Archive for April 15th, 2011


The Alchemist

April 15, 2011

I was recently given the suggestion to read The Alchemist.  “It will change your life” the lady told me.  She also said that Will Smith read the book and said it had changed his life too.  I’m not dissatisfied with my life in any way but, I was tempted to find out what she was talking about.   She did say it was just a short read.  I downloaded the book to my Audible account on my iPhone.  Much to my pleasure, Jeremy Irons was the narrator and the total time was only 4 hours.  It is a story about a boy who followed a dream and went on an adventure to find his treasure.  He met several challenges and was tempted along the way to give up the search but, in the end finds what he’s looking for.  It was a pleasant read.  I enjoyed it but, that was as far as it went for me.  I wrote an email to the lady who suggested I read it to let her know that I had.  I told her that even thought it was entertaining it did not change my life.  I think she was disappointed and I’m pretty sure she won’t be sending me any future book suggestions or reading the ones I gave her.  Too bad.

Now it’s been several weeks since I finished reading The Alchemist and have read another book since then but, I have to admit that I can’t stop thinking about it.  I’ve been going over the adversity that the hero faced and the spirit with which he proceeded.  I admire his courage.  I admire his ability to focus.  I admire the way he saw something good in each downturn.  I’m starting to think the book could change my life. 

I always wanted to go to cosmetology school.  I love haircuts and hairstyles and I even just like being in salons.  I have had this love for as long as I can remember.  It never seemed legitimate though because I was going to college and probably going to become something else like a lawyer or business manager or something.  I remember when I was about to finish up high school I asked my parents if I could go to cosmetology school and they said, “Yes, after you graduate from college”.  So off to college I went. 

After college I wanted to find my own apartment and job.  I was eager to be on my own.  I got a great job at a large corporation and spent 7 years there.  In that time I got married and accumulated obligations.  I couldn’t go to cosmetology school and still pay the bills. 

When I left the corporate job looking for a new challenge I took a job with a small business.  I mean a very small business!  For the last 4 years I’ve been in a crash course on building a business.  I work alongside the owner and together we make decisions that we see and feel the consequences of first hand.  There has been a great deal of trial and error and drama and turmoil but, the bottom line is that I’m learning.  Our company is growing even in the face of a market that truly tanked.  Everyone else in our industry is going out of business and we’re growing!

Now after reading The Alchemist and rolling it over in my head for a month I’m starting to think that maybe I’m on a journey to reach my dream.  It would have been a mistake to go to cosmetology school after high school.  It would have been a mistake to go after college.  But, maybe someday it won’t be a mistake to go.  I’m honing my skills and developing my personality.  I’m starting to see a dream forming that I could one day own my own salon combining both my love for hair and the business building strength that I’m gaining.

Maybe The Alchemist is a life changing book but, maybe it takes a long time to work its magic.