Finding One’s Self

18 09 2012

the alchemistOne of my biggest targets this year was to read much more and try to read a much more varied selection of books from differing genres. It is without doubt though that throughout the course of this ‘challenge’ I will divert back to the ‘conspiracy thriller’ genre.

With that in mind I came across The Alchemist in a cheap bookstore whilst away in Scotland, I had of course seen the book on shelves a myriad of times in the past but had never thought to  even pick it up – let alone read it.

It’s funny what compels you to pick something up in a store but I purchased a copy and recently finished reading it. It is only short, the paperback version I had was only 161 pages in length and it is easy to get through in a couple of decent sized sittings.

The story, in short, follows Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd on a journey to find his destiny after a recurring dream he is having is interpreted as finding treasure at the Pyramids of Giza by a gypsy fortune teller. Throughout the journey he encounters a number of different characters and comes to understand that there is a underlying force that conspires to make things happen.

I would say that although it is a beautiful story the book is more about personal development and the almost philosophical-like teaching of it’s author Paulo Coelho.

Put simply it is about really going after your destiny, it really struck a chord with me as my personal work life has been less than happy over the past 18 months. The book forced me to think about my direction and what I really wanted to achieve, be and what would really make me happy and focused going forward.

I am not saying I have an answer yet but at least I am now starting to ask the right questions. It’s funny because I am not in any way a religious person but there are major themes within The Alchemist that look at spirituality, or at least concepts of spirituality finding one’s self within our dreams and actions.

As a book to read I think it will be one that I keep on the shelf and re-read over time just to keep me on track. It has also opened me up to try other novels by Coelho and other more diverse authors.

Have you read it? What did you think?

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