Alchemist

My dear friend and travel buddy, Paul, recommended this book to me. From the moment we started traveling together, he’s like “you have to read the Alchemist.” I’ll admit, I had no idea what an Alchemist was or the slightest idea what the book would be about. I started reading it waiting for my red-eye flight from Singapore to Melbourne to take off, and ended up reading the whole book straight through.

A few thoughts I bookmarked:

“One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving”

“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting”

“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”

“Intuition is really a sudden immersion of the soul into the universal current of life, where the histories of all people are connected and we are able to know everything, because it’s all written there”

“We are afraid of losing what we have, whether it’s our life or possessions and property. But this fear evaporates when we understand that our life stories and the history of the world were written by the same hand”

“Because I don’t live in either my past of 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 starts in the heavens, and that tribesmen fight because they are a 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”

“You must understand that love never keeps a man from pursuing his personal legend. If he abandons that pursuit it’s because it wasn’t true love… the love that speaks the language of the world.”

 “We know what we want to do, but are afraid of hurting those around us by abandoning everything in order to pursue our dream. We do not realize that love is just a further impetus, not something that will prevent us from going forward. We do not realize that those who genuinely wish us well want us to be happy and are prepared to accompany us on that journey.”

Many quotes and pieces of advice have passed through my mind the past 27 years, but only when I am ready to receive them, have they held truth in my life. I’ve read countless pieces of work on the pursuit of dreams, but many times shoved them off to go about my daily work and in my head thinking… keep your head down, work hard, save your money, and you’ll get there…I couldn’t have been farther from the truth. The timing of this book landing in my lap was perfect. The Alchemist helped me realize the possibility of my dreams, God’s direction, the universe’s hand, and gave me the wisdom to listen to my heart.

It reminds me of one of my favorite collection of words, which has now come to be a sort of personal mantra of mine. Steve Jobs delivered them in a commencement speed at Stanford, “You can only connect the dots looking backward, not forward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path, and that will make all the difference. You’ve got to find what you love. Do what you believe is great work; the only way to do great work is to love what you do. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, it keeps getting better with time. Don’t be trapped by dogma, living with the results of other people’s thinking. Have the courage to follow you heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become, and everything else is secondary”.