Saturday, April 20, 2013

Old read with a new perspective

The Alchemist
"The Alchemist is a beautiful book about magic, dreams and the treasures we seek elsewhere and then end on our doorstep"

The above line captures the entire analysis of this book, "The Alchemist" in a simple sentence and I admit that I have nothing more to add to the review. Instead I am going to share with you my reading experience of Alchemist for the second time.

I read this book about 6 years ago when I just wanted to be done with reading a famous book in the must-read book list. Although I was impressed by the book, it was a mere story for me. I had failed to assimilate the philosophy into my life. But in the past 6 years I have matured enough to understand as well as adapt Paulo Coelho's philosophy. This book is by a man who struggled hard to practice non-conformity (one of my current favorite human capabilities) throughout his life. This unassuming 156 page book is a profound philosophy in the form of a treasure hunt story. The boy Santiago breaks all chains of social conventions and leads a life he wanted to lead-a life of travelling and learning. Believing a dream to be a prophecy to be fulfilled, Santiago sets out to find a hidden treasure in the pyramids of Egypt. The journey exposes him to theft, fear, war, love and ultimate realization of human capacity.

I reread this book at a stage when I am at the crossroads in life under an obligation to either choose my dream or to stick to social conventions and expectations. Anyone who reads this book is humbled to listen to one's own heart, choose the dreams which are the most important to oneself and search for love that only expects you to achieve your best. The book upholds the simple human truth that when you run behind your dream, every piece fits into the puzzle naturally and the whole world begins to make better sense. The simple facts of life highlighted in the book:

  • dreams are wonders not to be ignored
  • there is no reason why one shouldn't follow one's dream
  • learn to recognize the pattern of how every act of yours renders you closer to the dream
  • to avoid working towards a dream fulfillment provides only ephemeral peace while it is in realizing a dream that one truly find happiness
Read this book 
if you have a spark in your soul that's waiting to burn
if you need to know how great things are done
if you wanna sweat for success in return

Choose a life that will make you happy. 
As with all matters of life, you will know when you find it.
-Steve Jobs

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