Character of the week: The Alchemist

EN ESPANOL CLICAR AQUI: Personaje de la semana: El alquimista
EM PORTUGUES CLICAR AQUI: Personagem da semana: O alquimista

“Why do we have to listen to our hearts?” the boy asked, when they had made camp that day.

“Because, wherever your heart is, that is where you’ll find your treasure.”

“But my heart is agitated,” the boy said. “It has its dreams, it gets emotional, and it’s become passionate over a woman of the desert. It asks things of me, and it keeps me from sleeping many nights, when I’m thinking about her.”

“Well, that’s good. Your heart is alive. Keep listening to what it has to say.”

“My heart is a traitor,” the boy said to the alchemist, when they had paused to rest the horses. “It doesn’t want me to go on.”

“That makes sense. Naturally it’s afraid that, in pursuing your dream, you might lose everything you’ve won.”

“Well, then, why should I listen to my heart?”

“Because you will never again be able to keep it quiet. Even if you pretend not to have heard what it tells you, it will always be there inside you, repeating to you what you’re thinking about life and about the world.”

“You mean I should listen, even if it’s treasonous?”

“Treason is a blow that comes unexpectedly. If you know your heart well, it will never be able to do that to you. Because you’ll know its dreams and wishes, and will know how to deal with them.

“My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer,” the boy told the alchemist one night as they looked up at the moonless sky.

“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, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”

“Every second of the search is an encounter with God,” the boy told his heart.

“Everyone on earth has a treasure that awaits him,” his heart said. “We, people’s hearts, seldom say much about those treasures, because people no longer want to go in search of them. We speak of them only to children. Later, we simply let life proceed, in its own direction, toward its own fate. But, unfortunately, very few follow the path laid out for them—the path to their destinies, and to happiness. Most people see the world as a threatening place, and, because they do, the world turns out indeed, to be threatening place.

“So, we, their hearts, speak more and more softly. We never stop speaking out, but we begin to hope that our words won’t be heard: we don’t want people to suffer because they don’t follow their hearts.”

From “The Alchemist”


  1. harshbir singh says:

    just read the book twice in this year and again i found a new thing, at page no 152 2nd paragraph 2nd line
    Be aware of the place, where you are brought to tears. Thats where i am and that’s where your treasure is.

    thank you paulo coelho thank you so much

  2. Marisa says:

    Lindo!! Adoro “O Alquimista”!
    Continue a nos encantar com seus livros!!

  3. Ahlam says:

    This book has been an inspiration in my life. I first read it in high school. I was recently going through a tough time in my life, trying to figure out what the next phase would be and this is the book I turned to in order to find comfort and confidence in my Personal Legend.

  4. umang says:

    hav read this book.. it’s really inspiring.. one of the best ever book i hav read..

  5. MZ says:

    I read the Alchemist in 2005, recommended by a passenger seated next to me on a flight to Brasil. I was not aware of Mr Coelho’s books prior to this. Since it was so inspiring, I coaxed by husband to read it too. I wasn’t aware that my husband was having a year long affair with another woman at that time, and after reading the book, he married her secretly (my religion and custom allow this). He ‘followed his heart’ and felt that it was his ‘personal legend’.

    1. den says:

      Its marvelous that you did it to your husband!!! it says about real Love)

  6. minamina7 says:

    Absolutely Brilliant.

  7. ginalyn says:

    I’ve already read The Alchemist book but I love to read it again and again..

  8. adit daga says:

    truely inspirational

  9. Charming joy says:

    i think suffering is a choice and way of life … but now if people were actually be gratful for what they have and enjoy the moment maybe would b less suffering…its just a question of perception and 2 b fair when bad things happen its always for a reason-even if it does not look like it- and i had my share of sarrow i tell u. but am alive and welland get knock out like evrybody else but take it on chin understnd and then miracvle happens – a new chapter and door open with a smile- its up 2 the people to understand why and what we have 2 learn at that time. the glas is 1/2 full or empty? have u read warrior of light from paulo? great inspiration as always ;-)
    all the best

  10. Delighted to read the above passage again. Till date, I have distributed 15 copies of “The Alchemist” to whom I love most including my children. My son thanked me profusely for making him read the book. Both of us liked the passage – talking to the wind immensely. Thank you for sharing your wisdom through your writings.

  11. chad says:


    I read ” The Alchemist”

    so so meaningful and so admirable.

  12. Sarah says:

    But the thing is, we live in reality.
    And sometimes following our heart is not a realistic choice. Is it the wise choice? I don’t know. Being realistic has nothing to do with being wise. Following your heart may be closer to magic and fairytales and whatnot, but sometimes you have to surrender to the mundaneness of reality.

    1. Ahlam says:

      Sarah, I totally agree that life can take its course and following your Personal Legend can seem like a childish dream. With that said, tuning into your instincts and your strong beliefs will help guide and shape your reality. It may not happen instantly, but gradually the more you tune in to hear your heart the easier it becomes to make important decisions. I’m still learning to tune in, because I do not want to be consumed by the harsh realities we often live. I wish you well.

  13. usal satyal says:

    i havent ever heard read or meet any great personalities who has achieved their fame, glory and achievements following someone else footsteps. i mean they can get inspiration through others idea but the core knowledge, that is some thing one has to understand and feel own self. i must confess coelho some way has changed my life in a positive manner, helped me in the period of distraction and depression., but now here i stand playing my triumph that it was not him who changed my life,…it was me and my effort. however, he sure was a kindle hope of light forcing me to see the vivid image of the glorious path “life”.

  14. Himanshu says:

    Yeah i agree with you Sheela…!!!!
    we suffer only when we follow our heart…!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Charming joy says:

      i strongly disagree with u can u suffer when u listen 2 yr heart? yr heart will tell u everything u need 2 know and where to go when u actually r ready 2 listen. maybe u should read the warrior of light from paulo u might find the reason behind yr suffering. the question i would ask..would u rather die without knowing and live with only “if” and remember everything happen 4 a reason even if at the time it does not look like it. yr heart will always shows u the signs but u have 2 believe ;-) all the best
      ps i talk by experiance now the choice is yrs ;-)

  15. NORA says:

    no hay nada tan engañoso como el corazon humano pero solo dios sabe nuestro corazon y da a cada uno segun se lo merezca

  16. Chri says:

    i always follow my heart..

  17. Gloryana says:

    Pienso que los sueños deben ser perseguidos segun la fuerza de nuestro corazón, aunque muchas veces resultan en el camino personas y situaciones que nos quieren hechar todo a perder, sin embargo, si uno de los verdaderos encuentros con Dios es arriesgarnos, conocer y experimentar buscando nuestro sueño, entonces seguiré apostandole a todo lo que mi corazón me anuncia con amor, por que cuando tenemos equilibrio en nuestro corazón y razón estaremos tocando la armoní­a divina..

  18. ernesto says:

    aprendi a seguir mis sueños atraves del tiepo descubri que es muy sierto el universo entero conspira cuando un hombre sigue sus sueños y fue sai que mi alma crecio y encontre la felicidad . un libro marabilloso

  19. Shreya Damani says:

    I have read your book ‘The Alchemist’. It was nice and very inspirational.

  20. luisa says:

    Me encanto este libro, cayo en el preciso momento en mis manos, en busqueda de mi leyenda personal.

  21. Jojo says:

    As always, I come back here in relation with you, your words, your sharings, with always the hope that I will find hidden or in a full view a message that will give me more awareness, guidance in what my own life. I read and loved again your words, words that speak to my soul, that give me a boost of energy. In all the words, those on which I stopped and decided to comment on are: “Most people see the world as a threatening place, and because they do, the world turns out indeed, to be threatening place.” I have since childhood that tendency, to see the outside, the world as a place that do not offer much, that is merely only contradiction, that say and do without congruence. That I observed and know to be true. But then, I became someone who came to believe had nothing to offer, someone who is only contradiction, someone good at saying but also not doing what I say, not in congruence with my heart … in intimate relations, in social relations, not in professional relations. So, having been witness to threat, lies, having heard and saw always contradictions, judgments, hypocrisy, lack of awareness, negative attitudes in a place where there should have been love, acceptance, fraternity, force, faith, innocence, freedom, and I am speaking of my family, I acquired doubt about the other, the world, which now is part of me. I became someone that felt one against, and I still am caught in that chain and know that I have to free myself of that chain, of stopping to see the other and the world as a monster, something capable of hitting me, destroying me, laugh about me and my dreams and ideas, values and opinions. I must transform my thoughts and act on I have to share something important, I have to take my place, I have to stand for what I believe and stop giving so much power of destruction and threat to those who only hold a title, an authority given by papers, bank accounts, governmental roles, authority roles, for that is the world of man that follow like blind people a blind leader. I must get out of that trap. I must change my way of seeing the world. I changed mentally, I know mentally, but then it seems that the plant is not all gone inside me, that tree of lies. If I believe, act upon that belief, give energy and power to that belief, stop giving to another human the power to destroy me, to judge me, to arrest me, to condemn me, I will be free at last and the world in which I live in and see will be paradise, for me, enough for me.

    Love, Jojo.

  22. Neha says:

    most inspiring!!

  23. sajith kumar says:

    One of the best Novel I have ever read….

  24. Sandeep says:

    The catharsis of the heart is that it follows the wind that cannot be touched but can be felt.It is a question that never allows you to select the best among the many. For the wind you never know where you are and what you are. Life is beautiful and at the same time the beautician is a part of the whole. Like the dissemination of wind your dreams are the part of others aspiration and ambition. You follow a path or move ahead of your dream that has a connection with the Mass.So the dream of Santiago needs to be questioned. And he has got the universal answer of acceptance.

  25. Susanne Schweiger says:

    as I commented before: don´t you think, that true love always will take a part of your freedom?

  26. taty says:

    wow! god give me strength to hear my heart and follow my dreams…

  27. patty says:

    mi corazon late fuerte y sin control, mi corazon se pone triste y se de donde su sentir, mi corazon sonrrie para ti.

  28. Mathilde says:

    “Everyone on earth has a treasure that awaits him,”
    Awake and Aware