“We always have a tendency to see those things that do not exist and to be blind to the great lessons that are right there before our eyes.” – Paulo Coelho, The Pilgrimage
I recently (re)read Paulo Coelho’s The Pilgrimage and, just like the time I read it for the first time when I was 17, Coelho’s writing – the depth, the colour, the honesty – blew me away (again). Unlike the time I read it at 17, the book’s message resonated a lot deeper this time. Even the way Coelho structured the book, basing each chapter on a single theme or message, impacted me in terms of my writing. I can feel how this book has inspired to write each letter based on a singular theme or lesson.
What impacted me the most was Coelho’s infusion of small wisdom about life, his insights on living a meaningful life, all the whilst weaving an adventure story. Put simply, The Pilgrimage is about Coelho’s trials as he journeys along the Camino de Santiago alongside his mentor, Petrus. Yet, Coelho’s writing provokes a compelling, deep tale of the search for meaning, and for a broader view on life.
The book taught me that every little encounter has a purpose, a meaning. The book taught me that we all yearn to find a truth, a meaning, a purpose. We think that it is all individually centred, but I’ve come to the conclusion that our purpose and meaning are all interconnected. People always arrive at the right time where someone awaits them.
“We always know which is the best road to follow, but we follow only the road that we have become accustomed to.” ― Paulo Coelho, The Pilgrimage.
“The ship is safest when it’s in port, but that’s not what ships were built for.” ― Paulo Coelho, The Pilgrimage.
Sprinkled throughout the book were gentle reminders to take the step past the comfort zone and meet the challenge. Just like the quote above, ships weren’t built for staying in port. They were made for exploring and travelling in the unpredictable ocean. We all know the path we should take, yet we stay on the path that we are used to.
“When in doubt, just take the next small step.” – Paulo Coelho, The Pilgrimage.
In reflecting on The Pilgrimage, I can feel myself being more confident in simply taking the next step, even when I am surrounded in this quagmire of doubt about where I want this blog to go, what I want to write about. I don’t know where this blog will go, but I do know that the best thing for me to do, is to simply take a step. Focus on the path around me, because it is often the path that teaches us what we need to know and in doing so, enriching our lives.
But before I sign off, I want to leave with one quote that has resonated the most with me whilst I was reading this book.
“Why be fearful of saying no to someone or of leaving something undone when the most important thing of all was to enjoy life fully?” ― Paulo Coelho, The Pilgrimage.
PS: In writing this blog post, I have since realised that Paulo Coelho has become one of my favourite authors and that I have been remiss in not reading more of his work. Do you have a Paulo Coelho book I should read? Let me know in a comment below xx