Four Powerful Lessons From The Alchemist (That Might Change Your Life)

Fear must be overcome if we are to live freely.

Chloé Garnham

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Some things take time to get a foothold.

I first read The Alchemist in 2017. Then I was living in a high-rise apartment in Melbourne. I was desperate to travel, to get out of my corporate office job, and to live in a much warmer climate.

You’d think The Alchemist would have spoken to me. But it didn’t. It felt meaningless.

Fast forward to 2019. I’d quit my job, and I was travelling through (much warmer) Asia. I picked up a new copy of the book and ended up re-reading it on a remote island in Thailand.

Suddenly, The Alchemist held more meaning than I could have imagined.

Once canceled, now classic

Turns out, my experience was not too dissimilar to the experience of the book itself.

When The Alchemist was first published, it took years to gain traction. In fact, the first publisher canceled it due to a lack of sales.

It wasn’t until years later, after endorsements from a number of celebrities (like Madonna, who then told Oprah about it), that the book became popular.

These days it’s considered a kind of classic.

So what wisdom can we glean from its pages? Here are my four favorite lessons from the story.

1. Only the wise find joy in the simplicity

In the Alchemist it is written:

“The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them.”

This perfectly encapsulates the importance of being mindful, appreciating the small moments around us, and seeing beauty in the world.

A flower is just a flower unless you take the time to really look at it. The same goes for a sunrise. A simple houseplant. The sound of the birds chirping in the morning.

These supposedly mundane things can actually bring about a lot of inner peace. And that inner peace can awaken happiness.

2. Fear must be overcome if we are to live freely

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Chloé Garnham

Personal development, philosophy, meditation, & mindfulness. An imperfect person on a journey to a more peaceful and meaningful life.