The Alchemist: A Small Tale With a Huge Message - Kaldzar
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Pursuing Your Own Golden Destiny

Alchemist. Original image by Ivan Siarbolin, cropped.

Pursuing Your Own Golden Destiny


Although written for the masses, “The Alchemist” is an amazingly personal story that touches one’s heart and encourages each of us to fulfill our greatest dreams.  We shall try to not spoil the plot.  But here is our take on why this book deserves a slot on everybody’s book shelf.

A Simple Story

The Alchemist is a fanciful tale written by Paulo Coelho of a young shepherd boy whose recurring dreams compel him to travel the world to find a magical treasure. We follow him as he meets an assortment of interesting characters.  And each interaction pushes him forward.  He leaves his homeland in Spain, journeys through the markets of Tangiers, and across the Egyptian desert.  And finally, these adventures lead him to a fateful encounter with the alchemist.  The journey is not an easy one.  And it contains a number of twists and trials involving betrayal, disappointment, love, and war.  But each of these serves a greater purpose.  And ultimately, we see our young hero find that treasure he had originally sought.

A Deeper Meaning

The novel is easy to read and is straightforward from beginning to end.  However, the details of the story point to a powerful message that inspire the reader to also examine their desires, and also seek to fulfill them.  We learn that everybody and everything has a Personal Legend, which is “what you have always wanted to accomplish.” Further, the book encourages the reader to find their own aspirations and to never give up in their pursuit. 

“If a person is living out his Personal Legend, he knows everything he needs to know. There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to acheive: the fear of failure.”

We should not believe the lie that everything is dictated by fate.  Rather, we are urged to realize that we each get to control our destiny.  In fact, there is one great truth on this planet: no matter who you are or what you do, when you really want something, it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. And it is your mission on earth to fulfill that desire.

A Favorite Passage

I feel the story has many extraordinary quotes, but here is one that always gives me goosebumps.

“You can’t be the wind,” the wind said. “We’re two very different things.”

“That’s not true,” the boy said. “I learned the alchemist’s secrets in my travels. I have inside me the winds, the deserts, the oceans, the stars, and everything created in the universe. We were all made by the same hand, and we have the same soul. I want to be like you, able to reach every corner of the world, cross the seas, blow away the sands that cover my treasue, and carry the voice of the woman I love.”

The Alchemist Book

The Last Drop

To me, this short novel is simply magical. It is a fast and easy read, which is fun and captivating. Moreover, it has a wholesome, memorable moral.  Additionally, this profound message is a definite source of comfort and reassurance. In those moments in life when I feel a bit discouraged or stuck, I try to remember this story because it reminds me that life is a journey yet to be completed.

Time and time again the main character find himself in situations that seem to end his journey or otherwise derail him. But he is relentless yet patient, and doesn’t let a problem end his pursuit. So I remember the present moment in life is not permanent. In fact, it is just a stepping stone that takes us to the next moment, which takes us closer to our end goals. No matter how painful something may be, there is a lesson to be learned. And if we give it some time and don’t give up we’ll be better off for it. Another way to look at it is: If you really want something great, it probably won’t be easy, so don’t give up!

Practice Patience, Increase Your Peace and Enjoy Every Day!

Honestly, I cannot even count the times I’ve recommended this book to friends (and even strangers I’ve just met). So if you have not read it already, or if it’s just been a while, I highly suggest you get a copy. At the very least you’ll be entertained for a few hours and will know why seemingly everybody talks about it. But you also just might be encouraged to remember your own Personal Legend, chase your dreams, and fulfill your greatest destiny.

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David Hughes

Contributing Editor and Author at Kaldzar

Certified Biologist and Data Scientist
Constantly curious. Curiously compassionate.

Main photo by Ivan Siarbolin

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