I haven’t cried over a book like this for a while. I don’t think I have ever encountered a book this good. I don’t even know where to start. It is extremely short—I finished it within days. It is extremely simple and easy to read—it works just fine for children. It is extremely innocent yet realistic—it has the best of two worlds: the children and the adults. It wins over your heart as well as your curiosity in seconds. I guess my book review can simply end like this: PLEASE DO READ The Alchemist. To be frank, nothing more is needed. I can’t say too much how much it benefited me and continues to transform my life.
It is one of the books that you don’t need to write a book review on. It is not one of the books that you will forget. Instead, it is one of the books that will grow deeper in you as you advance in this journey of life. It connects things. It reaches the essence of life. It sheds light upon the great mystery of meaning.
So what is it all about?
This book not only presented a story about how a boy went on the journey to pursue his dream of travelling. It also laid out a system, or a philosophy if you want, to explain how life works through the power of dreams.
It starts with the concept of “personal legend”. Every one is born with a destiny—it is a dream that you are supposed to fulfil. Essentially, this is the meaning of your life. Think of something you always wanted when you were a child. It is something that you truly desire and belong to, regardless of what others want you to have.
You have to look for the “omens”, which are signs that indicate what might be your personal legend. There are good omens and bad omens. They help you navigate through different interests and locate your destiny. The omens can be totally unrelated and unreasonable. They might be from the external world or your instincts. But the point is: you have to trust the omens.
Most people, however, ignore the omens and decide not to pursue their personal legend due to many reasons: they give in to society’s pressure, they give in because they are afraid of failing, they are not persistent enough, etc. Overtime, if you choose not to attend to your personal legends, the omens will disappear. However, you will spend the rest of your life in regrets. A life without a dream is equivalent to a journey without a destination. You will feel empty as if you are missing something, although you might have everything that is supposed to make you happy.
If you choose to pursue your personal legend, many things will happen. When you have just started, you will have the so-called beginner’s luck. Everything will work in your favour. This is because that the soul of the world wants to encourage you and give you a good start. But very soon, things will get harder. You might feel like giving up. You might become hesitant over your dreams. Things are not going smoothly. However, this is also a trick that the soul of the world tries to play on you. It wants to test your commitment and see if you are truly determined to pursue your personal legend, i.e., are you willing to give up everything to pursue your dream? If you pass this test, the soul of the world is going to reward you with the greatest generosity. You will not only achieve your dream, but also obtain all the things that you have lost during your trip. The soul of the world is never mean in rewarding people who have actualized their personal legend. The best way to summarize it is this following quote from the book: “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
Sure enough, this sounds like nothing but a fairytale. But I assure you that this is real. I have evidence to support this. Not only that, I have faith in this. Faith is all it takes. But if you don’t trust faith—I have been there before, that simply means you haven’t found your personal legend yet, but don’t just give up.
Like many others, I didn’t believe in love and to some extent, I was almost giving up on finding love. I thought I was destined to be alone. But then I met my love and there were all sorts of omens that made me realize that was my destiny. There were many obstacles—some of them were scary, but they didn’t turn me away. I had moments when I hesitated, but love demands total surrender and that’s what I did. I couldn’t let go because I knew I would miss this opportunity to realize my dream. Many might convince themselves that they will have many more opportunities in future. To me, that’s a big lie. When you see your dream in front of you, you will know. Life is generous enough to give me one chance. If you don’t appreciate it, you will never be given a second chance. I can only say that I have been rewarded generously. Things are not easy (as they have never been), but it is worth pursuing your dream.
Here is my simplified version: Everything happens for a reason—it speaks to what is your dream. When you are pursuing your dream—everything will fall into place. Don’t give up—life simply wants to test your determination.