Laura Lorber's Reviews > The Alchemist

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
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's review
May 08, 10

it was amazing
Read in May, 2010

I just re-read this book again after about 15 or so years. A good friend had recommended. She's been sailing around the world on her yacht with her family for the past three years. It's funny that it spoke to me a whole lot more now. Must be the midlife crisis thing. I plan to spend some time thinking about it, its lessons, and why it has struck a chord with so many people, and then re-read it again at some point.
Here are some initial thoughts:
I love the revision of the story of Narcissus and how his eyes reflected the beauty of the lake. But I also can't let go of the moral of the original story -- that self-obsession was the boy's downfall. Even so, it's instructive to contemplate how one's self-love can be translated into a passion that has a strong positive impact on other people's lives and can help give them meaning and purpose.
The concept of living out one's Personal Legend is intriguing and has stuck with me. It's sort of tied a lot of stray ideas floating around into something that makes sense to me: The notion of living one's personal values in a way that is consistent with one's ultimate goal, and if one has a personal goal it is achievable if one plots out a plan and takes action. I've long felt that the universe conspires to help us achieve our goals, this story brought other things together for me, like the importance of choosing a Personal Legend and having a healthy dose of narcissism, and the positive impact one can have on the world by following a childhood dream.


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