Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

Did you walk a path that wasn’t yours?

Author: Paulo Coelho

photo by Paulo Coelho

Have you ever felt that – without regret – you have chosen and are on the wrong path, and though you wish to be free of it, abandoning this road will cause much more chaos and hurt than staying on it? (Sue-Ann Marquis)

I had moments in my life that I absolutely knew that I was on the wrong path. For instance, when I became an executive for a record company.
My paycheck was good, I had a woman I loved next to me but… something vital was missing.

For a time, I had the impression that if I let go, it would cause much hardship for us. But inevitably the situation got unsustainable. I was truly unsatisfied with my life and started to notice that my soul was dying in the process.

I decided then to leave my job and travel for 6 months across Europe with Christina (this was back in 1982). This initial travel enabled me to encounter my master in Germany, then Amsterdam. From this moment on, I focused on trying to get as close as I could to my calling: being a writer.

However, it took an extra 4 years to actually be able to tell a story – my pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella ( The Pilgrimage).
So – in order to answer your question: yes, I walked a path that wasn’t mine. I felt scared to leave this path that I knew so well. But the moment I stepped out, it turned out that all the demons I expected to face weren’t there at all. I had hardships of course, but all was worthwhile – because my soul was alive.

Subscribe to Blog

Join 16.9K other subscribers

Stories & Reflections


Paulo Coelho Foundation

Gifts, keepsakes and other souvenirs