The task

a story sent by Nitin Mukundan K.P

A man was sleeping at night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light. An angel appeared, showed a large rock in front of his cabin and asked him to push against the rock with all his might.

This the man did, day after day. For many years he toiled from sun up to sun down, his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock.

Nothing happened. And he decided to make it a matter of prayer.
“Lord I have labored long and hard in your service, putting all my strength to do that which you have asked. Yet, after all this time, I have not even been able to budge that rock. What is wrong? Why am I failing?”

The angel appeared again :
“My friend, I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all your strength. Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. And now you come to me with your strength spent, thinking that you have failed. But, is that really so?”

“Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscled, your back sinewy and brown, your hands are callused from constant pressure, and your legs have become massive and hard.
“Through opposition you have grown much and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have.
“You learned the importance of discipline and training,

” This you have done. Now it is my turn, my task.”

And the angel moved the rock, showing to the man a beautiful path ahead.


  1. jabulani sidney vilakazi says:

    when I was first introduced to Paulo Cohello, I could not believe how inspiring some people are and how easily it is for them to touch others lives.
    The Alchemist has changed my life in such a way that everything seem to be possible and when going through the rough patch I know that it is the uneverse which is conspiring for me to get where I should be. Thanks Paulo for being part of my life.

  2. Amit says:

    Paulo u really made a difference in my life…. u taught me to see hope form the most hopeless of situations, u have made me believe every cloud has a silver lining and every failure that i face is preparing me to be a winner….

  3. Mathilde says:

    i may paint that back..

  4. BIKASH says:

    just like sending your kid, your future, to the hole to nowhere.

  5. sushil jamarkattel says:

    great story!!!!!!!!……thanks for sharing :)

  6. cheryl field says:

    Often I say `It is not for me to reason why, it is just for me to wonder’! To not assume we know the whys, wheres or the outcomes is often difficult. It is enough to trust a work is being done, and if we are meant to know we will. ♥

  7. paulo says:

    thank you for this…there are things in our life that we ask God so many why’s forgetting the real message HE wants us to understand…it is truly inspiring…

  8. Amy says:

    aii Pauloo te quieroo adoptar cmo mi abuelitoo !!! eres mi idolo !

  9. tara says:

    I want to to thank you paulo , sooooo amazing .

  10. Nisa says:

    “When I Asked God for Strength.He Gave Me Difficult Situations to Face.
    When I Asked God for Brain & Brown.He Gave Me Puzzles in life to Solve.
    When I Asked God for Happiness.He Showed Me Some Unhappy People.
    When I Asked God for Wealth.He Showed Me How to Work Hard.
    When I Asked God for Favors.He Showed Me opportunities to Work Hard.
    When I Asked God for Peace.He Showed Me How to Help Others.
    God Gave Me Nothing I Wanted.He Gave Me Everything I Needed”

    -Swami Vivekananda-

    Wonderful story. Thank you so much for sharing.

  11. silvy says:

    How nice and motivating, Paulo its your assurance in ones self and God that have changed my life completely. You have made me a person that i always wanted to be. But i regret not reading you earlier and wasting so much time.Thank you. I hope my life will take me where i want to go.

  12. maye says:

    no es lucha aquella que no te deja una gran enseñanza… buena historia sr. !! :)

  13. monica villa says:

    Es una gran verdad que en muchas ocasiónes nos sentimos fracasados sin dar importancia a las cosas que estan frente a uno mismo, nuestros brazos fuertes y musculosos por la fuerza con la embatimos ala vida, las manos callosas de todas las ocasiones que nos hemos tenido que levantar despues de haber caido y las piernas fuertes de el coraje para avanzar siguiendo así­ con el destino que se noa ha impuesto,,,,, si una cosa es cierta, jamas nos debemos dejar vencer por que para eso nuetras espaldas se han ido fortaleciendo al paso de los años…..
    Saludos Paulo,,, de la última de sus amigas… !!!!!

  14. Alejandra says:

    si que es verdad, es tan importante en la vida la constancia y la tenacidad para lograr nuestros objetivos en la vidad, gracias Sr. Paulo C.

  15. Alisrwr says:

    The great Paulo has unique way to motivate people and can tell the essence of life in simple such stories. I salute the man for her tricklerness in his field and his concerned high rated positive and pioneering human factor.

  16. Dorothy says:

    This is a very inspiring story ,but how does a person learn to understand
    The lanuage of angels it seems as if they speak in parables

  17. gabriela says:

    siempre es importante en la carrera de un ser humano ,la diciplina y la formacion.con ellas organizamos nuestras vidas

  18. den says:

    but was that the only lesson from God to learn a man descipline and training?

  19. veiled says:

    reading this made me heave a sigh of relief, hope….and life. thank you Mr. Coelho. your wisdom has inspired millions all over the world.

    the story reminded me to trust. trust first in my own goodness and truth, and when i can truly say my heart is pure, that’s when i can have the conviction to say that i trust God.

  20. Oliva says:

    We should do what we should do, don’t be afraid or complaining of all difficulties, it’s okay if mankind only do a little by using their weak strength, mind and power, cause God will do the rest…. God will help us to finish the task…

    Thanks for sharing the beautiful story.
    GBU, Paulo :))

  21. nayan sharma says:

    nice…very nice lesson..!!!

  22. Munda says:

    Wonderful, real uplifting task

  23. clea says:

    thank you Paolo for posting the story and thank you Nitin for sending it. I feel like this story was written for me, to be enlightened and to be comforted in times of doubt and despair. Thank YOu.

  24. roopaprabhakar says:

    thank u very much for the message it was a wonderful one

  25. Halima says:

    C’est la premiere fois que je vais sur votre blog et cela arrive au moment ou je me demande si je ne vais pas arreter de pousser et ou je suis assez triste. J’ai l’impression de rater l’education de mon unique enfant malgre tous mes efforts. Merci. Nous devons faire confiance en Dieu et aimer nos proches tels qu’ils sont.

  26. Ashlesha says:

    Thanxs poulo! really i inspiring story every one should read !

  27. S.Saket says:

    Thanx Coelho,this was something as if written for us only!!!!!!!!!!!!!!We r two guys,programmers created a device,wrote the best code,yet it’s not working 100% efficiently,we were going to complain to him when the blog appeared and well it was great.Thanx Once again

  28. sweta says:

    Yes it is true that we are fulfilling a mission in life in whatever we are doing but it gets tough to remember it when we feel that we are doing too little!!

  29. maribel says:

    how great the story is!!!thanks for sharing it, i am inspired to do my task after reading it…hope every one will realize the greatness of the Love of god!it is so amazing and wonderful!