The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is one of my favorite books of all time. The first time I read it I felt lost and didn't know what I was doing with my life. I still don't know what I am doing with my life but thanks to this book I embarked on a five-year journey and learned more about myself.
Five years later, I reread this book and found new insights on life, adventure, challenges, purpose, and love. Below are my notes from one of the most famous books of our time.
Biggest lesson: When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.
My rating: 10/10
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
The day was dawning, and the shepherd urged his sheep in the direction of the sun. They never have to make any decisions, he thought. Maybe that’s why they always stay close to me. The only things that concerned the sheep were food and water. As long as the boy knew how to find the best pastures in Andalusia, they would be his friends.
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 fate. That’s the world’s greatest lie.
And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.
In any case, it’s good that you’ve learned that everything in life has its price.
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.
I’m like everyone else — I see the world in terms of what I would like to see happen, not what actually does.
It was the language of enthusiasm, of things accomplished with love and purpose, and as part of a search for something believed in and desired.
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.
They must be used to their new shepherd, and have probably already forgotten me. That’s good. Creatures like the sheep, that are used to traveling, know about moving on.
People need not fear the unknown if they are capable of achieving what they need and want.
We are afraid of losing what we have, whether it’s our life or our possessions and property. But this fear evaporates when we understand that our life stories and the history of the world were written by the same hand.
"Everyone has his or her own way of learning things," he said to himself. "His way isn’t the same as mine, nor mine as his. But we’re both in search of our Personal Legends, and I respect him for that."
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.
The world speaks many languages, the boy thought.
When he looked into her dark eyes, and saw that her lips were poised between a laugh and silence, he learned the most important part of the language that all the world spoke — the language that everyone on earth was capable of understanding in their heart. It was love. Something older than humanity, more ancient than the desert. Something that exerted the same force whenever two pairs of eyes met, as had theirs here at the well. She smiled, and that was certainly an omen — the omen he had been awaiting, without even knowing he was, for all his life.
He had been told by his parents and grandparents that he must fall in love and really know a person before becoming committed. But maybe people who felt that way had never learned the universal language. Because, when you know that language, it’s easy to understand that someone in the world awaits you, whether it’s in the middle of the desert or in some great city. And when two such people encounter each other, and their eyes meet, the past and the future become unimportant.
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. Forget about the future, and live each day according to the teachings, confident that God loves his children. Each day, in itself, brings with it an eternity.
You must understand that love never keeps a man from pursuing his Personal Legend. If he abandons that pursuit, it’s because it wasn’t true love… the love that speaks the Language of the World.
"I’m going away," he said. "And I want you to know that I’m coming back. I love you because… Don’t say anything," Fatima interrupted. "One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving."
"There is only one way to learn," the alchemist answered. "It’s through action. Everything you need to know you have learned through your journey. You need to learn only one thing more."
Listen to your heart. It knows all things, because it came from the Soul of the World, and it will one day return there.
You will never be able to escape from your heart. So it’s better to listen to what it has to say. That way, you’ll never have to fear an unanticipated blow.
Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself.
Most people see the world as a threatening place, and, because they do, the world turns out, indeed, to be a threatening place.
There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.
"But don’t worry," the alchemist continued. Usually the threat of death makes people a lot more aware of their lives.
Because when we love, we always strive to become better than we are.
Be aware of the place where you are brought to tears. That’s where I am, and that’s where your treasure is.