11 Paulo Coelho Quotes to Motive You

Paulo Coelho is one of the most famous and most read authors of our time. Read one of his books and you’ll see why – he’s incredibly inspiring and brings up questions and possibilities to the things that probably keep you up at night.

Recently I reached a dream that I’ve had since I was a little girl – one that I thought was impossible – of writing a book: Love and BlackmailIt’s not a roaring success or anything, and it took me four years to write and publish it but damnit I did it!

I’m onto writing my next novel and back at failing and feeling discouraged. Over the years I’ve grabbed hundreds of pages of inspirational and thought provoking quotes from Paulo’s writing and thought it’d be a good time to take a look and share some of the wisdom he has about going after what you want in life – and not getting too down when you inevitably mess up.

1. On why you feel like crap when you’re not following a dream

“When a sense of dissatisfaction persists, that means it was placed there by God for one reason only: you need to change everything and move forward.”
– Aleph

2. Why you should follow your dream even though it’s not all rainbows and sunshine

“So, why is it so important to live our personal calling if we are only going to suffer more than other people? Because, once we have overcome the defeats—and we always do—we are filled by a greater sense of euphoria and confidence. In the silence of our hearts, we know that we are proving ourselves worthy of the miracle of life. ”
– The Alchemist 

3. If you’re like me and still have a day job and a dream…

“There is no point in saying: ‘Fate was unfair to me. While others are following their dreams, here I am just doing my job and earning my living.’ Fate is never unfair to anyone. We are all free to love or hate what we do. When we love, we find the same joy in our daily activity as do those who one day set off in search of their dreams.”
– Manuscript Found in Accra 

4. What to do with doubt

“Never stop having doubts. If you ever do, it will be because you’ve stopped moving forward, and at that point, God will step in and pull the rug out from under your feet, because that is His way of controlling His chosen ones, by making sure they always follow their appointed path to the end. If, for any reason, we stop, whether out of complacency, laziness, or out of a mistaken belief that we know enough, He forces us on. On the other hand, you must be careful never to allow doubt to paralyze you. Always take the decisions you need to take, even if you’re not sure you’re doing the right thing. You’ll never go wrong if, when you make a decision, you keep in mind an old German proverb that the Tradition of the Moon has adopted: ‘The Devil is in the detail.’ Remember that proverb and you’ll always be able to turn a wrong decision into a right one.”
– Brida

5. Why it’s important to take risks

“Joy is sometimes a blessing, but it is often a conquest. Our magic moment helps us to change and sends us off in search of our dreams. Yes, we are going to suffer, we will have difficult times, and we will experience many disappointments—but all of this is transitory; it leaves no permanent mark. And one day we will look back with pride and faith at the journey we have taken. Pitiful is the person who is afraid of taking risks.”
By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept

6. Maintaining that positive attitude

“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.”
Eleven Minutes

7. Creating courage

” ‘Remember the good things you have done. They will give you courage.’
‘I have done very few such things, and none of them was because of my abilities.’
‘Then it’s time to do more.’ ”
Fifth Mountain

8. On how our dreams get away from us

“The good fight is the one that’s fought in the name of our dreams. When we’re young and our dreams first explode inside us with all of their force, we are very courageous, but we haven’t yet learned how to fight. With great effort, we learn how to fight, but by then we no longer have the courage to go into combat. So we turn against ourselves and do battle within. We become our own worst enemy. We say that our dreams were childish, or too difficult to realize, or the result of our not having known enough about life. We kill our dreams because we are afraid to fight the good fight.”
The Pilgrimage

9. Why it’s crazy to just do what you’re told

“Everyone is indeed crazy, but the craziest are the ones who don’t know they’re crazy; they just keep repeating what others tell them to.”
Veronika Decides to Die

10. Seriously you have to be a little crazy

“The warrior knows that he is free to choose his desires, and he makes these decisions with courage, detachment and—sometimes—with just a touch of madness.”
Warrior of the Light

11. No one said it would be easy but…

“Going after a dream has a price. It may mean abandoning our habits, it may make us go through hardships, or it may lead us to disappointment, et cetera. But however costly it may be, it is never as high as the price paid by people who didn’t love. Because one day they will look back and hear their own heart say: ‘I wasted my life.’ ”
Adultery