Life Lessons “The Alchemist” Taught, and Continues to Teach Us Everyday

The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho is what I call the “book of life” because it not only teaches us essential lessons about life, but more importantly it inspires us to achieve our dreams.

The 25th Anniversary Limited Edition copy of "The Alchemist" by Paolo Coelho

The 25th Anniversary Limited Edition copy of “The Alchemist” by Paolo Coelho

Here are my favorite lines from Paolo’s book that always remind me of different lessons every time I read them:

“The problem is that they (sheeps) don’t even realize that they’re walking a new road everyday. They don’t see that the fields are new and the seasons change. All they think about is food and water.” –Santiago

“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.” –Old Man to Santiago

“There is one great truth in this planet: whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It’s your mission on earth.” –Old Man to Santiago

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” –Old Man to Santiago

“If you start out by promising what you don’t even have yet, you’ll lose your desire to work toward getting it.” –Old Man to Santiago

“When each day is the same as the next, it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives everyday that the sun rises.” –Santiago

“’Meanwhile I want you to do something,’ said the wise man, handling the boy a teaspoon that held two drops of oil. ‘As you wander around, carry this spoon with you without allowing the oil to spill.’

“The boy began climbing and descending the many stairways of the palace, keeping his eyes fixed on the spoon. After two hours, he returned to the room where the wise man was.”

“’Well,’ asked the wise man, ‘did you see the Persian tapestries that are hanging in my dining hall? Did you see the garden that it took the master gardener ten years to create? Did you notice the beautiful parchments in my library?’”

“The boy was embarrassed, and confessed that he had observed nothing. His only concern had not been to spill the oil that the wise man had entrusted to him.”

“The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world, and never to forget the drops of oil in the spoon.” -Old King

“You must always know what it is that you want.” –Old King

“Never stop dreaming.” –Old King

“The sheep taught him (Santiago) something even more important: that there was a language in the world that everyone understood, a language the boy had used throughout the time that he was trying to improve things at the shop. 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.” -Santiago

“The closer one gets to realizing his Personal Legend, the more that Personal Legend becomes his true reason for being.” –Santiago

“Intuition is really a sudden immersion of the soul into the universal current of life, where the histories of all people are connected, and we are able to know everything, because it’s all written there.” -Santiago

“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.” –Caravan driver to Santiago

“When you want something with all your heart, that’s when you are closest to the Soul of the World. It’s always a positive force.” –Santiago

“I learned that the world has a soul, and that whoever understands that soul can understand the language of things.” –Santiago

“If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man. Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we’re living right now.”

“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. Without such love, one’s dreams would have no meaning.” –Santiago

“The dunes are changed by the wind, but the desert never changes. That’s the way it will be with out love for each other.” –Fatima to Santiago

“It was my fear of failure that first kept me from attempting the Master Work.” –Santiago

“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.” –the Seer to the Camel Driver

“It’s not what enters men’s mouth that’s evil. It’s what comes out of their mouth that is.” –The Alchemist

“Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure. You’ve got to find the treasure, so that everything you have learned along the way can make sense.” –The Alchemist

“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.” –The Alchemist

“There is only one way to learn. It’s through action. Everything you need to know you have learned through your journey.” –The Alchemist

“The existence of this world is simply a guarantee that there exists a world that is perfect. God created the world so that, through its visible objects, men could understand his spiritual teachings and the marvels of his wisdom.” –The Alchemist

“Listen to your heart. It knows all things, because it came from the Soul of the World, and it will one day return there.” –The Alchemist

“Naturally it’s (your heart) afraid that in pursuing your dream, you might lose everything you’ve won.” –The Alchemist

“Well then why should I listen to my heart?” asked Santiago.

“Because you will never again be able to keep quiet. Even if you pretend not to have heard what it tells you, it will always be there inside you, repeating to you what you’re thinking about life and about the world.” –The Alchemist

“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.” –The Alchemist

“People are afraid to pursue their most important dreams, because they feel that they don’t deserve them, or that they’ll be unable to achieve them. We, their hearts, become fearful just thinking of loved ones who go away forever, or of moments that could have been good but weren’t, or of treasures that might have been found but were forever hidden in the sands. Because, when these things happen, we suffer terribly.” –Santiago’s heart

“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.” –The Alchemist

“Most people see the world as a threatening place, and, because they do, the world turns out, indeed, to be a threatening place.” –The Alchemist

“Before a dream is realized, the Soul of the World tests everything that was learned along the way. It does this not because it is evil, but so that we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve moved toward that dream. That’s the point at which most people give up. It’s the point at which, as we say in the language of the desert, one ‘dies of thirst just when the palm trees have appeared on the horizon.’” –The Alchemist

“Every search begins with beginner’s luck. And every search ends with the victors being severely tested.” –The Alchemist

“When you possess great treasures within you and try to tell others of them, seldom are you believed.” –The Alchemist

“Your eyes show the strength of your soul.” –The Alchemist

“Don’t give in to your fears. If you do, you won’t be able to talk to your heart.” –The Alchemist

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” –The Alchemist

“You’ll die in the midst of trying to realize your Personal Legend. That’s a lot better than dying like millions of other people, who never even knew what their Personal Legends were.” –The Alchemist

“The world is only the visible aspect of God. And that what alchemy does is to bring spiritual perfection into contact with the material plane.” –The Alchemist

“When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too. When we love, we always strive to become better than we are.” –The Alchemist

“Be aware of the place where you are brought to tears. That’s where I am, and that’s where your treasure is.” –Santiago’s heart

By now, I’m sure you feel different emotions.

Be aware and acknowledge those emotions, let it consume you, and let it inspire you to strive for your dreams.

And as you work hard to be where you want to be and what you want to become, I’d like to share one advice from one of my teachers not only in Medicine but in Life itself, Dr. Broli Banzuela :

“Always strive for significance and not success.”

For success will always come to those who work for their goals. But real happiness can only be felt when we know we have contributed something to society and that we have made a difference in other people’s lives.

God loves you.

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2 thoughts on “Life Lessons “The Alchemist” Taught, and Continues to Teach Us Everyday

  1. Natividad Buceta ha desarrollado la mayor parte de su carrera
    en puestos de responsabilidad técnica, comercial y de advertising en el Grupo Siemens.

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