Dreaming 101: What the Alchemist Taught Us

“And when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” The famous line excerpted from the notoriously inspiring book, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is not alone. There are still a handful of valuable truths we may have not realized, the ones we need to witness ourselves. But hey, some early lessons do not hurt, do they?

Just when little kids are taught to dream of who they want to be when they grow up, thousands or more adults are ready to give up their ultimate life goals. Perhaps their journey has stuck somewhere or the obstacles are way bigger than they have predicted, with plenty others inconveniently risky situations that modern day grown-ups simply leave their enamoured objects, and or life targets. And it is later from an imaginary character named Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy in The Alchemist whose dream is to obtain the treasure in Pyramid, can we extract what life is all about.

Sometimes you have to forget what people say and simply go for what you believe.

As the world has buzzed a few idealistic approaches saying some criteria for you to be successful, there are times that you have to stop listening to the outer world. Santiago started his path by going to a monastery and learned to be a priest, but later he developed a sort of urge to travel. Then there he was, gone as a shepherd. Did the society underestimate being a shepherd as occupation? They sure did. Later in our own journey, we will encounter countless pessimists and uncertain moments, but once you quit listening the small annoying whispers, you will no longer beseech. And you will find the most precious treasure ever—passion.

Be open. Look around. Don’t be too drown in your manifesto either.

The boy would never be able to meet The Alchemist hadn’t he met the King, the Merchant, the Englishman, the Girl, and so on. It was a long exhaustive list of people he exchanged information and experience with, even risk his heart for the Girl, before he could eventually fulfill his hunger for treasure. Though we have to listen closely to what we believe, we ought to stay open and be dynamic to changes. Things will not proceed as we wish, but the journey will be stirred to surprising direction, the unexpected yet romantically marvelous one. Dream and believe, but embrace the outer aura.

When you fail the first time, it is actually a good sign.

Failure is valuable. We rarely know why we succeed,  but we almost always dig deeper as to why we fail. Santiago was mugged—not only once, during his journey. Yet the accident somehow put him in the right track. The truth about failure is, it enriches you. If you always get it, you will never learn and thus you halt the process of growing. Keep on practicing until you get it right, because you are already in the right direction.

Prepare yourself to sacrifice.

Yes, you have to. Nevertheless, the notion of sacrifice is not always a firm one. People will probably perceive you as sacrificing your precious ones, but what you do is actually based on passion. Once you give in, you do not sacrifice, because you practically want to do it. Santiago had to leave the ones  he loved throughout his entire journey, yet he knew it was the right thing to do. Thus, sacrifice in pursuing your dreams is not actually a sacrifice. It is called willingness.

Present is all you have.

So, what are you waiting for? Live your dreams now. As Santiago’s camel driver put it: “Because I don’t live in either my past or my future. I’m interested only in the present. If you can always concentrate on the present, you’ll be a happy man. You’ll see that there is life in the desert, that there are stars in 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.”

Text: Gabriela Yosefina.

*image is edited from here.