The Alchemist

by Paulo Coelho

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A lovely story of a boy, exploring the world and learning about life. Specked with a lot of wisdom, that should be way more common.

The following are quotes from the book:

Intense, unexpected suffering passes more quickly than suffering that is apparently bearable; the latter goes on for years and, without our noticing, eats away at our soul, until, one day, we are no longer able to free ourselves from the bitterness and it stays with us for the rest of our lives.

We are told from childhood onward that everything we want to do is impossible. We grow up with this idea, and as the years accumulate, so too do the layers of prejudice, fear and guilt. There comes a time when our personal calling is so deeply buried in our soul as to be invisible. But it’s still there.

If I became a monster today, and decided to kill them, one by one, they would become aware only after most of the flock had been slaughtered […]. They trust me. And they’ve forgotten how to relay on their own instincts, because I lead them to nourishment.

But when he thought to complain about the burden of [his jacket’s] weight, he remembered that because of it he withstood the cold. We have to be prepared for change, and he was grateful for the jackets weight and warmth.

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

Boy: I didn’t need to tase my time for this (information you just gave me). Old Woman: […] It’s the simple things in life that are most extraordinary. […] I only interpret dreams. I don’t know hot to turn them into reality. That’s why I have to live off what my daughters provide me with.

So the boy decided that he would never again believe in dreams. He remembered that he had a number of things he had to take care of.

Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.

Everyone, when they are young know what their destiny is. At that point in life […] they are not afraid to dream and to yearn for everything they would like to see happen in their lives. But as time passes, a mysterious force begins to convince them that it will be impossible for them to realize their destiny.

The soul of the world is nourished by people’s happiness.

People never realize that they are capable, AT ANY TIME IN THEIR LIVES, of doing what they dream of.

If you stat out by promising what you don’t even have yet, you ll lose your desire to work toward getting it.

(After being robbed) I am like everyone else - I see the world in terms of what I would like to see happen, not what actually does.

He realized that he had to choose between thinking of himself as the poor victim of a thief and as an adventurer in quest of his treasure. “I’m an adventurer, looking for treasure,” he said to himself.

Every blessing ignored becomes a curse.

He still had some doubts about the decision he had made. But he was able to understand one thing: making a decision was only the beginning of things. When someone makes a decision, he is really driving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.

I’ve crossed these sands many times, said one of the camel drivers one night. But the desert is so huge, and the horizon so distant, that they make a person feel small, and as if he should remain silent.

No matter how many detours and adjustments it made, the caravan moved toward the same compass point. Once obstacles were overcome, it returned to its course, sighting on a star that indicated the location of the

I can always go back being [what I did before]. I haven’t forgotten how it’s done. But maybe I’ll never have another chance to [do xyz].

It was my fear of failure that first kept me from attempting the Master Work. Now, I’m beginning what I could have started ten years ago. But I’m happy at least that I didn’t wait twenty years

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

„My heart is a traitor“, the boy said […]. „It does not want me to go on“. „That makes sense“ the Alchemist answered. „Naturally it’s afraid that, in pursuing your dream you might loose everything you’ve won. […] You will never be able to expose from your heart. So it’s better to listen what it has to say. [Because you know it’s dreams and wishes you will know how to deal with it.] That way you will never fear an unanticipated blow.

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