I want to be a writer, not an engineer who writes books.
―Paulo Coelho, Like the Flowing River
A young Coelho wanted to become a writer when he grew up, unlike his engineer father. Among the many reasons he came up with, in support of his decision were that a writer "always wears glasses and never combs his hair,"
and has "a duty and an obligation never to be understood by his own generation."
With this firmly etched in mind, Coelho set out to fulfill his long-cherished dream―that of becoming a writer.
For someone who has dabbled in music and theater, writing wasn't too far off the beaten track, but Coelho credits his trip to El Camino de Santiago
as the defining moment which changed the course of his humdrum life, providing the proverbial push he needed to pursue his writing ambitions.
Rich, spiritual, and soul-stirring, Coelho's words are a source of comfort and inspiration to his readers, all around the globe. We've brought you a compilation of his most enigmatic words, which are sure to leave a lasting impression, long after you've read them.
Every blessing ignored becomes a curse.
It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.
The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.
And when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.
There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.
Learn to recognize omens, and follow them.
When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.
Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.
Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.
It is said that all people who are happy have God within them.
It's one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it's another to think that yours is the only path.
I have inside me the winds, the deserts, the oceans, the stars, and everything created in the universe. We were all made by the same hand, and we have the same soul.
Everything in life has its price.
One day you will wake up and there won't be any more time to do the things you've always wanted. Do it now.
Love is a disease no one wants to get rid of. Those who catch it never try to get better, and those who suffer do not wish to be cured.
When someone leaves, its because someone else is about to arrive.
If you're a nobody, if your work has no impact, then it deserves to be praised. If, however, you climb out of that state of mediocrity and are a success, then your defying 'the law' and deserve to be punished.
Never be ashamed," he said. "Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle."
"How will I know which is which?"
"By the taste. You can only know a good wine if you have first tasted a bad one.
Nothing in the world is ever completely wrong. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.
None of us knows what might happen even the next minute, yet still we go forward. Because we trust. Because we have Faith.
Even if it is only for a matter of moments, because those moments bring with them a Love so intense that it justifies the rest of our days.
A prayer couched in the words of the soul, is far more powerful than any ritual.
It isn't expectations that carry us forward, it's our desire to go on.
The Winner Stands Alone
When you repeat a mistake, it is not a mistake anymore: it is a decision.
Whenever someone dies, a part of the universe dies too. Everything a person felt, experience and saw dies with them, like tears in the rain.
The Witch of Portobello
You are what you believe yourself to be.
Anyone who's loved has more love to give.
If there is any possible consolation in the tragedy of losing someone we love very much, it's the necessary hope that perhaps it was for the best.
All we have to do is understand that we're all here for a reason and to commit ourselves to that. Then we can laugh at our sufferings, large and small and walk fearlessly, aware that each step has meaning.
Love fills everything. It cannot be desired because it is an end in itself. It cannot betray because it has nothing to do with possession. It cannot be held prisoner because it is a river and will overflow its banks. Anyone who tries to imprison love will cut off the spring that feeds it, and the trapped water will grow stagnant.
It's best to live as if today were the first or last day of my life.
Now that she had nothing to lose, she was free.
No one loses anyone, because no one owns anyone. That is the true experience of freedom: having the most important thing in the world without owning it.
Really important meetings are planned by the souls long before the bodies see each other.
Human beings can withstand a week without water, two weeks without food, many years of homelessness, but not loneliness. It is the worst of all tortures, the worst of all sufferings.
I'm not a body with a soul, I'm a soul that has a visible part called the body.
Veronika Decides to Die
People never learn anything by being told, they have to find out for themselves.
Be like the fountain that overflows, not like the cistern that merely contains.
Nothing in this world happens by chance.
You have two choices, to control your mind or to let your mind control you.
A lot of people think something is right, and so that thing becomes right.
We must never stop dreaming. Dreams provide nourishment for the soul, just as a meal does for the body.
The boat is safer anchored at the port; but that's not the aim of boats.
Have pity on those who are fearful of taking up a pen, or a paintbrush, or an instrument, or a tool because they are afraid that someone has already done so better than they could...
We are always trying to convert people to a belief in our own explanation of the universe. We think that the more people there are who believe as we do, the more certain it will be that what we believe is the truth. But it doesn't work that way at all.
It has been said that there is no such thing as coincidence in this world.
Like the Flowing River
It is part of the human nature always to judge others very severely, and when the wind turns against us, always to find an excuse for our own misdeeds, or to blame someone else for our mistakes.
I understand once again that the greatness of God always reveals itself in the simple things.
This is the present moment. Learn how to gobble it up without fear or guilt.
The happiness of one does not mean the unhappiness of the others.
When trying to seduce a woman, a writer says: 'I'm a writer', and scribbles a poem on a napkin. It always works.