Follow your dream. Listen to your heart.

A Book Review – The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream

By Paulo Coelho

Enjoy the book recommendation in video format!

Short Summary

“The Alchemist” tells a wonderful story about a shepherd boy’s journey to chase his dreams.

“Because, wherever your heart is, that is where you’ll find your treasure.”

The Alchemist – Part Two

The boy’s name was Santiago, a skilled shepherd, and he was on his way to the merchant’s place to earn a living by shearing wool from his sheep. One night when he was resting his sheep at an abandoned church, he had a dream. It was the same dream he had earlier. The boy dreamed of a child telling him that he would find a hidden treasure if he travelled to the Egyptian Pyramids. However each time before the child could show the boy the exact location of the treasure, the boy woke up from his dream.

With curiosity, the boy approached a Gypsy old woman to interpret the dream. As simple as the dream indicated, the old woman told the boy to travel to the Pyramids. From where, he would find a treasure and make him into a rich man. The boy was disappointed and felt that he wasted time listening to wild words from a Gypsy. Later when he was sinking in his thoughts, an old man joined him at the bench and started a conversation. The old man was the King of Salem.

“The Journey”

The King encouraged the boy to seek for the treasure and guided him to follow omens in his path. In exchange for secret of the treasure, the king took the sheep and the boy became free of burden. The boy set off on his new journey, leaving behind his life as a shepherd, longing to find the hidden treasure. During his journey to Egypt, he had various encounters including meeting the crystal merchant, the Englishman, the camel driver, the girl he loved, the tribal leaders and most importantly, the “alchemist”.

The alchemist was famous for having the magical ability to turn lead into gold. He was also an incredibly wise man who enlightened the boy in many ways. The boy weathered through a life-threatening incident with the alchemist and finally reached the Pyramids. After a farewell with the alchemist, the boy made the final climb.

Did the boy find the hidden treasure? I will leave it to you to find out by yourself.

The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dreams

The Alchemist. Listen to your heart.

(Paid link via Amazon)

Personal thoughts

This book is a fiction, yet it is not.

Paulo Coelho is a clever storyteller who keeps you intrigued on what happens to the boy. The book is written in simple English and has a simple storyline, however this book itself is not simple at all. There is a reason why it is an international bestseller with over 65 million copies sold worldwide. When you journey through the treasure hunt with the boy, Paulo shares his numerous life experiences and encourages us to follow our dreams. How do we do so? The principle is simple: To listen to your heart. But as simple as it sound, this is truly the hardest.

Personally reading the “Alchemist” feels like going through a meditation session. Though I do not practice meditation regularly, I enjoy calmness in my heart and this book does have this effect. This is a short book (only 170+ pages) in simple English and likely you can finish it within 2-3 days. You will feel happy walking the trip with the boy and learning the life lessons the boy learnt, it is a refresher to our mind and heart. The ending of the book will also give you a light smile.

“We all have dreams.”

We usually start developing our dreams when we are small. Nevertheless when we grow up we tend to forget them, or we make up many excuses to delay and not to pursue them. And we keep pushing back until one day we grow old and regret we have not achieved what our heart truly wanted. This is the crystal merchant in the story. The treasure is the goal, the journey is the process, the boy represents you and me. Ask your heart deeply what you wanted, and you will understand. This is what Paulo wanted to tell us.

When we are lost during the process, do not worry. Look for omens like the boy, and you will find signs and guides, be it a calling or someone’s help, to figure your way ahead.

“I sincerely hope you who are reading this post enjoys calmness in your heart, and will one day find your treasure in life.”

I am touched by the message conveyed to us by this book. My goal is to grow this site and promote calmness through reading, and I will work hard to achieve it. As similar to the boy, I felt the journey would be even more rewarding than the treasure itself.

What else to learn

  • Paulo’s first few publications were not an instant hit. Interestingly, the Alchemist took off at a later part of his life and was a work Paulo did when he observed “omens” in his life.

The Mouse talks to the The Creator

Have you met any alchemist in real life?

Unfortunately I have not. But I believe the alchemist in this book refers to wise people who give you impactful guidance and enlightening thoughts. Do treasure it when you meet one!

The Mouse tried out alchemy

The Alchemist. Paulo Coelho. Listen to your heart.
ChubbiCheese tried to turn lead into cheese, but failed…

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The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dreams

The Alchemist. Listen to your heart.

(Paid link via Amazon)

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