The Pilgrimage book cover

The following Passage from The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho, is one of the most amazing passages I have ever read, it’s about fighting for our dreams and overcoming the many obstacles in life. I like to think it was fate that left a copy of this book for me at my bedside table while I was traveling in Spain; it was an omen that inspired me to begin my own Pilgrimage and travel to the sacred Cathedral of Saint James in Northern Spain.  It was the first piece to a literary puzzle that I would begin to unravel regarding my destiny in life.

Santiago de Compostela

It is the pleasure of searching and the pleasure of the adventure.  You are nourishing something that’s very important-your dreams.  We must never stop dreaming.  Dreams provide nourishment for the soul, just as a meal does for the body.  Many times in our lives we see our dreams shattered and our desires frustrated, but we have to continue dreaming.  If we don’t, our soul dies…

…The Good fight is the one we fight because our heart asks it of us…

The Good fight is the one that’s fought in the name of our dreams.  When we’re young our dreams first explode inside us with all of their force, we are very courageous, but we haven’t yet learned how to fight.  With great effort, we learn how to fight, but by then we no longer have the courage to go into combat.  So we turn against ourselves and do battle within.  We become our own worst enemy.  We say that our dreams were childish, or too difficult to realize, or the result or our not having known enough about life.  We kill our dreams because we are afraid to fight the good fight.

The first symptom of the process of killing our dreams is lack of time… The Busiest people I have known in my life always have time enough to do everything.  Those who do nothing are always tired and pay no attention to the little amount of work they are required to do. They complain constantly that the day is too short.  The Truth is, they are afraid to fight the good fight…

The second symptom of the death of our dreams lies in our certainties.  Because we don’t want to see life as a grand adventure, we begin to think of ourselves as wise and fair and correct in asking so little of life.  We look beyond the walls of our day-to-day existence, and we hear the sound of lances breaking, we smell the dust and the sweat, and we see the great defeats and the fire in the eyes of the warriors. But we never see the delight, the immense delight in the hearts of those engaged in the battle.  For them, neither victory nor defeat is important; what’s important is only that they are fighting the good fight.

And, finally, the third symptom of the passing of our dreams is peace.  Life becomes a Sunday afternoon; we ask for nothing grand, and we cease to demand anything more than we are willing to give.  In that state we think of ourselves as being mature; we put aside the fantasies of our youth, and we seek personal and professional achievement.  We are surprised when people our age say that they still want this or that out of life.  But really, deep in our hearts, we know that what has happened is that we have renounced the battle for our dreams-we have refused to fight the good fight.

When we renounce our dreams and find peace, we go through a period of tranquility.  But the dead dreams begin to rot within us and to infect our entire being.  We become cruel to those around us, and then we begin to direct this cruelty against ourselves…What we sought to avoid in combat-disappointment and defeat-came upon us because of our cowardice.  And one day, the dead, spoiled dreams make it difficult to breath, and we actually seek death.  It’s death that frees us from out certainties, from our work, and from that terrible peace of Sunday afternoons.” The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho P. 58

11 Responses to Inspiring passage from The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho

  1. This is a great post and it seems that by me reading it today the ‘universe’ has got a message to me that I needed to hear! Thanks for delivering!

  2. Tania says:

    I read The Pilgrimage quite a while back but am at a point where I need to reread it, I keep coming across references to it. I too needed to hear this message TODAY! I just realized how important it is to fight for my dreams instead of waiting for them. Thank you for the reminder!

  3. Shilpan | says:

    Beautifully articulated writing about dream and fight within to overcome any obstacles to achieve our dream. I love you blog. I just subscribed. I’m stumbling this post.


  4. It is so interesting that this should come my way just now as we are in Lisbon now headed to this very spot! I have always been an idealist and a dreamer and believe in making them come true. I am also a fan of Paulo Coelho, so this is perfect…thanks!

    I feel like I am living my biggest dream now on our famly open ended world tour. It was quite the fight to create it, but worth every sacrifice…and then some!

  5. Julie says:

    Fantastic post…we should never quit fighting for our dreams. Obstacles will be put in out paths…it is how we overcome them that can change it all. Never give up the fight.

    Again…superior post

  6. Tom says:

    Great post, very inspiring and very true. The Pilgrimage has always been my favorite writing by Paulo. Sometimes our pilgrimages take us to far away places in the world and sometimes the journey is only in our mind.

    Thanks for the bright spot in my day…

    Tom Carroll
    author of “The Confession of Mason Young”

  7. imadud2 says:

    What an interesting take on peace. I’ve always thought of peace as good and desirable-especially inner peace. I’ve never thought of it as a lack of desire to make my dreams come true and an acceptance of the way my parents told me things ought to, and will be.

    I’ve always thought of battle as an unnecessary evil and something to avoid at all costs. Never would I have thought to look for the “delight” in the eyes of the warrior.

    This article gives the ideas of peace and battles a whole new meaning. It has made me realize just how easily and how many of my dreams I have given up and how many tales I have fallen for in the name of giving up.

    Thanks for this article and the chance to reclaim my place in the battle and adventure of living. Now, I will fight. Now shall I win if only because I fight.

  8. Vic Lindal says:

    Planning the hike April 15 2010.
    Read the Pilgrimage and am now inspired to read it again.
    Taking a short bike trip with my granddaughter and was wondering what I would take to read.
    Now I know.
    Super Wow!
    Vic Lindal from Victoria Canada

  9. Neven Valand says:

    Coelho is simply – fantastic!

    Best wishes from Neven Valand, Zagreb, Croatia, Europe

  10. Tebe12 says:

    Wow, I have to READ this book…..I like the messages quoted above…thanks a lot for being a cause for me to read it

  11. Juan says:

    I recently had a job offer. The money was extremely good and anyone would have jumped at the chance to earn that kind of salary.
    Also: I had a dream of living a simple life, soaking up the sun and enjoying the simple pleasures of life and living and working
    in South East asia. (I have travelled there 3 times before and my soul was nourished there)

    I could basically take this offer and end up being a well paid miserable corporate drone, OR I could follow my dreams.
    I just could not make up my mind.

    Recently I started reading The Pilgramage by Paulo Coelho. It sat on my bedside table and I forgot where I left off reading.
    I opened the book on a ‘random’ spot and I started reading. The page I opened the book on was the passage above!!

    This Omen was just to obious to ignore. I resigned from my bland repetitive office job and will be moving to thailand soon
    to follow my dream as a scuba diver!

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