Books have a protagonist whose story inspires us for a long time. You may finish reading a book but you will feel as if some part of the story is still left within you. Every character in the book teaches us something and then takes exit on the next page. The Alchemist is one such book. Its quotes have always fascinated me. They give out extraordinary meaning through a bunch of ordinary words stitched together.
This book should be in every one`s bookshelf. It is highly motivating and teaches us about the world and one`s destiny through the eyes of Santiago, a shepherd. One day he dreams of a hidden treasure beneath the Egyptian pyramids. He starts his journey to fulfill his destiny. Many obstacles come in his way but he doesn’t let them dishearten him. He is robbed, duped, and beaten. But he never loses the sight of his sole aim- Egyptian pyramids. A time comes when he doubts his destiny. He is at the crossroads wondering whether he should return home or continue with his journey. In the end, the treasure becomes so tempting that he chooses the latter. He meets many people. Some help him and take him one step closer to his destiny while others take advantage of his gullibility. In the end the boy fulfils his destiny but not the way he expected!
The book gives some of the extraordinary lessons through simple quotes.
“At 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.”
It is human tendency to blame. Sometimes they blame their karma, fate, and people around them; anything and anyone except themselves. This quote makes us realizes that we are the captain of the ship. We can steer it in any direction we want. Fate is just an excuse.
“And, when you want something, the entire universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
You just have to take the first step. DREAM. Know what you want in life, and the rest of pieces will themselves start falling in place. When you are faced by difficulties, you will meet people who will guide you. In the book this role is done by Melchizedek, crystal merchant and Englishman.
“You came so that you could learn about your dreams,” said the old woman. “And dreams are the language of God. When he speaks in our language, I can interpret what he has said. But if he speaks in the language of the soul, it is only you who can understand.”
People can guide you to your destiny only up to a limit. After that everything depends on you. People will interpret your dreams through their viewpoint but they have their limitations. After all it is your life, the true destiny, the final step, the achievement; they all depend solely on you. Always believe your hunches, they are God`s way of helping you, people might not understand them, they will regard them as foolish notions but some things are better left between you and God.
“. . . every blessing ignored becomes a curse. I don’t want anything else in life. But you are forcing me to look at wealth and at horizons that I have never known. Now that I have seen them, and now that I see how immense my possibilities are, I’m going to feel worse than I did before you arrived. Because I know the things I should be able to accomplish, and I don’t want to do so.”
Everyone is afraid to try something new. Complacency is easy but restricting. Sometimes we are afraid to utilize our full potential, explore new horizons, to do something we have never done before. We are afraid of failure and prefer to remain where we are. When Santiago is faced with his true potential he becomes scared. Overcoming this fear is the hardest but once it is done the results are amazing.
“When you possess great treasures within you, and try to tell others of them, seldom are you believed.”
Sometimes the only thing between you and your destination is the people telling you “You can’t do this.” If you believe in yourself you don’t have to make other people believe in you. They will never do it. Instead they will be jealous of your true potential and will try to de-motivate you. Take every criticism thrown at you in your stride and you will never fail.
“The boy stood up shakily, and looked once more at the Pyramids. They seemed to laugh at him, and he laughed back, his heart bursting with joy. Because now he knew where his treasure was.”
This is the perfect ending to the book. Santiago, a boy, who started this journey was returning home as a man. A man, who has seen the world, can distinguish between good and bad. The real treasure, he realizes, is buried under the same church where he first dreamt of it. Nothing is achieved easily in life, he was meant to undertake this journey and face all the hardships on the way to realize the true value of treasure which was always buried under his home.