15 Famous Sayings by Paulo Coelho

15 Famous Sayings by Paulo Coelho
Raquel Aldana

Written and verified by the psychologist Raquel Aldana.

Last update: 06 January, 2022

Paulo Coelho has a special way of reaching out to his readers and touching their souls. He does it in such a straightforward yet skilled way, suddenly making you see something that, until that moment, you probably couldn’t even put into words. Some of his best-known books are The Alchemist, Brida, Eleven Minutes, Adultery, The Manuscript Found in Accra, and Aleph. In this article, we have 15 of his most well-known sayings.

His way of caressing you with words makes him, without a doubt, a special writer. Indeed, nobody remains indifferent to his teachings and reflections.

1. When the days are all the same

“When each day is the same as the next, it’s because people fail to notice the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises”.

The first of Paulo Coelho’s sayings emphasizes the fact that you’ve become accustomed to living without thinking and without enjoying life. Your necessity to rush means that, while you might get everything done, the magic of life is destroyed in the process.

2. Be a good warrior

“When you grow up, you’ll discover that you have defended lies, deceived yourself or suffered foolishness. If you’re a good warrior, you will not blame yourself for this, but neither will you allow your mistakes to repeat themselves”.

Paper boat in the water

We’re the only species that make the same mistakes over and over. Stumbling isn’t bad, but doing it repeatedly, in the same way, can kill us. Indeed, mistakes are always opportunities to grow, not to diminish your life.

3. Choosing means abandoning

“She wasn’t afraid of difficulties, what frightened her was being forced to choose one particular path. Choosing a path meant having to miss out on others”.

This third saying by Paulo Coelho invites you to reflect on the importance of making decisions and being aware that while something is lost, something is also gained. Indeed, fear should never stop you from making choices.

4. Make decisions

“Sometimes you have to decide between one thing you are used to and another that you would like to know”.

How many times have you lost wonderful things because you were afraid of losing others? That’s what life consists of, choosing your path. In fact, from the time you get up until you go to bed, we’re making decisions. Whether you choose to limit yourself or open yourself up to what life has to offer depends on the decisions you make.

Woman resting on a whale

5. If you worry too much, you’ll burn out

“If you worry too much about discovering what is good or bad in your neighbor, you will forget about your own soul, you will be exhausted and you will be defeated by the energy you have expended in judging others”.

You have to live your own life and stop judging others. You follow your own path, one that no one else can see. Furthermore, it’s good to stop searching outside for something that’s actually within you.

6. When people cross

“There is always someone in the world waiting for someone else, whether in the middle of the desert or in the heart of some big city. And when these two people’s paths cross and their eyes meet, the whole of the past and the whole of the future completely lose their importance, and there only exists that moment”.

Love is the most universal feeling in existence. In fact, as impossible as it may seem, there’s someone for everyone. Even though you might’ve lost hope of ever finding each other. Indeed, sometimes you completely lose hope, but that special someone always shows up eventually.


7. There’s no peace in love

“Love cannot exist in peace, it will always come accompanied by agonies, ecstasies, intense joys and profound sadnesses”.

This seventh saying by Paulo Coelho urges you to think about love and that long-awaited peace that never actually arrives. Because in love, the differences, the arguments, the conflicting opinions… they’re all necessary. All couples have to go through both good and bad times.

8. Love is in you

“Love is not to be found in someone else, but in ourselves, we simply awaken it. But in order to do that, we need the other person”.

It isn’t an easy feeling. In fact, love brings out both the best and the worst in you. However, it always deserves the struggle, as well as the tears and the joy. As a matter of fact, love is deserving of everything.

9. Love means being different

“Out of two different natures love is born. In contradiction, love grows in strength. In confrontation and transformation, love is preserved”.

Hand holding hearts

In this saying, Paulo Coelho suggests that you need to have opposing opinions and be different to your partner. In this way, you gain strength and have drive. Without this, love would die of boredom.

10. We all need to leave one day

“Anyone who is used to traveling knows that it’s always necessary to leave one day”.

This saying allows you to reflect on the ultimate need to leave. It’s a look towards an end to which we’re all destined even though many resist it. Nevertheless, it happens to us all.

11. See the world as we wish

“I’m like everyone else – I see the world in terms of what I would like to see happen, not what actually does”.

This saying encourages you to question how you see the world. As a matter of fact, in reality, your gaze is full of hopes, dreams, and expectations that shape your world in a particular way.

12. A child can teach an adult a lot

“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”.

Girl smiling, representing one of the sayings from Paulo Coelho.

Considering children as immature beings or as those who have to learn about life is a big mistake. As a matter of fact, little ones can teach you many things that you’ve forgotten. For this reason, you should listen to them.

13. No one is safe from defeat

“There is suffering in life… And there are defeats. No one can avoid them. But it’s better to lose some of the battles in the struggles for your dreams than to be defeated without ever even knowing what you’re fighting for”.

This saying invites you to embrace your dreams. Because they give meaning to your life. Furthermore, when you don’t know what you’re fighting for, you’re fighting a losing battle from the start.

14. What drowns us is staying submerged

“What drowns someone is not falling into the river, but staying submerged in it”.

Have you ever been so immersed in your own problems that you’ve just given up and got used to them?  In reality, this is is what kills you. You mustn’t become accustomed to problems or feel sorry for yourself. Complaining and being a victim is never a solution. They’re choices. You can choose to drown or swim to the surface. You have the tools.

15. Not making decisions hurts

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

This final saying tells you about pain, a feeling that’s present in all of our lives. The end of a relationship hurts you, as does a disappointment or a lie. However, what causes real suffering is to sit still and not make any decisions.

These famous sayings by Paulo Coelho offer you some great lessons. Which of them is your favorite? Are there any that have resonated with you in a particular way? We hope that they invited you to reflect. Furthermore, that they gave you the opportunity to question some of the things in your life that you might’ve been taking for granted.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.