My unfulfilled desires

By Paulo Coelho

One of the favorite questions of the journalists : ” now that you got everything you wanted, do you still have dreams?”

First, I didn’t get everything I wanted, although I got the most important things in life (love, fulfilling my personal legend, faith). Writing is a constant challenge, where you have to dig into your soul, having discipline, inspiration, and courage at the same time.

Second, like everybody else, I have my list of things that I want to do, and are still waiting. I don’t make “New Year’s” resolutions, but there are several unfulfilled tasks. I have enough time (contrary to the legend that famous people are always busy – they are not), I can afford, but I postpone.

Here is my list of things that I would love to do, and I never did. Would you please also share yours?

A]to learn how to dance well (from a 1 to 10 scale, I would say I am 2)

B] to learn how to play guitar ( from the same scale, I am definitely 1)

C] spend three months in a monastery, totally isolated from the world ( I already talked to the abbot three years ago, but I am always postponing)

D] a safari in Africa (politically incorrect, of course)

E] to sponsor a good boxer (I know it sounds politically incorrect, as the previous item, but boxing for me is the ultimate body dialogue)

F] to learn boxing myself

G] being in orbit circling the planet (the Russians are making a business out of it, but I never actually sought the information out)

H] to have dinner with Nelson Mandela (this one I tried, but I did not manage so far)

I] to fly a Mirage (as a passenger, of course)

While writing this list, I realized that I did most of the things I wanted (the most recent being a 9.280 kms train journey from Moscow to Vladivostok, in 2006). And probably I also have some other itens that are so hidden in my heart that I don’t even know. But just in case that I remember some more, I will update this list.

So, what are your “New Year” resolutions that you never ever managed to fulfill?

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  1. JEP says:

    to walk on the streets without being conscious on how I look or basically be not concern towards what other people think of me.

  2. huma arshad says:

    learn dancing
    go beyond the limits in sprituality
    loved by someone truely
    host a show on any english channel
    go back to my past and erase all the unhappy moments
    vsit whole europe
    wish to settle in switzerland

  3. Louie says:

    My dream is to write something as significant as The Alchemist.

  4. Happy says:

    1. To love and to be loved like noone else could and managed to do!
    I managed to do that …To find a person…the right one…the one whom I searched for a long…To love was one of the most wonderful thing…..I was crazy like noone else….crazy for him……And, so happy. HE was the one I ever needed …..But hapiness never continues forever… seems that you are happy and God wants to show that someone is not…So…It ended by a nice vision….He is living with a girl in the same house…And , it was all the time like that….He forgot to say that he has her….Forgot….that I meant something in his life….He stopped the game he created by his own……And, now in his eyes I can read I just played with you….
    It’s everything left for me …. I think i would be happier if he could speak because he just look and says nothing…He is killing me with his silence…..There was a time I did’t want to live just because he stopped to talk wih me just because he feared I will break his little world….But he broke mine…My little world is empty now…..I was high and fell on the solid grownd and he didn’t care…he let me to die and I died just lost that personlity part which could feel……But at the end I scared that I am turning to that person I never was…or like to be

  5. Odea says:

    1. to become a writer, stop fearing failure and criticism and just do it!
    2. to be able to say NO! whenever I want to, and not agree to everything because of fear of judgement
    3. to be selfish (I am getting better at this)
    4. to have 2 years away from my family and friends and do the craziest things I dream of every day
    5. to watch my favorite band play live and then hang out with them
    6. to meet Paulo and ask him how his got rid of his fear
    7. to go to Ireland, meet a handsome Irish man and have a long night of freaky sex!

  6. Layal says:

    Dear Paulo
    -Like you i looooooooooooooooove guitar, i have one but not yet gave myself the time to learn.
    -I want to learn all styles of dance.
    -I want to travel the world with back sac, walking connecting with the unknown.
    -I want to retired and live the rest of my life in the mountains away from al kind of civilization (absolutely no mobile phones).
    -I want to have a horse and learn how to ride.

  7. S says:

    Well, Everything I want is typically unfullfilled.

    I hope for freedom
    I wish for peace
    I want to drive a car not even my own car but just to drive “a Car”
    I want to be with the one I love, but even that is impossible.
    I want to be able to think without restrictions
    I want to be able to have the luxury of freedom of speech
    I want to go out whenever the hell I wanna go out
    I want to laugh when I want to laugh
    I want to cry whenever I want to cry
    I want the world to respect every single woman
    I want i want i want….

    1. elham says:

      i hope you were able to achieve some of your goals… and will be able to achieve the rest…

  8. THELMA says:

    After reading your biography, dearest Paulo Coelho, I admire you much more, mostly for one thing: your ‘obsession and love’ for your Personal Legend, to be a WRITER; and you did it with many efforts, sacrifices and LOVE.
    A talent is never enough. It is the culture that brings perfection and recognition. You have ‘used’ and turned every good and bad experience in your life to enrich your inner world and expand your senses. You are a human being who has managed to transform matter into spirit and then .. LOGOS, your books. The Alchemist.
    I am sure your catalogue since you were a child was just one thing: To be a ‘read’ writer! The THOUGHT- DESIRE that tends to be fulfilled because it carries with it the fire, LOVE.
    Thelma xxx

  9. finoa says:

    inspired,i will try and follow my heart to pursun my wanted things

  10. Davina says:

    My personal… to be fulfilled desire list,

    Might I say that I have not included the typical “meet a wonderful man fall in love ride off into the sunset dream” as, if that happens that is just a bonus, my heart has travelled to many a beautiful man and will travel to many more, but I have put down my dreams as that of which I can fulfill myself, as that is where I believe true inner peace and bliss is…

    1) To go sailing around the croatian islands with the sun high in the sky and bliss high in my heart.

    2)Learn how to speak a foreign language travel to that country and write book (cliche I know :-))

    3)Travel to NYC see my favourite band (chromeo) experience and appreciate the diversity of an eclectic culture

    4) Go to the MOMA and just sit there for a day to appreciate the genius and magnificence of art

    5) Go riding across country for a month on a harley and camp out contemplating the stars

    6) Become a Dr in Psychology and work in Positive Psychology…help people learn how to overcome thrive and realise their strengths is my personal legend

    7) Express more love and gratitude (freely and altruistically)

    8) Take more time to appreciate the small wonders of the world that are often really the big wonders of the world

    9)To be engaged in something bigger than myself for all the right reasons

    10) Accept all that I can change and all that I cant (re serenity prayer) and to be at peace, humble and yet truly proud in my soul with what who and how I am.

    11) To realise that all things good and bad happen for a reason and that it truly is a choice to overcome the bad and turn it around to be a positive.

    12)To be the change I want to see (ghandi)

    13) Lastly I would think myself the luckiest lady in the world if I had the opportunity to sit back and marvel at many a beautiful sunset and truly see and feel the awe of overwhelming beauty that the world shows us every day by nature.

  11. RODRIGUEZ says:



  12. Pris says:

    When I was 18, I drew up a list of 80 things I wanted the most.I narrowed it down to 40, then 20…based on what was most important to me.
    I have achieved some (learnt to drive, travelled,etc…) but the most important ones (earn my PhD, get married and have 3 children…), for which I worked really hard, I haven’t.
    At nearly 30 now, I feel that my life is completely pointless.

  13. leenah says:

    I pray, and seek your kind prayers, that He enables me to achieve all my goals:

    to find my personal legand
    to raise my son with the maximum possible good brought up
    to find solace in my prayers
    to be able to love, unconditionally, like I saw my mother
    to be able to travel, around the world
    to be able to smile and spread smiles
    to write a book
    to help the unprivilged

  14. leenah says:

    I had always thought that I am very clear about what I want from life, not that every desire gets fulfilled but I believed myself to be pretty sure of my desires. However, right now, when the oppurtunity presented itself for me to put them in black and white, I was suddenly not so sure :)
    I had to convince myself and it was kind of dare challenge that I had to set for myself to come out in open as to what I want to do with my life. So here goes the list

  15. Marika says:

    Inspired by others and after reading Alchemist and Pilgrimage I decided to reply with my own “wish list” so that it would also be more real to myself:
    1) To build and run a guest house and a gallery
    2) To look professional, young and attractive
    3) Speek fluent Greek
    4) Play piano very well
    5) Speek fluent French
    6) Have a second child
    7) Meet by step-brothers
    8) Be able to attend my father’s funeral despite of his new family (hopefully after many many years)
    9) Right a book or publish a piece of music or create some other work of art
    10) Have a succesful business of my own

  16. Angela says:

    ‘to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived, that is to have succeeded.’ Emerson
    To see my vision, my clinic, finished.
    To feel peace within me for longer than a few days.
    To lay next to my soul mate at night and know true acceptance for all that i am.
    To get to stay in Buenos Aires longer than 14 hours and dance the tango with complete abandon.
    To see my father live long enough to give me away on my wedding day
    To laugh with his Holiness the Dalai Lama
    To learn how to ride a motorcycle. A really fast one..

  17. Dijana says:

    We all need our dreams to live …
    My list of wishes and things I want to do is pretty long, from travelling all over the world, writing a book to hmmmm … chatting with Paulo Coelho ;)
    But then again although would really like to make these dreams come true , it's not all about how many kilometers have you crossed or have you learned sky diving during your lifetime either …
    For me the true happiness is about living your life the way you want and the way you choose, with those you love and who love you and enjoying in all those little things many people nowadays don't even notice or consider less important …

    never forget to be a human, never forget giving a helping hand to those who need it, never forget to smile, be true to yourself and to others … live your life so at the end you can say ” … No, I have no regrets … yes, I've loved and I've been loved and I'm thankful for every moment I've lived on this planet”

    Lots of love from Dijana
    and best regards from Montenegro

  18. Elizabeth says:

    Todos de alguna u otra manera tenemos deseos incumplidos, los mios son los siguientes. Tocar guitarra, bailar tango lo mejor que pueda, tomar un pincel y poder pintar y plasmar en un cuadro todas las maravillas que veo, bajar de peso sin sufrir, tener muchos libros, haber tenido la oportunidad de estudiar en una universidad.

  19. soha says:

    i can say that i have found my personal legend and i have felt the spark of my dream and still remeber it and can envision it clearly..
    byt sure i still have many dreams but the most important dream is experience the pilgrimage on the road to Santiago, if not physically at least spirituality because i need to get rid of my frears, and to hold responsibilty of the gallow st in my heart.. it is imprisoning me of probing into the soul and talk to my messenger. it is drawing me deeper and deeper in the mundane hypocritical world.

  20. Marie-Christine says:

    I read” by the river piedra” and walked all the way home reading it.
    I ended up in a protestant temple and I prayed ,first time I had ever set feet in a church in a long time….

  21. rizza says:

    first of all, i want to thank you. you inspire me. i collect your books and reread them often. i was in a library when i read by the river piedra…i couldnt put it down and was able to finish it rapidly but vowed to read it again. years passed and i forgot all about it. until i bought the alchemist and realized i had to have the first book i read written by the same author.

    i cried when i read the book again because, you see, sir, i closed my heart to loving. i was deeply hurt by someone before that i vowed to myself that i would never give any man the satisfaction of knowing how i felt.

    i felt constraining myself from loving fully had made me miss many opportunities of loving and being loved back in return.

    because of this, i'm listing here that one of my unfulfilled desire is to love fully and to be loved fully in return.

  22. melanny says:

    i have lots of things which i wanna do before i die.

    1. travel in a foreign land (country)
    2. learn to speak spanish, french and japanese
    3. explore my own country
    4. learn how to ride a bike
    5. learn how to swim
    6. have a house of my own in a beach
    where my parents can live peacefully
    7. have a good relationship with the people around me
    8. read all the books which i think is good
    9. have a family of my own (in the future)
    10. have more time with god.

    thanks for making me realize that i still have lots of things to look forward to.

  23. Rose F. says:

    I love reading your stuff….but WOW! I was so surprised that the #2 on your list is learning to play guitar. This year was my 50th birthday and I just started guitar lessons. The funny thing is I never really even thought about it until recently…if someone had told me that I would be doing this a few years ago, I would not have believe friends still don’t believe me!

  24. Sophia says:

    Living in village and breeding sheeps, far from place I live now (Istanbul), leaving that prison of something called ”love” when it can not be heal anymore.
    My biggest dream is to have family, create it with man who has clean heart.

  25. Truchen Vorndran says:

    I am constantly adding to my list of things I want to do before i die – the latest being the pilgramige to Sandiago. I agree with Gulaya that it is part of the human spirit to be in a constant state of desire, wishing and dreaming. To want more, see more, experience more. In a wonderful world like ours, with so many magic, it would be impossible not to. I do however believe that the ultimate state of happiness is to be content. To not have what you want, but to want what you have.

    I did find your blog very interesting Mr Coehlo. Being from South-Africa, I feel extremely honoured that 2 of the 10 things on your wishlist involve Africa. I sincerely hope you follow through your dream to have dinner with Nelson Mandela. It is one of my wishes too. He has taught a world, ruled by merciless, power-hungry dictators, the true meaning of leadership. He has taught the world about love and forgiveness. And as far as the safari go, i know you will enjoy it.

  26. Gulaya says:

    Ooooh…..!!!! I think wishes, desire and dreams of human beings are endless…If you are a human being you can’t live without wishing…Day by day, time by time your wishes change.I’ll try to do the list of my wishes:
    To have a lot of friends from different nationalities
    To travel all over the world
    To have my own big library
    To learn water surfing
    To find my loveeeeeee
    To go to Mekke
    And so on……………..
    Yours Gulaya and my warm regards
    from Baku, Azerbaijan

  27. Lynette says:

    Ah!!!! surabhi – I echo your desire also!

    Things I would realistically like to do:

    Write a book that grabs the heart and the world,
    Travel to Europe and just stop where my heart says it felt good,
    Travel one of the Pilgrimage walks in Spain,
    Make better relationships with my children,
    Give God more of my time,
    Be a champion for children in underdeveloped countries,
    Love myself a little better,
    Fly more kites
    Hug more people

    My list is endless………


  28. surabhi says:

    i would like to meet God and have a long chat with him

  29. Siu says:

    Ha, dreams… Too many to list but I try. Never exhaustive coz of the greediness of human nature! hee

    Live amongst tango bars in Bueon Aires as long as I want.
    Tango to manifest my femininity.
    Have a partner who loves to tango
    Show the disabled to feel music
    Enable the disabled(not with bad limbs though) to tango
    Interview any president of the US and the Pope on a satellite TV programme with confronting questions
    Meet with great souls such as Che (unfortunately not this life) and Nelson Mandela to feel their aura and existence
    See the corners of the world
    Pad a emperor penguin and hug a whale
    Be able to drive in big cities, etc.

  30. lil_girl says:

    - learn to sing well

    – travel, travel, travel

    – open a bookstore business

    – learn yoga (too lazy to try though)

    – meet oprah and paulo coelho

    – fulfill a stranger’s wildest dream

  31. Pablo says:

    not necessarily in this order
    1) skydive
    2) live in the wild
    3) play guitar with the flamencos in Spain
    4) travel…..ALOT!
    5) find my Personal Legend
    6) find Love
    7) meet Bear Grylls
    thats it up to this point…….well I would like to do the pilgrimage too..
    Good luck with yours Paulo!

  32. Dijana says:

    We all need our dreams to live …
    My list of wishes and things I want to do is pretty long, from travelling all over the world, writing a book to hmmmm … chatting with Paulo Coelho ;)
    But then again although would really like to make these dreams come true , it’s not all about how many kilometers have you crossed or have you learned sky diving during your lifetime either …
    For me the true happiness is about living your life the way you want and the way you choose, with those you love and who love you and enjoying in all those little things many people nowadays don’t even notice or consider less important …

    never forget to be a human, never forget giving a helping hand to those who need it, never forget to smile, be true to yourself and to others … live your life so at the end you can say ” … No, I have no regrets … yes, I’ve loved and I’ve been loved and I’m thankful for every moment I’ve lived on this planet”

    Lots of love from Dijana
    and best regards from Montenegro

  33. Rosie says:

    i have stop making new year resolutions but i do have a list of things that I want to do. One of them is going to Tibet. Like the Bumblebee blog you had, i always think that my health condition will not allow me to enjoy Tibet, or reach there at all, this “limiting” thoughts had therefore postpone my action, though i have not given up the thought of going. But then there are things that I’ve recently checked on my list, I’ve gone to Venice (the sinking city) before it sinks and the other being to discipline myself to exercise three times a week and practise my daily meditation. Life is good !

  34. Always good to read about boxing.

    Can I ask though – how did you get this picked up and into google news?

    Very impressive, is it something that is just up to Google or you actively created?

    Obviously this is a popular blog with great data so well done on your seo success..