The World’s Greatest Lie

alchemistToday I wanted to share 3 lessons I learned from reading “The Alchemist” by Paul Coelho. If you haven’t heard of this book before, it’s a novel about a shepherd boy who seeks the riches of the world and leaves his homeland only to find that he had all the riches he sought already within himself.

Reading this book made me think most prominently about the quote by Jim Rohn, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

The rest of this post details three quotes from The Alchemist that remind the reader to stay true to himself, manifest his greatest talents through action, and understand that when you change everything else changes.

“When someone sees the same people every day, as had happened with him at the seminary, they wind up becoming a part of that person’s life. And then they want the person to change. If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry.” – Coelho

There will always be haters. It is up to you to manifest your truth through action. This book reminded me of some zen quote – By practicing your normal way of being you are encouraging others to be more themselves as well.

“What’s 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. That’s the world’s greatest lie.” – Coelho

Pavlov the dog scientist is famous for showing that he could ring a bell and make the dogs salivate at the prospect of getting meat. What he’s less known for are his experiments in learned helplessness.

In another experiment to show how learned helplessness is developed, Pavlov would shock the dogs every time they got up when a person came to greet them.

Over time this group of dogs would simply stop getting up whenever someone came by to pet them. They feared getting shocked when they responded so excitedly to someone coming over to see them.

What a sad life when we give up on new opportunities because we’ve been so burned in the past.

In the Alchemist, when the king asks the boy go through the kingdom and see all the sights, the boy focuses too strongly on not dissipating himself and misses all the sights of the kingdom.

When the boy stops focusing so much on himself, he is able to focus on the world while still tending to his own needs, and he is happy. Never over-extend yourself. How are you meant to share with others when you have an empty cup?

“The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world, and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon.” – Coelho

Thanks for sticking with me through this blog post. We’re almost finished.

“When something evolves, everything around that thing evolves as well.” – Coelho

Coelho is keenly minded. He foresees the stumbling blocks that might come up when you start to tune into yourself. Other people might get jealous. Other people might not understand your aims. Keep your best foot forward and stay on track.

What stuck for you? Contact me, I’d love to hear about it!