15 Celebrated Phrases by Paulo Coelho

· December 1, 2015

Paulo Coelho has a special way of getting through to his readers and touching their souls. He does it in a gentle but well-aimed way, making them see, over and over again, something that, until that very moment, they had never been able to put into words.

Some of his best-known titles are The Alchemist, Brida, Eleven Minutes,  Adultery, The Manuscript Found in Accra, and Aleph.

His way of embracing us with words transforms him into a special kind of writer. His teachings and reflections don’t leave anyone with a feeling of indifference. Below, you will find 15 phrases for reflection…

“When every day ends up the same, it is because man has stopped noticing the good things that happen in life, each time the sun crosses the sky.”

We have grown used to living without thinking and without enjoying. We are contaminated by the hustle and bustle of a world that, at the same time it gives us everything, destroys the magic of life.

“When you grow up, you will discover that you have already defended lies, you have already tricked yourself or suffered for foolishness. If you are a good warrior, you will not blame yourself, but neither will you let your mistakes repeat themselves.”

Small blue paper boat floating on water

We are the only animals that trip twice on the same stone. Stumbling is not bad, but doing it over and over again in the same way can finish us. Mistakes are always opportunities to grow, and do not reduce our lives in any way. 

“He wasn’t afraid of difficulties: what scared him was the obligation of having to choose a path. Choosing one path meant abandoning others.”

“Sometimes you have to decide between something you are used to, and something you would like to know.”


How many times have we missed out on amazing things simply for the fear of missing something else? This is what life consists of: choosing our path. From the time we get up in the morning until we lie back down at night, we are making decisions. And those decisions that we make depend on how we limit ourselves, or how we open ourselves to life. 

Drawing of girl sleeping on whale's back

“If you worry yourself too much about discovering the good and the bad of your neighbor, you will forget your own soul, you will wear yourself out and be defeated by the energy you have used to judge others.” 

We must live our own lives and stop judging others. You yourself hold your own path, which no one else can see. It is truly a wonderful feeling to stop looking outside of ourselves for what it is we carry inside. 

“In the world, there will always be people who wait for another, whether it be in the middle of the desert or in the middle of a big city. And when those people cross each other’s paths and their eyes meet, the entire past and the entire future completely lose meaning, and all that exists is that one moment.”

Love is the most universal feeling that exists. Always, as impossible as it may seem, there will be a person who will know how to see what is wonderful about someone else.

Spinning swings carnival ride

“Peaceful love does not exist. Love is always accompanied by agony, ecstasy, intense happiness, and profound sadness.”

“Love is not found in the other person, but rather inside our own selves; we must wake it up. But in order to wake it up, we need the other.”

It is not an easy feeling. For love, we give the best and the worst of ourselves. Yes, love deserves a struggle, it deserves a sense of pain, and it deserves happiness. Love deserves everything. 

“Love starts with a look, it is decided with a word, it is felt with a kiss, and it is lost with just one tear. Love is born of different natures. In this contradiction, love gains strength. In this confrontation, and transformation, love is preserved…”

hand holding hearts

“He who is used to traveling knows that it is always necessary to part ways some day.” 

“I am like all people: I see the world as I would like it to be, as I would like things to happen, and not as they actually happen.” 

“A child can always teach an adult three things: to be happy without a reason, to always be busy with something, and to know how to demand, with all of their strength, whatever it is they want.”

girl-laughing

Defeats exist, but no one is immune to them. That is why is it better to lose a few battles in the fight for our dreams than to be defeated without even knowing what we are fighting for.” 

“What drowns someone is not falling in the river, but rather staying beneath the surface.” 

Hoping hurts. Forgetting hurts. But the worst suffering is not knowing what decision to make.”