Continued search for knowledge is one of the guaranteed ways of promoting your life and wellness. There is a growing publication frenzy of books discussing personal development, but none of them can match the clarity and depth that The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho goes to explain the various challenges that people face on their journey to their destinies.
The Alchemist Paulo Coelho pens the story of Santiago, a young shepherd with a sincere desire for travel. Spending nights under a sycamore tree growing amidst the ruins of a church, Santiago experiences a recurring dream of which a child tells him about a treasure at the foot of the pyramids in Egypt. Santiago abandons everything and sets out to seek a treasure he saw in his dreams. In the journey, Santiago’s quest is to realize his personal legend. The story has inspired billions of people across the world to seek their personal legend and live their dreams and real potential.
Here are five personal development lessons to learn from the Alchemist that are applicable in everyday life.
1) Fear of an Obstacle in Life Is Bigger Than the Obstacle Itself
Fear is the biggest obstacle when getting out of a comfort zone and into unchartered waters. With great risk, comes great reward. Fear, however, is a necessary emotion that helps in protecting yourself from legitimate threats. When it comes to self development and the pursuit your dreams, fear is a constant factor that causes many people to remain stationary instead of overcoming challenges.
Santiago after experiencing the dreams decides to overcome his fear and takes calculated risks. He seeks the services of a gypsy woman who encourages him to go to Egypt; Melchizedek who claims to be the King of Salem, who insists that he finds his personal legend, also echoes her words. The heart does not suffer in the pursuit of dreams, and the experiences learned make the journey all the more worthwhile. It all starts with setting realistic personal development goals and having the self-discipline to realize the benefits of a new experience.
2) Break the Monotony
It is common to see and encounter people who are not content with their lives. This is the yoke that society has placed on them to follow a predetermined path that leaves no room for self development. This makes every day the same as the next, a draining monotony. This is the leading cause of unhappiness and blindness to the good things that life has to offer.
Santiago after overcoming the fear of the unknown, he sets out and breaks free from the monotony of herding ship every single day. His life already monotonous and mundane dramatically changes when he sets out on the journey to Egypt. He also encounters people along the way who influence his life for the better. With each new day, strive to live a progressive life better than the one you had yesterday, and the best for today.
3) Making hard decisions
In the pursuit of dreams, the hardest part is in making the decision. There will be the overwhelming emotions especially the finer details of your dreams. The only way to get started is by making a decision to commit to your dream as well as the journey. There is nothing worse than suppressing your dream and waiting for the right time. There will never be a perfect opportunity, the minute you make the decision to look ahead and pursue your dream, then that is a perfect time.
Santiago made the decision to go in pursuit of his personal legend and in The Alchemist Paulo writes, “When you want something, the universe entirely conspires to help you in achieving it.” Actions will come naturally after making the decision.
4) Never Stay Down
It is common knowledge that there is no way of changing the past. Whatever you find made of pure matter, it will never spoil no matter how long it takes to achieve your dream. Be sure to decipher the dreams made of true matter and leave alone those that are because of a moment of light. In The Alchemist Paulo likens them to an explosion of a star that will end up with nothing.
After reaching Tangier, Santiago loses all his processions forcing him to seek employment. A crystal merchant gives him work where Santiago learns many lessons; on the other hand, Santiago encourages the merchant to take risks, which pay off. In under a year, Santiago becomes a wealthy man, and he cashes in his earning and continues in the pursuit of his personal legend, which is to find the treasure in Egypt. Similarly, despite the setbacks in your life, what is true will always endure given you have the right attitude and self-discipline.
On his journey, Santiago meets many challenges, all who have a lesson to learn. From being captured by a tribe of hostile Arabs, just mere days from the pyramids. Her remains hopeful and though believing in a higher power, the Hand That Wrote all, he overcomes one setback after another. Spiritual guidance is necessary for the pursuit of your dreams, and it counts to have knowledgeable individuals to walk with you on your journey.
5) Take Action Now
No matter how much time you dedicate to learning a concept, the real experience comes when you start taking steps towards realizing your personal legend. The best actions are those that you have weighed all the pros and cons and formulated a plan.
Make the decision to take action, and it will be your strength against despair and inadequacy. When going to a higher level, you must leave the level below for good. You can always come back to the decisive moment of inspiration and foresight into the journey. The best, as well as the only way to learn, is through a series of actions.
After Santiago reaches the foot of the pyramids, he sets to search for the treasure. In the process, two men accost him and start beating him. He begins telling them about the vision in his dream at which the two men decide that he is a poor man. Before they leave him, one of the men tells Santiago of the worthlessness of dreams and goes to recount to him his dream.
The dream of one of the two men is a treasure hidden in the ruins of a Spanish church that has a sycamore growing amongst the ruins. This is the church that Santiago spent his nights, where he had his dream of a treasure buried under the pyramids in Egypt. He realizes the true location of the treasure and makes his way back to Spain to the abandoned church. There he finds a chest of treasure full of gold and jewels, buried under the tree he spent his nights.
Pursuing of dreams is for those with a strong will and no matter the circumstances, the tough get going. If it were like Santiago to remain realistic, he would never have found the treasure at all. By going all the way to Egypt, he was able to learn the actual location of the treasure. Should Santiago have remained in Spain cowering at the uncertainty of what the journey held, he would have died a poor shepherd.
Seek to hold dear what is true and what the whole of the universe will conspire to help you achieve your dreams. Live in the present, disregard the set system of life, and make your luck by seeking out the actions that will lead you to your treasure. Be careful avoid sideshows that distract you from fulfilling your personal legend. Select the people to accompany you on your journey and the treasure is as good as yours for the taking, and your life will never be the same. The Alchemist by Paul Coelho makes for a good read with a lot more lessons for readers of all ages to set their own personal development goals.