I read a book.
Or - reread a book. I've actually read this book before when I was young. My dad gave it to me. I remembered parts of the story, but this time the heaviness of the ideas really sunk in. It's the story of a shepherd boy, Santiago, and his quest for treasure in the Egyptian pyramids. It's more than that though. It's about the journey. The treasure represents his true purpose in the Universe and he meets characters along the way that help him to pursue his purpose.
Here are some of the most relieving, bewildering, amazing ideas I took in from The Alchemist:
WHEN YOU WANT SOMETHING, THE WHOLE UNIVERSE CONSPIRES WITH YOU TO MAKE IT HAPPEN.
Follow you curiosities, follow your passions. Let go of all the things in your way and the Universe will reward you by being on your side. People and situations will act in your favor if you are committed to pursuing your higher purpose.
MISSED BLESSINGS BECOME CURSES.
Or, missed opportunities become curses.
Nobody wants to look around at their life and think, "I could have done better." During the beginning of his journey, Santiago meets an old man who owns a crystal shop. The man finds it painful to realize his potential, because he is fearful of losing what he already has. The opportunities he has ignored in life will follow him to his grave and cause more anxiety and grief than the loss he tries to avoid ever would have.
WHEREVER YOUR HEART IS, THERE YOUR TREASURE IS ALSO.
Treasure is nothing without meaning. What is gold if you can't spend it? Worthless. What you love is where you should invest.
WHEN WE STRIVE TO BECOME BETTER THAN WE ARE, EVERYTHING AROUND US BECOMES BETTER TOO.
Everything in existence is one and was created by one hand. Because of this, everything is connected. Improving oneself is an improvement for all of the Universe. Making changes to yourself and your situation is favorable for others indirectly. You never know who you're inspiring.
THE FEAR OF SUFFERING IS WORSE THAN THE SUFFERING ITSELF.
If tomorrow you were going to lose everything, it's better not to know today. That knowledge would only cause agony for you while you watched the day slip by and worried about tomorrow. Living in fear of suffering is a worse fate than dealing with suffering as it comes.
ACKNOWLEDGING YOUR ROLE IN SOMETHING GREATER THAN YOUR OWN LIFE ABOLISHES FEAR.
Find your purpose and follow it. If you died today, could you say with satisfaction that you followed your purpose? Are you ignoring your calling? Living a life in your comfort zone is as good as not living at all. Go after your calling and death has no power.
WHEN EACH DAY IS THE SAME AS THE NEXT, IT'S BECAUSE PEOPLE FAIL TO RECOGNIZE THE GOOD THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN THEIR LIVES EVERY DAY THAT THE SUN RISES.
Everyday that you are alive is a miracle. Imagine the perfect circumstances that had to occur for your life, for your loved ones' lives, to even be possible. Note your blessings everyday.
IF YOU CAN CONCENTRATE ALWAYS ON THE PRESENT, THEN YOU'LL BE A HAPPY MAN.
I've written about this before, but it has been presenting itself in my life over and over. Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow isn't here yet. You only have right now. While you are eating, think of only eating. While you are walking, think of only walking. Everything that you deal with is one thing and nothing else.
THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY TO LEARN - IT'S THROUGH ACTION.
The most valuable knowledge is the knowledge you've gained on your journey. Searching and asking are the best textbooks. The lessons you need the most and that are the realest can only occur through firsthand experience.