The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
The Alchemist follows Santiago as he searches for a hidden treasure. Through many of Odysseus-like adventures, Santiago learns the importance of aligning desire and passion; “wherever your heart is, that is where you’ll find your treasure.” When one finds their internal treasure, seldom few will believe – it is then that we must proceed forward towards what we want.
When we fail to recognize the importance of each day, everyday becomes the same as the next. Santiago learns from this that one must not live in either the past or future. One must be interested in only the present. For if you can concentrate on the present, you will be happy.
It is then that he realized he was living the greatest lie, “that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate.” Santiago takes control of his situation, ending his pursuit of the hidden treasure to go back and find the inner treasure his heart had always desired, the woman he left behind.
“There is only one way to learn. It’s through action.” You can study, read, and listen until you turn blue in the face, but the full experience is when you take action, take ownership, and align what you truly desire with what you will pursue. Pursuing money and material will not provide happiness. Happiness comes from the heart and soul.