I read Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist when I was just finishing high school. I used to read this book every now and then because I found it very inspiring at the time. One of the ideas from the book that resonated with me for a long time was that if you want something, the whole universe conspires to help you achieve it. I haven’t read the book in about five years, and I don’t know if I’ll still be able to relate to the book or to this idea. Anyway, this post is not about the Alchemist.
I read Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho sometime around the time I started college, so a little over a decade ago. I don’t remember why or how I started reading it, probably because it was a popular book then and I really liked the Alchemist. Or maybe a friend really liked it and recommended it. Anyway, I vaguely remember that I liked this book then but I find myself wondering if I had the maturity to even understand it at the time. Maybe I should go back and read it again. Anyway, as I was thinking about writing a post today and was unable to decide what to write on, I found this quote from Eleven Minutes on Facebook and I felt that I could relate to it immediately.
“Everything tells me that I am about to make a wrong decision, but making mistakes is just part of life. What does the world want of me? Does it want me to take no risks, to go back to where I came from because I didn’t have the courage to say “yes” to life?
No one wants their life thrown into chaos. That is why a lot of people keep that threat under control, and are somehow capable of sustaining a house or a structure that is already rotten. They are the engineers of the superseded.
Other people think exactly the opposite: they surrender themselves without a second thought, hoping to find in passion the solutions to all their problems. They make the other person responsible for their happiness and blame them for their possible unhappiness. They are either euphoric because something marvelous has happened or depressed because something unexpected has just ruined everything.
I feel that I’m dealing with the exact same emotions right now, I find myself going back and forth between these two states. On one side, I want to break free and be bold and take some risks and not let my fears hold me back. On the other hand, I find myself feeling really scared and tired from this mental conflict and anxiety and I am unable to invest the energy needed to take these risks. Apart from this mental conflict, I have a lot going on this week at work and don’t have the energy to constructively write about the ideas or draft posts I have. So here’s a half baked dish of my current thoughts. As always, music soothes my soul and is what keeps me going!
Have you read Eleven Minutes or any other books by Paulo Coelho? What do you think of this quote? Or his books?