The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho – Book Summary

The Alchemist book summary

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A Shepherd named Santiago travels from his home in Spain to the egyptian desert in search of a treasure. During his travels. He meets a gypsy woman, a king and an alchemist who help him along the way. Nobody knows what the treasure is. But throughout Santiago’s journey he learns to listen to his heart.
Below are the great lessons I learnt from this book.

Lesson 1: Recognize the good things

Jerry works a 9 to 5 job for an advertising firm. He drags himself out of bed, brushes his teeth, waddles onto the train, begins his Monday checking emails, gets yelled at his boss, has some lunch at the canteen, gets yelled at again by a client, spends the last hour staring at the clock and then finally heads home feeling drained.
Sounds like a dull day, right?
Jerry failed to see the old man that gave up his seat for him on the train. He failed 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 home.
When each day is the same as the next it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives.

Lesson 2: Live in the Present

If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy person. Life will be a party for you because life is a moment we’re living now. Your past was the present and the future becomes a present. So 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. 
This is not to say 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: Life is interesting when you have a dream

Maybe Jerry felt each day was dull because he didn’t have a dream. He settled for what he had and didn’t have a dream to fulfill. Maybe we should all have a dream. 
Try something new but whatever you do never stop dreaming.

Lesson 4: Everyone Learns differently

Imagine that Jerry and I want to learn to play chess. We attend a chess event where we learn to play chess within a small group. Everyone helps each other out by asking and answering questions by the end of it. Jerry can play very well, but I can’t so I get frustrated.
Why did Jerry pick it up so well and I didn’t?
Well, the answer is because everyone learns differently. Jerry has a social and verbal learning style. He likes social settings where he can talk to others who are learning as well. 
I, on the other hand, have a solitary and visual learning style. I like a quiet solitary environment where I can learn through visuals such as images and diagrams. Whether you’re learning or teaching, remember that everyone learns differently. 

Lesson 5: Become better than what you are

When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better. Jerry is angry all the time. People don’t like being around angry people. He recognizes this and makes an effort to control his anger. As he becomes less and less angry he finds that people are more friendly toward him
Here is another example. James is an entrepreneur and is working on increasing his income from 50k to 100k a month. To do this he attends personal development seminars and makes an effort to help more people grow their businesses.
As a result, the people around him see him grow and become inspired by him. So naturally, these people gravitate towards James. Soon he is surrounded by more customers.

Lesson 6: Follow your heart

Wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure. You will never be able to escape from your heart, so it’s better to listen to what it has to say. When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.

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