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The Alchemist by Paul Coelho

The Alchemist is a story which was written in 1988 by Paul Coehlo, a Brazilian born author with a fascinating story of his own. The story is fictional but also teaches a lot of interesting lessons. It has been translated into 70 languages from its original Portuguese and is an international bestseller.

The Story

The novel focuses on Santiago, a shepherd in Andalucía. He has a recurring dream he thinks is a prophecy. One day he is at market and meets a Romani fortune teller. She tells him to ‘follow his omens’ and start a new life. He also meets an old king called Melchizedek who tells him to sell his sheep. Then with the money, visit the Pyramids of Egypt to find treasure. He tells him about the idea of a Personal Legend, where you accomplish what you have always wanted.

Convinced, Santiago sells his flock and sets out to Egypt. Along the way, he meets an Englishman who is searching for an alchemist. He meets a girl called Fatima at an oasis and falls in love. She promises to marry him but only after he has completed his journey.

Finally, Santiago meets a wise alchemist who teaches about realising his true self. He begins searching around the pyramids for the treasure but is robbed. From the robbers, he learns that the treasure was in the very ruined church where he first had his prophetic dreams.

The Author

Paul Coehlo was born in 1947 and knew he wanted to become a writer. This plan led to his being committed to a mental institution, which he escaped three times. He later lived as a hippie, travelling around America and Europe. He then worked as a songwriter and journalist before finally becoming the writer he always wanted to be.

Lessons from The Alchemist

1. Fear is the biggest obstacle

While Santiago was frightened about making the journey, he didn’t let fear stop him. By pushing through his fear, he found his great reward.

2. Concentrate on the present

Often, we look at the past or the future. But we need to be focused on the present and there we will find greater happiness.

3. Make decisions

Indecisiveness will kill dreams because you are stuck trying to make that first step. Santiago made it by selling his sheep and getting on a ship to Africa.

4. Success leads to more success

By focusing on your goals, you will find success. And success breeds success. You will find it possible to do more, achieve more when you start succeeding in your goals.

5. Focus on your journey

It is easy to fall into the comparison trap. You look at what others are doing and feel inadequate. But the book shows you need to focus on your journey, not worry about what others are doing.

6. Nothing happens without action

If you don’t take that first and second step towards your dreams, nothing will happen. If Santiago had stays watching his sheep, he would never have met his lady love. Or the alchemist. Or found the treasure.Action is the key to all of this.

 

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Raman is the Founder of Enigma Insider. Raman is an extremely motivated and dedicated individual. Raman has been educating himself on self development whilst he was working in Hong Kong and Dubai. Raman returned back to the United Kingdom and is currently working full time as a Human Rights Lawyer.

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Books

Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

Rich Dad Poor Dad is a 1997 book by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter.  The book focuses on how important financial literacy is, learning about finances and gaining financial independence.  It also covers topics such as building wealth, starting and owning a business and increasing financial aptitude.  It is written as a series of parables based on Kiyosaki’s own experiences.

Rich Dad Poor Dad

Robert Kiyosaki had two ‘dads’ in his life, his real dad and the dad of his friend who he was very close to.  Both had a very different financial situation and approach to money – hence, Rich Dad Poor Dad.  The book is a way of looking at the differences but also learning from the lessons of his ‘rich dad’.

Kiyosaki’s real dad was a well-educated man who worked hard and made a good income.  But his view on money was very traditional and he always seemed to struggle.  On the other hand, Kiyosaki’s friend’s dad did not have a formal education and also worked hard.  He had a different mindset to money and as a result, he thrived financially and became one of the richest men in Hawaii.

In the book, Kiyosaki looks at the contrasting perspectives. He then uses this to teach other people how to have a different perspective on money.  For him, the big difference between the Rich and the rest is financial education and money mindset.  By comparing the approaches of his two ‘dads’ he is able to present the story in a way anyone can grasp.

Robert Kiyosaki

Robert Kiyosaki was born in 1947 in Hilo, Hawaii.  He had written over 26 books including Rich Dad Poor Dad which has been translated into 51 languages.  This book alone has sold 27 million copies around the world.  He is the founder of the Rich Dad Companies providing financial education for people and businesses.

Lessons from Rich Dad Poor Dad

  1. Rich people let money work for them

The phrase ‘money works for me’ is a clear mindset of rich people.  The idea is that you learn how money works and let is work for you, but you need to alleviate fear to do this.  Fear is the main emotion around money.  It forces people to stay as they are, without enough money.  If you can make money work for you, you can conquer fear.

  1. Financial literacy is important

Without financial intelligence and literacy, money tends to quickly vanish.  People need to learn more about money, how to use it and how to make more of it to achieve financial independence.

  1. Investing money is key

Rich people make more money by investing rather than waiting around for luck or opportunities to appear.  They take some risks but mostly their decisions are based on that financial literacy that they have built up.

  1. Work to learn, not just to earn

We should aim to learn skills that will help us improve our position rather than just doing a job for a wage.  Kiyosaki says we are ‘one skill away from great wealth’ and the key is to find that skill and focus on it.  Then we need to keep learning to keep growing our wealth.

 

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