He’s written his way into many of our hearts with equal parts wisdom and magic. Here is a collection of some of our favorite Paulo Coelho quotes.
The Alchemist. Veronika Decides to Die. Warrior of the Light. These are but a few of Paolo Coelho’s bestselling titles. The Brazilian-born writer is one of the world’s most beloved spiritual authors, and is known for his deceptively simple yet profound teachings, which he wraps in the ordinary lives of his characters.
Within the brilliance of his lines, Coelho offers us powerful medicine for the spirit and encouragement for the soul. The wisdom of his lessons on love, life and redemption tells us time and again that the art of living and loving well involves risk and courage enough to venture beyond the limits of what we know if we’re ever to inhabit the lives that await us.
As a longtime reader of his books, I’m often surprised by the new depths of meaning I reach after revisiting the dog-eared pages of Coelho’s work. It’s as though I’m rediscovering the writer, his stories and a new facet of myself in the process. Approaching his writing this way, with an open mind and renewed curiosity each time, makes all the difference. I imagine the writer himself would approve. “By changing the way you do routine things,” he writes, “you allow a new person to grow inside you.”
Taken together, the range of Coelho’s writing invites us on a journey of self-discovery and everyday magic—the kind of redemptive supernatural force that struggles up from seed, courage and care. His language and philosophy gift us with an enduring homage to mindfulness and intentional living. To be sure, he’s a contemporary writer, but he’s also an undeniably ageless mystic whose language transcends religion, race and dogma, reaching beyond it all to touch the heart of universal truths that resonate with seekers the world over.
It could be love, career, happiness, or any of the myriad concerns we face; these sage writings offer us guidance and encouragement that meets us where we are, lifting us up or grounding us as we need it. This assortment of Coelho’s quotes is by no means exhaustive. Rather, consider these as reference points along the spiritual path reminding us to slow down, to yield, to become present, to take life in and to love with our whole selves on the line. It’s only when we’re all in in the moment—free from the suffering of our past and future—that we are truly alive.
Savor these passages. Better yet, in Coelho’s own words: “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.”
“Love is an unadulterated force. When we try to control it, it destroys us. When we try to approach it, it enslaves us. When we try to understand it, it leaves us feeling lost and confused.”
“The strongest love is the love that can demonstrate its fragility.”
“When we love, we always aspire to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”
“The moment we begin to seek love, love begins to seek us. And to save us.”
“So, I love you because the entire universe conspired to help me find you.”
“We are travelers on a cosmic journey. Stardust, swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpools of infinity. Life is eternal. We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other. To meet, to love, to share. This is a precious moment. A little parenthesis in eternity.”
“Love is just a word until someone comes along and gives it meaning.”
“The most powerful hallucinogen in this planet is called love. Highly addictive! You will see and her things that don’t exist!”
“Love is not a habit, a commitment, or a debt. It isn’t what romantic songs tell us it is, love simply is.”
On the Courage to Dream
“Dreams are not negotiable.”
“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And no heart has ever suffered with it goes in search of its dream.”
“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”
“You have to take risks. We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen.”
“People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.”
“If it is still in your mind, it is worth taking the risk.“
“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change.“
“Travel is never a matter of memory but of courage.“
“Close some doors today, not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because they lead you nowhere.”
“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 behind us in the past those moments in life that are over.”
“Make peace with you past so it won’t destroy your present.”
“If you only walk on sunny days, you will never reach your destination.”
“If you’re brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello.”
“You can become blind by seeing each day as a similar one. Each day is a different one, each day brings a miracle of its own. It’s just a matter of paying attention to this miracle.”
“The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them.”
“Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.”
“The magic moment is that in which a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ may change the whole of our existence.”
“Enjoy your magic moment today. As it will not be here tomorrow.”
“It takes a huge effort to free yourself from memory.”
“Hide your craziness behind a smile.”
[image: via Next TwentyEight on flickr]