Review/Summary: The Alchemist | Book


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“My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer,” the boy told the alchemist one night as they looked up at the moonless sky.

“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.”

The Alchemist Review/Summary

The Alchemist Review: A shepherd named Santiago travels from his home in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of treasure.

During his travels, he meets a gypsy woman, a king, and an alchemist who helped him along the way.

Nobody knows what or where the treasure is, but throughout Santiago’s journey, he learns to listen to his heart.

There’s not too much I can tell you without spoiling the story, so let me leave you with a few extracts that will surely show you the kind of message the author desires to share:

The boy didn't want to talk about the Pyramids. His heart was heavy, and he had been melancholy since the previous night. To continue his search for the treasure meant that he had to abandon Fatima.

"I'm going to guide you across the desert," the alchemist said.

"I want to stay at the oasis," the boy answered. "I've found Fatima, and, as far as I'm concerned, she's worth more than treasure."

"Fatima is a woman of the desert," said the alchemist. "She knows that men have to go away in order to return. And she already has her treasure: it's you. Now she expects that you will find what it is you are looking for."

"Well, what if I decide to stay?"

"Let me tell you what will happen. You'll be the counselor of the oasis. You have enough gold to buy many sheep and many camels. You'll marry Fatima, and you'll both be happy for a year. You'll learn to love the desert, and you'll get to know every one of the fifty thousand palms. You'll watch them as they grow, demonstrating how the world is always changing. And you'll get better and better at understanding omen because the desert is the best teacher there is."

"Sometime during the second year, you'll remember about the treasure. The omens will begin insistently to speak of it, and you'll try to ignore them. You'll use your knowledge for the welfare of the oasis and its inhabitants. The tribal chieftains will appreciate what you do. And your camels will bring you wealth and power."

"During the third year, the omen will continue to speak of your treasure and your destiny. You'll walk around, night after night, at the oasis, and Fatima will be unhappy because she'll feel it was she who interrupted your quest. But you will love her, and she'll return your love. You'll remember that she never asked you to stay because a woman of the desert knows that she must await her man. So you won't blame her. But many times you'll walk the sands of the desert, thinking that maybe you could have left, that you could have trusted more in your love for Fatima. Because what kept you at the oasis was your fear that you might never come back. At that point, the omens will tell you that your treasure is now buried forever."

"Then, sometime during the fourth year, the omens will abandon you, because you've stopped listening to them. The tribal chieftains will see that, and you'll get dismissed from your position as a counselor. But, by then, you'll be a rich merchant, with many camels and lots of merchandise. You'll spend the rest of your days knowing that you didn't pursue your destiny and that now it's too late."

"You must understand that love never keeps a man from pursuing his destiny. If he abandons that pursuit, it's because it wasn't true love... the love that speaks the Language of the World."



To sum up the teachings of "the alchemist review", I've gathered three important lessons which I've accomplished from the book-

Lesson 1: Recognize The Good Things

Let's say- Jerry works at a 9-5 job for an advertising firm.

He drags himself out of bed, brushes his teeth, catches the train, and begins his Monday checking emails.

Then he gets yelled at by his boss, had some lunch at the canteen, and gets yelled at again by a client.

By the evening, he spends the last hour staring at the clock and then finally heads back to the home feeling drained.

Sounds like a dull day right?

Well, Jerry failed to see the old man that gave up his seat for him on the train.

He neglected to see the email from his boss thanking him for his efforts.

And he failed to see the friendly smile that a stranger gave him on his way back home.

When each day feels same as the day before, it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day when the sun rises.

Lesson 2: Live In The Present

“I don’t live in either my past or my future. I’m interested only in the present. If you can always concentrate 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 now.”
Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

The present is the only moment in which you can live your life, so make the most of it. Stop mulling over the past and worrying about the future.

I'm not saying that you can’t learn from your mistakes in the past, or plan for the future – but remember to be fully conscious each day.

Lesson 3: Follow Your Heart

Wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure. You’ll never be able to escape from your heart. So it’s better to listen to what it has to say.

I’ll now leave you with Paulo Coelho’s most famous quote from "the alchemist summary"

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” ― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

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