Lucky number 13. Do you believe in luck or numbers or omens? But I digress.

Books aren’t really my thing.

But then I read The Alchemist. In a single day. It was a massive hit of dopamine that got me high for nearly five hours with side effects (the good kind) that never really left me.

And naturally, my first comment after I flipped the page was, actually, still is, ‘Paulo Coelho is a freaking genius! No wonder this book has sold more than 150 million copies.’

Well, that was my take on it. His parents had something else to say about his ambitions.

But, and I love this… Paulo’s parents did what every parent has wanted to do at least once in their life. They sent their kid to a mental asylum. Not once, not twice. Three times. All that before the age of 20. Why? Well, thank you for asking. They were worried their son would end up a writer or an artist!!!! I wonder how they’d cope with today’s creator culture.

Paulo never gave up his counter-cultural streak and made several ‘erratic’ decisions in his life even as he grew older, despite what Mama and Papa Coehlo may have thought. He wrote radical songs in Brazil that sent him to jail; he started writing a book only after finding a white feather (lots of omens with this guy), and he actively chose a free-spirited, bohemian life.

If you haven’t read this book, you should. It had such a profound impact on me I had to make it my first Whatsitcalledagain?


If you know someone who needs a push to follow their dreams send them this email. Paulo will be quite pleased.