The Fifth Mountain - Paulo Coelho
Whenever I thought myself the absolute master of a situation, something would happen to cast me down. I asked myself : why? Can it be that I'm condemned to always come close but never reach the finish line? Can God be so cruel that He would let me see the palm trees on the horizon only to have me die of thirst in the desert? It took me a long time to understand that it wasn't quite like that. There are things that are brought into our lives to lead us back to the true path of our Personal Legend. Other things arise so we can apply all that we have learned. And, finally, some things come along to teach us.
When a man journeys toward his destiny, often he is obliged to change paths. At other times, the forces around him are too powerful and he is compelled to lay aside his courage and yield. All this is the part of apprenticeship.
There are moments when tribulations occur in our lives, and we cannot avoid them. But they are there for some reason.
The meaning of my life was whatever I wanted it to be.
Every man hath the right to doubt his task, and to forsake it from time to time; but what he must not do is forget it. Whoever doubteth not himself is unworthy - for in his unquestioning belief in his ability, he commiteth the sin of pride. Blessed are they who go through moments of indecision.
All life's battles teach us something, even those we lose. When you grow up, you'll discover that you have defended lies, deceived yourself, or suffered from foolishness. If you're a good warrior, you will not blame yourself for this, but neither will you allow your mistakes to repeat themselves.
I have long seen people passing through here on their way to .... Some of them complained that they had not achieved anything in this place and were setting out for a new destiny. One day these people would return. They had not found what they were seeking, for they carried with them, along with their bags, the weight of their earlier failure. They lacked the confidence in themselves to take risks. On the other hand, there also passed my door people full of ardor. They had profited from every moment of life here. To these people, life was a constant triumph and would go on being one. These people also returned, but with wonderful tales to tell. They had achieved everything they desired because they were not limited by the frustrations of the past.
A child can always 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.
Sometimes it was necessary to struggle with God. Every human being at sometime had tragedy enter his life; it might be the destruction of a city, the death of a near and dear one, an unproved accusation, God challenged one to confront Him and to answer his question : "Why dost thou cling fast to an existence so short and so filled with sufferings ? What is the meaning of thy struggle?" The man who did not know how to answer this question would resign himself, while another, one who sought a meaning to existence, feeling that God had been unjust, would challenge his own destiny. It was at this moment that fire of a different type descended from the heavens - not the fire that kill but the kind that tears down ancient walls and imparts to each human being his true possibilities. Cowards never allow their heart to blaze with this fire; all they desire is for the changed situation to quickly return to what it was before., so they can go on living their lives and thinking in their customary way. The brave, however, set afire that which was old and, even at the cost of great internal suffering, abandon everything, including God, and continue onward. The brave are always stubborn.
Take advantage of the chance that tragedy has given you; not everyone is capable of doing so.