Lessons from The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

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Lessons from The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho – part 1




After I finished the book, I was curious to see what other people think of it. I have to admit I was struck to find out many negative reviews. All of those reviews had a valid point, though. I noticed all of these negative things, too. I just didn’t pay attention to them. My focus was on taking the positive and learning something from the book. I didn’t pay attention to its shortcomings. All that reminds me of focus. And you find what you look for.

I remember now the fairy tale of the king who ordered his servants to bring him stinky grass. They came back with a whole sack of it. When the king asked them if they saw sweet-smelling grass, they said they didn’t because they were busy finding stinky grass, so they didn’t pay attention to the other one. You find what you look for.


We can find a similar story in The Alchemist, too about the drops of oil in the spoon. Focus matters!


Personally for me, for instance, when I go to the market with the intention to buy grapes, my focus is on the grapes. I see the other things, but at that moment, they are not important to me and I ignore them. My focus is on finding the best grapes for me. After I finish with that task, then I may look at the other things in details.


Also, when you focus on something, it grows. If you focus on the negative, it becomes double negative. But if you focus on the positive, you guess, it becomes double positive. Beware of where your focus is!


FOCUS – that’s the biggest lesson for me – a great reminder, especially nowadays when we have so many digital distractions.


In the connection with focus, I’d love to add - Successful people are focused, they are not distracted.




When the main hero was robbed in a foreign country, first he cried, but then he decided to change his perspective and from victim to look at himself and the situation like a new adventure. That helped him tremendously. He found a job and later became very successful, simply by changing his perspective.  


“We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our attitudes.”  Charles R. Swindoll



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