The Law of Jante…

 

– What do you think of Princess Martha-Louise?

The Norwegian journalist was interviewing me on the banks of Lake Geneva. As a rule I refuse to answer questions that are not relevant to my work, but in this case there was a reason for his curiosity: on the dress that she had worn on her 30th birthday, the Princess had asked them to embroider the names of some people who had been important in her life – and my name was among them (my wife found the idea so good that she decided to do the same when she turned 50, sewing in one corner of her dress the credit “inspired by the Princess of Norway”).
– I think she is a sensitive, delicate, intelligent person – I answered. – I had the opportunity to meet her in Oslo, when she introduced me to her husband, a writer like myself.
I paused a little, but felt the need to add:
– And there is something that I honestly fail to understand: why did the Norwegian press begin to criticize her husband’s literary work after he got married to the Princess? Before that, all his reviews were positive.
It was not exactly a question, more of a provocation, because I already imagined the answer: the reviews had changed because people feel envy, the most bitter of all human sentiments.
The journalist, however, was more sophisticated than that:
– Because he broke the Law of Jante.
Of course I had never heard of this, so he explained what it was. I continued on my journey and discovered it is hard to find anyone in any of the Scandinavian countries who does not know this law. Although the law exists since the beginning of civilization, it was only officially declared in 1933 by writer Aksel Sandemose in the novel “A refugee goes beyond limits.”
The sad truth is that the Law of Jante is not restricted to Scandinavia: this is a rule applied in every country in the world, despite the fact that Brazilians say that “this only happens here,” and the French claim that “unfortunately, that’s how it is in our country.” Now, the reader must be annoyed because he/she is already half way through the column and still does not know what the Law of Jante is all about, so I’ll try to explain it here briefly in my own words:
“You aren’t worth a thing, nobody is interested in what you think, mediocrity and anonymity are your best bet. If you act this way, you will never have any big problems in life.”
The Law of Jante focuses on the feeling of jealousy and envy that sometimes causes so much trouble to people like Ari Behn, the husband of Princess Martha-Louise. This is one of its negative aspects, but there is something far more dangerous.
And this law is accountable for the world being manipulated in all possible manners by people who have no fear of what the others say and end up practicing the evil they desire. We have just witnessed a useless war in Iraq, which is still costing many lives; we see a huge abyss between the rich and the poor countries of the world, social injustice on all sides, unbridled violence, people being forced to give up their dreams because of unfair and cowardly attacks. Before starting the second world war, Hitler sent out several signals as to his intentions, and what encouraged him to go ahead was the knowledge that nobody would dare to defy him because of the Law of Jante.
Mediocrity may be comfortable, up to the day that tragedy knocks at the door and people start to wonder: “but why did nobody say anything, if everybody could see that this was going to happen?”
Simple: nobody said anything because the others did not say anything either.
So in order to prevent things from growing any worse, maybe this is the right moment to write the anti-Law of Jante:
“You are worth far more than you think. Your work and presence on this Earth are important, even though you may not think so. Of course, thinking in this way, you might have many problems because you are breaking the Law of Jante – but don’t feel intimidated by them, go on living without fear and in the end you will win”

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8 Steps to Go After Your Dream and Take Action

 

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.


TIME magazine interview

Your new novel, Hippie, is based on your experiences exploring South America and Europe in the 1970s. Why write this story now?

We have lost the ability to hear what our neighbors have to say. We have polite conversations, but at the end of the day, we don’t hear them. There was a moment in time when we were full of hope and we thought that we were going to change the world.

Do you think there was a dark side to hippie life?

There were drugs and sex, but I wouldn’t call those things the dark side. A lot of money was spent in promoting how drugs were dangerous to the world. They are–but I think they are more dangerous now than they were then.

What did your generation fail to understand about society?

My generation understood that once a hippie, always a hippie. Of course, I could not be a hippie today, sitting comfortably here in Geneva. But my values are still the same: simplify your life, eat healthy, respect women. My generation understood the mind and our desire to journey–but then it came time to support ourselves. And it became difficult to broker a peace between the two.

Does President Donald Trump represent the flip side of hippie culture?

I have no comment about Trump. Trump is an American problem. I hate when people start talking about my country and try to give opinions about how we manage it. People need to learn how to survive without America being responsible for everything.

What is essential about the story of your main character in Hippie, also named Paulo, and Karla, the woman he travels with?

We were two people who were very curious about life and all of the possibilities. Karla is the woman who asked me to go with her to Nepal. I went because experience was the most important thing in life–and it still is. Karla and I were able to journey and willing to put ourselves at risk. The book talks about me being in jail and tortured because the military dictatorship did not understand us.

The two have a complicated love for each other in the novel. Have you ever been in love?

I don’t remember not being in love. There are very different types of love. There’s Eros, love for another person. There’s Philia, love for wisdom. And there is Pragma, which is love that goes beyond everything. Having said that, I have been married for 38 years. I cannot see my life without my wife. Every time I go to sleep, I look at her and she is already sleeping. And I say to myself, “Oh my God, this is the greatest blessing in my life, to have found the person who understands me.”

Looking back on the 30 years since your best-known book, The Alchemist, was published, how would you say your life has changed?

The Alchemist changed everything in my life. It was a very slow process that I started when I was 40, so I had time to adjust. I did not become nuts because I went from zero to having a lot of money. What you have to do is learn how to express your soul. And this is what I am still doing. I hope I will write until the day I die.

Is there any chance we’ll see a movie adaptation of one of your books soon?

No. I never see my books as movies. Of course, I was stupid enough, or it was vanity, that when The Alchemist was released in America, it was immediately sold to Hollywood. A book is not improved when it becomes a movie. A book is something that stimulates creativity in the reader. The movie–you have everything already.

 

Hope


According to the dictionary
: a tendency of the spirit to consider something as probable; the second of the theological virtues; expectation; supposition; probability.

For the ancient Greeks: In one of the classic myths of the Creation, one of the gods, furious at the fact that Prometheus stole fire and in doing so gave men their independence, sends Pandora to marry her brother Epimetheus. Pandora brings along a box, which she is forbidden to open. However, just as happens to Eve in the Christian myth, her curiosity gets the better of her: she raises the lid to see what is inside, and at this moment all the troubles of the world spill out and spread all over the Earth. Only one thing remains inside: Hope, the only arm to combat the misfortune that has scattered throughout the world.

In a Hassidic story (Jewish tradition): At the end of the forty days of deluge, Noah emerged from the Ark. He disembarked full of hope, lit some incense, looked around him, and all he saw was destruction and death. Noah cried out:
“Lord Almighty, if you knew the future, why did you create man? Just for the pleasure of punishing him?”
A triple perfume rose to the sky: the incense, the perfume of Noah’s tears, and the aroma of his actions.
Then came the answer:
“The prayers of a just man are always heard. Let me tell you why I did this: so that might understand your work. You and your descendants will use hope and will always be rebuilding a world that came from nothing. In that way we shall share the work and the consequences: now we are both responsible.”

The individual’s three greatest hopes: 1] Meeting the beloved one; 2] to be rich; 3] immortality. (Source: Irving Wallace, The Book of Lists, 1977)

An Arab story: The great Caliph Alrum Al-Rachid decided to build a palace that would mark the grandeur of his reign. Besides the chosen terrain stood a shack. Al-Rachid asked his minister to convince the owner – an old weaver – to sell it to be demolished. The minister tried, but without any success.
Back at the palace, it was suggested that they simply expel the old man from the site.
“No,” answered Al-Rachid. “It will become part of my legacy to my people. When they see the palace, they will say: he was great. And when they see the shack, they will say: he was just, because he respected the desire of others.”

AND NOW…

30 SEC READ: Success

Success comes to those who do not waste time comparing what they are doing with what others are doing; it enters the house of the person who says every day: ‘I will do my best.’

People who seek only success rarely find it, because success is not an end in itself, but a consequence.

Obsession doesn’t help at all, it becomes confused as to which path to follow and ends up taking away the pleasure of living.

The truly rich person is the one who is in contact with the energy of Love every second of his existence.

You must have a goal in mind, but, as you go along, it costs nothing to stop now and then and enjoy the view around you.

At such moments, it is important to ask yourself: ‘Are my values still intact? Am I trying to please others and do what they expect of me, or am I really convinced that my work is a manifestation of my soul and my enthusiasm? Do I want success at any price or do I want to be a successful person because I manage to fill my days with Love?’

Do that in 2019. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

20 SEC READ: Changes

Think of the lizard.
It spends most of its life on the ground, envying the birds and indignant at its fate and its shape.

“I am the most disliked of all the creatures,” it thinks. “Ugly, repulsive, and condemned to
crawl along the ground.”

One day, though, Mother Nature asks the lizard to make a cocoon. The lizard is startled -it has never made a cocoon before.
It thinks that it is building his tomb, and prepares to die.
Although unhappy with life it has led up until then, it complains to God:
“Just when I finally became accustomed to things, Lord, you take away what little I have.”

In desperation, it locks himself into the cocoon and awaits the end.
Some days later, it finds that it has been transformed into a beautiful Butterfly. It is able to fly to the sky, and it is greatly admired.

 

in Maktub by Paulo Coelho

44 Paulo Coelho Quotes On Love, Life, And Friendship

 

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

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

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

#4 “Our true friends are those who are with us when the good things happen. They cheer us on and are pleased by our triumphs. False friends only appear at difficult times, with their sad, supportive faces, when, in fact, our suffering is serving to console them for their miserable lives.”

#5 “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

#6 “The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.”

#7 “Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.”

#8 “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”

#9 “What’s the world’s greatest lie?… It’s this: that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate.”

#10 “The two hardest tests on the spiritual road are the patience to wait for the right moment and the courage not to be disappointed with what we encounter.”Paulo Coelho

#11 “You have two choices, to control your mind or to let your mind control you.”

#12 “Everything that happens once can never happen again. But everything that happens twice will surely happen a third time.”

#13 “No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world. And normally he doesn’t know it.”

#14 “Be crazy! But learn how to be crazy without being the center of attention. Be brave enough to live different.”

#15 “Passion makes a person stop eating, sleeping, working, feeling at peace. A lot of people are frightened because, when it appears, it demolishes all the old things it finds in its path.”Paulo Coelho

#16 “If you love someone, you must be prepared to set them free.”

#17 “So, I love you because the entire universe conspired to help me find you.”

#18 “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.”

#19 “I’ve learned that waiting is the most difficult bit, and I want to get used to the feeling, knowing that you’re with me, even when you’re not by my side.”

#20 “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.”Paulo Coelho

#21 “Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing which to do is the worst kind of suffering.”

#22 “This is what we call love. When you are loved, you can do anything in creation. When you are loved, there’s no need at all to understand what’s happening, because everything happens within you.”

#23 “Love is an untamed force. When we try to control it, it destroys us. When we try to imprison it, it enslaves us. When we try to understand it, it leaves us feeling lost and confused.”

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

#25 “In real life, love has to be possible. Even if it is not returned right away, love can only survive when the hope exists that you will be able to win over the person you desire.”

Paulo Coelho

#26 “At every moment of our lives, we all have one foot in a fairy tale and the other in the abyss.”

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

#28 “Don’t listen to the malicious comments of those friends who, never taking any risks themselves, can only see other people’s failures.”

#29 “I don’t live in either my past or my future. I’m interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man. Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we’re living now.”

#30 “None of us knows what might happen even the next minute, yet still, we go forward. Because we trust. Because we have Faith.”Paulo Coelho

#31 “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.”

#32 “Forgive but do not forget, or you will be hurt again. Forgiving changes the perspectives. Forgetting loses the lesson.”

#33 “Certain things in life simply have to be experienced -and never explained. Love is such a thing.”

#34 “Don’t bother trying to explain your emotions. Live everything as intensely as you can and keep whatever you felt as a gift from God. The best way to destroy the bridge between the visible and invisible is by trying to explain your emotions.”

#35 “One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.”

#37 “When each day is the same as the next, it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises.”

#38 “When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back.”

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

#40 “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.”

#41 “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.”

#42 “If you start by promising what you don’t even have yet, you’ll lose your desire to work towards getting it.”

#43 “Don’t be intimidated by other people’s opinions. Only mediocrity is sure of itself, so take risks and do what you really want to do.”

#44 “Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed.”

Christmas Tale : The music coming from the house

 

On Christmas Eve, the king invited the prime minister to join him for their usual walk together. He enjoyed seeing the decorations in the streets, but since he didn’t want his subjects to spend too much money on these just to please him, the two men always disguised themselves as traders from some far distant land.

They walked through the centre of the city, admiring the lights, the Christmas trees, the candles burning on the steps of the houses, the stalls selling gifts, and the men, women and children hurrying off to celebrate a family Christmas around a table laden with food.

On the way back, they passed through a poorer area, where the atmosphere was quite different. There were no lights, no candles, no delicious smells of food about to be served. There was hardly a soul in the street, and, as he did every year, the king remarked to the prime minister that he really must pay more attention to the poor in his kingdom. The prime minister nodded, knowing that the matter would soon be forgotten again, buried beneath the day-to-day bureaucracy of budgets to be approved and discussions with foreign dignitaries.

Suddenly, they heard music coming from one of the poorest houses. The hut was so ramshackle and the rotten wooden timbers so full of cracks, that they were able to peer through and see what was happening inside. And what they saw was utterly absurd: an old man in a wheelchair apparently crying, a shaven-headed young woman dancing, and a young man with sad eyes shaking a tambourine and singing a folk song.

‘I’m going to find out what they’re up to,’ said the king.

He knocked. The music stopped, and the young man came to the door.

‘We are merchants in search of a place to sleep. We heard the music, saw that you were still awake, and wondered if we could spend the night here.’

‘You can find shelter in a hotel in the city. We, alas, cannot help you. Despite the music, this house is full of sadness and suffering.’

‘And may we know why?’

‘It’s all because of me.’ It was the old man in the wheelchair who spoke. ‘I’ve spent my life teaching my son calligraphy, so that he could one day get a job as a palace scribe. But the years have passed and no post has ever come up. And then, last night, I had a stupid dream: an angel appeared to me and asked me to buy a silver goblet because, the angel said, the king would be coming to visit me. He would drink from the goblet and give my son a job.

‘The angel was so persuasive that I decided to do as he said. Since we have no money, my daughter-in-law went to the market this morning to sell her hair so that we could buy that goblet over there. The two of them are doing their best to get me in the Christmas spirit by singing and dancing, but it’s no use.’

The king saw the silver goblet, asked to be given a little water to quench his thirst and, before leaving, said to the family:

‘Do you know, we were talking to the prime minister only today, and he told us that an opening for a palace scribe would be announced next week.’

The old man nodded, not really believing what he was hearing, and bade farewell to the strangers. The following morning, however, a royal proclamation was read out in all the city streets; a new scribe was needed at court. On the appointed day, the audience room at the palace was packed with people eager to compete for that much-sought-after post. The prime minister entered and asked everyone there to prepare their paper and pens:

‘Here is the subject of the composition: Why is an old man weeping, a shaven-headed woman dancing, and a sad young man singing?’

A murmur of disbelief went round the room. No one knew how to tell such a story, apart, that is, from the shabbily dressed young man sitting in one corner, who smiled broadly and began to write.

(Based on an Indian story)

Christmas Stories

Christmas-Stories Contes-de-Noel
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Contos-de-Natal Cuentos-de-Navidad
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Zehn-Weihnachtsgeschichten
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I’m not mad

dali

Drawing is the honesty of the art. There is no possibility of cheating. It is either good or bad.

Have no fear of perfection-you’ll never reach it. Mistakes are almost always of a sacred nature. Never try to correct them. On the contrary: rationalize them, understand them thoroughly.

The first man to compare the cheeks of a young woman to a rose was a poet; the first to repeat it was an idiot.

The difference between false memories and true ones is the same as for jewels: it is always the false ones that look the most real, the most brilliant.

At the age of six years I wanted to be a chef. At the age of seven I wanted to be Napoleon. My ambitions have continued to grow at the same rate ever since. Every morning when I awake, the greatest of joys is mine: that of being Salvador Dali. There are some days when I think I’m going to die from an overdose of satisfaction.

I do not paint a portrait to look like the subject, rather does the person grow to look like his portrait.

Many people do not reach their eighties because they spend too much time in their forties.

The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad.

by Salvador Dali

10 sec reading: The weight of a cross

In a certain village in Umbria (Italy), there lived a man who was always bewailing his lot.
He was a Christian, and found the weight of his cross too heavy to bear.

One night, before going to sleep, he begged God to let him change his burden.

That night he had a dream; the Lord led him to a warehouse.
“Go ahead and change it,” he said.

The man saw crosses of all sizes and shapes, with the names of their owners. He picked an average size cross – but when he saw the name of an old friend written on it, he left it aside.

Finally, as God had permitted, he chose the smallest cross he could find. To his surprise, he saw his own name written on it.

The most destructive of weapons

The most destructive of weapons is not the spear or the siege cannon, which can wound a body and demolish a wall.
The most terrible of all weapons is the word, which can ruin a life without leaving a trace of blood, and whose wounds never heal.

Let us, then, be the masters of our tongue and not the slaves of our words.
Even if words are used against us, let us not enter a battle that cannot be won.
The moment we place ourselves on the same level as some vile adversary, we will be fighting in the dark, and the only winner will be the Lord of Darkness.

Loyalty is a pearl among grains of sand, and only those who really understand its meaning can see it.

Thus the Sower of Discord can pass the same spot a thousand times and never see the little jewel that keeps together those who need to remain united.

Loyalty can never be imposed by force, fear, insecurity or intimidation.
It is a choice that only strong spirits have the courage to make.

And because it is a choice, it will never tolerate betrayal, but will always be generous with mistakes.
And because it is a choice, it withstands time and passing conflicts.

taken from THE MANUSCRIPT FOUND IN ACCRA

Motivation of Paulo Coelho for each sign

by Tech2

Paulo Coelho is a famous Brazilian writer and one of the most widely read authors in the world. His books have been translated into 67 languages ??and published in more than 150 countries. His best-selling album “Alchemist” has sold more than 65 million copies, making it one of the best-selling books in history.

If you need a motivating stimulus, now or in the new year, you can use some of the author’s most encouraging thoughts. There is definitely something to learn from him.

And here is a good advice from Coelho’s life for each of the 12 signs of the zodiac:

Aries

“Accept what life offers and try to drink from each glass of wine, all wines must taste, some of you have to drink sips, and others to drink the whole bottle.”

Taurus

“Do not live in the past or in the future, just be interested in the present, if you can always focus on the present, you will be a happy person, life will be a party for you, a great party, because life is the time the one we live now. ”

Gemini

“When we least expect it, life challenges us to test our courage and our willingness to change, at this point, it makes no sense to pretend that nothing has happened or that we are not ready.” The challenge will not wait. A week is more than enough time to decide whether to accept our destiny or not. ”

Cancer

“The secret of life is to fall seven times and become eight times.”

Lion

“There is only one thing that makes it impossible to achieve a deep and relaxed sleep: the fear of failure.”

Virgo

“Do not waste your time on explanations, people just listen to what they want to hear anyway.”

Pound

“When we really strive to improve, everything around us also improves.”

Scorpio

“Be crazy, but learn to be crazy without being in the spotlight, be brave enough to live differently.”

Sagittarius

“You can never escape from your heart, so it’s better to listen to what you have to say.”

Capricorn

“When you find your way, you must not be afraid, you must have enough courage and allow yourself to make mistakes.”

Aquarius

“Understand that fear of suffering is often worse than suffering in itself.”

Fish

“Do not let your mind dictate to your heart what to do, the mind surrenders more easily.”

18 Phrases

1- Parfois il faut choisir entre une chose à laquelle on s’est habitué, et entre une autre que l’on a envie de connaître.

Combien de fois avons-nous laissé passer une chance par peur de perdre certaines choses? La vie, c’est choisir un chemin. Depuis notre réveil jusqu’à notre coucher, nous faisons des choix, qui nous limitent ou qui nous ouvrent les portes de la vie.

2- Quand tous les jours sont ainsi semblables les uns aux autres, c’est que les gens ont cessé de s’apercevoir des bonnes choses qui se présentent dans leur vie tant que le soleil traverse le ciel.

Nous nous sommes habitués à vivre sans penser, et sans profiter. Nous sommes contaminés par le rythme infernal d’un présent qui, en nous présentant les choses toutes faites, détruit la magie du monde.

3- Lorsque tu grandiras, tu découvriras que tu as déjà menti, que tu t’es trompé toi-même et que tu as souffert pour des choses absurdes. Si tu es un bon guerrier, tu ne te culpabiliseras pas pour cela, mais tu ne laisseras pas tes erreurs se répéter.

Nous sommes les seuls animaux qui se blessent deux fois avec la même pierre. Se blesser n’est pas grave, mais le faire une seconde fois de la même manière peut être fatal. Les erreurs nous donnent une chance de grandir, pas de sombrer dans notre propre existence.

4- Elle n’avait pas peur des difficultés : ce qui l’effrayait, c’était l’obligation de devoir choisir un chemin. Choisir un chemin signifiait en abandonner d’autres.

 

5- Si tu te préoccupes trop de découvrir ce qu’il y a de bon ou de mal dans ton futur, tu oublieras ta propre âme, tu te fatigueras et tu seras vaincu par l’énergie que tu as gaspillée en jugeant les autres.

Nous devons vivre notre propre vie, et cesser de juger les autres. Nous sommes tous notre propre chemin, et personne ne peut réellement voir qui nous sommes. Il faut cesser de rechercher à l’extérieur ce que nous portons en notre sein.

 

6- Il est facile de comprendre qu’il y a toujours dans le monde une personne qui en attend une autre, que ce soit en plein désert ou au cœur des grandes villes. Et quand ces deux personnes se rencontrent, et que leurs regards se croisent, le passé et le futur sont désormais sans la moindre importance, seul le moment présent existe.

L’amour est le sentiment le plus universel qui soit. Même si cela peut paraître parfois impossible, il y aura toujours une personne qui saura voir toute la beauté d’une autre.

 

7- Il n’existe pas d’amour paisible. L’amour s’accompagne toujours d’agonies, d’extases, de joies intenses et de tristesses profondes.

 

8- L’amour n’est pas dans l’autre, il est à l’intérieur de nous-mêmes, nous sommes les seuls à pouvoir le réveiller. Mais pour le réveiller, nous avons besoin de l’autre.

L’amour n’est pas un sentiment facile. Grâce à l’amour, nous parvenons à faire ressortir le meilleur, mais aussi le pire, de nous-mêmes. L’amour mérite qu’on se batte pour lui, et qu’on y mette de la joie. L’amour mérite tout.

 

9- L’amour commence par un regard, se décide avec un mot, se sent avec un baiser et se perd avec une larme. Des natures différentes naît l’amour. Dans l’adversité, l’amour donne de la force. Dans la confrontation et dans la transformation, l’amour préserve.

10- Celui qui est habitué à voyager sait qu’il est toujours nécessaire de partir un jour.

 

11- Je suis comme tout le monde : je vois le monde comme j’aimerais que les choses se passent, pas comme elles se passent réellement.

 

12- Un enfant peut apprendre trois choses à un adulte : à être content sans raison, à toujours être occupé par quelque chose, et à savoir exiger avec force ce qu’il désire.

 

13- Les défaites existent, et personne n’en est à l’abri. Mais il est mieux de perdre quelques combats dans la lutte pour nos rêves, que d’être défaits sans même savoir pour quoi l’on se bat.

 

14- Ce qui noie quelqu’un ce n’est pas le plongeon, mais le fait de rester sous l’eau.

 

15- Attendre fait mal. Oublier fait mal. Mais ne pas savoir quelle décision prendre est la pire des souffrances.

 

16 Notre vie est un voyage constant, de la naissance à la mort. Le paysage change, les gens changent, les besoins se transforment, mais le train continue. La vie, c’est le train, ce n’est pas la gare.

 

17 – L’élégance est la posture la plus adéquate pour que l’écriture soit parfaite. Il en va de même pour la vie : quand le superflu est écarté, l’être humain découvre la simplicité et la concentration. Plus simple et plus sobre est la posture, plus belle elle sera, même si au début elle paraît inconfortable.

 

20 sec reading: our daily miracle

Give us this day, Lord, our daily miracle.

Miracles tear away the veils and change everything, but do not let us see what lies behind the veils.

They allow us to escape unharmed from the valley of the shadow of death, but do not tell us which road led us to the mountains of joy and light.

They open doors that were locked with padlocks impossible to break, but they use no key.
They surround the suns with planets so that they do not feel alone in the Universe and keep the planets from getting too close so that they won’t be devoured by the suns.

They transform the wheat into bread through work, the grape into wine through patience, and death into life through the resurrection of dreams.

Therefore, Lord, give us this day our daily miracle.
And forgive us if we are not always capable of recognising it.

taken from THE MANUSCRIPT FOUND IN ACCRA

Paulo Coelho Quotes

selected by

Life is tough–we all know that. Yet, it’s also our perspective that determines whether we go through life’s trials and tribulations with a strong heart or a weak one, and whether we emerge as a warrior or as a disheartened loser.

Here are 15 quotes from the famous writer, Paulo Coelho, that will help you see the silver lining behind every dark cloud in your life.

1. When you are afraid of change:

“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.”

2. When you are misunderstood or maligned:

“Don’t explain. Your friends do not need it, and your enemies will not believe you.”

3. When you feel disappointed about a failure:

“But there is suffering in life, and there are defeats. No one can avoid them. But it’s better to lose some of the battles in the struggles for your dreams than to be defeated without ever knowing what you’re fighting for.”

4. When you are unsure of who your true friends are:

“Our true friends are those who are with us when the good things happen. They cheer us on and are pleased by our triumphs. False friends only appear at difficult times, with their sad, supportive faces, when, in fact, our suffering is serving to console them for their miserable lives.”

5. After a break-up:

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

6. When you grow envious of other people:

“Some people appear to be happy, but they simply don’t give the matter much thought. Others make plans: I’m going to have a husband, a home, two children, a house in the country. As long as they’re busy doing that, they’re like bulls looking for the bullfighter: they react instinctively, they blunder on, with no idea where the target is. They get their car, sometimes they even get a Ferrari, and they think that’s the meaning of life, and they never question it. Yet their eyes betray the sadness that even they don’t know they carry in their soul. Are you happy?” 

7. When you feel overwhelmed by everything in your life:

“Close some doors today. Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because they lead you nowhere.”

8. When it’s time to let go:

“It is always important to know when something has reached its end. Closing circles, shutting doors, finishing chapters, it doesn’t matter what we call it; what matters is to leave in the past those moments in life that are over.”

9. When you are afraid to love:

“Love is always new. Regardless of whether we love once, twice, or a dozen times in our life, we always face a brand-new situation. Love can consign us to hell or to paradise, but it always takes us somewhere. We simply have to accept it, because it is what nourishes our existence. If we reject it, we die of hunger, because we lack the courage to reach out a hand and pluck the fruit from the branches of the tree of life. We have to take love where we find it, even if it means hours, days, weeks of disappointment and sadness. The moment we begin to seek love, love begins to seek us. And to save us.”

10. When you feel like you can’t hold on anymore:

“It is said that the darkest hour of the night comes just before the dawn.”

11. When your haters hate on you:

“The world is divided into those who understand me and those who don’t. In the case of the latter, I simply leave them to torment themselves trying to gain my sympathy.”

12. When you feel suppressed by others’ expectations:

“Everyone believes that the main aim in life is to follow a plan. They never ask if that plan is theirs or if it was created by another person. They accumulate experiences, memories, things, other people’s ideas, and it is more than they can possibly cope with. And that is why they forget their dreams.”

13. When you lose something or somebody you love:

“Tragedy always brings about radical change in our lives, a change that is associated with the same principle: loss. When faced by any loss, there’s no point in trying to recover what has been; it’s best to take advantage of the large space that opens up before us and fill it with something new.”

14. When you find it so hard to forgive:

“I forgive the tears I was made to shed, I forgive the pain and the disappointments, I forgive the betrayals and the lies, I forgive the slanders and intrigues, I forgive the hatred and the persecution, I forgive the blows that hurt me, I forgive the wrecked dreams, I forgive the stillborn hopes, I forgive the hostility and jealousy, I forgive the indifference and ill will, I forgive the injustice carried out in the name of justice, I forgive the anger and the cruelty, I forgive the neglect and the contempt, I forgive the world and all its evils… I also forgive myself. May the misfortunes of the past no longer weigh on my heart. Instead of pain and resentment, I choose understanding and compassion. Instead of rebellion, I choose the music from my violin. Instead of grief, I choose forgetting. Instead of vengeance, I choose victory. I will be capable of loving, regardless of whether I am loved in return, of giving, even when I have nothing, of working happily, even in the midst of difficulties, of holding out my hand, even when utterly alone and abandoned, of drying my tears, even while I weep, of believing, even when no one believes in me… So it is. So it will be.”

15. When you hit rockbottom:

“When I had nothing more to lose, I was given everything. When I ceased to be who I am, I found myself. When I experienced humiliation and yet kept on walking, I understood that I was free to choose my destiny.”