Reading List // The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho

This book totally passed me by! I never used to be much of a reader, especially of fiction books, so I missed all the hype that lead to The Alchemist becoming one of the world’s most read books, selling over 150 million copies.

Having seen a lot of people’s “it changed my life” statements about it, followed by many a “don’t know what the hype is about” comments, I figured I needed to find out for myself.

I’m not going to go much into the story, there’s a high chance you’ve already read the book, but focus instead on the messages I took from the book. Because reading it I found it packed with great lessons, and quotes, to take into everyday life.

“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself.”

Something which i’ve often found to be true, the worrying and fear before doing something often ends up being worse, and last longer, than the event itself.


“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.”

Simply don’t dwell on the past, it can’t be changed and it’s behind you, similarly don’t fret about the future, it hasn’t happened yet. Deal with it when you get there.


“That’s what alchemists do. They show that, when we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.”

Something that i’m trying to do myself, partly with this reading challenge, is to better myself, and from experience I can tell you that i’ve found this to be true. It’s human nature to grow and evolve, working at improving ourselves in turn improves the world around you.


“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.”

It’s all about you, nobody else. Don’t compare yourself, or your journey, to anyone else’s, it’s yours. If you don’t live for you then you will be miserable trying to live like somebody else.

I could add a good few more quotes to the above. It really is packed full of good advice on how to live life with a positive outlook, and Pablo Coelho has a very poetical and spiritual way of writing that helps convey this. Some people may find the story a little poor, it wasn’t really what grabbed me about the book, but the messages from within it are certainly very powerful.

Worth a read.

“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

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