The Alchemist is a journey of exploration and self-discovery as we follow the main character, Santiago, a young shepherd who lives in Spain, on a journey to fulfill his personal legend. The novel shows us wisdoms and gentle reminders of how to change our lives from what they may be today into the life we have always dreamed of.
The novel tells us that the fear of failure is the greatest obstacle to happiness. There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure. So often we hide behind excuses of not being able to do this or that, but the real story is that we are too afraid to take a chance. It is our fear of failing or looking foolish in front of others that keeps us from being who we want to be.
In The Alchemist, Santiago was comfortable with being a shepherd. He knew how to be a shepherd, he trusted the sheep and they trusted him, but being a shepherd did not truly make Santiago happy. He dreamt of exciting adventures. Eventually, Santiago sold his flock of sheep and embarked on his great journey to the pyramids. He knew that by denying himself this adventure he would be denying his happiness, and so he took a leap of faith in himself and set off towards his dream.
Throughout the novel, the author emphasizes life is a journey, not a destination, and that the real treasure is in the journey itself. There is only one way to learn. Its through action. Everything you need to know you have learned through your journey. The same could be said for success or happiness. It is in the journey where you will find your true self.
Santiagos dream was to make it to the pyramids, but the adventure that he found himself on in order to get to those pyramids taught him more than he ever thought possible. By the time he reached the pyramids his life had changed forever. Through the journey he found who he truly was, and he found his true happiness.
The Alchemist proves that everything is possible no matter what was said or done in the past, because it is the decision you make today that matters. The secret is here in the present. If you pay attention to the present, you can improve upon it. And, if you improve on the present, what comes later will also be better.
Too often we get bogged down in our past, and in memories of events that we think define us and restrict us from moving forward. The truth is that we can decide today who we want to be. We may have some baggage, and we may have future dreams, but today is the only day where we can define who we are and what direction we want our lives to go.
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.
The only life Santiago knew was being a shepherd, but one day he made a decision that he wanted to know more. He wanted to get out of Spain and see the rest of the world, and from there the rest of the story develops. The same goes for all of us, in that the rest of our stories are based on the decisions we make today we decide to be better, we decide to be happy, we decide to be successful. It all starts with that decision.
When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.
All you have to do is contemplate a simple grain of sand, and you will see in it all the marvels of creation. Listen to your heart. It knows all things, because it came from the Soul of the World, and it will one day return there.
We tend to ask others what to do, even though we already knew what we really wanted to do. We already know most of what we need to know. All we need to do is trust ourselves and be confident in our decisions.
Santiago had to learn this lesson along his journey. He spent days upon days on the back of a camel, traveling across the vast emptiness of the desert. This left him time to listen to the sounds of the desert, and to listen to what was within him.
To realize ones destiny is a persons only obligation. We all make choices every day about who we are and what we are going to do with our lives, but we tend to miss out the most important one what can we do to ensure we are living the greatest life ours? No one else will provide this to us. This is something we have to own and be accountable for.
Santiago made one decision to pursue his dream. He took control of what he wanted his life to look like and he followed that dream. That does not mean his path was easy. In fact, it was very difficult at times, and there were moments where he even thought about buying another flock of sheep and returning to be a shepherd. But his resiliency won out, and he continued on. Hard times will come to us all. This is a fact. But if we carry on and commit to living our greatest life no matter what, at the end of the journey we will look back with no regrets.
In The Alchemist, everything is possible when we believe in ourselves. When you really want something to happen, the whole universe conspires so that your wish comes true