Published on March 15th, 2019


The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

A story about a young shepherd who starts his journey to chase his Personal Legend.

3 minutes read

I don't really read fiction books a lot but this is one of my favorites. I finished reading this book last week and it had inspired me and made me feel positive towards the goals that I wanted to chase in my life.

Why did I choose to read it?

On one fine evening, I was going through my endless list of bookmarks and I stumbled upon a link, which had a collection of book recommendations on what are most influencial books for software engineers to read and I found this in the list of recommendations. So, I thought of trying it out on my new Amazon Kindle Paperwhite too.

About the story

The book is written by Paulo Coelho. As mentioned in the description, it's about a young shepherd named Santiago who starts a journey after having dreams about finding treasure in the Pyramids of Egypt. Without spoiling a lot, he meets several people such as an old man who claims to be a king, a woman of the desert that he falls in love with and an alchemist who wants to learn the technique of converting lead to gold.

In the first few pages, the quotes said by the characters really stuck into my head:

Whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it's because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It's your mission on earth.

Funny but when I relate myself to the story, I'm currently on my own Personal Legend. Just like the shepherd himself, I started my journey with a vision and a willingness to pursue it. I didn't have the faintest clue on how to achieve my goals but I knew that I can and had to do it.

Everything is clear and everything is possible!

Santiago learns different lessons throughout his journey. One of the first lessons is when he had a conversation with a mysterious king. The king told the boy that everyone used to tell him, when everyone is young, they know what their Personal Legend is and as he quotes:

At that point in their lives, everything is clear and everything is possible. They are not afraid to dream, and to yearn for everything they would like to see happen to them in their lives. But as time passes, a mysterious force begins to convince them that it will be impossible for them to realize their Personal Legend.

It relates a lot to the real world scenario because I see a lot of people who want to settle in their life. Safe place to live, marriage, kids, comfortable job, $401K plans and then off to retirement. But what happens after that? Settled in life? Yes, but did they achieve their dreams? Now, that's a question not everyone can answer, can they?

Listen to your heart and soul

In some parts of the book it states that once you stop listening to your heart and soul telling you to chase your dreams, it will, spontaneously, appear again for the next year or so and then, your heart and soul will stop talking to you and the dream fades away.


It's a simple story that has got elements of economy, love, war and pursuit of dreams. We all have our own highs and lows in life and I would recommend this book as a must-read for anyone who's currently trying to figure out their actual purpose in life. As you read the book, you'll relate yourself to Santiago and you'll start recommending this book to your friends too!

Hope you liked reading this article!

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