If you have read The Alchemist, you 1) would have loved it as a "wonderfully hope creating and opstimistic story." or 2) would have lambasted it terming it to "be hopelessly optimistic and away from life. " or 3) would have remained untouched by it. Read this piece, and you shall probably change your views about the book. If you havent read the Alchemist, read on anyway, and you might want to rush to the nearest book store to buy the book " that has influeced millions of lives." I have only read the book once and it seemed complete sham to me back then. Here was a guy who was actually selling dreams to people (Coelho), and whats more people were actually buying it, as a moralising book. I read it for the storyline, which was interesting.
However a lot of things have happened which have made me change my views about the theories in the book.
The entire book is based on the theory "When you want something badly, the entire universe conspires for you to get it." I always believed the opposite, namely Murphy's Law, which states that "wherever something can go wrong, it will." I still believe the Law, but now I also believe in the opstimistic theory in the Alchemist. Can it be possible, when everything goes wrong, that the Universe is actually helping you? I believe it is. When you want something too badly, you are ready to risk everything you have and go after what you want. And the Universe tries to test you throughout, trying to shake your conviction, trying to break you down, and trying to test you: Murphy's Law is a test that lets the Universe decide the motivated enough. And from there on, the Universe is ready to help you. You have to work for getting whatever you want, otherwise your "badly wanting it " is useless.
If the Universe wasnt helping, could Abraham Lincoln and APJ Abdul Kalam become the presidents of their respective countries? Could Lance Armstrong come back from a battle with cancer to win five Tour de France titles? And why does every movie have a good-triumphs over bad theme? Or why dont the bad forces outnumber the forces thats keeping the world in peace?
It is because the Universe has an order, an order thats made to help everyone.
You might contend this by pointing out, that for every Abe or APJ, there are millions who fail to make it. I know its true, but maybe thats because they werent motivated enough. And they didnt want to win that badly.
I believe that the Universe gives equal opportunities to eeryone, and the number of good things happening to a person is a constant for each person, as is the number of bad things. It just comes down how much can a person take of these opportunities, and not be dissuaded by the failures. And in the end, probably it all doesnt matter: success is defined by a person, so if you get what you aim for, you are successful. The Universe has helped you. If you arent, you just need to want that thing that much more. And work hard to get it as well. Atleast initially. And from there, let Universe take over. I am a pessemist, but deepdown. I believe everyone is an optimist. You just have to believe the Universe and work hard.