Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

Only he who gives up is defeated

Author: Paulo Coelho

We look around and say to ourselves: ‘I survived.’ And we will be cheered by our words.

Only those who fail to recognise that inner strength will say: ‘I lost,’ and be sad.

Others, even though they are suffering because they were defeated and feel humiliated by the things the winners are saying about them, will allow themselves to shed a few tears, but never feel sorry for themselves.
They know that this is a merely a pause in the fighting and that, for the moment, they are at a disadvantage

They’re aware of being under tension, of being afraid. They consider their life and discover that, despite the fear, their faith is still alive in their soul, driving them onward.
They try to work out what they did wrong and what they did right.

They take advantage of this moment of defeat to rest, heal their wounds, devise new strategies and equip themselves better.

Then the day dawns when a new battle knocks on their door. They are still afraid, but they have to act, either that or remain for ever lying on the ground.
They get up and face their opponent, remembering the suffering they have endured and which they no longer wish to endure.
Their previous defeat means that this time they must win, because they don’t want to suffer the same pain again.

But if victory is not theirs this time, it will be the next time. And if not the next time, then the time after that. The important thing is to get back on your feet.

Only he who gives up is defeated. Everyone else is victorious.

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