The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

  1. Transformation is about becoming a better version of yourself. Alchemy is a study aimed at transforming something from a base version of itself to a more precious one. This concept has traditionally been applied to metals, as alchemists have tried to transform lead into gold. However, alchemists can also apply this process to other formats including people. The boy’s pursuit of his Personal Legend is his pursuit of his greater self. His journey then is an alchemical process of transformation. There is an urge within all of us to become our greater selves. Therefore, we are all capable of alchemy if we follow that urge to transform.
  2. We have choices which results in stagnation or growth. In many parts of the story the boy is presented with choices. The choices mainly boil down to staying in his current situation which seems safer or to leave his current situation to pursue his Personal Legend. Leaving a currently satisfactory situation is always hard because the alternative contains the unknown and risk. However, it is going into the unknown that one faces challenges and grows. Many people face a certain unease and dissatisfaction in their life. This is because they have chosen to remain in a safe but stagnating circumstance over choosing to face uncertainly and grow from it.
  3. You need to leave in order to return. The boy in the story makes the long journey to Egypt from Spain. Once he reached Egypt, his stay is short and he returns to Spain. However, he does not return to Spain the same boy that started the journey. He has been shaped and transformed by the experiences of the journey. Have you ever gone to another country and that perspective of being in another country has given you greater appreciation for your home country? Likewise, we don’t know ourselves until we see ourselves from another perspective. We must then go “out there” and experience things beyond our current self perspective. As we see differences, that contrast allows us to know ourselves in greater clarity. The goal isn’t to stay “out there”, but to be able to return to ourselves and to know ourselves.




My work is in helping people connect to their greater selves and authentic purpose. (

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Antonius Tsai

Antonius Tsai

My work is in helping people connect to their greater selves and authentic purpose. (

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