Book Review: The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho
I just finished reading this book for the second time. I always seem to get more and more from a book, the further I read into it. Here is my analysis:
Santiago was a content man, and happy with life, until he learns there is more out there. He decided at a young age that he wants to travel. So he becomes a shepherd to do so. But when he learns of more adventures and treasure, he broadens his horizons and gets eager. He could completely stay content, but with the knowledge and desire for more, takes him on more of a journey. Is this a blessing or a curse? Like the baker described in the book, the Crystal Merchant had forgotten their personal legend and believe its no longer possible. With a little spark, the crystal merchant can now see that the future can be bright, with a little change.
Within this story it is shown to follow your gut, and follow your dreams. Love or other obstacles, needn’t get in the way. When you stop dreaming, is the day you die. This is similar to a statement in Manuscript Found in Accra. “And those who believe that adventures are dangerous, I say, try routine; that kills you more quickly.“ Also don’t follow your dreams/where the earth takes you, for the wrong reasons. You’ll find wealth, in happiness, along the way.
The Alchemist states that man has started to reject the simple things of the times and made them too complicated. I relate this to the modern day. I feel the desire to over complicate and saturate things in my life, it’s a natural occurrence. But you must beat this urge and take a step back. It’s the simple that leads the happiest life. Being grateful of where we are, currently, that's the ticket to freedom. I love this, I have personally struggled with this in life. A silly, easy text conversation, with my Uncle, reminded me of this. I was always talking about traveling and buying a house. But that isn't what makes life complete and happy. Be grateful for what you have.
This also leads into another thought on my mind. You can't buy knowledge, experiences, or experience. I remember a time in my life, when I thought buying something made me good or experienced at something. Since I climb a lot, I use this: "Just because I own all the best gear, doesn't make me a strong or knowledgeable climber, its dedication and determination that make you a good and knowledgeable climber. And patience is the key to all of this. You don't get experienced, overnight. There is no way around it but time. You put the time into it, and enjoy the slow and steady. Enjoy each moment, each day, each minute of that climb, you gain that much more experience.". That is the key to happiness and life.
“Very few follow the path to their personal legends. Before a dream is realized, the soul of the world tests everything that was learned along the way. It does this, not because it was evil, but so that we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we learned as we moved toward of that dreams. That is the point at which most people give up. That moment, in the desert, when one dies of thirst just when the palm trees appear the horizon. Every search begins with beginners luck, and every search ends with the victors being severely tested. The darkest hour of the night, came just before the dawn. “
Don't ever, no matter what, give up on your dreams. Only the strong survive. Just because the norm is to give up on your dreams, don't follow that path. Just because others are doing it, doesn't mean that is your path to take. Just because people don't believe it's possible, doesn't mean it isn't. Drive is what keeps you alive. Don't still to the societal routine, be you, don't try to be useful, be you.
"Your eyes show the strength of your soul". I agree with this. The language of the world. Be present and aware of every form of communication used. Words at times don't need to be spoken, the world will bring your the answers. Soak it in, appreciate it, and enjoy the moments.