I am a fan of the book “The Alchemist” by Pablo Coelho.  I have read this book multiple times, in Spanish, English and I just started reading it in Portuguese.  Whenever I am in a used bookstore, I go and see if I can find it, if they have it, I buy it.  I have multiple copies, and I like to give this book away whenever I see the chance.

The Alchemist is the story of a shepherd boy named Santiago who goes in a quest from Spain to Egypt in search of his dream, his treasure.  Along the way he meets many people including an alchemist that helps Santiago find his treasure, the treasure turns out was within himself. It is an excellent quick read that I highly recommend.  The secret is to read it multiple times, there is always something new to learn depending on what are you going thru in a particular moment in your life.

  Here are a couple of my favorite quotes.

When you want something, the whole universe conspires to make it happen, but you need to read the signs.

I remember a few years ago, I was living in Bahrain then working for a consulting company and it was stressful. The work itself was stressful, and it was a period of my life that was tumultuous.  I wanted peace, I wanted to find myself and somehow go thru that dark time of my life.   I met a wonderful person that introduce me to a particular type of meditation that, over time, gave me what I needed.  Peace and a new direction for my life, I can truly remember the exact moment when I felt as if somebody turned the light on in inside my head. And then I knew what I needed to do next.  When I made that realization, I discovered some things that were already in place for me to achieve my goal.  But it wasn’t until I knew what I wanted to do when I was able to read those signs life was giving me. 

 No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world.  And normally he doesn't know it.

When I was going thru a divorce, I was hurt, I was angry, I was disappointed, and my self-confidence was shattered.  I was angry, especially with my ex-wife, for obvious reasons.   It wasn’t until later; it wasn’t until I realized that so much good happened to me after the divorce that I can’t help but be thankful for that event. My ex-wife doesn’t know that she put me on the path to happiness, the day she left.   There is a reason for everything even the “horrible” people that clutter your life.   They are there to show you how not to be; they are there to challenge you to look for hidden life lessons.  I like what Michelle Obama said, “when they go low, we go high.”

When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.

In my line of work, I coach executives to become better leaders.  One of the tenants of my coaching practice is empathy; the ability to understand and relate to the feelings of others.  Every leader wants to be better, from charting a strategy, distributing responsibilities, giving directions and performance reviews, the tasks of a leader are many. But when the people start treating their challenges with empathy, beautiful things start to happen.  In their quest to get better at managing, they become better people.  They become better leaders, and they become more productive, more proactive, happier and more satisfied. 

And, when you can't go back, you have to worry only about the best way of moving forward.

This also has some very deep personal meaning.  My life was turned upside down when I was diagnosed with a brain tumor.  Like many in that situation, I asked myself why me?  I couldn’t change that part of my life, but somehow I decided that I was going to get thru it.  When the doctor told me that I had to accept my new reality, I thought to myself “what is my new reality?”  My life was a blank canvas, and it was up to me to write my new story, create my new reality. I am still working on it and having fun doing it.   My motto became “I cannot control the rain, but I can control if I get wet or not.”

I have a few copies of The Alchemist that are sitting on my shelf; I would love to unload them and give them away.  Subscribe to our blog and I will send copies of the book to the first 22 that do. (Yes I have 22 copies of the book sitting here).