Santiagos first step is the selling of his sheep so that he can have enough money to reach the Egyptian Pyramids and change his lifestyle from that of a shepherd to the new one which he is discovering. However, this plan is halted after he is thieved of all his money from selling his sheep. He is destitute now. Santiago bears no choice but to work for a crystal merchant, which he will work for, for a year to come up with the funds to buy his sheep back and return to life as a shepherd, without the new hope of self-discovering life for himself in a new way. At this point Coelho is suggesting that Santiago has given up his new dream and is willing to convert back to his original lifestyle of travelling as a shepherd. But with every setback, one learns and begins to realize a little more about themselves, thus self-discovering. Coelho proposes this change with the introduction of the Englishman.
It is through the Englishman that Santiago learns about omens acting in this mans life, causing him to drop all his commitments in search for a man who knows a universal language and will teach him to turn any metal into gold. The young boy realizes through the old Englishman’s passion for self-discovery that his first setback of losing all his money doesn’t mean he has to