The Alchemist

I just finished 'The Alchemist' by Paulo Coelho and there could not have been a better time to have read it. The simple yet profound message on following one's heart, on tackling the fear of failure when pursuing one's dream and to live and appreciate life in the present was so enchanting in the allegorical narrative of Santiago's adventures. Wow, the memories of my heart filling up with possibilities and inspiration as I immersed myself in the book to and fro from work on the train will leave a great impression on me for a some time.

Here are some of my favourite quotes from the book:

- "My heart is a traitor," the boy said to the alchemist, when they had paused to rest the horses. "It doesn't want me to go on."
"That makes sense," the alchemist answered. "Naturally it's afraid that, in pursuing your dream, you might lose everything you've won." 
"Well, then, why should I listen to my heart?"
"Because you will never again be able to keep it quiet. Even if you pretend not to have heard what it tells you, it will always be there inside you, repeating to you what you're thinking about life and about the world."
"You mean I should listen, even if it's treasonous?
"Treason is a blow that comes unexpectedly. If you know your heart well, it will never be able to do that to you. Because you'll know its dreams and wishes, and will know how to deal with them. You will never be able to escape from your heart. So it's better to listen to what it has to say. That way, you'll never have to fear an unanticipated blow." 

- "My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer," the boy told the alchemist one night as they looked up at the moonless sky.
"Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second's encounter with God and with eternity"  

- "When I have been truly searching for my treasure, every day has been luminous, because I've known that every hour was a part of the dream I would find it. When I have been truly searching for my treasure, I've discovered things along the way that I never would have seen had I not had the courage to try things that seemed impossible for a shepherd to achieve."
- "Because I don't live in either my past or my future. I'm interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you'll be a happy man. You'll see that there is life in the desert, that there are stars in the heavens, and that tribesmen fight because they are part of the human race. Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we're living right now."  

- "There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure"

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