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Paulo Coelho


The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is quite a different book from the other books that have made meaningful impacts on my life. One way it stands out from the other books in my list is that this book is completely fiction. Although it is just a fantasy, the perspectives I took from this book have guided me ever since I got it.

I picked up this book during the fall of 2019 and began reading it during my freshman year of college. It was something that I would turn to whenever I was feeling out of place or uncomfortable, as the new environment of college was busy and tough on me. I have vivid memories from the times that I would be coming home from the Architecture Building and would take a stop at the Plaza on campus at midnight to read in the grass under a dim light. The impact this book had on my life was the strongest of any book I had read up to that point. The story of Santiago and his outlook on life were something that I wanted out of my life.

The message of this book was that everybody in their life has a “personal legend,” or something that is someone’s purpose and way to leave an impact on the Earth. Santiago goes on a journey searching for a long-lost treasure, but throughout the book realizes that the people he is meeting and the lessons they are teaching him are the true treasures of life.

Ever since reading this book, I wanted to live in this way. It made me want to become more outgoing and more adventurous, more willing to say yes to things that were outside of my comfort zone. I want to learn life lessons of my own, I want to find my own personal legend, and I want to live a life where I feel fulfilled and free of fear not only at the end but for the entire duration. I value my time very much now, as time is the one thing in life that I cannot get back.

Each person’s personal legend proves to be the only way they can become rich in not only wealth but also in spirit and emotion. Wanting to feel that sense of satisfaction with the world and with myself at the end of each day is essential towards living a happy and fulfilled life. This outlook is something I always carry with me, as a life that is lived without satisfaction is a life that will disappoint and leave me yearning for more, and I want to thrive in my one chance at life.

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