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5 Life Lessons To Learn From The Alchemist

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The Alchemist

Reading is a skill that can help us dive into the minds of the greatest philosophers, historians, and generation leaders of all time. Paulo Coelho is one of those writers, and The Alchemist is a perfect example of one of these great books that comes along and leaves a huge wake in its trail.

This article will demonstrate a few of the key lessons and takeaways that this book has to offer, but as for any situation, there is always more to learn.

Here are 5 life lessons we can learn from The Alchemist:

1. We are all Alchemists with the power to build our ideal lives

Alchemy means to transform or create something through some seemingly magical process. Designing your own custom life from scratch, according to what was only a mental picture of it before, is nothing short of magic. How many people have successfully done this? Only a handful. But it’s the opportunity that lies in front of every single one of us. It’s imperative that we snatch it up and get to work!

 

2. Sometimes everything you seek is right where you started

Often times along our journey to success and fulfillment, we realize that everything we wanted and needed was right where we started. We are often seeking something exterior to make us happy or fulfill us, but it’s unnecessary because we have everything we need inside of us. This search manifests itself in search of money, fame, and levels of success. 

The irony of the road to success is that you’re already successful if you’re committed to betterment, growth and abundance. Before you embark on any journey, recognize that you’ve got the tools within you to succeed, the capacity to learn a massive amount, and can develop an unbreakable mindset.

“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” – Paulo Coelho

3. Your mission is the most important aspect of your life

Everyone needs a mission, and this is part of what gives you your drive and your purpose. When you know your why, you are more dedicated to your skill building, your hustle improves, and your clarity for the future increases.

Your relationships with family, friends, and romance are improved drastically because you’re authentically living for your real purpose. You’re fulfilling it every day, which brings more passion to each of those areas, your finances improve because you’re adding massive value, and your free time is expanded because you’ve created your ideal life from your passions. Hopefully you can recognize why clarifying your mission makes all else easier.

Also, it comes before your love life, because your heart is wide open, giving your all to the world as you see it, and providing value for generations that come after you. There’s an anecdote in the story when the main character Santiago is faced with a choice between his love Fatima, or his mission, otherwise known as why his search began.

He goes to a fortune-teller who tells him he could choose her first, and he would be happy, for a time. After these short years, havoc would wreak itself on the village he led because he did not give the world his full gift. In the end, he chose to leave her and pursue his mission, and was able to regain her love and relationship after he fulfilled his main purpose.

It’s like this for us too. If you’re not willing to throw it all away for the greater good, and your highest consciousness, it’s not going to end well.

 

4. It’s about the journey more than the destination

Many of us, myself included, get caught up in the striving for a destination. “If I could just get…” “If I could just make enough to…” “If I can just reach…” This thinking is pointless because all we ever have is the present moment.

What this really means is that we’ll always have to be right here, right now. If we’re unsatisfied right here and right now, we’re fooling ourselves. We’re delaying gratification to a point that may never come. It’s powerful to reach and work towards goals on the daily, and smash them.

What’s not helpful for us is if we don’t allow ourselves to be happy on the journey. We can and should be proud of what we’ve done, have a clear goal for the future, and always be growing. Don’t let yourself slip down the path of bashing yourself for not being where you want yet. It will come, and right now is a part of the journey that’s extremely necessary.

“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams.” – Paulo Coelho

5. There are tons of setbacks before the momentum

Before you reach any type of tipping point, you will necessarily need to go through many setbacks and what look like failures. Be thankful for these opportunities. Think of it this way: these are the doors to what you want. You just go through them and get to the other side, which are your goals. You cannot succeed without them. So change your frame of mind and be happy and thankful when they show up, since you’re one step closer to success.

Don’t confuse temporary setback with permanent failure, though. Setbacks are not failure, but quitting is. The only way you can fail is if you quit because you can’t do it. If you’re not willing to push through everything to what you really want most, then you don’t deserve it anyways. The world will test and try your will to seize what you want. Never give into these tests. Laugh in their face and say “bring it on.”

Which lesson did you learned from The Alchemist? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Evan is a young location-independent entrepreneur seeking to uplift and inspire the full potential in people. He left college halfway through, moved to Thailand, and started his first online business in 2014. Now he travels around and works online to motivate entrepreneurs in their individual movements. Check out more at Motive in Motion!

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20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Isaac

    Jun 27, 2017 at 11:32 am

    I read the book for the second time yesterday. I wanted to google the “Lessons from The Alchemist” afterwards, in case there was something I missed but I didn’t because I got busy. I wake up this morning to find my search result right in my Facebook newsfeed. Definitely, that’s an OMEN, a good one.

    • Evan

      Oct 1, 2017 at 2:31 pm

      Isaac,

      Glad you found and used this omen; thanks for tuning in buddy

      E

  2. emilio

    Jun 23, 2017 at 8:15 am

    Great post! Thanks. Do you have a blog? Social media Profiles?

    • Evan

      Oct 1, 2017 at 2:30 pm

      Thank you Emilio –

      Yep you can scope all of that at MotiveInMotion.com!

      E

  3. Kuda

    Dec 14, 2016 at 4:23 am

    I learnt that patience is key in the journey towards achieving our personal greatness. Santiago thought it was going to take him a couple of days to get the treasure after selling his sheep. Little did he know that it was going to take months and it was not going to be as easy as he thought. He didn’t know about losing his money at the market. He didn’t know about working in a crystal store and making a bit of money that He lost again at a later stage to save his life.He didn’t know about the war in the desert. He didn’t know that he was going to find love in his search for his treasure. He didn’t know that the treasure was right there were he was but there hoops that he had to flip through in order to get to go treasure. I learnt that all things work for our good. We will all reach our dreams as long as we are willing to go through The struggle and embrace the hard times.

    • Evan

      Mar 22, 2017 at 4:08 am

      Kuda,

      What a fantastic comment! These are all great points, and they sound extremely similar to my journey. Being new to entrepreneurship years back, I never saw these huge obstacles in the way. I never saw the struggle and the ups and downs, but this is what makes the journey.

      There is always more than meets the eye. Thanks for contributing!

      Evan

  4. jose

    Nov 11, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    its simple as give from the heart. this is the lesson, only love matters, in all you do or think. just believe. if you had the vision, you have the power. its within you. there are no fear. this dosent exist.

    • Evan

      Mar 22, 2017 at 4:17 am

      Exactly – fear isn’t real; it doesn’t do anything for us anymore (most of the time). It’s a bi-product of our evolution, which used to keep us alive daily, but now, just stifles our growth 99% of the time.

      Thanks for commenting

      Evan

  5. wangeci

    Sep 29, 2016 at 7:51 am

    Hi y’all new to this blog…awesome stuff!

  6. Tim Denning

    May 7, 2016 at 6:13 am

    Defiantly one of the best blog posts I have read on Addicted2Success in 2016. Thanks Evan.

    • Evan Teague

      May 12, 2016 at 5:53 am

      Means a lot coming from you Tim!

      Thanks bro, you always drop quality too, so keep it up!

  7. Julia

    Apr 8, 2016 at 10:10 pm

    I always remember the story for the kid carrying a spoon and touring the palace without dropping the stuff in the spoon. That’s how I understand happiness in life.

    • Evan

      Apr 9, 2016 at 1:29 pm

      That’s a great one!

      Two ways to go, focus only on the spoon and don’t spill a drop, or focus on the world surrounding, and risk spilling what you’ve got in front of you

  8. Charlene Rhinehart

    Apr 8, 2016 at 9:12 am

    What a timely article! I was just thinking about reading the alchemist and you confirmed why I need to take action and read it now. These are powerful lessons to have in your success/happiness toolkit. I can’t wait to dive into the alchemist! Thanks for sharing this article!

    • Evan

      Apr 9, 2016 at 1:27 pm

      Absolutely, I’m glad you’ve picked up a copy and started; it still remains one of my favorite books! Even along with all the entrepreneur, e-commerce, and business books, this is such an important one packed with nuggets of wisdom

    • Anastacia

      Apr 14, 2016 at 4:16 pm

      Dear Charlene!
      I read the book at the beginning of this year and just enjoyed it!
      Best wishes as you discover The Alchemist!
      Anastacia

  9. Christopher Robins

    Apr 6, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    Courage is not the absence of fear..Courage is your actions in spite of your fear

    • Evan

      Apr 9, 2016 at 1:27 pm

      100% bro. Got to feel the fear and do it anyways, then we get the power for the task

  10. Preston Harris

    Apr 5, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    To achieve our Personal Legend we must see the best in ourselves and others. This requires a positive can do mindset that we must stick to even when we don’t know how we are going to make it. We must have faith that everything is always working out for our best interest and utilize every opportunity to develop ourselves. It’s called Personal Legend which means each one of us possesses the capacity to be Legendary!

    • Evan

      Apr 9, 2016 at 1:29 pm

      Yes we do, and sometimes we don’t know how to tap into this! This is why I’m consistently focused on helping other people achieve the will to do so, because possibility often hides behind fear or doubt

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3 Simple Hacks That Can Recharge Your Willpower and Help You Perform Better at Work

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How many times did you wake up feeling like you could conquer the world? You set ambitious goals for the day, you put on your best attire and walked out the door with a big smile on your face but eventually, life took over. Traffic, emails, work, family, and everything else you have around slowly but steadily started to drain your energy and made you feel exhausted.

You run out of battery, and the only solution that seemed viable was to rely on more caffeine. When that stopped working, all the temptations around you started to look much more appealing, and that sense of drive and commitment you had before slowly faded away. This is you running out of willpower.

Willpower: what is it? Why is it limited?

The American Psychology Association describes willpower as “the ability to resist short-term temptations in order to meet long-term goals.” In the book “The Willpower Instinct”, Dr. Kelly McGonigal, explains how every person’s willpower is limited, and slowly depletes throughout the day. The more “willpower challenges” you face, the quicker your reserve drains. Dr. McGonigal divided the different types of willpower challenges you might encounter in three categories:

  • I will: We face this type of challenge whenever we should do something, but we simply don’t feel like getting it done right now.
  • I won’t: We face this challenge when we try to resist temptation, or we try to keep cool in stressful situations.
  • I want: This is a particular type of challenge where we keep track of our long term goals, dreams, and desires. In this instance, we feel like we should take action right now to come one step closer to the goal. 

It’s easy to recognize it when you face a willpower challenge because you literally “feel it in your body.” Imagine being really hungry and walking in front of a bakery. The sight and the smell of pastries quickly triggers an “I won’t” type of challenge, and it takes a severe amount of effort and energy to walk away.

Every time you manage to win one of those challenges, a little bit of your willpower reserve gets used. The more challenges you face daily, the harder it will be to stay true to your goals.

Can you train or recharge your willpower?

A growing body of research suggests that willpower should be considered a muscle. To strengthen it, you should exercise it regularly, but you should not overwork it. Therefore, we shouldn’t try to “be good” at all times. Instead, we should learn how to relax and recharge our willpower.

The general advice on how to improve willpower involves sleep, proper nutrition, and regular exercise. This broad and general recommendation is often not downright applicable by most, because it consists of changing various daily habits. Luckily, three very effective hacks have been discovered, that have an immediate effect on our willpower and take just a few minutes to apply.

Here are the 3 ways to refill your willpower reserves:

1. Focused breathing

Breathing, when done correctly, can stimulate the release of calming hormones while reducing the release of stress hormones like cortisol and catecholamines. To make this effective, you should deeply and slowly inhale through the nose for at least five seconds. Fill your belly with air first, then your chest, and when there’s no more space for air, still try to do tiny inhalations through the nose.

You should feel a pulling sensation around your neck and trapezius muscles. Once your lungs are full, try to hold the breath for five seconds, then slowly exhale through the mouth for at least five seconds. If you repeat this process ten to twenty times, you should feel dramatically more relaxed. Use this method several times a day, especially when you’re experiencing high levels of stress or anxiety.

2. Reward yourself when you accomplish a micro goal

According to a recent study, frequent instant rewards can boost motivation, and therefore, willpower. Creating your own reward system can help you to accomplish your to-do list, and also resist temptations. Since every individual has different tastes, you should come up with creative ideas about the small and frequent rewards you will give yourself upon winning any willpower challenge.

You can see this hack in practice in Apps like the popular Duolinguo, where after completing each lesson you get presented with a chance to open a treasure chest. This rewarding system seems to keep the users much more likely to keep learning new lessons.

3. Taking cold showers

Your body has an autonomic response to cold water. Getting into a cold shower is a difficult (but minor) willpower challenge on its own. As I previously mentioned, winning a willpower challenge strengthens your willpower muscle. Having a morning cold shower, on top of having multiple health benefits, will set you up for a positive winning streak of further challenges.

High performance is the sum of many small habits. Successful people don’t have an unlimited reserve of willpower, but they do have a set of daily rituals that made them succeed. These three hacks are some of the most effective techniques to develop willpower, but some of them may not fit every individual. You should try to find the perfect mix of daily practices that best fits your lifestyle and likes, so that you can strengthen your willpower muscle and perform better at work.

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