Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

Twenty years later: At Lake Baikal

Author: Paulo Coelho

The sentence belongs to Pablo Picasso: “God is above all an artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant, and the ant. In fact, He never tried to follow a style – He simply went on doing what He felt like doing”.

Our wanting to walk is what creates our path – yet, when we start our journey towards our dreams, we feel very afraid, as if we were obliged to do everything right.

After all, if we all live different lives, who was it who invented the “everything right” standard?”

If God made the giraffe, the elephant and the ant, and if we try to live in His image and likeness, why should we need to follow a model? Sometimes the model helps us to avoid repeating stupid mistakes that others have already committed, but normally it is a prison that obliges us always to repeat what everybody does.

To be coherent is to need always to wear a necktie that matches our socks. It is to be obliged to keep the same opinions tomorrow that you have today. So what about the way the world moves?

As long as nobody is hurt, change your opinion every now and again, and contradict yourself without feeling ashamed. This is your right; it does not matter what the others think – because they are going to think it anyway.

When we decide to act, some excesses will happen. As the old cooking saying goes: “to make an omelet, first of all you have to break an egg”. So it is also natural that unexpected conflicts will arise.

It is only natural that there will be injuries during these conflicts. The wounds pass: only the scars remain.

This is a blessing. These scars stay with us for the rest of our lives, and they help us a lot. If at any moment – due to complacency or some other reason – the desire to go back to the past is great, just look at your scars.

Scars will show us the signs of handcuffs, they will remind us of the horrors of prison – and we will keep on moving forward.

So, relax. Let the Universe move all around you and discover the joy of being a surprise to yourself. “God chose the crazy things of the world to embarrass the wise”, says Saint Paul.

A Warrior of Light notices that certain moments are repeated; he often finds himself facing the same problems, and he confronts situations he has confronted before.

Then he becomes depressed. He begins to feel that he is incapable of making any progress in life, since the same things he has lived through in the past are happening all over again.

“I have been through this”, he complains to his heart.

“You really have”, answers his heart. “But you have never gone beyond it”.

The Warrior then begins to realize that repeated experiences have a reason, which is to teach us that we have not yet learned. He always finds a different solution for each repeated fight – and he does not see his faults as mistakes, but rather as steps towards meeting himself.

Phrases on mistakes

If you cheat me once, the blame is yours. If you cheat me twice, the blame is mine(Anaxagoras)

If I had to live my life again, I would make the same mistakes – only sooner (Tallulah Bankhead)

The path to success is getting round the mistakes (Thomas Watson)

Until you have known the Inferno, Paradise will not be good enough for you (Kurdish proverb)

To err is human, but it makes you feel divine! (Mae West)

Doing the right thing is not the problem; the problem is knowing what is right (Lyndon Johnson)

Not everything that works out right is right (David Capistrano)

I prefer making a mistake that amuses me to doing something right that makes me sad (William Shakespeare)

The next text will be posted on the 7th of June.

P.S: Dear reader,

During this journey, that is filling my soul with very interesting experiences, one of the most magical moments comes every night when I read the comments posted on this blog. Even though I can’t answer all of you, I want you to know that it’s very important to me to know that I’m not alone on this path. Thank you so much for your support and for the words and ideas that are now engraved on my heart.

Paulo Coelho

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