Quotes from The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

These are the 10 quotes I picked from the book The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.

“Well, usually I learn more from my sheep than from books”

I think “sheep” in this quote symbolizes experiences from life. “I learn more from my experiences than from books.” A trite saying, but it’s true. There are many things that can be learned from books, but there are limitless things that can be learned from life experiences.

“But when he thought to complain about the burden of its weight, he remembered that, because he had the jacket, he had withstood the cold of the dawn.”

This quote reminded me not to abandon something or someone once it no longer has any benefits for me. It reminded me not to forget to be thankful.

“The jacket had a purpose, and so did the boy.”

The reason I like this quote is simple, just like this quote. I like that everything and everyone has a purpose. Just like the jacket and the boy, I also have a purpose.

“Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.”

This quote is judgmental on people who judge others when they don’t act in a particular way they expected and I that’s why I really like it.  It targets people that are quick to judge but they are flawed themselves. It also shows that people lectures others on how to live their lives and to fix their problems but when it comes to their problems and how they should live their life, they cant figure it out.

“In the long run, what people think about shepherds and bakers becomes more important for them than their own destinies.”

This quote targets the judgmental people like the quote above. The people worry and talk about other people’s lives, however, they end up missing the point of their own life because being concerned with others’ lives becomes a bigger part of their lives than their own.

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

This means that you have to both enjoy the beautiful things around you and do your duty in order to feel true happiness. This sounds like the right type of happiness — doing what you have to do, yet enjoying the beauty around you. However, it seems hard to accomplish because in order to do your job well, you have concentrate and this could preoccupy you from observing beauty around you and also the other way around.

“I’m like everyone else — I see the world in terms of what I would like to see happen, not what actually does.”

I think this is very true. Sometimes you deceive yourself to make the situation seem favorable to you. I think this is also very dangerous because the truth will eventually rise to the surface and you will either be hurt or depressed by the truth.

“…he learned the most important part of the language that all the world spoke — the language that everyone on earth was capable of understanding in their heart. It was love.”

Something the erudite Englishman was searching for a long time over studies and research was something so simple — love. Again, like in the first quote I introduced, one learns more from my experiences than from books. If the Englishman had gone out and experienced interactions with people more instead of studying alone in his study every day for years, he could have learned that love was the universal language that everyone on earth was capable of understanding.

“If good things are coming, they will be a pleasant surprise … If bad things are, and you know in advance, you will suffer greatly before they even occur.”

This was said by a seer whom one of the camel drivers sought when the he said he wanted to know his future. I think this quote was very effective in changing my mind of wanting to see my future. I too, wanted to see my future — how I would look 10 years later, what job I would have, in which country I’d be living in, if any bad things happen to my family, etc. However, when I read this, it eased my desire. If anything good happens, it would be a pleasant surprise for me. If anything bad happens and I knew in advance, I’d have unnecessary anxiety and distress even before it happens. In all ways, it seems better not to know my future before it happens.

“It’s not what enters men’s mouths that’s evil … It’s what comes out of their mouths that is.”

This is what the alchemist says when the boy tells him wine is prohibited in here. It’s true that what comes out of people’s mouths can be evil because words can hurt people as much a knife can.