“There are four obstacles. First: we are told from childhood onward that everything we want to do is impossible.

If we have the courage to disinter dream, we are then faced by the second obstacle: love. We know what we want to do, but are afraid of hurting those around us by abandoning everything in order to pursue our dream.

Once we have accepted that love is a stimulus, we come up against the third obstacle: fear of the defeats we will meet on the path.

Then comes the fourth obstacle: the fear of realizing the dream for which we fought all of our lives.

Oscar Wilde said: ‘Each man kills the thing he loves.’

This is the most dangerous of obstacles because it has a kind of saintly aura about it: renouncing joy and conquest. But if you believe yourself worthy of the thing you fought so hard to get, then you become an instrument of God, you help the Soul of the World, and you understand why you are here.”

– abbreviated from Paulo Coelho’s 2002 introduction to “The Alchemist