“The Alchemist”- Inspiring and eye-opening lessons

“The Alchemist”- Inspiring and eye-opening lessons

Paulo Coelhos enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and soul-stirring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago, who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried near the Pyramids.

Here are some lessons learnt from this inspiring journey.

Here are just 3 of the many inspiring and eye-opening lessons from The Alchemist:

  1. You have a Personal Legend that you must follow if you want to be happy and fulfilled.
  2. Your fear is holding you back more than anything else.
  3. “The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.”

Let’s jump right into this wonderful book and see how much we can learn!

World’s greatest lie

  • At a certain age, people think that they have lost control over their lives and fate is the one controlling it


  • If you find your destiny to gain something the soul sets it as a mission of your life and the whole world conspires you to make you achieve that goal

Law of favorability

  • When you try something at first you are sure to be good at it as it whets your appetite with a pinch of success and provides you destiny to have more

In a nutshell

  • Never stop dreaming and follow the omens
  • When a person makes a decision it puts him into the current that carries him to the places he never dreamt of when he made the decision
  • The universal language is the language of enthusiasm and love
  • Maktub (Arabic): It is written (in a briefing that your destiny is shaped by you)
  • All things are manifestations of one thing only
  • Listen to your heart because it is where your destiny dwells
  • The fear of suffering is worse than suffering itself.
  • When you possess greater treasures within you and try to tell it to others seldom are you believed

These are some of the lessons from this classic tale. 

Lesson 1: If you want to reach your biggest goals and feel fulfilled, you must follow your Personal Legend.

The story begins with a young Spanish shepherd having a recurring dream. It happens each time he sleeps under a Sycamore tree outside of an old church building. In the dream, the boy hears from a child that he must go to the Egyptian pyramids to seek a treasure.

After meeting with a gipsy woman to find out what the dream means, the boy is surprised when she says he needs to go to Egypt. 

To make matters even stranger, an old man named Melchizedek tells the boy the same thing. This time, however, the man uses the word “Personal Legend” to explain what the young man must do.

After some deliberation, the boy decides to follow his Personal Legend and head for the pyramids. He sells his sheep and begins his journey by going to Tangier. 

Throughout the remainder of the book, he is constantly running into obstacles to his Personal Legend. But each step overcomes them to find success and fulfilment.

You have a Personal Legend too. It’s as unique as you are. You may already know what it is and simply need the courage to pursue it. Whether it’s a career, family, health, or other aspiration, you must overcome everything holding you back so that you can pursue your biggest dreams.

Once you begin, the whole Universe will conspire to make it happen. But that doesn’t mean you’ll be without difficulties.

Lesson 2: Stop being afraid if you want to remove the barriers that keep you from progressing.

The boy soon arrives in Tangier. The culture and the language, which he cannot speak, amaze him. This leads to someone stealing all his money. Even worse, he fears he’s made the wrong decision and almost heads back for Spain. 

But remembering what Melchizedek taught him, the young man pays attention to the omens all around him. He recommits to his Personal Legend and begins working for a local crystal merchant. 

The merchant recognizes the boy’s presence as a good omen and listens to his counsel that the man should take more risks with the business. This pays off and the two eventually become rich. 

The merchant knows what his Personal Legend is and recognizes that the boy’s presence is an omen that he should go after it. But he’s too afraid to follow it and stays where he is. 

In contrast, the young man uses his money to courageously continue on his journey to Egypt.

You also must your dreams, even when you’re afraid of the unknown path ahead. Fear is the biggest thing in the way of you living the life you want and only by beating it can you live life to the fullest.

Lesson 3: Rise more times than you fall and you will never fail.

As the young man’s journey continues, he meets an Englishman who tells him of an alchemist that can turn lead into gold. Eventually, the two stop in Al-Fayoum as part of the caravan they travel with. 

While there, the boy uses his newfound ability to read omens to foresee an attack on the oasis. This catches the attention of the alchemist. The two eventually meet and he becomes a mentor to the young man. The alchemist also declares the importance of Personal Legends.

With what he learns from the alchemist, the boy turns himself into the wind when a tribe of Arab soldiers captures them and threatens to kill them. The alchemist continues to teach the boy, but eventually, they must part ways before the young man reaches Egypt.

When he gets to Egypt he begins digging for his treasure only to be immediately beaten and robbed again. One of the men tells him of his own dream in which he would find treasure under a tree in an abandoned church in Spain.

The boy recognizes this omen and now knows where his treasure really is. He returns to Spain to find it in the exact spot he had his first dream and uses it to continue to fulfil his Personal Legend.

Just like this young man, you will fall while on your journey. But if you commit to getting up every time and keep going, the universe will once again conspire to lead you to just where you need to be.

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