Thursday, September 11, 2008

Paolo Coelho is even teaching us how to create insights

12/365 My night., originally uploaded by Miffy Hippo.

So I have already written about my love affair with Paulo Coelho and the way he writes but also what he has done with this genius. I am currently reading his book the Pilgrimage whereby a man is on a religious journey. I am not a hugely religious person but two things came up that I thought were fantastic. The first is he highlighted the reason why I love to travel

'When you travel, you experience, in a very practical way, the act of rebirth. You confront completely new situations, the day passes more slowly, and on most journeys you don't even understand the language the people speak. So you are like a child just out of the womb. You begin to be more accessible to others because they may be able to help you in difficult situations. And you accept any small favour from the gods with great delight, as if it were an episode you would remember for the rest of your life.
At the same time, since all things are new, you see only the beauty in them, and you feel happy to be alive. That's why a religious pilgrimage has always been one of the most objective ways of achieving insight. The word peccadillo which means 'small sin' comes from pecus, which means 'detective foot', a foot that is incapable of walking a road. The way to correct the peccadillo is always to walk forward, adapting oneself to new situations and recieving in return all of thousands of blessings that life generously offers to those who seek them.'

Sorry to write such a huge paragraph but it just typifies the reason I love to travel. You do take your time. You do notice more things specifically and try to get a greater understanding of their beauty. One big thing for me was openess to new people that otherwise I might not have been. Which lead to a lot of great friends and experiences. But this is my blog for work and there is one great thing that was in that paragraph. ' the most objective ways of achieving insight'.

The story then goes on to create an exercise for the pilgrim to expand his view of the world. Its brilliant and I believe we all should do it. In the exact words

The Speed Exercise

Walk for twenty minutes at half the speed at which you normally walk. Pay attention to the details, people, and surroundings. The best time to do this is after lunch.

Repeat the exercise for seven days

What if we all did what we do everyday at half the speed for just twenty minutes. We read that brief, research, data, had a conversation with a collegue or a client or someone in a focus group. I have tried to make 3pm everyday my twenty minute time. I have even found a special place to do it. You really do start to notice things more and think them through. We all know its not possible to do it all of the time. But just twenty minutes. Trevor Beattie has always said its just the little things that matter. So just a little bit of time each day, just once. We might just become a little more insightful.


Anonymous said...


I'm a big fan of Paulo Coelho! You will love this! He's the first best-selling
author to be distributing for free his works on his blog:

Have a nice day!


Motorokr said...

that is a really good way of capturing what travel is like. I think it is not so much a rebirth exactly but a way of growing as a human.

mikej said...

Yeah I agree with growing up. I have travelled a bit and I think i have grown up a little bit.(not that much)
I had a friends father who still has teenagers. He was having trouble with his daughter so he sent her on exchange and then travelling at 16. His comment was ... it will sort her out and make her realise the world is much bigger than she is.
Gotta love the wisdom of fathers

thanks for the comment