Wednesday, 18 April 2012

"You are what you believe yourself to be”

Today's P in my A to Z Blogging Challenge is dedicated to someone who, through the medium of fiction, has had quite a profound impact on my life. Paulo Coelho.

(Follow him on Twitter)

I've already gushed about this man before, in a previous post, but he deserves endless adulation for what he does; for who he is.

Around 6 years ago, a former colleague gave me a copy of The Alchemist, which I absorbed voraciously.

A lot of writers talk about their book being a "personal journey" for their characters. That's quite an understatement for this book! In The Alchemist, the main character, Santiago, is searching for his Personal Legend: his goal/achievement in life. Every page is filled with sage advice on how to search for your own Personal Legend. Here are some of those wonderful words:

“It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” 

“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.” 

“Every blessing ignored becomes a curse.”

“The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.” 

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

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

OK, I'll stop. I want to share them all with you though!

What writer wouldn't love this book? In fact, never mind writers: anyone with an ounce of ambition; of desire to fulfill a purpose in life and live well, should read this book. I would imagine this book to be especially wonderful for anyone who is perhaps at a crossroad in their lives, or feeling despondent about their current situation.

This book gives Perspective with a capital P. It's one of the few books I re-read frequently. The Alchemist is only one of his vast collection of amazing books (special mention to his collection of short stories "Like the Flowing River"), and I aim to own them all by the time my puff runs out.

While I'm at it, I would also recommend Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet and Richard Bach's Jonathan Livingston Seagull: A story. A mild warning, though: if you read them all with quick succession, you may quit your job and become a hippie. Consider yourself cautioned.

Today's P music video is for Promises, by Nero. High volume is mandatory.



Kelly Stilwell said...

I have The Alchemist on my Nook and have been too busy to read it! I'm in a book club and we meet next Thursday and I haven't begun Just Like Us, though I plan to this evening. I loved Jonathan L. Seagull and The Prophet so much! SOOO much! And you are a wonderful writer. I can't wait to read your book.

Hope you will visit on your A-Z journey :)

Kyra Lennon said...

That sounds like a book I need! I fell in love with the truth of every quote you posted!

Catherine Noble said...

@Kelly Stilwell: Thank you so much for your lovely words! :D Is that the book by Helen Thorpe? I just read the blurb and it looks like a very interesting book! I will definitely visit your blog, right now :)

@Kyra Lennon: Aww I'm so glad you liked the quotes. Trust me, you will LOVE the book, and the rest of his work!

michelle said...

I've heard so much about The Alchemist. I'm actually contemplating purchasing the book for my bookshelf (yes, I'm a die-hard paperback girl... nothing against e-readers/Kindle, don't get me wrong...)
I'm going to make a turn at the bookstore next week... see if I can get my hands on a copy...

...and I love the quotes...

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