More from and about
Paulo Coelho
(biographical info at bottom of page)

  

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

   

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?

      
We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only their own pain and renunciation.  It's one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it's another to think that yours is the only path.
  
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.
   

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. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.
  
  
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.
  
There are moments when troubles enter our lives and we can do nothing to avoid them.
But they are there for a reason. Only when we have overcome them will we understand why they were there.

  
  
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.

     

People are capable, at any time in their
lives, of doing what they dream of.

   

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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.

   

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.

   

Glass Bottles As Metaphors
Medicine Bottles in History
Versatility of Glass Bottles
Glass Recycling and the Environment
Manufacturing Glass Bottles

   
    
Paulo Coelho was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and attended a Jesuit school. As a teenager, Coelho wanted to become a writer. Upon telling his mother this, she responded with "My dear, your father is an engineer. He's a logical, reasonable man with a very clear vision of the world. Do you actually know what it means to be a writer?"  After researching, Coelho concluded that a writer "always wears glasses and never combs his hair" and has a "duty and an obligation never to be understood by his own generation," amongst other things. 

At 16, Coelho's introversion and opposition to following a traditional path led to his parents committing him to a mental institution from which he escaped three times before being released at the age of 20. Coelho later remarked that "It wasn't that they wanted to hurt me, but they didn't know what to do... They did not do that to destroy me, they did that to save me." At his parents' wishes, Coelho enrolled in law school and abandoned his dream of becoming a writer. One year later, he dropped out and lived life as a hippie, traveling through South America, North Africa, Mexico, and Europe and started drugs in the 1960s. 

Upon his return to Brazil, Coelho worked as a songwriter, composing lyrics for Elis Regina, Rita Lee, and Brazilian icon Raul Seixas. Composing with Raul led to Paulo being associated with magic and occultism, due to the content of some songs.  In 1974, Coelho was arrested for "subversive" activities by the ruling military government, who had taken power ten years earlier and viewed his lyrics as left-wing and dangerous. Coelho also worked as an actor, journalist, and theatre director before pursuing his writing career.

In 1986, Coelho walked the 500-plus mile Road of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain, a turning point in his life. On the path, Coelho had a spiritual awakening, which he described autobiographically in The Pilgrimage.  In an interview, Coelho stated "[In 1986], I was very happy in the things I was doing.  I was doing something that gave me food and water to use the metaphor in The Alchemist, I was working, I had a person whom I loved, I had money, but I was not fulfilling my dream.  My dream was, and still is, to be a writer."  Coelho would leave his lucrative career as a songwriter and pursue writing full-time.
  

  

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