Five lessons from The Alchemist
The Alchemist, a 1987 book of Paulo Coelho, is an allegorical novel considered as modern classic. The story of an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who left no stone unturned in quest of his dream and fulfilment of his destiny. A must-read novel, The Alchemist offers some lively and vibrant teachings of life.
Have bold desire and firm belief
"When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream." This motto repeatedly motivated the young shepherd to be true to his purpose amid harsh reality and cruel adversity. Remembering this lesson, the boy gathered patience and hoped in danger. In fact, entire universe may favour if the intention is significant.
Make a decision and then start working
"When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision." This principle portrays the power of doing something afresh. Just as journey of thousand miles starts with a single footstep, so also making an exact decision is beginning of doing a lot of things. But a mere decision may not help eventually unless we continue our venture rigorously.
Don't blame luck, rely on action
This spiritual novel states the world's greatest falsehood: "at a certain point in our lives when we lose control of what's happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That's the world's greatest lie." Really when people end up in failure to choose their own destinies, they simply resort to blaming fate. In fact, our inability, not misfortune, causes failure, the novel suggests.
Judge others based on reality not expectation
When interacting with other people and dealing on precious matter, we simply assume them having the same qualities and characteristics as we have. Thus, we often fall a victim to the tricks and traps of wicked people. This novel aptly depicts such phenomena stating, "I'm like everyone else- I see the world in terms of what I would like to see happen- not what actually does."
The secret of happiness lies in keeping balance
We can embrace happiness only when we maintain our desire, passion and adventure, but not forgetting our mission and obligation. Paulo Coelho subtly asserts that the secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world, and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon.
The writer is studying at
University of Dhaka