Paulo Coelho - The Alchemist

I’ve decided to start a new series of blog posts here on Beyond the Rhetoric. Every Sunday, I’ll provide a snippet or a quote that can be inspirational or thought-provoking. Some of them may explore the meaning of life. Others may talk about love. Others still may offer simple encouragement to get you through another work week.

These words of wisdom can make great fodder for discussion, so I highly encourage you to voice your thoughts using the comment form at the bottom of this page. Remember that this blog is not a monologue; it’s a dialogue that I hope to have with you, the reader.

For the first ever Sunday Snippet, we turn to Paulo Coelho, author of The Alchemist. In it, he discusses the obstacles that we face in trying to achieve our dreams. This is the fourth obstacle.

“Oscar Wilde said: “Each man kills the thing he loves.” And it’s true. The mere possibility of getting what we want fills the soul of the ordinary person with guilt. We look around at all those who failed to get what they want and feel that we do not deserve to get what we want either. We forget about all the obstacles we overcame, all the suffering we endured, all the things we had to give up in order to get this far. I have known a lot of people who, when their personal calling was within their grasp, went on to commit a series of stupid mistakes and never reached their goal — when it was only a step away.”

As ironic and counter-intuitive as it may sound, many of us fear success and the change it may bring. Even if we take initiative and have the right map, we may subconsciously sabotage our efforts because of this fear. We fear the new responsibilities that we may inherit and we fear the expectations that are associated with our achievements. To achieve success, we must overcome this fear.

Sometimes, the only thing standing in your way is you. You deserve to succeed. Make it happen.