One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.
  • You can become blind by seeing each day as a similar one. Each day is a different one, each day brings a miracle of its own. It’s just a matter of paying attention to this miracle.
  • It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.
  • There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.