Paulo Coelho's "The Alchemist," a fable about following your dreams, has sold more than 65 million copies worldwide in more than 50 different languages, making it an international bestseller.
It follows the story of a shepherd boy named Santiago who travels to Egypt after having a recurring dream about a treasure that awaited him there.
If you have never read this book before, I highly recommend it. If you have, then you'll know just how insightful and inspirational the story of a simple shepherd boy who decided to follow his dream can be.
Here is just a small sample of the inspirational life lessons in "The Alchemist" that have been acknowledged worldwide, by the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith, Madonna, Bill Clinton and Julia Roberts, to name but a few.
If you take even one of these mantras and incorporate it into your own life, I guarantee it will be life-changing.
"Love never keeps a man from pursuing his destiny."
True love will never put a blockade between you and your dreams. Be it the love of your family, friends or significant other, if the people who surround you do not support, encourage or urge you in the direction of your destiny, they may not be the best people to keep in your company.
You are a product of your environment — choose yours carefully. Surround yourself with the doers, the believers, the dreamers and the thinkers. Only they will lift you higher.
"The fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself... no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams."
Fear holds many of us back in life. The fear of failing, of rejection and of other's opinions can impact us so heavily that we only fail ourselves by our own inaction.
We've heard it many times before: The thought of something is often worse than the thing itself. It is no different than fearing failure if we go in search of our dreams. Don't underestimate your own resilience.
"People are capable at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of."
There is no such thing as too old or too young when it comes to chasing your dreams. There is no such thing as a right time or a wrong time, either. It is simply a matter of deciding what it is you want to do and taking the necessary steps to get there.
Wherever we are in the world, and in whatever circumstances we find ourselves, only we can decide to take the leap of faith and make our dreams realities.
"When you want something, all the Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it."
What you think about, you bring about. If you put all your focus, energy and positive thoughts toward whatever it is you want, you'd be amazed at what opportunities come knocking.
Whatever it is, however it happens, if you want something badly enough, it's as if the stars re-align and are only too willing to give to you whatever your heart desires. Call it fate, coincidence, beginner's luck or whatever sits best with you, but when you put that time and energy into something with all you have, you will manifest it into your life.
"The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight."
Advocates from Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson to Michael Jordan to Johnny Depp to J.K. Rowling and many more successful people worldwide have sworn that success in life cannot come about without great failures. No matter how many times you get knocked back, rejected or turned away, either personally or professionally, the key is to never accept defeat.
Always move forward and never stop learning. See your failures as valuable lessons on the road to success, learn from them, grow with them and never give up on your dreams.
"Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own."
You will meet many a person who will share opinions regarding your life and your work, whether you ask or not. Some will agree with you, some won't. C'est la vie! You will never, ever, please everybody.
At the end of the day, the only person you need compare yourself to is the person you were yesterday. As long as you're working toward your own happiness, don't let the opinions of others divert you, especially those from people who have not yet found their own paths in life.
We are all unique, what we decide to do with our time is entirely up to us; listen to your heart and answer only to yourself.
"Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure."
The greatest riches we can ever hope to have are the ones that make us truly happy. Where do you find your happiness? To where does your heart call?
It may be a profession, a hobby, a place, a person, a pet or a lifestyle, but it's only when we stop and acknowledge what it is our hearts want that we will find our greatest treasures. These are the treasures that will bring joy and happiness into our lives; this is where the heart is.
"People are afraid to pursue their most important dreams because they feel that they don't deserve them, or that they'll be unable to achieve them."
For many different reasons, many people's dreams remain just that — merely dreams — for their entire lives. Why is it that we don't pursue them? Do we not all deserve to live out our dreams?
Do we doubt ourselves and our capabilities, or do we doubt our own senses of self-worth? We only have one life and one chance at living exactly how we want. We need to believe in ourselves and in our dreams. We need to believe that anything is possible and that we, alone, can make it happen.
If you're going to believe anything in this lifetime, believe in you.
"At a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That’s the world’s greatest lie."
We are in control of our own lives. We choose which paths to take, where to go and with whom we spend our time. The sooner we become aware of this — the power we have over our own destinies —, the sooner we can start shaping the lives we want.
It is never too late to seize control of our lives, be aware of where our choices may take us and form the paths we want to take. The power to do that lies within each of us.
"Never stop dreaming."
Above all, never stop dreaming. It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting. Just believe anything is possible.