Read The Alchemist!!!
There is a reason why The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo has sold over 65 million copies and been translated into so many languages. There is also a reason why many of your favourite celebrities (Will Smith, Oprah Winfrey…) recommend this book and have become what they are today. Below I have written about what the alchemist was able to offer me and what it can do for you.
Some of you may have chanced on this blog while in search for personal development, and so I will start this blog by talking about the first book which inspired me on the same path at the age of 16. Having nothing else to do during the summer of 2015 I voluntarily picked up a book for the first time in my life, called The Alchemist. An adventure book centered around the protagonist Santiago who is in search of his ‘treasure’… okay, very generic story so far. However, know that it gets better.
A book so profound in its storytelling, morality and inspirational can only be judged by its own words and so the best way to articulate the greatness of this book is to quote from it. ‘The boy left to visit the wise king, on his arrival the king tasked the boy with the peculiar challenge of observing the magnificence of his kingdom, whilst carrying a spoon of oil with him, not letting the oil drop. We all know how this story is going to end without having read the book, but I digress. On his return the king asked the boy what he had seen, the boy replied, ‘I was so focused on not dropping the oil that I was not able to appreciate the beauty of your palace and kingdom’. And so the boy was sent out again, but this time he had observed the kingdom to its fullest before he returned to the king, when he returned to the king the boy had realised that this time around he had dropped the oil. To which the king responded, ‘the secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world, and never forget the drops of oil.’ The ‘oil’ is a representation of one’s goal in life – what do you want to do, what do you want to become? And the marvels of the world are the people and places you see and visit along the way, whether they directly or indirectly relate to your goal. One must not get caught up in his goal as he will not be able to admire the beauty of his progression and, he must not lose sight of his goal whilst travelling on his journey.
There is also another theme throughout the book I would like to touch on which is the phrase ‘Maktub’ translated to English ‘it is written’. The author layers his writing with the concept of fate and destiny, referring to the phrase ‘Maktub’ constantly throughout. One could argue that this phrase is like a coin, having two sides as contrasting as day and night (or none if you do not believe in fate or destiny). On one side it can be seen as an acceptance for all the things that have happened - good and bad, and it is this acceptance which enables people to get over the fears of their past failures and move on. On the other side, people may see it as a force which they have no power over and so they say they accept their ‘destiny’ and that is what is ‘written’ for them and so they remain stationary in life. Even if fate is not something for you, accepting reality is extremely useful in the growth of a human being as it allows us to move forward and not remain anchored in our unresolved past negative experiences.
These are only two of the themes developed throughout the book there are many more which you can read for yourselves.
Reading pro tip:
To get the most out of this book I recommend reading in intervals and reflecting what is written in the book to your life currently and to do so through multiple perspectives not just the perspective of Santiago (although Santiago’s perspective is easiest to relate to). The idea of reflecting on your life with something you can relate to is what will allow you to come that much closer to knowing yourself.
Hopefully I’ve convinced you to read the alchemist link to the alchemist below:
by the way, this is my first blog/book review/ one of my first posts on steemit... i still don't know how to use it properly hence the small awkwardly placed picture, anyway hope you enjoyed the read