The Alchemist is like reading a fable. If you are tired of reading regular self-help books about following one’s dream, pick The Alchemist. You’ll never regret it. However, this is not the best book if you want something profound and a literary genius. Overall, the book tilts toward entertainment, adventure, and working on your passion. This post looks at the lessons from The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.
Summary of The Alchemist
The boy’s name is Santiago. He is a shepherd boy who has a dream that he should go to the Pyramids of Egypt. So Santiago sells his sheep and goes all the way to Egypt. We follow him around until he gets there. Unfortunately, he does not find the treasure he has dreamed about at the beginning of his journey in Egypt.
Hold on if you’re tempted to close the tab. You might have read or mixed reviews about the book. My post is not going to change what you already know.
I will do my best to be objective.
Is The Alchemist Worth Reading?
Alchemist is an interesting story. I think it’s best read when you are a teenager or in your early twenties, and you’re not sure what to do with your life. This book will hit you hard. It’s like giving you a guide on the things that could happen if you follow your passion. With this mindset, you will likely find powerful life lessons. If you are in this category, good luck (please, skip the next paragraph).
Older people in their late twenties and early thirties have probably taken a path/career and discovered that life isn’t a fable or chasing a treasure. Life is real and complicated, not a straight path from Brazil to Egypt. As a result, they are more likely to see The Alchemist as some ordinary or simple story. It’s not their fault.
Me in my early twenties: I love The Alchemist. I found some honest life lessons in it.
Me in my late twenties: well, it was good. All the lessons of The Alchemist are basic to me now.
Have you been discouraged because of this Alchemist summary? I am sorry. I did tell you to skip the paragraph.
Back to the question: Is the alchemist worth reading? The book is great and inspires people to do what they want to do with their lives. You want something, but you’re afraid of failure or NOT finding the treasure.
It’s like a metaphor. Santiago does not see the treasure in Egypt after traveling that long. The beauty of the story is that the journey is fascinating to Santiago and everyone that follows it. He learns a lot, and so do the readers.
The end is like a lesson on finding your genius. What do I do with my life? The answer is where you are. Start there. It’s like saying everything you need is where you are right now or within you. Be interested in the present. Look inward.
See, the thing is, everyone who loved this book has a ‘weird’ connection with it,
5 Lessons From The Alchemist
While writing about the lessons, you will have a fair idea of the book summary.
1. Pursue your dreams
This is a bit cliche, right? Go out and pursue your dreams.
Hopefully, your dream won’t be about looking for imaginary treasure in Africa.
The alchemist books didn’t portray everything as a smooth or perfect journey. Sometimes, Santiago loses it all and is about to give up. The trip tested Santiago, and sometimes, he questioned his decision.
And that brings us to point 2.
2. Following your dream doesn’t mean you will get what you want
He is not sad or feels terrible when he gets to the pyramid and doesn’t find the treasure. The journey is already rewarding to him. He has found a woman he loves and sees places he wouldn’t have reached if he were still a shepherd.
So, that’s point two. Do it curious, afraid, and optimistic. You either find answers you can use in your next journey, but you’ll never know if you don’t take the plunge.
3. Don’t forget where you started
Spoilers: Santiago finds the treasure, but it’s under the tree where he had the dream in the first place.
Imagine spending years travelling around the world to find out the thing you’re looking for is hiding where you started.
Santiago returned to the same tree, where he had the dream in the first place, and found the treasure, which made him stress himself to Egypt.
Remember, this story is a metaphor. You can interpret it however you want. For example, you can say it means whatever you’re searching for is within you or everything you need is right where you are.
If this doesn’t make sense, it’s okay. You’re probably in your late twenties and above.
4. Your journey will hurt and lift you
This is the thing about life. It’s filled with both good and bad. In point two, I said pursuing your dreams doesn’t mean you will find that dream. However, you will enjoy a part of it in a way that when you look back, you will feel proud. It could be because of the people you will meet, the strange things you will learn, (or if you find the love of your life).
For someone in their teens, the book says if you follow your dreams, you will find your people or a new path you won’t have come across if you didn’t set out in the first place.
I studied Architecture in school, but now I’m blogging and writing and ghostwriting books (which I actively started while I was in school). You can’t take away my experience as an architecture student. Those were some beautiful and painful five years of my life. My life in architecture and writing will shape everything or the next thing I will do.
Think about your dreams or journey this way, and things become less fearful. And this is one of the reasons the alchemist is worth reading.
5. Following your dreams help you live with yourself (probably)
Following your dreams will remove one regret out of two.
If you didn’t follow your true dream but failed at your chosen path, those are two regrets — regret not following your dreams and failing at the other thing you are doing.
If you follow your dreams and fail, you have one regret — the failure of not getting what you want.
One of the lessons in The Alchemist is that following your dreams is not as scary as it seems. You either learn or win. You either have two regrets or one.
Santiago replaced the word “I could” with “I did” by going to the pyramid. Therefore, you can live with one of the above situations more happily than the other.
This is the Alchemist’s message:
“When I have been truly searching for my treasure every hour has been luminous because every hour has been a part of the dream. When I have been truly searching for my treasure I discover things along the way that I never would have seen had I not had the courage to try things that seemed impossible to achieve.“The Alchemist
Find out what happens when a lady refuses to go back to her psychopath ex. The extent she went to defend herself.
Did You Feel Inspired By The Alchemist?
This is The Alchemist’s short summary, and if you feel a little inspiration after reading it, imagine what readers experience reading the book.
So, does that mean it’s a self-help book?
It doesn’t promise to be one, but people tend to read and connect with the story, especially those who are scared of what will happen if they ignore everything. Like a good fiction book, it doesn’t tell you what to do or what not to do. It simply tells a story. The interpretation is up to each reader. Some see a regular story, and most see self-help — a good characteristic of good stories.
So, Is The Alchemist A Good Book?
The answer is yes. Or, probably no, depending on your taste or life experiences.
You can read my review of the Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas.
Check books like The Alchemist.