Lessons from “The Alchemist”

Posted on June 26, 2006. Filed under: Book, Art, & Culture |

Right now I’m reading “The Alchemist,” and I’m loving this short and to-the-point allegory. It’s extremely inspirational for anyone who has dreamed with the unlimited imagination of a five year old and the drive of a ten year old 🙂 I’m about two-thirds in the book, and I’ve already highlighted some favorite passages. A lot of this book relates to my life right now. Here’s one:

Everyone, when they are young, knows what their Personal Legend is. At that point in their lives, everything is clear and everything is possible. They are afraid to dream, and to yearn for everything they would like to see happen to them in their lives. But as time passes, a mysterious force begins to convince them that it wil be impossible for them to realize their Personal Legend…It’s a force that appears to be negative, but actually shows you how to realize your Personal Legend.

There has been a lot of people and obligations/desires that have tested my allegiance to my literary dreams. I’ve had to let some friendships and loves go because my time has been centered on my writing and reading. Even though I’ve learned to just breathe and focus on the good things in life, this negative force disrupts it all. It’s like a chameleon or shape-shifter. It can be an activity that seems so much more fun than reading, like the movies, talking with your honey-bunny on the phone, or even going clubbing. It can pop up as a lover, who claims dying love for you yet prefers a pause on the pursuits of your dreams. It can even be a rude stranger who hides behind the shield of anonymouty to insult you with lies. It blends into its surroundings, and without any warning. But this spiteful chameleon, which tempts you even more as you get closer to your dream and as beginner’s luck fades away, fills a purpse:

It prepares your spirit and your will, because there is one great truth on this planet: whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it’s because desire origated in the soul of the universe. It’s your mission on earth.

Now it’s quite obvious what is my current negative force. While, his or her purpose may be a mystery to me, five years from now it will be read by millions in my books. No matter what haters will say to me, I will breathe and think of all the things that make me happy: lunch with my friends, playing dominoes with my family, cuddling with my honey, staring at the stars, and achieving the best metafor I’ve made that whole day. All of those moments are mine and are part of my present alone. So while the future is uncertain and the past is set in stone, breathe because your Personal Legend will soon be part of the memory of those you shall love.

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2 Responses to “Lessons from “The Alchemist””

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Cynthia, I’m so loving this post. I keep hearing about The Alchemist and I’m making it my mission to pick it up. I’m glad you recognize the negative forces in your life and realize you have to let them go. So many people don’t and when that happens, dreams shivel up and are cast aside. And you know what? It’s those same type of people who’ve never realized their own dreams that make it a mission to stomp on those of others. Stay strong!

I had to read this book for english. im in 8th grade. it taught alot of good lessons but reading it in 2 weeks made the book seem really bad. Only because i didnt have time to understand it and read through it carefully. I have to do a project and ur webpage has helped me understand it alittle better. you picked one of the quotes that i wrote about, I want to become an actress and so many people tell me its impossible and as and so as ive gotten older ive lost so much hope. I know the idea of me being in movies is insain but i really belive that i have enough heart and drive to become one.


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