Powerful lessons from The Alchemist

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Do you ever enjoy spending time alone? I mean really alone with no one but just your thoughts for company.

What do you think about? Your career, your significant other, your finances, and the way your life is shaping up? Do these thoughts make you feel satisfied and content with your life or do you feel the itch to change something about the course your life is headed towards?

Like you I too find myself constantly under a cloud of these thousand and one, random thoughts that appear in my mind. And to quieten the commotion of silent noise they create in my head, I end up either indulging in some hobby or reading a motivational book.

And ‘The Alchemist’ is one such book. I read that book whenever I need a ‘pick me up’.

I am sure you all must have read this book. If you haven’t, you must, immediately. There are some books which will teach you lessons for life, and this one is definitely on top of the list. There thousands of books which share their advice on dreams, but this book will plunge you into the whole new world of possibilities where you’ll discover that there is nothing as important as following your dreams & destiny.

It’s a masterpiece from the Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho. The Alchemist’s main theme is finding one’s destiny. The whole journey teaches us to follow our hearts and dreams; we should always seize the opportunities life offers in the pursuit of whatever makes us happy.

Personally, I can safely say that it is one of my most favourite reads. I have read and reread this book multiple times, and everytime I find something new in its story. It inspired me more than any other book I’ve ever read. Some of the most awesome quotes can be found deep within its pages. Quotes that have a left a lasting impression on my mind.

Quotes like “Whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you want something, it is because that desire originated in the soul of the Universe. It is your mission on earth. To realize one’s destiny is a person’s only real obligation. All things are one. When you want something; All the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it”.

Do you believe in this? Well, I most definitely do.

We must understand that our dreams are not silly or that our selfish desires should not be ignored. We must understand that everything in the universe is connected. This quote also introduces the concept of the soul of the universe, suggestive to the idea that a person’s purpose in life centers on fulfilling one’s desires.

When “your desire originates in the soul of the Universe” means your desire and the desire of the Soul of The Universe is same.

So if you desire something with happiness and if you find joy working on that dream, then you nourished the soul of the Universe. When you nourished the soul of the Universe for that particular desire, the whole universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.

No matter how badly you want something but if you want it with desperation, if you want it because you feel sad without it then you won’t get it. If you want something with the feelings of anger or sadness or frustration, then the Universe can’t make it true for you. Because with all these negative feelings, you are weakening the soul of the Universe and making the desire die within it. You just need to keep faith in yourself and be persistent in that direction. It is the one greatest truth on this planet: whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the universe.”

Or –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.”

Do you believe you have no control over your life? Are you who you are today, by choice or by fate? Many people have given up on their dreams. Agreed, that some of us are born to have easy lives, while some are born to take a more challenging path. Perhaps the limitations and obstacles you face today are part of your journey — you must overcome them to grow stronger on the path to achieving your goals. But sometimes somewhere along the way, your dreams get buried under the reality of daily living. The focus shifts from ‘living the dream’ to just ‘Survival first’, as they call it. The sad part is that many people spend much of their lives doing what they don’t like, I say, that’s a great way to bury your happiness and turn into an economic slave. Doing what you dislike, day after day, will numb the sense of joy within you. Soon you will feel that your life has no greater purpose, and there is nothing to look forward to but work, work, work…You will have forgotten how much fun it is to spend your time doing the things you like to do.

Another gem – “It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.

Hope. What a wonderful four-letter word this is. The beauty of life is hidden in the hope and in the possibilities that it someday your dreams will manifest.

And another – “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”.

Fear holds many of us back in life. The fear of failing, of rejection and of other’s opinions can impact us so heavily that we only fail ourselves by our own inaction. We’ve heard it many times before: The thought of something is often worse than the thing itself. Don’t underestimate your own resilience. It just sums up the feeling that when you follow your heart and your intuitions, you’re going exactly on the path where you’re supposed to go.

This one always keep me motivated – “The darkest hour of midnight comes just before dawn.”

My God do I know this or what? So many times, when I have almost given up this reminds me that there is hope, even in the worst of circumstances. Life is never going to be easy, for anyone. The difficulties the hardships the daily grind of taking one more step, I mean who hasn’t been through it, right? This quote is a reminder for me and anyone reading this, that it’s just one more hour of darkness before the light hits me with its brilliance, and that I must never give up on my dreams, on my hopes.

And finally – “When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”

Love. That word conjures up so many images in our minds. Nowadays pure, unadulterated love is so difficult to find. Why do the partners searching for perfection in the other and try to change them by moulding them in their own desired way. That’s not love but a mere illusion. They are in love with the idea of being in love. But real love should be the one that help us to find our true self. The only way love can last a lifetime is if it’s unconditional. It should be a romance that goes beyond the stars and the moon. One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.

If there is anything that I want you to take away from this post it is this: to be passionate about everything you do and to not be afraid to fail.

“Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.”

 

madhavi

Live your life in ‘Awe’

awe life

Have you ever wondered about your life and the direction it’s headed? Do you find yourself wondering how to make your life less mundane and more meaningful? Do you find the popular notion that ‘meaning’ is mysterious and hard, and it feels big and scary?  Yeah, right?

So what does this ‘meaningful life’ look like to you?

Do you picture wise sages cloistered in remote caves meditating on the deepest questions of the universe, or larger than life crusaders changing the world with their heroic acts of will.

It’s no wonder that so many of us worry that perhaps our smaller scale lives don’t measure up to a ‘meaningful life’. And to top it off it seems like every self-help blog harps on the idea of finding ones purpose. Without it, life seems pretty meaningless.

When you were younger you enjoyed the freedom to have a lot more fun. You enjoyed your work life and found time to enjoy with your friends. Agreed, that fewer responsibilities earlier allowed you to make the most of your time and your life. Nobody in their youth ever gave much thought to this pertinent question on the meaningfulness of life.

But as you matured, the responsibilities also took on a whole new level; not only are you looking after your children but some of you are also faced with the additional responsibility of taking care of your aged parents who are now unable to take care of themselves. This makes it rather impossible for you to take time off at will and enjoy your life to the fullest, like you did when you were younger.

But come to think of it rationally, isn’t whatever you are doing everyday valuable to someone? Whether it is for your children or for your parents? Don’t you feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction at the end of the day when you retire for bed, as you see your family completely at ease and contented?

It is the values that you have imbibed from the previous generation, the values of Authenticity, Dependability, Integrity, Selflessness and Reliability that make your life exceptionally priceless and meaningful.

Don’t forget to recognize the fact that your life is already way more meaningful than you give yourself credit for. Rather than focus on the questions to live a more meaningful life, you should stop and reflect to recognize the many moments that already give you a sense of direction and accomplishment.

Simply having a lot to do around the home while you are a stay-at-home parent such as indulging in some hobby to tap on your creativity can keep you and your mind busy. Occasionally, meeting old friends or even chatting with neighbours can cause people to feel their lives are much more meaningful.

Sitting in nature and enjoying the beauty of the trees changing colour, watching flowers of different hues or even people-watching can relieve the stress of the day to day life and boosts peoples’ sense of meaning.

Stop trying to find yourself. Life itself is trying to teach you something.

The meaning of life is to find the moments of awe.

What is awe, you ask?

It’s the pauses you take between sentences. It’s the moments of silence when you’re watching the rain outside. It’s the moments where you breathe. It’s the moments where you can be human.

When life get too overpowering and you feel lost, all you have to do is stand still, watch and listen to the world around you. There is awe everywhere.

Awe is the spark you feel when you meet a lover.

Awe is the conversation between long lost friends.

Awe is holding your newborn baby.

Awe is the piping hot food on your table after a hard days’ work.

Awe is the feeling of restfulness after a good nights’ sleep.

Awe is your dog wagging his tail when you return from work.

Awe is the exhilaration of screaming “Yes!!” after you’ve completed a challenging task.

Awe is looking out at nature and cherishing its raw beauty.

Awe is being grateful.

Awe is whatever you want it to be.

So if you frequently fret about the meaning of your life, rather than worry about finding a grand purpose, spend some time to look for the moments of ‘awe’ that already exist all around you. Simply noticing them is all you need for a much greater sense of meaning.

Life does give you many moments to be and more importantly feel beautiful.

madhavi:)