Reading is a skill that can help us dive into the minds of the greatest philosophers, historians, and generation leaders of all time. Paulo Coelho is one of those writers, and The Alchemist is a perfect example of one of these great books that comes along and leaves a huge wake in its trail.
This article will demonstrate a few of the key lessons and takeaways that this book has to offer, but as for any situation, there is always more to learn.
Here are 5 life lessons we can learn from The Alchemist:
1. We are all Alchemists with the power to build our ideal lives
Alchemy means to transform or create something through some seemingly magical process. Designing your own custom life from scratch, according to what was only a mental picture of it before, is nothing short of magic. How many people have successfully done this? Only a handful. But it’s the opportunity that lies in front of every single one of us. It’s imperative that we snatch it up and get to work!
2. Sometimes everything you seek is right where you started
Often times along our journey to success and fulfillment, we realize that everything we wanted and needed was right where we started. We are often seeking something exterior to make us happy or fulfill us, but it’s unnecessary because we have everything we need inside of us. This search manifests itself in search of money, fame, and levels of success.
The irony of the road to success is that you’re already successful if you’re committed to betterment, growth and abundance. Before you embark on any journey, recognize that you’ve got the tools within you to succeed, the capacity to learn a massive amount, and can develop an unbreakable mindset.
“Money is numbers, and numbers never end. If it takes money to be happy, your search for happiness will never end.” – Bob Marley
3. Your mission is the most important aspect of your life
Everyone needs a mission, and this is part of what gives you your drive and your purpose. When you know your why, you are more dedicated to your skill building, your hustle improves, and your clarity for the future increases.
Your relationships with family, friends, and romance are improved drastically because you’re authentically living for your real purpose. You’re fulfilling it every day, which brings more passion to each of those areas, your finances improve because you’re adding massive value, and your free time is expanded because you’ve created your ideal life from your passions. Hopefully you can recognize why clarifying your mission makes all else easier.
Also, it comes before your love life, because your heart is wide open, giving your all to the world as you see it, and providing value for generations that come after you. There’s an anecdote in the story when the main character Santiago is faced with a choice between his love Fatima, or his mission, otherwise known as why his search began.
He goes to a fortune-teller who tells him he could choose her first, and he would be happy, for a time. After these short years, havoc would wreak itself on the village he led because he did not give the world his full gift. In the end, he chose to leave her and pursue his mission, and was able to regain her love and relationship after he fulfilled his main purpose.
It’s like this for us too. If you’re not willing to throw it all away for the greater good, and your highest consciousness, it’s not going to end well.
4. It’s about the journey more than the destination
Many of us, myself included, get caught up in the striving for a destination. “If I could just get…” “If I could just make enough to…” “If I can just reach…” This thinking is pointless because all we ever have is the present moment.
What this really means is that we’ll always have to be right here, right now. If we’re unsatisfied right here and right now, we’re fooling ourselves. We’re delaying gratification to a point that may never come. It’s powerful to reach and work towards goals on the daily, and smash them.
What’s not helpful for us is if we don’t allow ourselves to be happy on the journey. We can and should be proud of what we’ve done, have a clear goal for the future, and always be growing. Don’t let yourself slip down the path of bashing yourself for not being where you want yet. It will come, and right now is a part of the journey that’s extremely necessary.
5. There are tons of setbacks before the momentum
Before you reach any type of tipping point, you will necessarily need to go through many setbacks and what look like failures. Be thankful for these opportunities. Think of it this way: these are the doors to what you want. You just go through them and get to the other side, which are your goals. You cannot succeed without them. So change your frame of mind and be happy and thankful when they show up, since you’re one step closer to success.
“Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though sometimes it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and grieves which we endure help us in our marching onward.” – Henry Ford
Don’t confuse temporary setback with permanent failure, though. Setbacks are not failure, but quitting is. The only way you can fail is if you quit because you can’t do it. If you’re not willing to push through everything to what you really want most, then you don’t deserve it anyways. The world will test and try your will to seize what you want. Never give into these tests. Laugh in their face and say “bring it on.”