On rhythm and the road

By Paulo Coelho

‘There was something you didn’t mention in your talk about the Road to Santiago,’ said a pilgrim as we were leaving the Casa de Galicia, in Madrid, where I had given a lecture only minutes before.
I’m sure there were many things I didn’t mention, since my intention had been merely to share something of my own experience. Nevertheless, I invited her for a cup of coffee, intrigued to know what this important omission was.
And Begoña – for that is her name – said:
‘I’ve noticed that most pilgrims, whether on the Road to Santiago or on any of life’s paths, always try to follow the rhythm set by others.
At the start of my pilgrimage, I tried to keep up with my group, but I got tired. I was demanding too much of my body. I was tense all the time and I ended up straining the tendons in my left foot. I couldn’t walk for two days, and I realised that I would only reach Santiago if I obeyed my own rhythm.
I took longer than the others to get there, and for long stretches I often had to walk alone, but it was only by respecting my own rhythm that I managed to complete the journey. Ever since then, I have applied this to everything I do in life: I follow my own rhythm.’

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  1. eleonora says:

    ognuno deve seguire il proprio cammino,penso spesso a questo riferimento sul modo di camminare,racchiude in se’ un messaggio molto efficace sulla costruzione del proprio io.

  2. Marie-Christine says:

    everything has a rythm, a language,a dance,a song, even a blog.All you have to do is to adapt it to your own rythm.

  3. evespring says:

    is not so easy to follow your own rhythm.

    you don’t know if is right
    or is wrong
    and sometimes it don’t feel
    like rhythm at all.

  4. agnieszka says:

    The rhythm of my life,
    like a walk in the park is so
    so calm,
    like a beat of the heart,
    like a wave of the sea,
    makes me cry,
    makes me smile,
    makes me..


  5. Liara Covert says:

    By learning to recognize and follow our own paths, and accepting we will each move at our own pace, we realize there is no such thing as competition except for the illusion we create in our minds. We can dissolve our own illusions, but only when ready.

  6. Leeca Desforges says:

    I know not the knots in my destiny. I want not the wants of other men’s wills. I will not bow down to others’ allows. I allow her to breathe, with words of her will.

  7. agnieszka says:

    Dear Paulo,

    Everything has its own rhythm, every song, every movement, every heartbeat.
    Even each day and each night is different.
    Whatever we do in life, whether we eat, or walk, or talk we do it with our own rhythm, because every one of us is unique.
    When we look how we dance, especially when we’re alone, how we express ourselves when we listen to the music, we notice that everybody dance in his/her own way.
    As long as we follow our own rhythm, we are true to ourselves, we’re free.
    If you pretend to be or do, the way somebody else is, you simply become marionette, a puppet, you’ll feel grotesque, strange.
    Maybe some people can do it, I don’t.
    I cannot put the mask on and be somebody who I am not.
    Probably because of that I have some conflicts with people, but it makes me feel happy,
    it makes me free.


  8. Yajna says:

    Dearest Paulo and Friends :)

    I loved this story.. But to tell you the truth this is something i realised a long time ago. I’m a character who loves to walk slowly and admire the environment around me. Growing up, people were always telling me to hurry up, and when i did i always felt like i missed something. The ironic thing is, whether its walking to class or to the shop, i’d walk slower than everyone but i’d reach there on time, far happier than if i rushed. I suppose it made me realise that, each person’s timing is suited for them. You don’t need to rush things, for everything in this world is done in perfect timing, in perfect sequence.. So just relax next time, and walk slowly if its you, and don’t judge your timing by others or try to been like them. You are your own person. :)

    Thank you for being

  9. rosa de los vientos says:

    Este escrito tiene mucha sabidurí­a, cada uno tiene su ritmo y no es conveniente forzar a seguir un ritmo diferente, todos no tenemos las mismas capacidades por lo tanto no debemos exigir a los demas que hagan lo mismo.
    Un beso Paulo es muy interesante y dice mucho, quizás a mucha gente les ayude esto.

  10. Tania says:

    One must never rush any decision,or how they will get there …be guided by own instincts and trust that a good nights sleep will shine some new light,rhythm ,clarity on the journey.One step at a time…Blessings Tania

  11. wanbliska says:

    As for me, we didn’t really miss a word in a book we wrote. As it is like it is!
    Of course, some can ask a writer to overwrite, until he considers the writer reached the idea of perfection, he believes the author’s got.

    But one day, the writer notes “the end”, on the last white page of his book. He knows that’s the moment. When words sing like a bird, and flow like a river, as clear as full of common sense.

    Nevertheless, he knows, “there’s still something missing”.
    Perhaps, that’s why, averting those thoughts, he writes another book.

    As well a book goes on living into the reader’s spirit.
    The reader develops himself some parts of the pages, towards his own vision. Towards his life.

    “There’s still something missing.” But it’s one of the inspiration of our world.