Today’s question by the reader: Clelia

How does someone know that you are doing what you are meant to be doing in this life?

When they feel enthusiasm in their hearts. Without this inner light, our actions become senseless.


  1. […] Today’s question by the reader: Clelia How does someone know that you are doing what you are meant to be doing… […]

  2. zara says:

    without even realizing it, the answer to my question was actually right in front of me all this time. i just had to open my eyes and even my ears to know that. thank you paulo for your brilliant words. they truly are inspiring.

  3. THELMA says:

    Dear Susan, I am in Face-book and My-space under my name Thelma Tryfonidou! No pseudonym!! ;] My email also is: thelma.tryfonidou[ad]
    I remember, Paul form Austria has told me never to write my email address full … ;]

  4. Susan says:

    Thelma, I would love to get in touch with you. can you write:

  5. Alexandra says:

    How sweet Clelia.I thank you for your question.

  6. jenny says:

    exactly what i’m feeling at the moment :)

    i’ve been doing programming since i was in senior high, and i decided to study IT for my bachelor degree. but as i went into uni life, where i have to do everything by myself, i discovered a new love: cooking and photography.

    i’m halfway through the study now (three out of six semesters left including the one i’m on at the moment), but i don’t really have anymore passion in it.. oh well, i don’t like leaving things unfinished, and i won’t terminate this study. but often i wonder and worry, what i am going to do after i graduate.

    we’ll see :)

  7. Clelia says:

    Hello all,
    I appreciate everyone’s input on my questioning! Thank you very much for taking the time to comment on it. I read all of them and each one of them made me realize how everyone is in search for the same thing. However, everyone has a way of looking at the topic and conceptualize it in a different way. Each opinion is valid and everyone cope with this issue differently! I truly enjoyed all of the responses!
    Thank you very much for taking the time to answer this very complex question. However, this “very complex” question is in fact a very simple one and today I realized that I made it “complex”. You told me in one phrase what my soul probably already knew but my mind got in the way with thoughts that are not even realistic! Sometimes is very difficult to simplify things but at least you reminded me that this is what I need to do… Not just pray or ask questions; but meditate and listen to answers that come from within.
    You also opened my eyes immensely with your quote for the day! Wise is the one who loves and fool is the one who tries to understand it! Thank you so much for today!
    I also want to thank all the readers for giving me feedback!!!

    Much Love to everyone….and this time just experiencing the LOVE towards everyone instead of rationally trying to understand it :)

  8. orly says:

    i believe that one day during our life in certain age- we have the wake up call which lead us to understand the Y? the reason and what our way meant to be!!!
    in my case it came 6 years ago- when i got my breast cancer!!!
    and all my life had changed in one moment!!
    and i knew it meant to come to me so i will change and find THE DE TOUR of my life,!
    i am a survivor— with a complete new way of what really meant for me!
    and as crazy as it sound- I thank G-d for giving me back than- that cancer!!!! so i would be able to wake up!

  9. vmcajiao says:

    Bueno si a esta pregunta, como a cuando voy a morir o va a morir alguno de mis seres queridos, viviera siempre buscandoles una respuesta ( clara, convincente o solo una mentirilla), perderia mucho del tiempo que le doy a disfrutar aquellas cosas que llegan a mi vida y que pequeñas o grandes las vivo como si fuera la primera, unica y ultima vez.
    Creo tambien que vivir es un acto de fe!!

  10. T.K. says:

    I experienced that feeling yesterday and commented to my sister that I found the very thing that made life worth living!

  11. Tina Israni says:

    You know its funny Savita, I had only half read your post – but we both said the same thing about being asleep while living…the same idea about money just not being enough..

  12. Tina Israni says:

    OMG – I at this crossroads in my life..similar to the one you were once in Savita.

    I am starting realize, and well follow the path of what my heart desires, which is more a feeling than anything else – that feeling of wholeness.

    When I was in college, I used to read that one should do what they want to do with their lives, what will make them happy, not do it for the money. I always read the advice and dismissed it, thinking what do they know about how hard it is to survive without money. I have seen my parents struggle immigrate from another country so that they could give our family a happy future.

    I think things are changeing today where money doesn’t define the success of ones career.

    I currently am employed by a bank in NYC. I was happy for sometime, my ego licking the wounds and filling the void in my heart – until the whole industry has been turned upside down – and in that midst I have realized this is not what I am supposed to be doing!

    I am at this crossroad now, this crucial point of giving into the norm living my life as if I were asleep – but I will not and cannot!

    So happy to hear and see that there are others like me who allowed their strong will to lead them onto the road of their dreams :)

    Oh I feel so warm and happy – you’re right about the enthusiasm in your heart..

  13. B*Sofie says:

    Enthusiasm yes –
    and this strong force inside you making you widen your range by
    being more courageous than you think you are & making you go on even if you stumble.
    It`s about being alive – and loving*

  14. Deedee says:

    yes my mom call me Deedee and a friend from Hungaria who couldn’t say “D” transformed it into “G” so some know me as Gigi,but who cares?lol.Ok I go!:D

  15. Deedee says:

    Yes it is.Where are the writers today?No comments?oh..

    Got to go too,will meditate on that after the weekend.Inspiration’s back thanks to smiles and laughs.Wish you well all of you!

  16. Alexandra says:

    Thank you to remind me, I just pass a moment I have some things that I was not sure if they are really for me. But if I see your answer, and I think at my enthusiasm despite all things in between me and my dream, I know now I am doing what I am supposed to do.As I can notice, even a simple phrase might bear a big answer with an important meaning.

  17. THELMA says:

    I, always, like you point out the word Enthusiasm, dear Paulo Coelho!
    It is a Greek word= Εν+Θεώ = with God, near God.
    Usually we begin something with zest, enthusiasm and confidence. The first clouds usually come from people near us, even our loved ones, who try to discourage us, because they, may be, are jealous or fear they will lose our ‘attention’ and ‘devotion’.
    Never listen to others’ logical advices. They are just trying to cut … our Wings!

  18. Dear all,

    Q)How does someone know that you are doing what you are meant to be doing in this life?

    A)This is very good question, Clelia ! If you would know what you meant to be doing then don’t you think your life would be boring to live? What if you know about your tomorrow’s schedule today? What if you know that tomorrow you are going to meet your husband or wife or your life partner near the garden in the rain and you don’t have umbrella. The guy whom you met will have umbrella and he will cover you with his umbrella. What would you do then? Will it be exciting enough, if you know it. (I think it will not be)

    Therefore, it is good that you don’t know them ahead. All your events and all that is going to happen in your life is unknown and it should always be unknown. Now having said that, you want to know whatever you are doing is right or wrong, isn’t it?

    By asking this question you already are on right track. Don’t be afraid, whatever you are doing is always right and whatever you want to do will be too. It is you who have decided to choose the path and it should be you who knows yourself better than anybody else. Therefore, when you can wake up each and every morning, then you can walk each and every step, even though you are skeptical and fearful of taking or making them. Just move on and don’t regret your past or your decisions, don’t blame anyone and be truthful. Life will find its way, on its own.

    There is also religious description which I can give which is quite different than any of the scriptures ever written but I must stop here.

    Please let me know if you need further explanations and if you feel any thing confusing.

    Sorry Paulo, but I hope you too will agree on the points that I am making here.

    God bless you all !

  19. Savita Vega says:

    For a number of years I worked in the field of free-lance merchandising, designing and re-modeling retail stores. And these weren’t just any stores either; they were a very specific type of store. Somehow, from the start, I fell into this particular niche – the stores who employed me and in whose design I became specialized are the type of stores known under the label of “home organization and container stores.” This is a type of store still rather specific to the U.S. market, and relatively unheard of elsewhere. These stores, which are now numerous in the U.S., specialize in selling “containers” – kitchen containers, closet organization systems, containers for the living room, for the bedroom, for the garage and office, and every other facet of life. In other words, they cater to a market wherein the average consumer has so much “stuff” that they literally do not know what to do with it all. In order to avoid clutter in their homes and in their workplaces, they have to go out and buy containers and organization systems to contain all the excess “stuff” they have collected. In this sense, the whole concept is rather sick. In many other countries, people don’t have enough money to buy the very basic necessities of life; here in the U.S. we have so much that we clutter our lives with the excess of needless luxury items – we buy so much “stuff” that we then have to go out spend even more money on “containers” to store all of the “stuff” that we bought.

    At any rate, this is the market niche that I fell into as a store designer. It paid well, and I liked the freedom it gave me. When a store needed to be remodeled, I was called in to give a bid on the project. I really didn’t have any competition, so whatever bid I named was generally accepted. After that, I would work up floor plans and create the new concept for the interior, then the company would fly me to the location of the store, where I would stay and oversee the project to its completion. In between these projects, I would have money to live on for months.

    In many ways, it was a “good” career. It enabled me to use my artistic abilities and creativity, and so, it would seem that I should have been quite content doing this. I actually was for a while, but then the sheer perversity of it began to eat away at me. The whole concept of such stores, their very existence, as I explained, seemed so senseless to me, so profane. My own job, in consequence, seemed simply inane. What was I doing, in essence, but selling stuff to people who already had so much stuff that they didn’t know what to do with it? Furthermore, there is a psychology to the art of marketing, which also prevails in store design – the design is guided by the fact that you know how the buyer’s mind functions. There are certain mechanisms that spur “want,” that fan the flames of “desire for more,” and those are the buttons, as a merchandiser, that you are hired to push. As I say, it is very sick. It seemed to me, in the end, a waste of my creativity. I felt like I was using whatever artistic talent I might have in the most perverse way possible.

    So, I quit. If I had stayed with this career, I don’t know how much I would have been making by now, certainly enough to sustain a more than comfortable lifestyle. And yet I do not regret getting out of the business when I did. I think it would have killed me in the end – I think it would have sucked every ounce of life out of my spirit eventually. There is a line from a song that comes to my mind when I think back on this whole scenario:

    “Can money pay for all the days I lived awake
    But half asleep?”

    In my case, no amount of money was enough to pay for what I felt I was losing on a daily basis in continuing with that job. So, the one thing I would say is this: you cannot calculate whether or not you are in the right profession based solely on the salary you make. Money is something, but it is not everything. Just as you give to your career, your career should be giving back to you – nourishing not only your pocketbook, but your spirit also. Some careers are actually vampirish in this sense – they will suck the very soul out of you if you let them do it. Truly, I think one should come home from work feeling more whole than when they left for work that day. Of course, this can’t happen every day, but, in the overall scope of things, it should be the goal: one’s job should give one a sense of wholeness that one would not have had otherwise.