CoelhoOffice 07 – The Meaning of Life

Videocast #7 – Paulo Coelho talking about the meaning of life.

Videocast #7 – Paulo Coelho falando sobre o sentido da vida.

Videocast #7 – Paulo Coelho hablando acerca del sentido de la vida.


  1. Beatriz says:

    Not long ago I heard something that made me think deeply.

    ‘People spend more time planning their wedding day than planning their whole life’

    I will leave it for others who may benefit of the meaning as much as I have done. I am in the process of building my own cathedral.


  2. Richard Robertson says:

    Hi Paulo Coelho
    this is not about the Aleph. It is about the Pilgrimage. This is the only contact point I know for this. Thank you for the story of your Pilgrimage. It is the most helpful book I have ever read. It introduced me to agape and I am so grateful for this and your description of vices – I carry many with me.
    The story is so detailed and intense. I am now reading it for the fourth time and starting to get it. Things are falling into place, my past makes sense and my eyes are opening again. I am going to clean and re-sharpen my sword. Hopefully not wound myself due to my vices. Try to let go of fear. To fight and love. What a challenge you met and put in front of me.
    To reclaim the simplicity and joy you explain in the book. To listen.
    I thank you with respect and gratitude plus much laughter at my situation.
    Richard Robertson – a salute to love, your fight and victory and god’s glory

  3. Addie Vincent says:

    I think my overall purpose in life is to teach, ever since I was a little girl I looked up to all of my teachers knowing that I wanted to be like them. The fact that they taught the education that they would later need in life. Most people go to school and as a child they enjoy school I want to inspire kids that it important to go to school, but it can also be fun! Right now I feel like my purpose is to finish high school and graduate and start my life by college. I have a calling to go to college and to teach so that is where I’m headed.

    1. arun says:

      THnk God atleast you are putting some of the people in their dream job so they do not feel tired or bored>>>>”:)

  4. Conor L says:

    My purpose at this point in time is to finish high school and go to college. After that my purpose is to finish college and get a good job. Once that is done I have no idea what I want to accomplish those two sentences are the extent of my life plan. Possibly this is a good thing, if I don’t have a plan that means I can do anything. The problem with that ability to do anything is the possibility of choosing the wrong path and regretting that choice for the rest of my life which truly does frighten me. So I can see what you mean when you say you should find the larger meaning on life but I guess I still have not found my true over arching meaning that will lead me to a happy life.

  5. Mira Goel says:

    I believe that my purpose in life is to create joy, whether it is joy in my life or in the hearts of others. I think that is the most general meaning to all our lives. The joy that I have created is in pleasing my parents and myself, by going to school and being successful in the work I create. More specifically getting into the university that I long for and loving what I choose to do. If my profession helps others it would bring me great please but as long as I am enjoying waking up an doing what I do, to contribute to the society, my life purpose is for filled. Therefore happiness is my purpose in life.

  6. ChristenJ says:

    My purpose in life is to make a difference through the arts. I believe that I am suppose to in some way make a difference through the fashion industry. Either designing, merchandising, or something else. I can’t say exactly what I am going to do in the fashion industry, but I know in someway I will make my mark on it. I love the art of fashion, and know that’s what I’ll be doing.

  7. Sebastian E says:

    The meaning of life, in my opinion, is to further improve society as a whole around you. If one only increases quality of life for himself, he does nothing to help others. That person has taken advantage of others generosity, which, at least to me, is unacceptable. Man should be happy to improve life of others, and in return others will improve his own. Selfishness can cause someone to not realize the meaning of life. The more we help each other out, the happier we will be, and the further our society will go.

  8. Gray G. says:

    There’s a saying in the engineering world where not much stuff happens during the day, it’s when night falls that shit gets done. I would prefer the live a carefree life of wandering because of all the things I may see. If I live in one place forever it will be the only thing I know and it would be hard to ‘think outside the box’. I would rather use my one and only life to discover/experience new things rather than staying in one spot. There are a lot of things that can determine which is the better option, to stay or to wander. I will for sure say that whatever I want do, I will make it happen to the best of my abilities. It doesn’t matter where I am, it’s just that I see more of that happening if I have a carefree life of wandering.

    I watched your seventh video on the meaning of life and it made me think about the purpose of my life right now. So I’m a student in high school, and it is very easy to say that the purpose of my life right now is live to the next day up until I graduate. In my mind graduation is a one way door. Once you go through, you can’t really go back. I want to make sure that before I leave my school and community, I have my act together. I have to be able to know and do certain things past high school. Most likely I will be wanting to make a form of income. But, I can only spend this money on certain things to get me closer to my goal. So basically, right now I need to be constantly going over my goals, prepare myself for work, and make things/events for what they are.

  9. Seema says:

    Love the infinitely peaceful, friendly look on your face that bonds and gels well with everyone when you talk in your video. No wonder you are universal!

  10. Connor M says:

    Paulo’s story about the three workers explains how different people handle their own purpose very well. I agree with his idea that your purpose is decided by yourself. It was relevant to the story in how the first two workers didn’t choose the position they were in and lacked the ability to see the big picture like the third worker could. Its as if when someone loses the ability to choose their purpose because of the need for money of need to support a family they lose focus on what they are doing.

  11. Steven L says:

    My purpose in life right now is to get through high school putting forth my best effort. After high school I will go through college trying to gain as much knowledge and experience as possible so that I can be the best at my profession. My purpose after college will be to get a stable job so that I can provide for my family. I will also be making buildings sturdy and safe for people to live and work in. My purpose overall is to help people when possible and be prosperous in life and spiritually.

  12. Constanza Bracamontes says:

    I think that our purpose in life is something that we find over time and experience. Right now we have to study and during that study we look for what we like and how it benefits others. the purpose in life of all of us is to be happy but many times we don’t know what makes us happy we have to live and make reflexions on what is going on in our life and analyze what we like or not.  Many times it takes a long time to find out and we might think that we found our purpose when suddenly everything in your life changes. Right now my purpose in life is to find out what I came here for.

  13. Alex Faulkenberry says:

    To me, the meaning of life is to fulfill your highest potential, and doing what you love the most in the process. The ability to create something you enjoy and benefits others is an epiphany and a gift that few truly realize. One’s revelation of their true potential will grant them a genuine feeling of accomplishment, self purpose, and confidence that they will use to lead for the rest of their lives. This helps prevent them from straying away or losing sight of their goal. No longer will they falter or second-guess themselves to petty opinions, for they know without a doubt, this is what they were born to do.

  14. Alejandro Jaime says:

    The story about the three people in the cathedral was very interesting as each person had a different perspective on what they were building. I believe that the meaning of the story lies in the different responses from the workers. That depending on the mindset that you have on a certain situation, you create a level of thinking that directly affects your performance. In the story for example, the last worker said he was building a cathedral, and that thought causes him to work harder for it, or simply work in a positive matter while the other two fail to get the bigger picture. The result is simple; the ones who think small never see their true purposes accomplished

  15. Richard says:

    I think the story about the cathedral made so much sense. The first man was just doing his work and had no idea about the bigger picture. When the second man says he is trying to make a living to take care of his family I think he had a pretty good outlook. He may not have been looking at the big picture of the job but maybe he was seeing the big picture of the family life and maybe his family is the meaning he gave his life. And the last man who did see the big picture of the job at hand.this was a great metaphor and story for what was being said.

  16. John d says:

    There is no meaning to life. When the story was told of the three people, each one was doing something, but the third one was the only one who was closest to the “meaning of life”. Was the cathedral an allusion to a”god”? If it was then there would be a meaning to life, that is what religion is for. At first it is said that there is no meaning to life other than what you give to it. Does this mean that some people are wrong in their meaning of life like the first two people? If that is the case then who is right? That would suppose that some interpretations of life are “better” than others when in my opinion they are not. No interpretation of life is better than another, it is completely subjective and everybody has different values and priorities. The man who was getting money for his family made a decision that that course of action was “better” than building a cathedral. Both views are equal, one is not better than the other, it just takes a subject to say “this view is better than that view”.

  17. Sonia rao says:

    The meaning of life, in a nutshell, is taking risks, enduring adversity, to find ones self. 
    There are usually few to many inevitable obstacles that one faces which is normal.
    The meaning of life can also be a journey to find inner peace and strength, and can be merely spiritual.
    In some cases, such as mine, the purpose, or meaning of life itself, is a very difficult task, to find. This is so since I’m in the difficult process of finding myself, acknowledging my strengths, and finding true happiness. 

  18. William C says:

    I think the purpose of life is to fulfill something and help the community as a whole. In life you should definitely do the things that you enjoy to do and be with those who you enjoy to be with. We should all help to keep this world we live work well. Everyones purpose in life is not necessarily already predetermined, each person can live their life the way they want to. In my life I want to graduate from college, get a good career going then settle down and have a family. Some people may want to live a much different life but it’s up to each individual to decide.

  19. Tyler T says:

    I think my purpose in life is, something creative, possibly drawing, as it is one of the few things that I love doing for myself, and doing for others to make them happy. I don’t feel I will ever live that purpose out though. I told myself that I would go to a university, become an engineer, and do art in my free time, to live out my passions there, while still having enough money to support myself. I feel I will still do this, but I don’t think anymore that, that is living it out. But, because of the time I dedicate to art, the sleep I lose over art, the passion I have for art, and the love I have for art, I feel it’s my purpose that I will never live. In the end though, I feel that will make me happy enough, not living out my dream, to the full extent, but putting enough time into it to make me happy.

  20. Maggie P says:

    The story that Paulo told about the Cathedral, was interesting in the way that people doing the same thing, each had a totally different reason for why they were there. Like Paulo said, the first man was only getting his physical experience and didn’t feel he was there for any particular reason, and the second was serving his family. The third man really understood that he was building for purpose and what he was doing was going to better the world around him. His life truly had meaning. I think that we should live life according to every experience and know that what we are doing may be small right now, but will one day be big.

  21. Di Jin says:

    I think the meaning of life is to leave things that will benefit our future generations. When a person dies, everything he owns and every memory he has will be gone forever. Maybe his family will remember him for 10 years, but after a century all his existence will become dust. As a human, we have an obligation to improve our race. That is a natural duty for all living creatures. We still remember and honor those who has improves our life such as newton, George Washington, Edison and so on. Ask yourself, the personal dreams and goals you have, will those improve our kind and be remembered by our children? No? Then it’s just a personal or even selfish wish that only affect yourself.

  22. Arielle De La Fuente says:

    In the story of the three people and the Cathedral, how was the Cathedral person the closest to knowing the meaning of life? He may have said that he was building a cathedral, but what if the second person’s purpose in life was to take care of his family? Wouldn’t you say he too knows the meaning of life, but his life’s meaning is just in a different path from the cathedral maker? You said yourself that “love is something you should put in practice”. Was the second person not putting love into his hard work for his family? The meaning of life still confuses me because I feel there is no specific meaning, just the fact of doing what you think is the right thing and going on from there.

  23. Daniella Haverty says:

    I think the meaning to life is to make it worth while and to touch other people’s lives. You supposedly live one life and should make the best of it, to live every day to the fullest. Learning to love and to be loved in return is also the meaning of life. People must make an impact on other peoples live, hopefully in a good way, to fulfill they’re lives. When these things aren’t obtained people feel an emptiness or sadness that debilitates them.

  24. Peter T says:

    My purpose of life now is to get into a position where my life can truly take off. Right now I don’t think i can follow my dream, because I don’t even know what it is. All i can do now is explore the possibilities that life has to offer and see what I want to do with that. Several ideas have crossed my mind, a writer, a chef, an inventor but none of them seem in reach. What I have to do is climb until I can reach one the ladder is a straight one now but eventually I will have to choose. So now I will explore what my life means to me and when I do I will ascend to whatever it is.

  25. David Wright says:

    I know my meaning of life is to be a musician in every way I can be. I love to play and write music for jazz band, wind ensemble, and orchestra and I love every kind of music. An artists path is not an easy one; with financial and social difficulties, but I am willing to work hard to achieve my goal. I want to conduct the Berlin philharmonic orchestra. This goal is very difficult to achieve as only a handful have every done it, and you must be a genius to be considered. I will work very hard in college and get to this goal.

  26. Spencer H says:

    The story about the three workers resonates strongly with me. I see the story slightly differently though. I think that the second worker has a good perspective on the reason he is building the cathedral. He is providing his family with food and he has dedicated his life to making his family happy. The third workers knows the big picture and is aware of the overall goal of himself and all of the other workers. The only worker who doesn’t have a purpose is the first worker who is too focused on his physical labor to understand the overall reason.

  27. Jonny D says:

    Right now, I don’t know what my purpose is; I wish I did. I love engineering, I love programming, and I love singing, but I don’t know what I love most, nor which is my purpose. I’m good in all those areas, but I don’t know how to compare my success in them. I want to be an engineer, and I think with that I can easily bring in my love for programming, but I don’t want to stop singing, and that’s harder to work together. It’s hard to judge my real love for engineering because I’m stuck in a group right now that doesn’t appreciate it the way I do. My choral group, though, is always fun because everyone else has fun with it. It’s even harder to decide because my father pressures me to do something that will earn money, and he doesn’t like the idea of me going into musical theatre. I don’t know what to decide. All I know right now is that I’m graduating from high school and going to college. There, I think, my purpose will be more clear.

  28. William R says:

    The meaning of life is different for every individual. As well as what others believe your meaning of life to be. It is about the perspective of the individual and how they use the knowledge they have obtained that define their meaning of life. Usefulness does not matter when figuring out what the meaning of your life is. It is about your own desires and what makes you happy.

  29. Robert says:

    The purpose in life is to learn by experience. Living by experience isn’t the easiest way to live, but you won’t forget what you learn. Overall life, even down to the simplest terms, isn’t as easy as it seems. Life is something to experience in your own way.

  30. Hunter goertz says:

    The meaning of life is to be happy in whatever you do. Each persons perception of happiness is different. Some of the happiest people in the world are people in third world countries. I am part of A Glimmer of Hope foundation which helps build wells in Ethiopia and a couple people I know visited there last year. They say that these people essentially have nothing and walk many miles a day to carry copious amounts of water to their village but are still som of the a happiest people they’ve ever see.

  31. Wylie says:

    I like what Coelho said about the meaning of life, he said that the meaning of life is to have meaning in your life. Without “meaning” in our lives we have no reason to set goals for ourselves. We go through life without a purpose. Overall our main goal in life should be to protect our morals by creating priorities that set us up to ultimately achieve our goals.

  32. Jackson K says:

    I think that the meaning of life is on a primal level is only to reproduce. Simply to be born, mature, mate, raise children, and die. That is why we exist today. Thinking at life from a human standpoint though, the meaning of life is to “make an impact”. Every person in the world, educated or not, would want to, or maybe unknowingly make an impact on at least one outcome. Nobody’s life is meaningless. 

  33. Michael M. says:

    I believe that the meaning of a persons life is whatever they love and are passionate about doing. I also believe that the meaning of life and a person’s purpose in life are the same thing, so it varies from person to person. If a person truly loves to paint then their meaning of life is to be an artist. I think that if someone loves what they do they will also bring joy to others and might help others to find their meaning of life.

  34. Natalia G says:

    I think the story about the cathedral shows the different aspects in which people give meaning to their life. The first person that said he was laying bricks represents the people who go through life not taking advantage of the opportunities that surround them. The second person that said he was earning his living to maintain his family represents the people that go through life just worrying about money and stability for them and their loved ones. The third person that said he was building a cathedral represents the people who see the whole picture. These people know what they are doing and have a certain idea of what the final product will be of creating something beautiful in life.

  35. Lauren H says:

    My interpretation of the meaning of life is how you perceive your mind and actions. The mind is very powerful and when you learn how to separate the ego self from the true self, I feel like you are able to come by your meaning of life. To live a life that you are so proud of in success that nothing stopped you from getting there. Benefiting other people with your meaning to life. Having a dream or sense at younger age, and going off with that passion to fulfill your meaning to life. My meaning of life is always close with religion and making sure I’m doing what God has planned for me. I listen to Him and further my meaning of life with Him by my side.

  36. Susan F says:

    I admire Coelho’s outlook on his job as a writer. I agree with what he said about how his meaning should not be something that he only does in his free time, he should devote all of his time to it, because it is what he loves and wants to do. I feel the same way about drawing, and that same idea is actually an issue for me right now as I am applying for college. Many colleges do have an art program, but they also require you to spend time taking ALL the core classes. I am trying to avoid that as much as possible, because I will never use that for the kind of art that I want to get into, and I could be using that time to draw instead. So in the the end, I only have 2 colleges to choose from, and I can’t help but feel a so much more limited compared to number of colleges that everyone else is applying to.

  37. David L. says:

    I believe everyone in this world has a different kind of purpose, whether it’s shuffling mail at the post office to cutting grass for a living.  For me, I truly believe I came into this world to help people.  No matter how short or tall, rich or poor, I think helping people have a better life by making them smile or a little chuckle here and there could make the difference.  For some of the people who drink there lives away or use drugs to help get them through the day, do believe that they have no reason/ purpose to be in this world.  These people have got to open their eyes and realize what is right from wrong and see that in today’s world, they’ve got it easy.  My parents always tell me how they grew up from nothing, living in Laredo, coming from a poor family and trying to make ends meat on their own.  Their parents/ my grandparents could careless because they had jobs to worry about to provide for my parents.  Its not how it is today, being handed down opportunity after opportunity and soon throwing it away due to some addiction.  And as of today, my parents have full time, well paid jobs and are making bank to povide for myself and my younger sibling.  All in all everyone has a purpose to be in this world, they just have to make the most of it.

  38. AndreaT says:

    I am not sure what the meaning of life is, but what I know is that for most people is ti achieve many purposes, thinking that they will find meaning. So we all give life a different meaning as a result for our own life experiences. It can be hard to explain but I believe that each one of us should do what makes us happy and that would be the easiest way to give a meaning to life.

  39. Josh h says:

    I think the story about the Cathedral is interesting because the third person is correct but in some ways the second person is also correct. The third person knows that he is building a cathedral and sees that as the meaning of his work. Most likely hundreds of people will experience it and it would be seen as the more important end. The second man is doing the work so that he can support his family that he most likely loves. Though the money may not seem like it is as important as the cathedral the children that he raised with the money could go on to do great things and touch the lives of many more people than the church ever could. So saying that the second man almost had the idea of what he was accomplishing is in my view selling him short.

  40. Evan R says:

    The purpose in my life currently is to graduate from high school, nothing more and nothing less. Everything else in my life is temporary or optional, even high school is optional, but it comes the closest to necessary. After that is achieved, my next purpose will arise and then the next and so on until eventually I have no purpose and am just drifting, waiting to pass on. One day I will be reincarnated, but until that day far in the future, the matter that I was composed of will simply exist, waiting for a purpose to be given to it once more arbitrarily just as it has done for me right now. For now, I must graduate, though I don’t even know if that will change tomorrow, purposes in life are far from absolute and are all a matter of current perspective.

  41. Chris I says:

    Paulo’s story about the Cathedral was interesting. It kind of shows that if we do all this work like the guy that made bricks and have no plans for those bricks it is pointless. I think he is getting at that if we don’t know what we are working towards in life and just work we will never find our meaning of life. This thing we are working towards could be a long term goal or a life long dream of ours that we desire to achieve. It made me think about how we go to school and learn about all kinds of different things and how I have no plan yet to use that knowledge. I’m hoping someday I can use my knowledge and experiences to achieve my meaning in life.