Book | Takeaways from Paulo Coelho’s book “Brida”

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I found myself spell bound while reading this book. It’s a real page turner and will drowned you into thinking of this beautiful Irish girl quest for wisdom and her pursuit of her destiny. Every page of this book is full of inspiration, powerful insights and encouragement to pursue the path you want. To be courageous, fearless and unstoppable as you take the road that will lead you to what you really want to be.

But as what Francis Bacon said, “Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.” There are some parts of this book that I don’t want to digest and put my heart into such as magic, witchcraft and sorcery which I strongly don’t believe. Nevertheless, I love how the writer weaved every situation in this book into a very heartening and moving tale, crafting it into a very beautiful masterpiece. Paulo Coelho is indeed a master storyteller. This book opens my mind to stop destroying path and denying what I really want to be, and to take a leap of faith to pursue what I am made for. I can’t help but to share the insights and powerful message I got from this book.

This book is the the story of Brida, a beautiful young Irish girl, and her quest for knowledge. On her journey she meets a wise man who dwells in a forest, who teaches her about overcoming her fears, and a woman who teaches her how to dance to the music of the world. They see in her a gift, but must let her make her own voyage of discovery.

As Brida seeks her destiny, she struggles to find a balance between her relationships and her desire to transform herself.

It is a moving tale of love, passion, mystery and spirituality. Be captivated with the story and read my favorite quotes from this book:

“When you find your path, you must not be afraid. You need to have sufficient courage to make mistakes. Disappointment, defeat and despair are the tools God uses to show us the way.”

“Sometimes we set off down a path simply because we don’t believe in it. It’s easy enough. All we have to do then is prove that it isn’t the right path for us. However, when things start to happen and the path does reveal itself to us, we become afraid of carrying on.”

“People chose to spend their whole life destroying paths they didn’t even want to follow, instead of following the one path that would lead them somewhere.”

“When we set out on the path, we always have a fairly clear idea of what we hope to find. Women are generally seeking their Soulmate, and men are looking for Power. Neither party is really interested in learning. They simply want to reach the thing they have set as their goal.”

“The path of life is always will be the path of mystery. Learning something means coming into contact with a world of which you know nothing. In order to learn, you must be humble.”

“Everything in the Universe has life, and you must always try to stay in contact with that life. It understands your language. And the world will begin to take on a different meaning for you.”

“Magical places are always beautiful and deserve to be contemplated. Waterfalls, mountains and forests are all places where the Spirits of Earth tend to play and laugh and speak to us. You are in sacred place, and it is showing you the birds and the wind. Thank God for this, for the birds, the wind, and for the spirits who inhabits this wood. Always stay on the bridge between the visible and invisible.”

“The whole of man’s life on the face of Earth can be summed up by that search for his soulmate. He may pretend to be running after wisdom money or power, but none of that matters.  Whatever he achieves will be incomplete if he fails to find his soulmate.”

“Wisdom means to both know and to transform.”

“The more you understand yourself, the more you will understand the world.”

“Her past was grubby and neglected, and she felt sad to think that she’d never read any of these books before. Perhaps they contained important, long forgotten lessons that she could incorporate into her life.”

‘This is how the Tradition survives,’ said the Voices. ‘Because people are willing to die for an idea.’

“The Mercenaries had fought all their lives purely for money, until they met these people prepared to fight only for what they deemed to be right.”

‘Its the soldiers,’ said Talbo. ‘They know they could die at any moment, and that’s why, for them, life is one long celebration.’

“The Virgin has the power of both man and woman. She is condemned to solitude, but solitude reveals its secret. That is the price paid by the virgin–to need no one, to wear herself out in her love for others, and through solitude, to discover the wisdom of the world.”

‘And the Martyr,’ the Voices went on, ‘the Martyr has the power of those who cannot be harmed by pain and suffering. She surrenders herself, suffers and through sacrifice, discovers the wisdom of the world.’

“The Saint has the courage of those for whom giving is the only way of receiving. They are bottomless well from which people can constantly draw water to drink. And if the well runs dry, the Saint offers her blood so that others need never go thirsty. Through surrender, the Saint discovers the wisdom of the world.”

“The best way to to destroy the bridge between the visible and the invisible is by trying to explain your situation.”

“Don’t bother trying to explain your emotions. Live everything as intensely as you can and keep whatever you felt as a gift from God. If you think you wont be able to stand a world in which living is more important than understanding, then give up now.”

“She wasn’t afraid of difficulties; what frightened her was being forced to to choose one particular path. Choosing a path meant having to miss out on others. She had a whole life to live and she was always thinking that, in the future, he might regret the choices she made now.”

“She wanted to follow all possible paths and so ended up following none.”

“She feared pain, loss and separation. These things were inevitable in the path to love, and the only way of avoiding them was by deciding not to take the path at all. In order not to suffer, you had to renounce love. It was like putting out your own eyes on order not to see the bad things in life.”

“Life is so complicated. You had to take risks, follow some path and abandon others.”

“Perhaps the times when it goes wrong are teaching you something.”

‘Nothing in this world is ever completely wrong, my dear,’ said her father, looking at the clock. ‘Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.’

“Only the truly enlightened have silent souls.”

“Judging oneself to be inferior to other people was one of the worst acts of pride he knew, because it was the most destructive way of being different.”

“When you set off along the path of magic, the first thing you do is surrender yourself to a greater power, for you will encounter things that you will never understand.”

“Any search is an act of faith.”

“But God, who is far harder to understand than a Dark Night, appreciates our act of faith, and takes out hand and guides us through the mystery.”

“But she couldn’t change her mind now; she knew the path to follow, and she must follow it to the end. She knew that if she gave up now, she would find it harder and harder to make any choices in life.”

“The came the moment to start to learn new things. That is called Initiation, because that is where you will truly start to learn new things you need to learn in this life.”

“And knowledge without transformation is not wisdom.”

“Never stop having doubts. If you ever do, it will be because you’ve stopped moving forward, and at that point, God will step in and pull the rug from under your feet, because that is His way of controlling His chosen ones, by making sure they always follow their appointed path to the end. If, for any reason, we stop, whether out of complacency, laziness, or out of a mistaken belief that we know enough. He forces us on.”

“You must be careful never to allow doubt to paralyze. Always take the decisions you need to take, even if you’re not sure doing the right thing. You’ll never go wrong if, when you make a decision.”

“Play your part and dont worry about what others do. Believe that God also speaks to them, and that they are as engaged as you are in discovering the meaning of life.”

“We are all sailors on an unknown sea; may He makeus brave enough to accept this Mystery.”

“The main objective of the great Architect of the Universe is known to Him alone, and to no one else.”

“Once we’ve got over that initial fear, however, we gradually become accustomed to the only possible solution: to follow our dreams. Having the courage to take the steps we always wanted to take is the only way of showing that we trust in God.”

“The only way they could truly participate was by following their own desires, their own dreams, because that is how man becomes an instrument of God.”

“What is now proved was once only imagined.”

“We are all masters of our own destiny. We can so easily make the same mistakes over and over. We can so easily flee from everything that we desire and which life so generously places before us.”

“Soulmates always find each other in the end.”

“Finding one important thing in your life doesn’t mean you have to give up all the other important things.”

“The Universe was exactly where it should be.”

“Being human means having doubt and yet still continuing on your path.”

“The answer was there before her, in that man nailed to the cross. He had played his part, and shown to the world that, if everyone played their part, no one else would have to suffer, because he had suffered for all those who’d had the courage to fight for their dreams.”

“Each person was obliged to learn what he needed to learn and not merely what he wanted to learn.”

“The Hand of God always guides those who follow their path with faith.”

“Simple things always seem so complicated.”

“You have found your path. Few people have the courage to do so. They prefer to follow a path that is not their own. Everyone has a gift, but they choose not to see it. You accepted yours, and your encounter with your gift is your encounter with the world.”

“You can only be close to people if you’re one of them.”

‘Life is about making mistakes,’ said the teacher. ‘Cells went on reproducing themselves in exactly the same way for millions of years, until one of them made a mistake, and introduced change into that endless cycle repetition.’

‘Never be ashamed.’ he said. ‘ Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted, some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle. You can only know a good wine if you have first tasted a bad one.’

“Brave are those who make decisions despite their fear, who are tormented by the devil ever step of the way and gripped by anxiety about their every action, wondering if they are right or wrong. And yet, nevertheless, they act.”

Thanks for reading! I hope you get a dose of inspiration! I typed every single letter in this post! 🙂

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Book | Takeaways from John Maxwell’s book “Failing Forward”

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Many people are never prepared to deal with failure–and I’m one of those. Failure is not something my school, the society nor my family has prepared me for. I was raised to get a perfect score in exams, to memorize books from cover to cover and to never fail in my classes.

In my mind, I have to be successful whatever it cost. It doesn’t matter if I compromise my virtue or bargain my integrity, what matters most is I ‘look’ successful in the eyes of others. My mind created a distorted notion of success and failure. Until, life slapped me in the face that awards, honors and recognition are nothing if I couldn’t prove I’m worthy of it. Success is not significant, if in reality you haven’t really achieve anything. Life knocked me down not just once but more than a dozen of times, because of that I lose confidence, I became fearful and I tried to just play it safe. My moment of glory was gone, now I’m just a face in the crowd. Success just became a distant memory.

But John Maxwell’s books gave me a fresh insights and revelation on how to fail forward and to how to redeem myself. This book is a real page turner, the stories here will take you to different situation and will make you look at life in different angle. This is just the glimpse. Better if you will grab a copy of the book! Well, here’s the steps on how you can fail forward:

1. There is one major difference between people who achieve and people who are average.

“The difference between average people and achieving people is their perception of and response to failure.”

“Two people with similar gifts, talents and resources can look at a situation, and one person will see tremendous opportunity while the other sees nothing. Opportunity is the eye of the beholder.”

“There is no doubt I my mind that there are many ways to be a winner, but there is only one way to be a loser and that is to fail and not look beyond failure.”

“The increase of suicides, alcoholics and even some forms of nervous breakdown is evidence that many people are training for success when they should be training for failure.”

2. Learn a new definition of failure.

Mistakes don’t define failure.They are merely the price of achievement on the success journey.

“People who see failure as the enemy are captive to those who conquer it.” Herbert Brocknow believes, “The fellow who never makes a mistake takes his orders from one who does.” Observe any high achiever and you’ll discover a person who doesn’t see a mistake as the enemy.

Musicologist Eloise Ristad emphasizes that “when we give ourselves permission to fail, we at the same time give ourselves permission to excel.”

3. Remove the ‘you’ from failure.

“I’m not a failure. I failed at doing something. There’s a big difference.”

“I tell everyone I’m up there and they’re down there, not because of my successes, but my failures.”

“If you want to succeed, don’t let any single incident color your view of yourself.”

4.Take action and reduce your fear.

“The worst danger we face is the danger of being paralyzed by doubts and fears.”

Playwright George Bernard Shaw asserted, “A life spent in making mistakes is not only more honorable  but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” To overcome fear and break the cycle, you have to be willing to recognize that you will spend much of your time making mistakes.

“The whole idea of motivation is  a trap. Forget motivation. Just do it. Exercise, lose weight, test your blood sugar, or whatever. Do it without motivation and then guess what. After you start doing the thing, that’s when the motivation comes and makes it easy for you to keep on doing it.”

5. Change your response to failure by accepting responsibility.

The old saying is true: “If you always do what you’ve always done, then you will always get what you’ve always gotten.”

I believe in the motto, “Try and try again.” But the way I read it, it says “Try, then stop and think. Then try again.”

6. Don’t let the failure from outside get inside you.

“It’s not what happens to me; it’s what happens in me. It’s not the size of the problem, but how I handle the problem.”

“Failure is an inside job.  So is success. If you want to achieve, you have to win the war in your thinking first. You can’t let the failure outside you get inside you.”

7. Say goodbye to yesterday.

The problem of people’s past impact them in one of two ways: They experience either a breakdown or a breakthrough.

Your next shot can be as good or bad as your last one–but you’ll always get another chance.

8. Change yourself, and your world changes

Psychiatrist Rudolf Dreikurs observed, “We can change our whole life and the attitude of people around us simply by changing ourselves.”

“No one ever achieved his dream working outside his areas of gifting. To excel, do what you do well.”

9. Get over yourself and start giving yourself.

“Be more concerned with what you can give rather than what you can get because giving truly is the highest level of living.”

10. Find the benefit in every bad experience.

“To achieve your dreams, you must embrace adversity and make failure a regular part of your life. If you’re not failing., you’re probably not really moving forward.”

“The process of achievement comes through repeated failures and the constant struggle to climb to a higher level.”

11. If at first you do succeed, try something harder.

“If you’ve been hitting all the goals you set for yourself, then you need to increase you willingness to take chances. The road to the next level is always uphill, so you can’t coast there.”

12. Learn from a bad experience and make it a good experience.

William Bolitho distinguishes between between a sensible person and a foolish one, “The most important thing in life is not to capitalize on our gains. Any fool can do that. The really important thing is to profit form you loses. That requires intelligence; and it makes the difference between a man of sense and a fool.”

Sydney Harris sums up the element of  a teachable mind-set “A winner knows how much he still has to learn, even when he is considered an expert by others. A loser wants to be considered an expert by others before he has learned enough to know how little he knows.”

An old saying states, “The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.” NO matter what kind of failure you experience, there is always a potential jewel of success contained in it.

13. Work on the weakness that weakens you.

If you’re committed, a failure doesn’t mean that you’ll never succeed. It just means you will take longer. Commitment makes you capable of failing forward until you reach your goals.

14. Understand there’s not much difference between failure and success.

“Nothing worth achieving comes easy.”

“Having a sense of purpose keeps a person going the midst of adversity. It is the fuel that powers persistence.”

15. Get up, get over it, get going

“A champion gets up one more time than he gets knocked down.”

William Knudson joked, “Experience is knowing a lot of things you shouldn’t do.”

Thanks for reading! I hope you get a dose of inspiration! I typed every single letter in this post! 🙂

 

Books on the Shelf: 5 Benefits of Reading Good Books

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The reading of all good books is like a conversation with the finest minds of past centuries. -Rene Descartes

I’m a self confessed book lover and book collector. For some bloggers who have already read my About Me page know that I’d rather buy books than buy new clothes or dine in fancy restaurants.

I invest in books because I fully know well that it will produce a good return in the future. I intentionally allot budget for books because I believe it’s not a value if it doesn’t cost you something. I’m forever grateful to my English teacher who removed the veil in my eyes and let me realized the importance of reading good books. Let me just share the benefits I’m enjoying from reading good books:

  1. Tranquility

How beautiful it is to sit down to read a good book while enjoying your favorite coffee or strawberry smoothie, listening to a good music in the comfort of your own home, in a cozy cafe or in a solitary place that gives you tranquility? Reading good books can bring about immense inner peace and calmness while the world is in fast forward. No matter what you’re going through at work or in your personal life it all just slips away when you lose yourself in a great story.

  1. Wisdom

The one who walks with the wise will become wise, but a companion of fools will suffer harm. What a great privilege to share a private conversation with great men in history and get wisdom from them first hand? Though sound impossible reading books written by those authors is surely a personal and heartfelt talk with the wisest men in history.

  1. Wider Perspective

A well-written book will transport you to others places, get you entangle to different life’s complex situation, force you to meet best and worst kinds of people, remove you from your box and let you explore a bigger and wider world that is beneficial as you face life’s difficulty.

  1. A Smarter and Better You

Reading increases your knowledge about the world, the people and how things work. It enhances you critical and analytical thinking especially when it comes to critiquing a plot, determining if the characters in the story developed as the story progress and if the story flow ran smoothly. Everything you read fills your mind with information, and you never know when you will need it. The more knowledge you have, the better-equipped you are to tackle any challenge you’ll ever face.

  1. Easier life

Writing a published book is a tough journey took by great authors. They spent years of studying, researching and hard work to produce a well written account. It’s your advantage to read what they toil all their life. It took them years, while you can get the wisdom for just a matter of weeks or months. You don’t need to be in the same situation, their writings can be a guide for you to live an awesome life!

It doesn’t matter whether you prefer reading a physical book or a downloaded pdf file in your gadgets. Both will still cost you money. As long as you make it a habit to read, it’s your advantage. As what mark Twain said, “Those who don’t read good books have no advantage over those who can’t.”

And by the way, I created a new category on my blog ‘Books on the shelf’ to share my takeaways from  the books I read.