Five things I learnt from ‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho
Five things I learnt from ‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho

About the book

The Alchemist is my favorite book and is the first book I recommend when someone asks “what book should I read?”. The book is about a young shepherd named Santiago, who is looking for his own legend, the purpose of his life. The boy decides to make a long journey, far away from home and during this trip he learns to listen to his heart and speak the language of the world. An enchanting story, but also a story that teaches some lessons. This is what I learnt:

#1 Have faith

You may not know what your “legend” is. I also do not know yet, but what I do know is that you make it a little easier for yourself by trusting yourself and your wishes and dreams. When you make sure you are doing your best every day and enjoy the steps (and mistakes!) that you make, you will find something that suits you. Whether it’s about your education, job or maybe friendship / relationship: have faith. Ultimately, everything will fall into place.

#2 Anxiety is a bigger obstacle than the obstacle itself

In the book, Santiago constantly dives into challenges. Although he is afraid of the unknown, he still makes the choice to continue: regardless of his uncertainties and fears. How often have you been afraid / nervous about something and in the end it went well/ wasn’t scary at all? I can make an endless list of moments like that which I had myself. Do not let your fear stop you from making that choice, you’ll see that afterwards it’s almost always less scary than you thought beforehand.

#3 Be grateful for your ‘normal’ life

To know what I mean by this, I recommend reading the book yourself ;).

“When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he has never dreamed of when he first made the decision.”

#4 Focus on yourself

Make choices for yourself regardless of what others think. The right people will stay with you, in any case. It may seem scary to wave away the opinions and comments of others. But if I’ve learnt something from ‘The Alchemist’, it’s that only you can determine your path.

#5 Do not compensate on your dreams and wishes

And last but not least, do not compensate on your dreams and wishes! Others may say it is unreachable, or maybe that is what your inner critic is saying to yourself. Do not listen to those critical voices: go for what you want! And if you need a reminder or a back in the back, pick up the “The Alchemist” again.

What book do you recommend to anyone?


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Lisa den Boer

Content creator who believes in the power of content: breaking taboo, motivating and inspiring. Curious about new places, cultures and other people.

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