The Alchemist

I read this book a couple of years ago and loved it far more than I expected. It has a great story line and is encouraging and motivational. It made me think more about the big picture in life and what my long term goals are. It's a short and easy read. I definitely recommend it.

Summary: "The Alchemist tells the story of a young shepherd named Santiago who is able to find a treasure beyond his wildest dreams. Along the way, he learns to listen to his heart and, more importantly, realizes that his dreams, or his Personal Legend, are not just his but part of the Soul of the Universe."

Some of my favorite quotes:

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

“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.”

“The wise men understood that this natural world is only an image and a copy of paradise. The existence of this world is simply a guarantee that there exists a world that is perfect. God created the world so that, through its visible object, men could understand his spiritual teachings and the marvels of his wisdom.”
“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.”

“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 most people give up. It’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. Every search begins with beginner’s luck. And every search ends with the victor’s being severely tested. The boy remembered an old proverb from his county. It said that the darkest hour of the night came just before the dawn.”

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