The Alchemist | Paulo Coelho


Big Picture

Santiago, a shepherd, embarks on a quest to locate a treasure in Egypt’s pyramids, and The Alchemist is his story.

He discovers that everyone has a unique narrative, or a higher destiny to fulfill, along the way.

Courage keeps you moving in the face of adversity, while passion drives you to be committed to your path.

Your personal legend is likely to be full of roadblocks and sorrow. You’ll fall many times, but it’s important to constantly pick yourself back up and continue moving, which requires great strength.

Your Personal Legend Is Your Guide

Santiago, a young shepherd from Spain, has a dream in which a child tells him to go to the pyramids of Egypt to find a secret treasure. He pays no attention at first, but when the dream keeps repeating, he decides to ask a gypsy woman what it means.

The gypsy tells him that he must go to Egypt and find his personal legend.

Santiago then meets an old man named Melchizedek, who tells him the same thing – that he must go to Egypt and follow his personal legend. With this newfound conviction, Santiago sets off on his arduous journey to the pyramids.

Along the way, he faces many challenges but overcomes them all, eventually finding success and fulfillment.

The story teaches us that everyone has a personal legend or life’s calling that is unique to them. And it is only through pursuing this destiny that we can find true happiness.

Courage and perseverance are key components in Santiago’s journey, as is passion – the driving force behind all great endeavors. Despite numerous setbacks, Santiago perseveres until he achieves his ultimate goal.

The Power of Courage

Santiago, a young boy from Andalusia, arrives in Tangier and is immediately faced with a culture shock.

He can’t speak the language and is unfamiliar with the customs, but he’s excited by the new world he’s entered. Unfortunately, his first obstacle comes in the form of a thief who steals all his money.

Santiago remembers the advice of Melchizedek and recommits to his personal legend, which is to find his treasure. He gets a job with a local crystal merchant and quickly learns the ropes of the business.

He also starts giving the merchant advice, telling him to take more risks, which pays off. The business starts booming, and the two become rich.

Santiago, in particular, teaches the merchant to treasure his personal legend at this moment.

The story of Santiago is one of courage in the face of fear. When presented with the opportunity to pursue his personal legend, he does not let fear hold him back.

Instead, he follows his dreams and sets out on an arduous journey to accomplish them. This takes immense courage and ultimately leads to him achieving great things.

You May Fall, but Keep Rising

On his way to discovering himself, a young lad meets an Englishman who tells him about an alchemist who can transform lead into gold.

The caravan they are traveling with stops at the Al Fayoum oasis, and Santiago uses his new ability to read omens to foresee that they will be attacked.

The alchemist wants to meet Santiago, and during their conversation, the alchemist tells Santiago of the importance of following one’s personal legend.

The two are captured by Arab soldiers and taken to their camp, but the alchemist tells the tribal leader that Santiago is an alchemist who can destroy the camp with the force of the wind.

Santiago is able to overcome his fear and turn into the wind, which blows the camp away and allows the two to escape.

Santiago, a young shepherd, embarks on a journey to pursue his Personal Legend after having a dream about it. He meets an Alchemist who helps him understand what a Personal Legend is and that it is something that everyone has.

After partaking on a long and difficult journey, Santiago finally arrives in Egypt only to be beaten and robbed. One of his robbers tells him that he had a dream in which he would find a treasure under a tree near a church in Spain.

Santiago immediately knows where the treasure is and returns to Spain to find it.

This story is a reminder that everyone has a Personal Legend and that no matter how often you fail, you must always remember why you started the journey in the first place.

Key Insight

Nothing is more important than following your personal calling in life. If you surrender to this, then your destiny becomes your only obligation. This journey will be full of pain and hurdles, but if you rise from the ashes every time you fall, then courage will ultimately pick you back up.

The Author

Paulo Coelho is a Brazilian novelist who didn’t start writing until later in life.

His first two books were of poor quality, and he tried to get them pulled from shelves. However, his most famous book, The Alchemist, took off years later and became a bestseller worldwide.

Did you enjoy this book bite?

Share at least one takeaway or insight you’ve gained below in the comments.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *