A death foretold

By Paulo Coelho

In the mid 1970s, when he was about to complete his doctorate in physics, the scientist Stephen Hawking – who was already carrying the disease that would gradually paralyse all his movements – heard a doctor say of him that he had only two more years to live.
‘Right then,’ he thought to himself. ‘now that I don’t need to worry about things like pensions or paying the bills, I can concentrate on trying to understand the Universe.’
Since the disease was progressing rapidly, he was forced to come up with ways of explaining his ideas as simply and as briefly as possible.
Two and a half years went by, twenty years went by, and Hawking is still alive. He can communicate his highly abstract ideas through a tiny computer hooked up to his wheelchair and which has a vocabulary of only 500 words. He wrote his classic A Brief History of Time and was responsible for creating an entirely new vision of modern physics.
Rather than leading him into a life of complete disability, the illness forced him to discover a new way of thinking.

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  1. Twana Houff says:

    Stephen Hawking has said the universe wasn't created by God. Soooooomebody's bitter.

  2. Marie-Christine says:

    just shows you the power of the mind is unlimited.

  3. ;) says:

    where there is a will,there is a way

  4. Marie-Christine says:

    transformation at its best

  5. Marie-Christine says:

    I think the freedom lies in stopping to compare yourself with anybody else, just be you. As simple as that.

  6. Marie-Christine says:

    “Then we’ve got nothing to loose” said the other man “we can just do whatever we want to do.”

  7. nho(spain) says:

    Makes me happy that Stephen Hawking has a privileged mind, thanks to his works we approach every day more about the functioning of the Universe and his Creation.
    As him, I think that our future this one in the space.

  8. soha says:

    Now after reading Coelho’s books that deal witht the theme of personal legends and life miracles, we can open our hearts to life and our souls to its miracles even before experiencing death.
    coelho made me realize that we really play a big part with fate in shaping our life!!!!

  9. Moumita says:

    Maybe because when we face death we realize that we don’t have anything to lose, and have everything only to succeed.

  10. soha says:

    Why does death or the idea that we are going to die tomorrow make us realize that we have a personal legend to pursue? why don’t we follow our personal legend without being haunted by the idea of death?

  11. soha says:

    Why does death or the idea that we are going to die tomorrow make us realize that we have a personal legend to pursue? why don’t we follow our personal legend without being haunted by the idea of death?

  12. Sri says:

    I knew a woman who lost one of her three sons to cancer and later she was diagnoised with cancer.The doctor told her that she had six months to one year to live.She decided to make a secure future for her two sons. She died 15 years later with two bungalows, a hardware shop and a warehouse. Now her sons ARE infact leading a secure life.(what she wanted for them).

    Maybe when given a deadline, its natural to think of others and to do the most loved thing.

  13. Marmara says:

    And it´s all about love….
    …For me, for you, for everthing that surrond us…

  14. Yajna says:

    Dearest Paulo and friends,

    Its all about perception of life, you always have a choice, and with that choice (or attitude one can call it), you can create anything out of nothing. Never give up and always believe, and you’l go along way. Stephen Hawking is a brilliant man. Absolutely. And AVC is right, no matter what you do, be it the littlest or greatest of things, you will effect the world. Everything effects everything else, thoughts itself is very powerful as they tend to manifest into reality. Its also a process whereby thoughts turn into actions, its the way we all work, and it just emphasises the importance of having a positive on look on any situation. Stephen Hawking is a perfect example of this. You never know what life has in store for you, miracles happen everyday, doctors may predict patients to live for a certain period of time, but the truth is, it is mostly a learned guess. One of my close friends has aplastic anemia. The doctors told him he has 3 to 4 years to live at the most. Its been 6 years now.. And the boy is still smiling.

    Thank you for being,

    ps. Meire, i pray for you and your daughter.

  15. aditya says:

    It’s all about attitude.

  16. A.V.C. says:

    Everyone makes a difference.

    Everyone’s thoughts and actions are equally important to the progress of evolution, no matter how briefly they were felt by us.

    Meire, my thoughts are with you.

  17. Yajna says:

    Dearest Paulo and Friends

    I haven’t much time to comment right now- just wanted to wish you all everything of the best for Diwali :) May light always conquer darkness in each of your loves, and may God always guide you all. God bless you all. I love everyone here :)

    Thank you for being

  18. Mark Martin says:

    I wanna spend my time reading your fine books. You did a great job. Thank you Mr. Paulo Coelho for being my inspiration to write an articles although it is only articles. And also you proved that you are good and the best and thank you for proving what a good writer is… May God be with you and may the force be with you… Goodbye.

  19. Meire says:

    Paulo, when I read it, I cryed very much because I remembered my daughter that was born with this problem…I gave her much love and she made all kinds of physiotherapy. Mothers that have sons with ADD sometimes think that they have a big problem…I can’t understand them…Bye, because i’m crying now…

  20. Myzpax says:

    Enthusiasm and will to live do indeed add years to a person

    Thank you

  21. apu says:


    Came to know about this blog from (http://apusay.blogspot.com/2007/11/veronika-decides-to-die-paulo-coelho.html) . Liked the content here. I think I would be a regular visitor here now.

  22. je suis du sud says:

    Hi there,
    We spend our life thinking. We have to learn to make better use of our thoughts so that they work in our favour … and go beyond duality.

  23. SARIT says:


  24. Marvin says:

    Life has a meaning because death does exist.
    The fact that tomorrow we can die, should make us live intesivly our today…
    We postpone our plans, dreams, because we our concerned on our “tiny” everyday problems, and by concerning to much on them, they start to look big, they are transformed into barriers that divide us from our desires.
    By doing this we waste our time, and we can find ourselves after 60 years, regreting why on hell we didn’t live our life???
    We can die tomorrow…today is the time we can still give a chance to ourselves, today is a blessed day which gives us another chance to change for better….

  25. Helena Lopes says:

    Everyone has a way of thinking. And everyone is limited one way or the other. If he managed so will we. The thing is having the will to suceed against all odds.

    If you believe you can, you will.
    If you don’t, than why continue?
    Words are beautiful, fulfilling and perfect.
    You use words in a way that makes you look humble, and therefor your words inspire people.

    I wander what you where thinking about when you wrote your last entry.

    How did you project his story back on yourself?