Getting through just one night

At the age of seventeen, Milton Hyland Erickson was a victim of polio. Ten months after he contracted the disease, he heard a doctor tell his parents: “your son won’t live through the night.”

Ericksson heard his mother crying. “Maybe she won’t suffer so much if I get through tonight,” he thought to himself. And he decided not to sleep till dawn.
In the morning he shouted out: “Hey mother! I’m still alive!”

There was so much joy in the house that from then on he resolved to resist always one more night in order to postpone his parents’ suffering.

He died in 1990 at the age of 75, leaving behind a series of important books on the enormous capacity that man has to overcome his own limitations.


  1. Catherine says:

    Magnifique. Merveilleux! ça donne de la force, une telle humanité dans son sens le plus noble du terme. Et cette fragilité apparente, vaincue par la force de la vie est émouvant, superbe.

    Merci a Milton Hayden Erickson pour ce bel exemple, merci í  Paulo Coelho pour l avoir partage avec nous!

  2. jackienoriega says:

    aqui tenemos un ejemplo claro de amor hacia sus padres amor a la vida y resolverse a dar la batalla por salir adelante por no dejarse vencer. Nosotros que tenemos toda la salud mí s aí¹n no desmayemos nunca, no perdamos la fè y sigamos junto a nuestra familia tratando de de inventar un mundo mejor que favorezca a los nuestros y a los que nos rodean porque no hay peor fracaso que la batalla que no se pelea aunque a veces se pierde hay que insistir . lindo ejemplo el expuesto en la lectura

  3. Alita says:

    Maravilloso!! Qué bien me hace leerte Paulo en éstos momentos de tristeza y soledad. Así­ como tus libros me llenan el alma, tu blog también lo hace ahora.

    Gracias por compartir siempre tanta belleza y optimismo!

  4. diana bo says:

    Expecting always that something good is going to happen ,being optimistic is the key of life and happiness …….cheers for life !!!!!

    1. cheerleader says:

      cheers cheers cheers

  5. Mary lynch says:

    Wonderful and inspirational this story gave me a sense that anything is possible step by step

  6. Empié says:

    La verdad es que nunca se sabe lo que mañana puede ofrecer, por eso nunca hay que desesperar.

    Un saludo, por fuera mi mundo no cambia cambia por dentro porque yo cambio, dentro de poco podré actuar como antes de todo esto, y la verdad es que apenas lo veo venir, un dí­a soy otro y puedo hacer, pensar, y sentir otras cosas.

    Un saludo.

  7. Mariangustias de castro says:

    Cuando un dí­a no me acuerdo en qué momento fué ,me dí­ cuenta que el pasado no volverí­a jamás y que el presente es lo único que cuenta en tu haber . Supe que todo se hace nuevo .Siempre hay que comenzar , en la vida es un partí­ de nuevo otra vez, y Sí­ vas aprendiendo a mejorar y a corregirte; te vas haciendo mejor persona hasta llegar a la imagen de Jesús, que es lo que quiere nuestro Padre que está en los cielos y esperándonos con los brazos abiertos…

  8. Cristina B says:

    I took the same decision sixteen years ago, and I’m still alive.
    So Love sometimes push us to decisions that seem impossible, and make us reach goals that we ‘d never expet.

  9. katie says:

    I found the whole symbolism in this story so beautiful and overwhelming.
    I can imagine how hard it was for Erickson to deal with this disease when he was 17. the whole story of him working with polio his whole life as it is described in wikipedia continues to be overwhelming and symbolic.
    He was a smart man already when he was 17. glad that we have had these kinds of people among us.

    I did not know and I never read about trance. but your story and his life gave me some openings I was looking for a long time and never knew how to search for more information, because I could not give my state a name.
    thank you. I love this surprise. the pcb always has little gifts waiting for everyone. <3

  10. humi says:


  11. Karolina D says:

    Dear Paulo Coelho!

    It’s in the middle of the night and my hands are shaking. I can’t believe that I’m actually writing here. I’m writing just to say thank you. I can’t say I’m your biggest fan sins I have only read 3 of your books but still you have made a change just by reading them. On my bookshelf I have a couple more of your books but I like to think of them like expensive wine that you only use on different occasions.
    I’m the most positive girl that you can ever meet my mouth is smiling even if I’m not feeling so well on the inside. I’m 19 and my friends say that sins I’m so happy all the time I have to be the only person with a perfect life. The only thing that they don’t know is that I live a life without love. I cry when someone dies and when someone’s hurt me in some way but the only thing they don’t know is that I have no love in my life I have never been loved and never felt love. And that’s were you come in in the picture. It does not matter if I read aleph, the pilgrimage or veronica decides to die in some way every time I open your books I get the butterflies in my stomach and the feeling that makes you fly high up there in t he skyes.
    That’s why your books are like expensive vine to me when my life really feels like nothing works I disappear in one if your books and I feel love just for a little while that makes me believe that maybe in the future I get lucky and love will come to me.

    Thank you

    Best regards Karolina

    P.s like I’ve said before my hands are shaking so I hope you will understand my rumbeling. D.s

  12. becoming conscious says:

    do you think it is appropriate to call him (or anyone who is suffering from a disease) a victim?

  13. Tarek says:

    SInce I realized that each night could be my last night, I sleep very deep, for why to I worry about tomorrow that might not come! And nothing robe us from our sleep like our worries about tomorrow.