October 20, 2021
5 Minutes

The Alchemist

Book summary of The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Read this book summary to review the important takeaways and lessons from the book.

Coelho On Being Aware

  • It's the simple things in life that are the most extraordinary.

  • Once you get into the desert, there's no going back. And, when you can't go back, you have to worry only about the best way of moving forward.

  • If you can concentrate on the present, you'll be a happy person.

  • It would be impossible to be effective in battle if one knew that they were fated to die.

  • If good things are coming, they will be a pleasant surprise. If bad things are, and you know in advance, you will suffer much before they even occur.

  • 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.

  • Life attracts life.

Coelho On Dreams

  • When you want something, the whole universe conspires to help you.

  • It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.

  • When he was a child, that man wanted to travel, too. But he decided first to buy his bakery and put some money aside. When he's an older man, he's going to spend a month in Africa. He never realized that people are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream.

  • There is nothing to hold you back except yourself.

  • He had not a cent in his pocket, but he had faith.

  • Not everyone can see their dreams come true in the same way.

  • Never stop dreaming.

  • I'm beginning what I could have started ten years ago. But I'm happy at least that I didn't wait for twenty years.

  • People are afraid to pursue their dreams because they feel that they don't deserve them, or that they'll be unable to achieve them.

  • Following your dream is like learning a foreign language; you will make mistakes, but you will get there in the end.

  • Ask exact questions, and to do that, you must know what you want.

  • You must always know what it is that you want.

  • Everything in life has its price.

Coelho On Failure

  • It would be best if you had no fear of failure.

  • Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than hell itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the pursuit is a second's encounter with God and with eternity.

  • Don't give in to your fears.

  • There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.

  • It said that the darkest hour of the night comes just before the dawn.

Coelho On Learning

  • We have to get prepared for change.

  • Sometimes it's better to be with the sheep, who don't say anything. And better still to be alone with one's books. They tell their incredible stories at the time when you want to hear them.

  • It's only those who are persistent, and willing to study things deeply, who achieve mastery.

  • Everyone has their way of learning things.

  • The desert will give you an understanding of the world; in fact, anything on the face of the earth will do that. You don't even have to understand the desert: all you have to do is contemplate a simple grain of sand, and you will see in it all the marvels of creation.

  • You'll have to learn; your life depends on it.

  • When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better.

  • Don't fall into the trap of not wanting change, because you're unsure of how to deal with change.

  • There is only one way to learn. It's through action.

Coelho On Life's Journey

  • If you start by promising what you don't have, you'll lose your desire to work towards getting it.

  • The world's greatest lie is -  at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what's happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate.

  • Even if he never got to the pyramids, he'd already travelled farther than shepherds he knew.

  • When someone makes a decision, they are diving into a strong current that will carry them to places they had never dreamed of when they first made the decision.

  • No matter how many detours it makes, the caravan moves towards the same compass point.

  • The wind changes the dunes, but the desert never changes.

  • Every search begins with beginner's luck. And every search ends with the victor's getting tested.

  • The force of flowing water uncovers treasure, and the same currents bury it.

  • Sometimes, there's no way to hold back the river.

  • It's not often that money saves a person's life.

  • No project gets completed until its objective has gotten achieved.

Coelho On Love

  • Beauty is the great seducer of men.

  • The language that everyone is capable of understanding is love.

  • One is loved because one is loved. There is no reason for loving.

  • Your eyes show the strength of your soul.

  • There is a language in the world that everyone understands. It is the language of enthusiasm, of things accomplished with love and purpose, and as part of a search for something greater.

Coelho On People

  • Even if my neighbour doesn't understand my religion or understand my politics, he can understand my story. If he can understand my story, then he's never too far from me. It is always within my power to build a bridge.

  • There persists a chance for reconciliation, a possibility that one day he and I will sit around a table together and put an end to our history of clashes. And on this day, he will tell me his story, and I will tell him mine.

  • He was so fascinated by himself that, one morning, he fell into the lake and drowned.

  • If someone isn't what others want them to be, the others become angry.

  • Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives.

  • When each day is the same as the next, it's because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day.

  • It's not what enters people's mouths that's evil. It's what comes out of their mouths that is.

  • Most people see the world as a threatening place, and, because they do, the world turns out, indeed, to be a scary place.

  • When you possess great treasures and try to tell others of them, seldom are you believed.

  • No matter what one does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world.

Coelho On Your Personal Legend

  • Everyone, when they are young, knows what their personal legend is. But, as time passes, a mysterious force begins to convince them that it will be impossible for them to realize their personal legend.

  • To know one's personal legend is a person's only real obligation.

  • The closer one gets to discovering their personal legend, the more that personal legend becomes their reason for being.

  • Love never keeps a man from pursuing his personal legend. If he abandons that pursuit, it's because it wasn't true love.

  • Very few follow the path laid out for them - the way to their personal legend, and happiness.

  • Life is generous to those who pursue their personal legend.

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