The Art of Trying by Paulo Coehlo


Pablo Picasso once said, “God is really only another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant and the cat. He has no real style. He just keeps on trying other things.”

When we start working on our dreams, we always feel afraid. We wonder if there are rules to follow. Who comes up with these rules, while we all live such different lives? If God created the giraffe, the elephant and the cat, and we try to learn from his example, then why would we try to follow one rule or another?

Sometimes rules help us avoid the mistakes others have made before our time, but more often than not a rule will only make us repeat what someone else has already done.

Rest assured. Trust the universe, and look forward to surprising yourself. The apostle Paul said, “God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong.” The wise know some actions repeat themselves. They regularly encounter the same problems and situations they have dealt with before. Knowing that makes them sad. They start to think they’ll never be able to grow, since whatever they experienced before is happening again.

“I’ve already been through this,” they complain to their hearts.

“That may be true,” their hearts reply, “but you haven’t mastered it yet.”

The wise understand that repetition has a cause: to teach the lesson that still needs teaching. Repetitive situations require different solutions every time. The one who fails must not see this as a mistake, but rather as a step toward greater self knowledge.

It’s like Thomas Watson said, “Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure.”

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