10 SEC READ Satan holds a clearance sale

Conscious of the need to move with the times, Satan decided to sell off a large part of his stock of temptations. He placed an advertisement in the newspaper and spent the whole of the next day attending to customers in his workshop.

There were some amazing items for sale: stones on which the virtuous could stumble, mirrors that increased one’s own sense of importance and spectacles that diminished other people’s importance. Hanging on the wall were a few other prize objects: a dagger with a curved blade for stabbing people in the back and tape recorders that recorded only gossip and lies.

‘Don’t worry about the price!’ cried old Satan to any potential customers. ‘Take it away with you today and pay me when you can!’

One visitor noticed two much-used tools that had been relegated to a corner. They didn’t look anything special, but they were very expensive. Curious, he asked the reason for this apparent discrepancy.

‘They’re both very worn because they’re the tools I use most,’ said Satan, laughing. ‘I wouldn’t want them to be too noticeable because then people would know how to protect themselves against them. But they’re both worth the asking price: one is Doubt and the other is a Sense of Inferiority. When all other temptations fail, those two always work.’

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10 sec reading Never be ashamed to feign weakness


A wise Chinese master has this to say about the strategies of the warriors of light:

‘Convince your enemy that he will gain very little by attacking you; this will diminish his enthusiasm.’

‘Do not be ashamed to make a temporary withdrawal from the field if you see that your enemy is stronger than you; it is not winning or losing a single battle that matters.’

‘Even if you are very strong, never be ashamed to feign weakness; this will make your enemy act imprudently and attack too soon.’

‘Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster.

‘To fight and conquer in all our battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.

Opportunities multiply as they are seized.

_____________________
in WARRIOR OF THE LIGHT: A MANUAL

Paulo Coelho: 10 Quotes To Remind You To Grow Wilder

Paulo Coelho, the legendary author and writer, has inspired millions of people around the world with his stories of travel, love and spiritual lessons learnt along the way.

I read the Alchemist nearly twenty years ago.  The story spoke to my heart and inspired me to believe in the adventurous life!

Here are 10 Paulo Coelho quotes to remind you to grow wilder:-

1. “Everything tells me that I am about to make a wrong decision, but making mistakes is just part of life. What does the world want of me? Does it want me to take no risks, to go back to where I came from because I didn’t have the courage to say “yes” to life?”

2. Be Brave.  Take risks  Nothing can substitute experience.

3. “A child can teach an adult three things: to be happy for no reason, to always be busy with something, and to know how to demand with all his might that which he desires.”

4. “I can choose either to be a victim of the world or an adventurer in search of treasure. It’s all a question of how I view my life.”

5. “No one loses anyone, because no one owns anyone. That is the true experience of freedom: having the most important thing in the world without owning it”

6. “You will never be able to escape from your heart. So it’s better to listen to what it has to say.”

7. “Do something instead of killing time because time is killing you.”

8. “Sometimes, we are so attached to our way of life that we turn down wonderful opportunities simply because we don’t know what to do with it.”

9. “That is why it is so important to let certain things go. To release them. To cut loose. People need to understand that no one is playing with marked cards; sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Don’t expect to get anything back, don’t expect recognition for your efforts, don’t expect your genius to be discovered or your love to be understood. Complete the circle. Not out of pride, inability or arrogance, but simply because whatever it is no longer fits in your life. Close the door, change the record, clean the house, get rid of the dust. Stop being who you were and become who you are.”

10. “The most important thing in all human relationships is conversation, but people don’t talk anymore, they don’t sit down to talk and listen. They go to the theater, the cinema, watch television, listen to the radio, read books, but they almost never talk. If we want to change the world, we have to go back to a time when warriors would gather around a fire and tell stories.”

28/5/1974

Washington Post

May 28, 1974: A group of armed men breaks into my apartment. They start going through drawers and cabinets — but I don’t know what they’re looking for, I’m just a rock songwriter. One of them, more gentle, asks that I accompany them “just to clarify some things.” The neighbor sees all this and warns my family, who immediately panic. Everyone knew what Brazil was living at the time, even if it wasn’t covered in the newspapers.

I was taken to the DOPS (Departamento de Ordem Politica e Social), booked and photographed. I ask what I had done, he says they will ask the questions. A lieutenant asks silly questions and lets me go. From that point on I’m officially no longer in prison — so the government is no longer responsible for me. When I leave, the man who took me to the DOPS suggests we have coffee together. He stops a taxi and gently opens the door. I get in and ask to go to my parents’ house — they need to know what happened.

On the way, the taxi is blocked by two cars — a man with a gun in his hand exists from one of the cars and pulls me out. I fall to the ground, and feel the barrel of the gun in the back of my neck. I look at a hotel in front of me and think, “I can’t die so soon.” I fall into a kind of catatonic state: I don’t feel afraid, I don’t feel anything. I know the stories of other friends who have disappeared; I will disappear, and the last thing I will see is a hotel. The man picks me up, puts me on the floor of his car and tells me to put on a hood.

[Read this in Portuguese.]

The car drives around for maybe half an hour. They must be choosing a place to execute me — but I still don’t feel anything, I’ve accepted my destiny. The car stops. I’m dragged out and beaten as I’m pushed down what appears to be a corridor. I scream, but I know no one is listening, because they are also screaming. Terrorist, they say. You deserve to die. You’re fighting against your country. You’re going to die slowly, but you’re going to suffer a lot first. Paradoxically, my instinct for survival begins to kick in little by little.

I’m taken to the torture room with a raised floor. I stumble on it because I can’t see anything: I ask them not to push me, but I get punched in the back and fall down. They tell me to take off my clothes. The interrogation begins with questions I don’t know how to answer. They ask me to betray people I have never heard of. They say I don’t want to cooperate, throw water on the floor and put something on my feet — then I see from underneath the hood that it is a machine with electrodes that are then attached to my genitals.

Now I understand that, in addition to the blows I can’t see coming (and therefore can’t even contract my body to cushion the impact of), I’m about to get electric shocks. I tell them they don’t have to do this — I’ll confess whatever they want me to confess, I’ll sign whatever they want me to sign. But they are not satisfied. Then, in desperation, I begin to scratch my skin, tearing off pieces of myself. The torturers must have been frightened when they saw me covered in my own blood; they leave me alone. They say I can take off the hood when I hear the door slam. I take it off and see that I’m in a soundproof room, with bullet holes on the walls. That explains the raised floor.

The next day, another torture session, with the same questions. I repeat that I’ll sign whatever they want, I’ll confess whatever they want, just tell me what I must confess. They ignore my requests. After I don’t how long and how many sessions (time in hell is not counted in hours), there’s a knock on the door and they put the hood back on. A man grabs me by the arm and tells me, embarrassed: It’s not my fault. I’m taken to a small room, painted completely black, with a very strong air-conditioner. They turn off the light. Only darkness, cold and a siren that plays incessantly. I begin to go mad. I have visions of horses. I knock on the door of the “fridge” (I found out later that was what they called it), but no one opens it. I faint. I wake up and faint again and again, and at one point I think: better to get beaten than to stay in here.

I wake up, and I’m still in the room. The light is always on, and I’m unable to tell how many days or nights went by. I stand there for what seems like eternity. Years later, my sister tells me my parents couldn’t sleep; my mother cried all the time, my father locked himself in silence and did not speak.

I am no longer interrogated. Solitary confinement. One fine day, someone throws my clothes on the floor and tells me to get dressed. I get dressed and put on my hood. I’m taken to a car and thrown in the trunk. We drive for what feels like forever, until they stop — am I going to die now? They order me to take off the hood and get out of the trunk. I’m in a public square filled with kids, somewhere in Rio but I don’t know where.

I head to my parents’ house. My mother has grown old, my father says I shouldn’t go outside anymore. I reach out to my friends, I look for my singer — nobody answers the phone. I’m alone: If I was arrested, I must have done something, they must be thinking. It’s risky to be seen with a former prisoner. I may have left prison, but prison stays with me. Redemption comes when two people who were not even close to me offer me a job. My parents would never fully recover.

Decades later, the archives of the dictatorship are made public, and my biographer gets all the material. I ask why I was arrested: an informant accused you, he says. Do you want to know who reported you? I don’t. It won’t change the past.

And it’s these Years of Lead that President Jair Bolsonaro — after referring in Congress to one of the most heinous torturers as his idol — wants to celebrate on Sunday.

28 abril 1974 (reprodução livre)

28 de maio de 1974: um grupo de homens armados invade meu apartamento. Começam a revirar gavetas e armários – não sei o que estão procurando, sou apenas um compositor de rock. Um deles, mais gentil, pede que os acompanhe “apenas para esclarecer algumas coisas”. O vizinho vê tudo aquilo e avisa minha família, que entra em desespero. Todo mundo sabia o que o Brasil vivia naquele momento, mesmo que nada fosse publicado nos jornais.

Sou levado para o DOPS (Departamento de Ordem Política e Social), fichado e fotografado. Pergunto o que fiz, ele diz que ali quem pergunta são eles. Um tenente me faz umas perguntas tolas, e me deixa ir embora. Oficialmente já não sou mais preso: o governo não é mais responsável por mim. Quando saio, o homem que me levara ao DOPS sugere que tomemos um café juntos. Em seguida, escolhe um táxi e abre gentilmente a porta. Entro e peço para que vá até a casa de meus pais – espero que não saibam o que aconteceu.

No caminho, o táxi é fechado por dois carros; de dentro de um deles sai um homem com uma arma na mão e me puxa para fora. Caio no chão, sinto o cano da arma na minha nuca. Olho um hotel diante de mim e penso: “não posso morrer tão cedo.” Entro em uma espécie de catatonia: não sinto medo, não sinto nada. Conheço as histórias de outros amigos que desapareceram; sou um desaparecido, e minha última visão será a de um hotel. Ele me levanta, me coloca no chão do seu carro, e pede que eu coloque um capuz.

O carro roda por talvez meia hora. Devem estar escolhendo um lugar para me executarem – mas continuo sem sentir nada, estou conformado com meu destino. O carro para. Sou retirado e espancado enquanto ando por aquilo que parece ser um corredor. Grito, mas sei que ninguém está ouvindo, porque eles também estão gritando. Terrorista, dizem. Merece morrer. Está lutando contra seu país. Vai morrer devagar, mas antes vai sofrer muito. Paradoxalmente, meu instinto de sobrevivência começa a retornar aos poucos.

Sou levado para a sala de torturas, com uma soleira. Tropeço na soleira porque não consigo ver nada: peço que não me empurrem, mas recebo um soco pelas costas e caio. Mandam que tire a roupa. Começa o interrogatório com perguntas que não sei responder. Pedem para que delate gente de quem nunca ouvi falar. Dizem que não quero cooperar, jogam água no chão e colocam algo no meus pés, e posso ver por debaixo do capuz que é uma máquina com eletrodos que são fixados nos meus genitais.

Entendo que, além das pancadas que não sei de onde vêm (e portanto não posso nem sequer contrair o corpo para amortecer o impacto), vou começar a levar choques. Eu digo que não precisam fazer isso, confesso o que quiser, assino onde mandarem. Mas eles não se contentam. Então, desesperado, começo a arranhar minha pele, tirar pedaços de mim mesmo. Os torturadores devem ter se assustado quando me veem coberto de sangue; pouco depois me deixam em paz. Dizem que posso tirar o capuz quando escutar a porta bater. Tiro o capuz e vejo que estou em uma sala a prova de som, com marcas de tiros nas paredes. Por isso a soleira.

No dia seguinte, outra sessão de tortura, com as mesmas perguntas. Repito que assino o que desejarem, confesso o que quiserem, apenas me digam o que devo confessar. Eles ignoram meus pedidos. Depois de não sei quanto tempo e quantas sessões (o tempo no inferno não se conta em horas), batem na porta e pedem para que coloque o capuz. O sujeito me pega pelo braço e diz, constrangido: não é minha culpa. Sou levado para uma sala pequena, toda pintada de negro, com um ar-condicionado fortíssimo. Apagam a luz. Só escuridão, frio, e uma sirene que toca sem parar. Começo a enlouquecer, a ter visões de cavalos. Bato na porta da “geladeira” (descobri mais tarde que esse era o nome), mas ninguém abre. Desmaio. Acordo e desmaio várias vezes, e em uma delas penso: melhor apanhar do que ficar aqui dentro.

Quando acordo estou de novo na sala. Luz sempre acesa, sem poder contar dias e noites. Fico ali o que parece uma eternidade. Anos depois, minha irmã me conta que meus pais não dormiam mais; minha mãe chorava o tempo todo, meu pai se trancou em um mutismo e não falava.

Já não sou mais interrogado. Prisão solitária. Um belo dia, alguém joga minhas roupas no chão e pede que eu me vista. Me visto e coloco o capuz. Sou levado até um carro e posto na mala. Giram por um tempo que parece infinito, até que param – vou morrer agora? Mandam-me tirar o capuz e sair da mala. Estou em uma praça com crianças, não sei em que parte do Rio.

Vou para a casa de meus pais. Minha mãe envelheceu, meu pai diz que não devo mais sair na rua. Procuro os amigos, procuro o cantor, e ninguém responde ao meus telefonemas. Estou só: se fui preso devo ter alguma culpa, devem pensar. É arriscado ser visto ao lado de um preso. Saí da prisão mas ela me acompanha. A redenção vem quando duas pessoas que sequer eram próximas de mim me oferecem emprego. Meus pais nunca se recuperaram.

Decadas depois, os arquivos da ditadura são abertos e meu biógrafo consegue todo o material. Pergunto por que fui preso: uma denúncia, ele diz. Quer saber quem o denunciou? Não quero. Não vai mudar o passado.

E são essas décadas de chumbo que o Presidente Jair Bolsonaro – depois de mencionar no Congresso um dos piores torturadores como seu ídolo – quer festejar nesse dia 31 de março.

“Things As They Are”

by Paulo Coelho

“Of course things don’t always happen they way we wish they would. There are moments in which we feel we are seeking something that is not meant for us, knocking on doors that don’t open, waiting for miracles that don’t manifest themselves. Fortunately that is the way things are – if everything went the way we wanted, soon we would no longer have anything to write about, nothing to guide our daily thoughts. This script serves our dreams as nourishment, but to our battles as energy. And as it always happens with the warriors that spend all their energy in the Good Fight, there are moments in which it is best to relax and believe that the Universe is still working for us secretly, even if we cannot comprehend it.And so, let us allow the Soul of the World to fulfill its mission, and if we can’t help, the best way to collaborate is to pay attention to the simple things in life; the sunset, the people in the street, the reading of a book.

However, in many cases, time continues passing and nothing exceptional happens. But the true warrior of light believes. Just like children believe. Because they believe in miracles, the miracles begin to happen. Because they are certain that their thoughts can change their lives, their lives begin to change. Because they are certain they will find love, this love appears. Sometimes they are disappointed. Sometimes they feel hurt. Then they hear the comments, “You are so naïve!” But the warrior knows it is worth the price. To each defeat, there are two conquests in his favor.”

20 SEC READING: the best temptation

 

Illustration by Ken Crane
A group of devils were trying to enter the soul of a holy man who lived near Cairo; they had already tempted him with Nubian women, Egyptian food, Libyan treasure, but nothing had worked.

One day, Satan passed and saw his servants’ efforts.

– You’re hopeless – said Satan. – You haven’t used the only technique no one can resist; I’ll teach you.

He went over to the holy man and whispered in his ear:

– Remember the priest who studied under you? He’s just been made Bishop of Alexandria.

Immediately, the holy man was filled with rage, and blasphemed against God’s injustice.

– The next time, use this temptation – said Satan to his subjects.

“Men can resist almost everything, but they are always jealous of the victory of a fellow man.”

 

Online Bookstore HERE
Kindle (four languages) HERE

 

25 Quotes

by Flavia Medrut

Paulo Coelho is one of the best-selling contemporary novelists. The Alchemist, the book that brought him worldwide fame, is one the few novels to be translated across the globe, with readers from all backgrounds praising it as a life-changing, inspiring piece of literature.

Coelho had a very unique way of thinking even as a child, and constantly opposed the traditional ways and the restrictions they impose. Yet his rebelliousness came with a price. A son of highly rigorous parents, Coelho’s behavior was rarely tolerated, his parents ending up committing him into a mental institution — from which he managed to escape three times. No, he wasn’t crazy and his parents never meant him harm. As we’re already painfully aware, people can be quite rigid to less conventional ways of thinking, and sometimes, the more different your ideas are, the harder will be for others to accept them.

Confident and charming, Coelho is an author who rejects the self-help label and writes for his own heart. Written with a touch of madness, here are 25 Paulo Coelho quotes filled with life changing lessons.

 

Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.

 

No one can lie, no one can hide anything, when he looks directly into someone’s eyes.

 

When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.

 

Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing which to do is the worse kind of suffering.

 

Love is a trap. When it appears, we see only its light, not its shadows.

 

You drown not by falling into a river, but by staying submerged in it.

 

One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.

 

You have to take risks. We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen.

 

It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.

 

When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.

 

There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.

 

paulo-coelho-secret-of-lifeThe secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.

 

The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them.

 

Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.

 

When someone leaves, it’s because someone else is about to arrive.

 

Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dream.

 

Nothing in the world is ever completely wrong. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

 

Don’t waste your time with explanations: people only hear what they want to hear.

 

When you find your path, you must not be afraid. You need to have sufficient courage to make mistakes. Disappointment, defeat, and despair are the tools God uses to show us the way.

 

Tears are words that need to be written.

 

Now that she had nothing to lose, she was free.

 

paulo-coelho-quote-you-are-who-you-believe-to-beYou are what you believe yourself to be.

 

I can choose either to be a victim of the world or an adventurer in search of treasure. It’s all a question of how I view my life.

 

Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle.

 

No one loses anyone, because no one owns anyone. That is the true experience of freedom: having the most important thing in the world without owning it.

Saint Joseph’s Day

St joseph

 

PORTUGUES Faze Senhor, que o trabalho nos purifique 

ITALIANO Preghiera a San Giuseppe

ESPANOL Glorioso San José

FRANÇAIS Saint Joseph, priez pour nous

 

I will be with my wife in a small village, and I will pray at 8:30 PM the prayer below. Plase fell free to join me in this prayer, or – what is better –  to find one in your mother tongue and to pray on your  time zone. Let’s cover this planet with positive energy!

You can go to the search here in my blog, and find the previous celebrations (and prayers)
May St. Joseph bless your family and your work

Glorious St. Joseph
model of all who are devoted to labor,
obtain for me the grace
to work conscientiously by placing love of duty above my inclinations;
to gratefully and joyously deem it an honor to employ and to develop by labor
the gifts I have received from God,
to work methodically, peacefully,
in moderation and patience,
without ever shrinking from it through difficulty to work;
above all, with purity of intention and unselfishness,
having unceasingly before my eyes
the account I have to render of time lost,
talents unused, good not done,
and vain complacency in success.
St. Joseph, inspire and guide me for the time to come.
 

1 MIN READING: The Favor Bank

‘What is this Favor Bank?’
‘It was an American writer who first mentioned it. It’s the most powerful bank in the world, and you’ll find it in every sphere of life.’

‘What favors could I do for anyone?’

‘That doesn’t matter in the least. Let me give you an example: I know that one day, you’ll be very influential. I know this because, like you, I too was once ambitious, independent, honest. I no longer have the energy I once had, but I want to help you because I can’t or don’t want to grind to a halt just yet.
I start making deposits in your account – not cash deposits, you understand, but contacts. I introduce you to such and such a person, I arrange certain deals, as long as they’re legal. You know that you owe me something, but I never ask you for anything.’

‘And then one day…’
‘ One day, I’ll ask you for a favor. You do what I ask, I continue to help you, and other people see that you’re a decent, loyal sort of person and so they too make deposits in your account – always in the form of contacts, because this world is made up of contacts and nothing else. They too will one day ask you for a favor, and you will respect and help the people who have helped you. You’ll know everyone you need to know and your influence will keep on growing.’

‘I could refuse to do what you ask me to do.’

‘You could. The Favor Bank is a risky investment, just like any other bank. You refuse to grant the favor I asked you, in the belief that I helped you because you deserved to be helped, because everyone should recognize your talent. Fine, I say thank you very much and ask someone else into whose account I’ve also made various deposits, but from then on, everyone knows, without me having to say a word, that you are not to be trusted.

‘And…’
‘You’ll grow only half as much as you could have grown, and certainly not as much as you would have liked to. At a certain point, your life will begin to decline, you got halfway, but not all the way. Neither frustrated nor fulfilled. You’re neither cold nor hot, you’re lukewarm, and as an evangelist in some holy book says: “Lukewarm things are not pleasing to the palate.”‘

___________________

as told to the main character, the writer, in THE ZAHIR

20 SEC READING: How poor we are

EN ESPANOL AQUI: Que pobres somos
_________________________________________
 

Illustration by Ken Crane
One day a father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose of showing his son how poor people live.

They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family.
On their return from the trip, the father asked his son, “How was the trip?”
“It was great, Dad”.

“Did you see how poor people live?” the father asked.

“Oh yes”, said the son.
“So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?” asked the father.

The son answered:
“I saw that we have one dog and they had four.
“We have a pool that reaches to the middle of the garden and they have a creek that has no end.
“We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night.

“Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon.
“We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight.

“We buy our food, but they grow theirs.
“We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them.”

The boy’s father was speechless. Then his son added:
“Thanks, Dad for showing me how poor we are.”

story sent by Sangeeta

Copying the teacher

By Paulo Coelho

A disciple who loved and admired his teacher decided to observe his behaviour minutely, believing that if he did everything that his teacher did, then he would also acquire his teacher’s wisdom.

The teacher always wore white, and so his disciple did the same.

The teacher was a vegetarian, and so his disciple stopped eating meat and replaced it with a diet of vegetables and herbs.

The teacher was an austere man, and so the disciple decided to devote himself to self-sacrifice and started sleeping on a straw mattress.

After some time, the teacher noticed these changes in his disciple’s behaviour and asked him why.

‘I am climbing the steps of initiation,’ came the reply. ‘The white of my clothes shows the simplicity of my search, the vegetarian food purifies my body, and the lack of comfort makes me think only of spiritual things.’

Smiling, the teacher took him to a field where a horse was grazing.

‘You have spent all this time looking outside yourself, which is what matters least,’ he said. ‘Do you see that creature there? He has white skin, eats only grass and sleeps in a stable on a straw bed. Do you think he has the face of a saint or will one day become a real teacher?’

Welcome to Share with Friends – Free Texts for a Free Internet

Live The Life of Your Dreams

From valuepreneurs.com

“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”?—?Paulo Coelho

One of my favorite books is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. The first time I read it was on a train from Beijing to Xi’an in China. An interesting train ride to reflect upon one’s dream. To say the least.

Imagine thousands of people on a platform, all eager to get a seat. Unfortunately, we were late booking tickets, and we could only get 3rd class seats, instead of a bed on the train. The train ride took 14 hours.

The people fighting in front of the train doors apparently bought standing tickets in 3rd class. I didn’t know such a thing existed. They brought foldable chairs and literally sat everywhere. Even in the toilets.

There I sat. A Chinese man nodding to sleep on my shoulder, reading the Alchemist. But I didn’t care. The story was mesmerizing. Now, 7 years later, I finally re-read it. And it all clicked.

I’m not a woolly person, but now I’m finally following my dream of becoming a writer, I just understood some things about following your dreams. I identified the following 8 steps from quotes from the book in order to successfully go after your dream too.


#1: Find Your Path

Coelho: “The boy didn’t know what a person’s “destiny” was.

It’s what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their destiny is. […] It prepares your spirit and your will, because there is one great truth on this planet: whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It’s your mission on earth.”

I used to hate that word: destiny. But why should I? Call it whatever you want, fate, your calling, a dream or a goal. It’s not some esoteric hocus pocus. It’s SOMETHING that moves you from where you are right now to where you should be heading. And one would do well to follow its directions.

So what do you dream of doing?

#2: Don’t Ignore Your Childhood Dreams

What was it you wanted to be when you would grow old? In kindergarten, we always wrote in each other’s journals to answer questions about our favorite things in life. In addition, we had to write down what we wanted to be when we would be adults. I always wrote down: to be a writer or a chef.

Coelho: “We, people’s hearts, seldom say much about those treasures, because people no longer want to go in search of them. We speak of them only to children. Later, we simply let life proceed, in its own direction, toward its own fate. But, unfortunately, very few follow the path laid out for them?—?the path to their destinies, and to happiness. Most people see the world as a threatening place, and, because they do, the world turns out, indeed, to be a threatening place.

People learn, early in their lives, what is their reason for being,” said the old man, with a certain bitterness. “Maybe that’s why they give up on it so early, too. But that’s the way it is.”

It’s like asking an adult: what would you do with your life when money is no object?

We have responsibilities, bills, we need to “fit in” or please our parents. I went to Business School because I figured I’d always be able to find a job with a degree in business or perhaps ‘make it big’. With that, I lost sight of what I wanted to do most.

#3: Choose Your Path

Coelho: “Making a decision was only the beginning of things. When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.”

When I read the phrase above, I had to put the book down. It’s so true! One and a half years ago, I finally decided not only to write but publish my work too.

Initially, I was working on a novel, but something just wasn’t right. Then I had an idea for a short story about a man who one day found a money tree growing in his garden. My short story blog was born. This decision let me on a magnificent and exciting path.

I found a hidden alley on the road that is my life. I knew it was there, but never before had I been able to find it. Let alone dare enter it.


#4: DO What’s Outside of Your Comfort Zone

When I entered the door, I found there to be a new trail. It was raw and wild, without a road. A huge difference to the road I was used walking on, which was neat and well walked on.

Coelho: “He had to choose between something he had become accustomed to and something he wanted to have.”

Go through your own hidden door. What is it you always wanted to do but never did because life happened? How could you make it work given your current lifestyle? Make time for it.

When you decide to take the plunge, you have to leave your comfortable life. You have to do something outside of your comfort zone (I know, a big fat cliché, but it’s a cliché for a reason). It’s always scary, and I’m not going to talk about the magic that happens outside of your comfort zone. You probably read about that somewhere else.

Just take one small step. If we stick to writing, write 100 words a day.

#5: Change and Take Action

Coelho: “I don’t want to change anything, because I don’t know how to deal with change. I’m used to the way I am.

Why ask more out of life?

Because we have to respond to omens.”

Who knows how to deal with change? Just let it take you somewhere new. Ride the currents with grace. You can be that person who follows his or her dream.

Ask more out of life because you deserve more. You have one shot at life (presumably, but let’s not go there).

Coelho: “There is only one way to learn,” the alchemist answered. “It’s through action. Everything you need to know you have learned through your journey.”

Enough said. Please DO.

#6: Live in the Present

Coelho: “I’m interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man.

How do I guess at the future? Based on the omens of the present. The secret is here in the present. If you pay attention to the present, you can improve upon it. And, if you improve on the present, what comes later will also be better.”

So you’re taking a chance upon one of your dreams, you’ve listened to your omens. It’s a journey full of obstacles, lessons, and, inevitably, growth.

Don’t dwell on the fact that you didn’t act sooner, you’re acting now. Don’t linger on future daydreams either. I get it, you see yourself achieving your dream, but that alone won’t get you there. Make a plan, take incremental steps to achieve your goals. Do this every day. The only moment you can do something is now.

#7: Ignore the Projections of Others

Coelho: “When someone sees the same people every day, […] they wind up becoming a part of that person’s life. And then they want the person to change. If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.”

This happens a lot. When you follow something you’re passionate about and chase a dream some people will discourage you. Know that most of them do this because they haven’t done anything about their dreams.

However, accept people’s honest advice when things aren’t working out. You’ll hate them for saying it, but deep down you know if something is working out or not.

#8: Face Your Fears

Coelho: “Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.

If a person is living out his destiny, he knows everything he needs to know. There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”

If you don’t know how to do anything, you have to learn it. If you try, you’ll one day die knowing you tried. That’s always better than thinking what could’ve been.

Ask for help. Google. Follow courses. Read about the subject you’re interested in.

Conclusion

Maybe it’s just me, but this book resonated with me so strongly the second time I read it. Perhaps it’s because I feel such a powerful pull into the direction of writing. Like an invisible magnet is pulling me towards the North, the place where I achieve my dream.

I just need to act upon it, become better, face my fears and see where that new alley takes me. Hopefully, I can turn it into a beautiful, well-trodden path of success.

Dreams and obsessions


Your theory about every person could reach everything in life is really optimistic. But if the person tried once and was despaired and disappointed what is he going to do?
(Antoine Rigal, Lyon, France)

There is sometimes a bit of confusion in regards to a passage in my book The Alchemist: “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

Some people sometimes want things that in the end won’t truly help them. Life is strange: the happier people can be, the unhappier they are. I have some friends that think they exist because they have “problems” to solve. Without “problems” they are nobody.

The Universe is merely an echo of our desires, regardless of whether they are constructive or destructive ones.

One has to also keep in mind the difference between a dream and an obsession. I mention personal legend in The Alchemist, and I wrote a book about obsession, The Zahir.

When you follow your personal legend, you walk your path and learn from it. The objective doesn’t blind you to the road that takes you there.

On the other hand obsession is what prevents you from admiring the teachings of life.

It’s like trying to get to your objective without passing through the challenges.

I realized that despite the fear and the bruises of life, one has to keep on fighting for one’s dream.
As Borges said in his writings “there is no other virtue than being brave”.

And one has to understand that being brave is not the absence of fear but rather the strength to keep on going forward despite the fear.

“To God: How did you get invented?”

I found in Keithpp’s Blog this very interesting entry:

A non-believer who sends his six-year-old daughter Lulu to a Scottish church primary school.
Her teachers asked her to write the following letter: “To God, How did you get invented?”
The Rentons were taken aback: “We had no idea that a state primary affiliated with a church would do quite so much God,” says her father.
He chose emailing her letter to the Scottish Episcopal Church (no reply), the Presbyterians (ditto) and the Scottish Catholics (a nice but theologically complex answer).
For good measure, he also sent it to “the head of theology of the Anglican Communion, based at Lambeth Palace” (Archbishop Rowan ) “and this was the response:

“Dear Lulu:

Nobody invented me – but lots of people discovered me and were quite surprised.

They discovered me when they looked round at the world and thought it was really beautiful or really mysterious and wondered where it came from.

They discovered me when they were very very quiet on their own and felt a sort of peace and love they hadn’t expected.

Then they invented ideas about me – some of them sensible and some of them not very sensible.

From time to time I sent them some hints “specially in the life of Jesus” to help them get closer to what I’m really like.

But there was nothing and nobody around before me to invent me.

Rather like somebody who writes a story in a book, I started making up the story of the world

and eventually invented human beings like you who could ask me awkward questions!”

2 MIN READ: Writing (ENG, ESPA, PORT)

ESPANOL AQUI–> El acto de escribir

PORTUGUES AQUI –> O ato de escrever

“There are two types of writers: those who make you think and those who make you dream” says Brian Aldiss, who made me dream for such a long time with his science-fiction books. In principle I believe that every human being on this planet has at least one good story to tell his neighbor. What follows are my reflections on some important items in the process of creating a text:

Above all else, the writer has to be a good reader. The kind that sticks to academic texts and does not read what others write (and here I’m not just talking about books but also blogs, newspaper columns and so on) will never know his own qualities and defects.

So, before starting anything, look for people who are interested in sharing their experience through words. I’m not saying: “look for other writers”. What I say is: find people with different skills, because writing is no different from any other activity that is done with enthusiasm.

Your allies will not necessarily be those that everyone looks on with admiration and says: “there’s nobody better”. It’s very much the opposite: it’s people who are not afraid of making mistakes, and yet they do make mistakes. That is why their work is not always recognized. But that’s the type of people who change the world, and after many mistakes they manage to get something right that will make all the difference in their community.

These are people who cannot sit around waiting for things to happen before they decide on the best way to narrate them: they decide as they act, even knowing that this can be very risky.

Living close to these people is important for writers, because they need to understand that before putting anything down on paper, they should be free enough to change direction as their imagination wanders. When a sentence comes to an end, the writer should tell himself: “while I was writing I traveled a long road. Now I can finish this paragraph in the full awareness that I have risked enough and given the best of myself.”

The best allies are those who don’t think like the others. That’s why, while you are looking for your companions, trust your intuition and don’t pay any attention to others’ remarks. People always judge others using the model of their own limitations – and at times the opinion of the community is full of prejudices and fears.

Join those who have never said: “it’s finished, I have to stop here”. Because just as winter is followed by spring, nothing comes to an end: after reaching your objective, you have to start again, always using all that you have learnt on the way.

Join those who sing, tell stories, enjoy life and have happiness in their eyes. Because happiness is contagious and always manages to keep people from being paralyzed by depression, loneliness and troubles.

And tell your story, even if it’s only for your family to read.

The Way of the Bow (ebook)

“The story might be brief, it will only take you about an hour and a half to go through it cover to cover, but the teachings it instills can be kept for a lifetime.”( F. Click)

“Well written piece that i have used to apply to my martial arts game. I would highly recommend this book to anyone that needs to apply a form of philosophy to their martial arts game” ( joesorandom review in amazon)

“The Way of the Bow” is one I will continue to re-read annually (at the very least!)”( Don Snyder)

Price: USD 2,99 or EURO 2,68


The Way of The Bow
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O Caminho do Arco
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El Camino del Arco
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