The Alchemist is a book that can severely impact your life and it is officially the most translated book of all time, setting a Guinness World Record for doing so.
It truly is an amazing book because it shares with the world a few of the simplest lessons about life through a fictional story, not a true story like you’d expect. The word Alchemy that features in the book title is one worth understanding because it’s an uncommon term.
Alchemy is a seemingly magical process of transformation, creation, or combination.
This idea of alchemy ties in perfectly with the main theme of the book, which is to follow your dreams and listen to your heart in the process.
The book is a cult classic because it allows you to dream a little and rethink your life from a different position through the magic of storytelling.
These are the key lessons from the book.
We all have the ability to envision and create our ideal life
When you think about the vision for your life, it’s a kind of alchemy. Think about the process for a second. You’ve got to think up a vision, create the steps and keep going until you can live the original picture you saw in your mind.
If that’s not some sort of whacked-out, crazy magic, I don’t know what is. And how many people complete this process, create the vision, implement the vision, live the vision and don’t mess it all up? Very few.
Consciously creating our ideal life rather than letting life hand us a McHappy Meal disguised as sugary bad dreams is not so common.
Embracing alchemy and letting the magic happen is an action we can all take.
You can create whatever you want when you’re an alchemist.
What you seek may be back at the start
If you think of life as a journey, often, the best wisdom is back in the past.
When I was a child, every weekend, I’d write short fictional stories on bits of dotted line paper in my bedroom. One day as a teenager, I gave up this hobby thinking it was a total waste of time. Fast forward to today and I’m back doing writing on the weekend as if I’m that same child all over again.
Coming full circle is a transformational process. When you go back to the start, a different result is produced.
You might be looking too far forward when the answers you need are behind you at the starting line. Take a look back.
Fulfill your mission
That mission is different for all of us. Along the way there will be many distractions and temptations to take shortcuts or seek overnight success. Don’t be distracted from your mission.
Your mission is your north star. It tells you what to say yes to, who to surround yourself with and what to do with one’s time on this planet. A mission gives you a reason for surviving and passion to push through the inevitable setbacks. With passion, you can do anything. You can be anyone. Having a mission is no easy feat, though.
Along the way you’re going to have to give it all up at some point to keep going.
Giving it all up might come in many forms such as giving up your savings, romance, time, another want, a career, the location where you live, or time away with friends.
It’s when you are willing to give something up that you know you’ve found your mission.
It’s the process, not the outcome
The time to be grateful is right now while you’re on the journey. If you have to wait for the outcome, you’ll miss the best part.
The process you go through each and every day to achieve your life’s mission is where all the learning, wisdom and enjoyment that comes from work exists from. Even when you do reach an outcome, it only ever leads to another journey.
If you chase outcomes, you’ll never be satisfied and will always be delaying your happiness for some point in the future that may never arrive or happen when you’re dead.
“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”
― Paulo Coelho
Before momentum are obstacles and falling on your face
The tipping point — or the point where you start to see incredible momentum because you’ve overcome the initial resistance — is not reached in one continuous stretch with a clear path right in front of you.
Momentum comes from enduring the setbacks that look like failures and then using the learnings to increase the speed of your progress.
You want the setbacks and it’s necessary to fall down because otherwise, you won’t learn. You won’t find individual wisdom tailored to your situation.
The only obstacles that are a problem are the ones that you let defeat you by quitting. Quitting is the ultimate failure. You always have the option to proceed even if it’s in a slightly different way. And that slightly different route might be exactly what you need to get where you’re going.
Your journey matters more than you think
You may think your journey is not important, but that is to dismiss the ripple effect. You might make a splash and it could be the resulting waves that follow, which change the world.
We all have an important journey to take in life, so take yours and see where it may lead.
“No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world. And normally he doesn’t know it.”
― Paulo Coelho