I was first introduced to Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchemist” book in middle school by my English teacher. I recently had the opportunity to re-read the book. I remembered when I first read it, it had quite an impact on me. It helped me to accept that there are certain things in life for which there are no rational explanations for the time being, and it gave me unexplained optimism in life every time I read it.

Here’re 3 of my favorite quotes and my interpretations of them:

1. When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.

At first glance, this quote in The Alchemist is extremely inspiring but after reading it a few more times, you may find that this may not make much apparent sense because if it doesn’t really account for the fact that many people fail to get what they want.

What this quote means is that if you want to achieve something, there are resources out there that will help you reach your goal. But the underlying assumption of this statement is that you should be proactive to get what you want, and if you do so you will find the right avenues and help that will eventually get you what you want.

2. If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.

Don’t worry what others think of you. Haters are going to hate. They don’t have a better clue about you than you yourself. Just lead your life the way you deem fit.

3. Everything tells me that I am about to make a wrong decision, but making mistakes is just part of life. What does the world want of me? Does it want me to take no risks, to go back to where I came from because I didn’t have the courage to say “yes” to life?

I think what this quote is saying that there’s no guarantee of success in life but there’s no guarantee of failure as well. So we should just pursue our dreams early and fail early!

Paulo Coelho is a big fan of open source books. So you can download and read his book for free here.

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