Project Manager Matt Wilde blogs about popular book The Alchemist and picks out some untraditional top tips for Young Producers
I recently read the book ‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho. It is one of the best books i’ve ever read and is a real untraditional lesson in leadership that I think every Young Producer can take something away from. It has inspired a devoted following around the world and is amongst one of the best selling books in the world.
Although this post is not supposed to be a book review, I want to give you a very brief summary of what The Alchemist is about to help you understand the rest of my post. The story follows a young shepherd in his journey of fulfilling his Personal Legend. This young shepherd, Santiago, faces numerous challenges from both external forces and from his own desire. The plot is very simple. Since it’s so simple, there is obviously a greater, spiritual meaning behind the book.
1. Follow your Personal Legend
“The Soul of the World is nourished by people’s happiness. And also by unhappiness, envy, and jealousy. To realise one’s Personal Legend is a person’s only real obligation. All things are one. And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it”
This is a major theme in the book. Its all about following your dream and destiny in order to find true happiness. I notice this in many great leaders I’ve had the opportunity to work with or observe. They radiate positivity by being on the journey they truly believe in.
2. Your success has a ripple-effect
“That’s what alchemists do. They show that, when we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.”
Growth, change and evolution are weaved into the DNA of reality. Becoming a better version of yourself creates a ripple effect that benefits everything around you: your lifestyle, family, friends and community.
3. Be unrealistic
“I see the world in terms of what I would like to see happen, not what actually does.”
I love this phrase. It sings true to the work we do with young leaders who’re creative and often express themselves through the arts. Some of the greatest inventions would not have happened if people accepted the world for what as it is and didn’t challenge perceptions. I think this really comes down to creativity and imagination. Exercise it, do something creative to just get involved with your local arts organisation.
4. Embrace the present
“Because I don’t live in either my past or my future. I’m interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man.”
I think some people would call this mindfulness but whatever you call it there’s no point dwelling on the past and letting it define you. It’s equally as easy to be overwhelmed with the possibilities of the future too. Consciously embrace the moment and practice it!
5. Be an activist
“There is only one way to learn. It’s through action.”
You can study, read and hear about experiences no end but the full experience is when you take action for something you believe in. Make it happen and work through any obstacles you face. Anyone can be an activist – it doesn’t take any special skills or superhuman abilities. You don’t even have to be hugely confident or good at public speaking but just be passionate about what you believe in.