By Paulo Coelho

Almost in the space of the same week, I received from two readers a text that was supposedly written by me. No, it is not mine – although it has a lot to do with the way I see life. Since I found the material interesting, and in the hope of discovering the real author, I reproduce them below:

But start slowly, because direction is more important than speed.
Sit in another chair, on the other side of the table.
Later on, change tables.
When you go out, try to walk on the other side of the street. Then change your route, walk calmly down other streets, observing closely the places you pass by.
Take other buses. Change your wardrobe for a while; give away your old shoes and try to walk barefoot for a few days – even if only at home.
Take off a whole afternoon to stroll about freely, listening to the birds or the noise of the cars.
Open and shut the drawers and doors with your left hand.
Sleep on the other side of the bed. Then try sleeping in other beds.
Watch other TV programs, read other books, live other romances – even of only in your imagination.
Sleep until later. Go to bed earlier.
Learn a new word a day.
Eat a little less, eat a little more, eat differently; choose new seasonings, new colors, things you have never dared to experiment.
Lunch in other places, go to other restaurants, order another kind of drink and buy bread at another bakery.
Lunch earlier, have dinner later, or vice-versa.
Try something new every day: a new side, a new method, a new flavor, a new way, a new pleasure, a new position.
Pick another market, another make of soap, another toothpaste.
Take a bath at different times of the day.
Use pens with different colors.
Go and visit other places.
Love more and more and in different ways. Even when you think that the other will be frightened, suggest what you have always dreamed about doing when you make love.
Change your bag, your wallet, your suitcases, buy new glasses, write other poems.
Open an account in another bank, go to other cinemas, other hairdressers, other theaters, visit new museums.
Change. And think seriously of finding another job, another activity, work that is more like what you expect from life, more dignified, more human.
If you cannot find reasons to be free, invent them: be creative.
And grab the chance to take a long, enjoyable trip – preferably without any destination.
Try new things. Change again. Make another change. Experiment something else.
You will certainly know better things and worse things than those you already know, but that does not matter. What matters most is change, movement, dynamism, energy.
Only what is dead does not change – and you are alive.

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  1. eleonora says:

    molto interessante!!!

  2. Valerie says:

    Paulo Coelho admits the “text” – in reality it is a poem- is not his, however, he does not say that it was written by one of the greatest poets of the twentieth century: Clarice Lispector. He should had given credit to her absolute beautiful, unique and incomparable word. He also does not mention the author of the translation.

    1. Valerie says:

      Well, it is a text, in the sense that Clarice Lispector was a novelist and journalist, not really a poet.

  3. Marcelli says:

    The author is Clarice Lispector people.

  4. Christian says:

    Simple and very very true. I must save this one somewhere to read again someday to see if I managed to change.

    – Christian

  5. Love says:

    This text was very important for me the first time you posted it (a think it was quite a few years ago).

    Did you find the person who wrote it?

    Must be someone really interesting, and nice :-). Thank you for sharing.

    Wish you a Happy New Year.

    1. dulceny says:

      The author is Edson Marques – Guaruja – Brazil.> Blogs> blog mude

  6. yuzhu,chen says:

    Change we can believe in

  7. Blanche says:

    “Only what is dead does not change – and you are alive.”
    Yes, very true!I like that.Adriana.

  8. THELMA says:
    The Gadfly – Romance- wonderful music for my dear Gabriel-GADFLY Revolution! [Your .. name reminded it to me.. I have not seen the film].
    Have you seen the film ‘Il postino’, about a time of Pablo Neruda’s time in exile? It is a piece of art.
    I thank .. all the artists of the world, for looking into life’s beauty and sharing it with all of us. Thank you, Paulo Coelho!

  9. David says:

    …in another way, I think change is always happening – sometimes its hard to recognize, especially when each day or each week feels like its following a similar pattern. Often I find the subtle shifts help me become aware of change, with every little moment being somehow different to every other.

    This computer screen I see here – a different quality of light than before, a different reflection, the wind outside whistles differently and the trees bend a different way to reply.

    Sometimes its those subtle things which really become the most captivating. Change is then a way we can always expect to be surprised.

  10. AnnaLee says:

    I have always thought of myself as the flame…

    I hate that fateful question that people ask – “would you rather freeze to death or die by flame?” I hate being cold so I always said, by flame. Everyone else seems to say freeze.

  11. Precioso texto me recuerda el libro de Brida.
    Un beso.

  12. I really enjoyed this, Paulo. I hope you manage to find the actual author.

    Thelma, thank you for posting that Neruda poem; he’s one of my favorite authors.

  13. ├žigarra says:

    Beautiful…to prove like a good wish for New Year!

  14. Alexandra says:

    Promise I will.If I remember well,I wrote in am answer that I love to change.Thats bread for my teeth.Love it,and I can say functions.Keep awake the brain,if we look around,persons who dont like changes are quite lazy.Hope I not offend anyone,not my intention.

  15. Tania says:

    What a great way to look at change. Little changes are enough to start energy moving and flowing in new directions in unthought of ways.

  16. THELMA says:
    ‘Slowly Dies…’ By Pablo Neruda.
    A few years ago I read it and put it in the front cover of my diary, so that I will always remember to …live..alive!!

    Our Soul has its own voice, colours and music. Never ignore it. Let it be expressed to the full extent and be united to the Divine music.

  17. Pandora says:

    All things but Love change, all the time, nothing else is the same as it was yesterday, or will be the same ever again, even if the change is miniscule or not even visible to the eye.

    Change is all around us. In our bodies, in the earth, in the branches of the trees, the sky, in the seconds that each breath passes….

    A moment passed will never be repeated exactly in the same way as before, unless a person chooses not see the change and is fearful of life or the nearing of death. Routine is then a protective armour.

    Transformation is though ultimately the inevitable route to which we all must pass.

    The I Ching – The Book of Changes is an Oracle\philosophy I have used in the past.

  18. Soleahda says:

    Someone should have told me this 363 days ago:

    But start slowly, because direction is more important than speed.”

    Would I have listened then? I would have, but back then I wouldn’t probably understood what it really meant. Now I completely do.

    I wanted change so bad and I wanted it to be quick. It didn’t turn out well. I was forcing something that needed time. Now I’m back where I started. I just hope I get it right this time.

  19. Gina says:

    ..change who does not love You IN THE NAME OF GOD, but in the name of commodity…NO?!?

  20. KC from Cape Cod says:

    A simple blueprint for someone in a funk. Routine = dull