It was in 1988 when Paulo Coelho first published his now world-famous “The Alchemist”. When I first read the allegorical novel in 1999 it became an instant favorite of mine. To me it is a modern classic. I like it so much that I bought seven copies of it in seven different international languages. They now adorn my bookshelf like trophies of lessons learned and remind me that when I really want something, the whole universe will conspire to make it happen.
Here’s ten of my most favorite quotations from Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchemist”.
- “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
- “It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”
- “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”
- “If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.”
- “Everything tells me that I am about to make a wrong decision, but making mistakes is just part of life. What does the world want of me? Does it want me to take no risks, to go back to where I came from because I didn’t have the courage to say “yes” to life?”
- “‘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.’”
- “Love is an untamed force. When we try to control it, it destroys us. When we try to imprison it, it enslaves us. When we try to understand it, it leaves us feeling lost and confused.”
- “When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”
- “There was a language in the world that everyone understood, a language the boy had used throughout the time that he was trying to improve things at the shop. It was the language of enthusiasm, of things accomplished with love and purpose, and as part of a search for something believed in and desired.”
- “What you still need to know is this: before a dream is realized, the Soul of the World tests everything that was learned along the way. It does this not because it is evil, but so that we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve moved toward that dream. That’s the point at which, as we say in the language of the desert, one “dies of thirst just when the palm trees have appeared on the horizon.”
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