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09/05/2014 07:44 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Paulo Coelho Explains One Of The Most Quoted Lines In 'The Alchemist' (VIDEO)

The Alchemist by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho holds the world record for the most-translated book by any living author. In the 25 years since it was published, one particular line from the wildly popular allegorical novel still stands out among all the rest:

When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.

It's one of Oprah's all-time favorite quotes, and when she sat down with Coelho for his first interview on American television, he explains where the passage came from and how it rang true in his own life.

"What I experienced in my life is that when I really wanted something, I always got it," Coelho says in the above video. "Positive and negative."

Because "the universe doesn't think," Coelho says the power to make things happen lies within our own thoughts -- even when those thoughts are self-sabotaging or dark.

"You have the subconscious mind that sometimes is attracting tragedy, attracting bad things, because you want to be a victim," he says. "Because to be a victim is to justify a lot of frustrations and failures in your life."

With the same logic, positive thinking can attract positive outcomes. "You want to be successful? The universe is helping you," Coelho says.

"Based on how you think," Oprah finishes. "How you truly think... consciously and subconsciously."

"Yeah," Coelho says. "How you project."

The first part of Oprah's revealing interview with Paulo Coelho airs on "Super Soul Sunday" this Sunday, September 6, at 11 a.m. ET on OWN.

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