Paulo Coelho's Blog
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If you start by promising what you don’t even have yet, you’ll lose your desire to work towards, getting it.
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Hello, dear Paulo, je me suis trompée de post … ? Voici le bon endroit ?
Bonjour, je me rétablis d’une maladie particulière qu’on appelle le cancer. Je l’ai fait grandir dans mes poumons, et on l’a découvert tout í fait par hasard. Il n’y a pas de hasard. Je reviens í la lecture de vos livres. Ils parlent de moi. “Le manuel des guerriers de la lumière” beaucoup d’émotions, je le lis et relis depuis des années. Et j’ai récemment découvert “onze minutes” et “le zahir”, vous m’accompagnez sans le savoir dans mes bouleversements,Merci Paulo.
Heart and Savita, so right.
I think that we are what we are, in a certain moment. We must be true to ourselves and ‘KNOW THYSELF’ as my ancestors’s wisdom says.
When we meet with other people, it is human, natural to want to be .. liked, loved, admired. So we usually put our .. best smile and mask on and when we come to the question of love, there is the big .. gamble! But how can we promise to somone else happiness and peace since we really do not possess it ourselves?
We must first gain and find Heaven and Light in ourselves and then .. the whole world will be ours. Peace in us and learn to love ourselves and ‘give to others’ as we .. really are and ..grow together. The NOW is the crucial point.
i try to never promise- i can give my word. promise is an act that U HAVE TO DO IT and sometimes event r changed and one cant do it,,,
so better no promising but trying our best!!
Paulo, today’s quote speaks to me. I think it is fitting for all types of relationships, or when a person is sharing.
Savita, your comment for today’s quote contain a wealth of information. I really like your words explaining about teachers and students. At times I want to say something but I know I am definitely not an expert.
How about wedding wows. Isn’t it a promise between two, to stay together in a future life, they don’t have yet? Is that why most married people seems so unhappy..they loose desire to work you say?
-“Don’t say before you do and don’t do before you have done.”
-“Sometimes when we just want to do something, we may not do it but when we have done something and want to do more on the same thing, we may end up finishing that particular thing.”
-“Speak less do more and speak more when done.”
-“Listen good, speak good, feel good, smell good, touch good and finally you will end up being good.”
-“Everything that we want to accomplish has been already done by others and what we add up is our personal experience, teachings and lessons on top of those things.”
God bless you all !
There are two specific situations in my past experience to which I can readily and easily relate this saying:
One is the experience of teaching. It is not necessary to be an “expert” at something in order to pass on knowledge of it to others. However, if we assume that we must set ourselves up as “experts” on the subject, making pretense that we know all there is to know about it, so that others will accept our “authority” as teachers, this is a great mistake. First of all, this attitude is self-defeating: it makes it almost impossible to become a teacher, until we can prove to ourselves and to others that we know more than everyone else about the subject. Secondly, this is a very hard position to maintain, because, no matter what you are teaching or how long you have been at it, there is always going to come along this student who surpasses you and makes you look like a fool if you have declared yourself as The Authority on the topic. Someone is always going to ask a question to which you do not know the answer. Furthermore, this sort of pretense makes it impossible for us to learn from our students, because we have set ourselves up in a position where we have to always act like we know more or better than they do, even when we don’t. So, by promising that we already hold all information on the topic, we actually forfeit the opportunity to gain further knowledge. We have backed ourselves into a corner and actually blocked ourselves from further growth. We have promised something that we do not have, and in so doing, lose the desire to attain it.
So, as teachers, we should teach what we know. This means that you can teach, even if you know only a little. You can say to others who are interested in the same subject, “I don’t know much – I’m not an expert – but I’d be glad to share with you the knowledge and experience that I do have.” In this way, teacher and student enter into a sort of communion, a relationship in which they are bound by a common passion, and yet a mutual relationship in which they are each free to learn from and teach the other. By promising only what we have, we stand to gain much more.
The second situation that this saying brings to mind is that of writing, specifically that of being in a situation where you are forced to give an abstract or account of a yet unfinished piece. “What is your next book going to be about? Can you give us just a paragraph, summing it all up?” Well, I’ve never had to answer this question, because I am not a published author, but many times, while at the university, I faced similar requests. A thesis or dissertation – even if this takes the form of a creative work – cannot be begun until it is officially “approved” as a valid and viable project. In order to attain this stamp of approval, one oftentimes has to offer up a summary and/or an outline of the work, as it is planned, giving the advisory committee an idea of what the finished work will look like. This, at least in some cases, at least in my personal experience, is another case of backing oneself into a corner. You write the abstract, the outline, the summary – whatever is required – in mere speculation as to the direction in which this project is going to lead you. Because you are forced to do so, required to do so, you are “promising something that you do not yet have,” and, in doing this, ultimately you limit the potential for any growth that might come as a result of the project itself. Any new knowledge that you gain during the process is inhibited in its expression. Or maybe at some point, in the middle of all this, your intuition starts leading you in some new and wholly unexplored direction – yet you must resist this invitation, because that is not what you promised. You must produce what you initially promised to produce. The growth of the work, the evolution which is an inherent part of it, is strictly limited by preordained expectations of what the finished piece is supposed to look like.
So, although this is necessary in a university setting, I think it is not good to talk too much about what one is “going to write,” or “plans to write.” Leave space, instead, for the writing to take on a life of its own – for it to lead you to places you might never have expected. By promising as little as possible, you have everything to gain. Rather than having the desire beat out of you by the recognition of other’s expectations of your work, you can maintain that same passion and sense of discovery with which you set out.
Thank you, Paulo, for all of these wonderful sayings that fill us with wisdom and the light of life.
And with great admiration,
I read the same saying in the philosophical book ‘Lucius’s moral letters to Lucilius’ (Lucius Seneca).
It is true in my case, sometimes. And because of that I am a bit supersticious in that area. I don’t tend to talk of the future because I feel I need to live in today. I don’t want to predict (in this case promise) anything because I may lose interest in fulfilling it. Fulfilling the promise.
I usually promise only the things I am 100% sure about. If I KNOW that either I have to run a certain errand or I have to do something. Because of the fact that I just know I have to, and there is no way out of it not happening. Then I can say: “I promise…”.
It’s known by plants-when and why.Humans-where can answer as well.Only God knows what and how appears.(Signatures’ Doctrine)
I feel guilty. I did some times that,but because I was all time pressed by requests. So,to have my space, I said yes, fine. But the things were not working as it should, and I am ashame now because I cant face the problem, cant keep my promise for now. But my desire to do that was not vanishing. I really want to do all my best.
Marc Vincent Apatan:
December 17, 2013 at 8:01 am
is it related to a quote, "Don't count the chicks until the eggs are hatched." ? - any thoughts?
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