If You Think Adventure Is Dangerous, Try Routine. It Is Lethal

If You Think Adventure Is Dangerous
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“If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. It is lethal.” -Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho (1947 – present) is a bestselling Brazilian writer widely popular for his book “The Alchemist” which has been translated into 80 languages. He is the all time bestselling Portuguese language author and “The Alchemist” became the most translated book in the world by any living author.

At the age of 17, his parents committed him to a mental institution, mainly because of his introversion and unconventional actions and beliefs. He escaped three times before being released at 20. He travelled in many countries as a hippie and drug user after dropping out of law school. When he came back to his homeland, he worked as a lyricist and wrote songs for Raul Seixas, a Brazilian icon. He was put to jail for the activism in his lyrics and was accused of doing “subversive” acts.

His life changed after making a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in 1986. The spiritual reawakening inspired him to fulfil his dream of becoming a full time writer. Coelho’s philosophy and the theme in “The Alchemist,” revolve around taking risks and living a life of one’s choosing. He frequently mentioned about the dangers of materialism that has urged people to set aside their dreams and choose a more convenient path.

When Henry Thoreau said, “A mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation”, he was referring to the working class whose lives are dictated by routines. Similarly, Coelho emphasized the dangers of living without taking risks which for him, is far more dangerous than going in an adventure.

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