8 Paulo Coelho Quotes That Will Inspire You to Live Life to the Fullest
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In the world of modern fiction, Paulo Coelho is my favorite author.
His novels are well-known for their powerful life lessons — conveyed through simple language and captivating stories.
What I love most about Coelho’s work is the underlying positivity.
His books feature a lot of trial and error but in the end, Coelho’s fundamental tenet always triumphs: follow your dreams and let go of fear.
On this basis, here are some of my favorite Paulo Coelho quotes to inspire you to live life to the fullest.
“If you want to be successful, you must respect one rule — never lie to yourself.”
One of Coelho’s life mantras is the importance of self-discovery.
Many of his fictional protagonists represent this perennial human struggle. Before you can take on the world, you must take on yourself.
In this sense, you need to identify your fears, talents, and shortcomings before setting ambitious goals. To combat your inner demons, you need to be aware of them.
In the early days of my writing career, I always thought that freelance clients were rejecting my work because I wasn’t American.
Some pointed out that I should Americanize my writing, but this wasn’t the main problem.
I had been lying to myself.
It turned out that my articles didn’t feature enough scientific sources. The clients simply wanted more authoritative references.
Once I understood that my citizenship had nothing to do with my freelance failures, I found the flaws in my work.
The solution was to identify the true root of the problem.
“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it” — The Alchemist
Many people misunderstand this famous quote. It doesn’t mean that everything is possible if your desire is strong enough.
This phrase has to be combined with another core teaching from The Alchemist: the importance to feed the Soul of the Universe with your happiness.
In simplified form, everything belongs to the Universe.
Your dreams, emotions, and hurdles are part of the Universe. All of these elements constitute the “Soul of the Universe”.
If you feed them with negativity — for example, hate, sadness, and anger — you don’t nourish the Soul of the Universe with happiness.
Consequently, if you want something for the wrong reasons, you will not achieve it.
If you, on the other hand, pursue your dreams with positivity, you will find joy in the journey, not the dream itself.
This journey toward happiness will ultimately become your happiness.
By leading your quest with a positive attitude, you nourish the Soul of the Universe with happiness.
As a result, the whole Universe will conspire to make your dream come true because you’ve already fulfilled it — by embarking on a positive journey.
“Life has a way of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen at once.” — The Winner Stands Alone
Simple yet brilliant, this phrase illustrates the unpredictability of life.
Lots of things happen outside of our sphere of influence. We don’t control external events, we only control our reactions.
I used to be a planning freak. To be honest, I still am.
I have, nonetheless, managed to reduce my planning addiction to the essentials.
In my business ventures, I now design a global, long-term plan without trying to map out every single contingency.
In this context, I’ve learned my lessons from overplanning.
In early 2020, I devised a new growth strategy for my photography business.
I planned a long Asia trip to shoot a wide variety of locations in different countries. Every spot was part of a precise photography route and all the details were set out.
Then, COVID-19 happened.
All of my flights were canceled and I couldn’t shoot in a single pre-selected location. Life threw everything at me and my will was about to be tested. Paulo was right.
I decided to adapt the strategy and to shoot more locally. After all, Asia isn’t going anywhere.
This didn’t boost the growth of my business, but it ensured its survival.
“When someone leaves, it’s because someone else is about to arrive.” — The Zahir
Whatever happens, the world continues spinning.
I’ve often revisited this quote when I felt bad about a certain event. It reminds me of the passage of time and the endless cycles we live in.
Nothing lasts forever and change is inevitable.
As an example, you might experience a tough breakup. You’ve lost your first love and you feel a void inside. You’re convinced that this void will never be filled again.
Don’t despair. Someone has left, but one day, someone else will arrive.
“The secret of life is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.”
Originally a Japanese proverb, Coelho often reiterates this powerful ethos.
In simple terms, failure is inevitable. Nobody succeeds 100 % of the time.
The key is our response to failures. By learning how to draw the right lessons from them, we grow. This growth will shape our approach to future hurdles.
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“How much I missed, simply because I was afraid of missing it.” — Brida
In Brida, a young girl constantly laments missed opportunities. By thinking too much about the potential ramifications of certain opportunities, she ends up taking none of them.
This lesson creates a powerful incentive to seize the moment, without dreading future consequences.
Life is full of opportunities. We seize some of them and ignore others. By deeply evaluating all of them, however, we run the risk of taking none of our chances.
Let’s say you have 2 competing job offers. If I accept this one, the other company might end up giving someone else a better career path.
In the end, you spend your time calculating eventualities while both job offers expire.
“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” — The Alchemist
This principle underlines the importance of confronting your fears.
As such, your fears shouldn’t form a blockade in your mind.
If you have a dream, take baby steps toward it without pondering every possible outcome.
But what if something happens along the way?
Something always happens. On par with the Brida quote, The Alchemist builds a strong case for the pursuit of dreams, no matter the obstacles.
If you let your fears dictate your actions, you’ll never advance. You’ll remain stuck in a familiar place by fearing the unknown.
This angst of the unknown will slowly merge with a fear of missing out. And eventually, both will consume you.
As such, the familiar will cause more pain than the unknown ever could.
Traveling is a classic case in point. I’ve come across so many people who are afraid of traveling because they fear the immersion into a foreign culture. Unknown surroundings frighten them.
After seeing their friends travel, their envy becomes a source of dissatisfaction at home. Some manage to overcome their fear while others remain trapped inside this spiral of anxiety.
“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.” — The Zahir
This uplifting quote inspires action. There is no point in waiting for a perfect moment that never comes.
If you have ideas for exciting projects in your head, put them into action.
As an example, you’ve always wanted to start a blog. Why not start today?
Tomorrow, you’ll have commitments in your 9 to 5. The day after that you are visiting relatives.
There will always be a “reason” to put things off. Most are not reasons, but excuses.
In short, there is no such thing as a perfect moment to start your endeavors.