Have you ever wished you could peer inside the mind of one of the most fascinating icons in the world and find out exactly what makes them successful?
Of course the question above might be rhetorical, but it’s still a valid one. We all want to get a sneak peek into how remarkably successful people think, their attitudes towards things, and the reason why success follows them wherever they go. And as the maxim goes, there is no better way to learning than reading.
Paulo Coelho has authored some of the most popular and inspiring novels of the 21st century, touching the hearts of more than 100 million people in 56 different countries.
Coelho’s most famous novel ‘The Alchemist‘ — has sold over 150 million copies, becoming one of the history’s best-selling books and setting the Guinness World Record for most translated book by a living author. With these facts in mind, it would be right to say that Coelho is successful and in his literary works, he has written a few things about success.
Here are Paulo Coelho’s 4 keys for becoming insanely successful in life:
Remember your dreams and fight for them
“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dream.”
Coelho believes that for people to be successful, they must overcome fear and follow the path of their dreams. Dreams can easily be quashed by fear and negativity.
When I was still much younger, I dreamed of becoming a professional footballer. I recall waking up everyday and all I wanted to do was to play, but my Dad killed that dream without prejudice. “Footballers are illiterate and irresponsible, only a few can make a living from the game… “Better get yourself a college degree and do something with your life” he would say.
Unfortunately, I was too young to discern what I wanted from life, and I was so afraid of failing or disappointing my parents, that I quit my dream. Well, I don’t know for sure if I would have become a professional footballer or not. I didn’t take a shot at it. I never even tried.
The point is, when we let fear take a hold of us, we might start thinking we aren’t good enough. There is a big difference between ‘failing’ and ‘not trying’ at all. Always remember your dreams and fight for them.
“Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.”Paulo Coelho
You drown not by falling into a river, but by staying submerged in it
If you can know only one thing about Coelho, it should be that he never regrets for the “wrong” decisions he made or the painful times he went through. He says: “I don’t regret my painful times, I bare my scars as if they were medals. I know that freedom has a high price, as high as that of slavery; the only difference is that you pay with pleasure and a smile, even when that smile dimmed by tears.”
This is a crucial life lesson. Like Coelho, I believe that we learn more from our failures than from our successes. So the next time you bring back one of those unpleasant memories, rather than feeling sad, try to dig out a good lesson from that experience and move on.
Many of us spend our lives feeling guilty and regretting what we did (or did not) in the past instead of focusing on the things we can do right now. That’s a huge waste of time. Let the past stay in the past, and remember that you drown not by falling into a river, but by staying submerged in it.
Don’t be intimidated by other people’s opinion
So we know that successful people always follow their dreams, right? And if you follow a dream, you need to have a willingness to endure the criticism and rejection, especially when it comes from people you care about. It’s staggering how many of us will give up on a dream just because someone tells us we can’t. The truth is until you follow your heart instead of other people’s opinions, you’ll never get ahead in life.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you should be rude or disrespectful to others, but there’s a fine line between constructive criticism and just criticism. The key lies in differentiating both.
“People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.”Paulo Coelho
Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience
This stands as one of my favorite quotes from Coelho: “You have to take risks. We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen.”
The primary reason most people fail in life is not a lack of talent or opportunities or education, but a refusal to move from their comfort zone and take significant risks. They aren’t brave enough to challenge their boss and ask for a raise, or to quit their job to start a business, or to follow a wild dream. They’re asleep, while their life is passing them by.
But you’re going to be different, right? You’re going to be brave. You’re going to take risks. You’re going to commit to fighting for your dreams and never give up. Because it’s the only way to witnessing the miracle of life.