Apollo and Daphne

By Paulo Coelho

The god Apollo pursues the nymph Daphne into the woods. He is in love with her, but Daphne – who is always being courted by everyone – can no longer bear her own splendour and calls on the gods to help her, saying:
‘Destroy this beauty that never allows me any peace.’
The gods hear Daphne’s plea and transform her into a tree. Apollo cannot find her, for she is now merely part of the vegetation.
Daphne behaved in a way that is familiar to us all: we often destroy our own talents because we do not know what to do with them.
The mediocrity of being ‘just another person’ is more comfortable than the struggle to reveal everything we are capable of, using the gifts that God gave us.

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  1. […] Apollo and Daphne By Paulo Coelho The god Apollo pursues the nymph Daphne into the woods. He is… […]

  2. Marina says:

    Radka, good luck!

  3. Kathleen says:

    Well, on a personal level, I always sabotaged myself through guilt. I was adopted out of a family I still got to spend time with. I felt guilt at what I had been given so to make sure that they didn’t feel I had more, I made sure I didn’t make the most of what I had. I realise now that is wrong, and the better thing to do would have been to make them proud of one of their family getting out of a bad situation and making the most of it.

    Now I am the one trying to revive my confidence and allow dormant talents to awaken.

    Kathleen xx

  4. Damien says:

    Hi fLea and ANALO,
    I really wonder why you are talking about destruction?
    I don’t really know?
    Aren’t you really creative?
    M’enfin, nul n’est pro-fete en son pays.
    Je sais! vous ne savez pas encore que ce qui ce fait dans les tenebres, un jour sera dans la lumiere.
    bienvenu a l’aube.


  5. KAPIL says:

    Dear Paulo,
    Perspective is the one which gives meaning to whatever we see(or read), why it has to be only that U put meainging and force perspective. You leave the story and we are to take out our meanings.
    Anywayz it’s beautiful story and beautifully retold by you.
    Thanx a lot for every book, passage and for every little word you have written and which helped me.

  6. Emma says:

    Most of your stories speak to me so personally, usually the advice I need to hear at the moment. Thank you so much. I love your stories.

  7. Damien says:

    Hello everyone,
    Hi Paulo,

    nice story as all ways at the right time,
    is that synchronicity (effect without a cause)or is it simply that we share the same feelings in our He-arts?
    as if you were part of the world dear Paulo, incredible!
    but so true and so simple.:D

    So if I understand well do you mean that we are part of those archetypes and knowing that we still got freedom to choose our own destiny?
    great news

    thank you
    bye ya

    PS: Evespring: as said Louis Jouvet in Dr Knock :”ca vous chatouille ou ca vous gratouille?”

  8. marie says:

    “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”.

    I wonder how blind people would comment on your”Daily Message”

  9. Radka says:

    Dear Paulo,

    this is exactly my problem. For years I’ve been trying to be “just another person”. However I found out it’s impossible because I have completely different personality and interests than people around me. But I tried to be like them instead of being myself. What was the result? I wasn’t like the others, it was impossible. On the other hand I started to lose myself. I wasn’t aware of my talents any more because my talents were the reason why the others didn’t like me and I tried to get rid of them. Then I thought about myself that I’m completely worthless person and it led to a lack of self-confidence.

    I do not try to pretend that it’s all right now. It definitely isn’t. However I’m aware of my problem and it’s causes now. It’s a good first step. But I have a long way before me because it’s not easy to get rid of this way of thinking about myself when I used think like this for 7 years. Sometimes I hope it’s getting better but then I realize that I behaved again in way: what would the others think about me?

    I hope I’ll succeed once even thoug I realize it could be a life-long task.

  10. Marina says:

    I understand this legend too well… :’-)

  11. Butterfly says:

    I am Daphne…
    Thank you Paulo. I love you.

  12. Chus says:

    I don’t think we destroy them, we just hide them and don’t let them grow.

    Anlao’s words have remind me something that happened to me years ago when almost a strange came and said to me: “you don’t love yourself”. At that moment I thought that the person must have been crazy or something, I could’t understand why she had told me that, of course I loved myself… a lot! That person didn’t know me too much, but her words were true, LOVE starts in oneself, as individuals, all of us are special.

  13. Leaf says:

    Woah, Paulo, what a mix of passion in these replies.
    ANLAO, with you here x

    a) beauty is in the eye/heart of the one who sees it
    sometimes in the eye alone…
    b) I believe that the god who chased the nymph was the one who destroyed what he thought was beauty ….and she had never enjoyed the same…but was truly happy to become a tree (Oh I would say that…!)…where more people could appreciate her true beauty of a different kind.


  14. Tania Chilby says:

    AS you said sometimes we are like Daphne,but the Daphne, I know would have turned and ran into Apollo’s arms and would have been transformed into a Goddess.God blesses us with many gifts ,beauty of course ,our love,passions ,and powers to be able to command to the universe to spin a life that is creative living and what the universe in its giving,much like a spider spinning her web.Then she must use her gifts for her highest good…Blessings Tania

  15. Evespring says:

    love is so irritating. AHHHHHHHHHHH.

  16. andrea says:

    I believe people are attracted to people who are great because that is what they want for themselves and do not realize they already have it. Beauty is in this example a metaphore for success, or stardom, or talent, or athletic acheivement.

    Truly our society does not teach us to truly succeed. Our myths and legends teach us to, but not our society. Everyone is caught up in this mindset of scarcity and think if they have this quality I can not and so subconsciously we try to suck that desired quality into our selves or sabotage it out of the person.

    An attitude of abundance would do everyone some good.

  17. Evespring says:

    Paulo you always have a way of aggravating me without knowing, possibly, or maybe not. What made you pick this story, today…?!!

    Conversion is always an exciting process. So says my boyfriend who is extremely elated at his success in converting me in a way i will not go into at this moment.

    I guess, what I am wondering now is, wasn’t it a good thing that Daphne turned into a tree? I mean, Apollo being a god should have more important things to do than to chase a nymph into the woods, and out.

  18. kim says:

    there is truth in the trend to undervalue ourselves and our talents. We are raised to resist vanity and, in my case at least to the point of being disabled in the area of self acceptance and praise.
    I now remind myself daily that I have gifts and talents that I am blessed with. I credit myself with knowing that I am intended to nurture and share them – it is my purpose and my path. Thank you Paulo – I have evolved towards the light and it is a brilliant process indeed.

  19. agnieszka says:

    Oh, Dear Paulo,

    “we often destroy our own talents…..”
    so true!

    and even if we know that, it is still hard,
    so hard to pursue our dreams, our own legend as You used to say.

    I think though, that we don’t have to destroy it, even if we’re not doing it yet,
    we can go step by step, day by day,
    little by little, and with that we can be on our way and get closer and closer every day even if it’s still far away.

    We should never give up, not till the day we die :-)
    this path opens the horizons, shows us joy, excitement, let us dream and ….
    brings us closer to our true self.

    It’s like a puzzle we have to solve, everybody is curious and everybody likes it,
    doesn’t it?


  20. ANLAO says:

    Oh how I hate this story.
    I need to focus on my powers of creation, why does it have to be a reminder of my powers of destruction? The power of hope, of creating new thoughts, new experiences, new jobs, new lives, new loves, new realities. It has to be stronger than whatever destructive force laid and may still lay within me.
    Things I destroyed cannot be brought back, ever. And now, looking back, being alone, overwhelmed, afraid, wronged, misunderstood, or simply not knowing what to do simply do not seem reasonable excuses for destruction. I am living my life, not some movie. There’s nobody willing to teach, nobody willing to shelter, no one who cares to comfort, and no matter how much I try, no place where I can belong. No one will catch if I fall, no matter how many times I caught them when they fell. And yet, they do not seem reasonable excuses. It’s not a story, it’s reality, the reality of destructive forces. Oh, I really do hate your story, and I don’t agree with your timing. (and I do believe it’s the first time). It’s the beginning of the year, a beginning for everyone, a time to focus on new energies, on building, on fresh starts. Why bring out destruction? This is such a pointless message… why trigger fears, and safety nets, and defensiveness, instead of wings spreading out, instead of jumping towards the stars, instead of feeding the source of everything that’s generating light in us? I just can’t compute, maybe it just does not have a meaning that I can’t draw from right now. Why that specific wording? Why this message? Why do you pull out the mirror of ugly depths in front of me? I have already forgiven him, I have forgiven them, I almost managed to forgive myself, why does it come back? What’s the point of remembering my destructive abilities when I should be focusing on creating light in my life?

    Oh, I hate this story so much. I truly hate it. Maybe if I hate it strong enough, I won’t forget it next time I feel overwhelmed…

  21. R. says:

    wow!! I can relate to this story. it is the same thing that it’s been happening to me since i was very young. at 14 my physical appearence changed i was no longer this skinni little girl with big black eyes. i was now how people described me an ” exotic beauty” there wasn’t a day when someone didn’t stop and compliment me about such beauty.i wanted to become a model and i also became obsess with myself. so i started to see all my “inperfections” and saw myself ugly. but people kept on telling me otherwise. but it was too late for me i had left my dream of becoming a model aside.now i 22 and some people have said to me
    ” you are not aware of your own beauty” a beauty that i can no longer see.. .