The Archer by Paulo Coelho tells the story of Tetsuya, a man once famous for his prodigious gift with a bow and arrow but who has since retired from public life, and the boy who comes searching for him.
The boy has many questions, and in answering them Tetsuya illustrates the way of the bow and the tenets of a meaningful life.
Following in the footsteps of the international bestseller, The Alchemist, The Archer by Paulo Coelho provides the framework for a rewarding life: hard work, passion, purpose, thoughtfulness, the willingness to fail, and the urge to make a difference.
The moral of the story suggests that living a life constricted by fear of rejection or failure is not a life worth living. Instead, one must take risks, build courage, and embrace the unexpected journey fate has to offer.
Scroll down and read 30 quotes from The Archer by Paulo Coelho.
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30 Best Quotes from The Archer by Paulo Coelho
What is a master? I would say that he is not someone who teaches something, but someone who inspires the student to do his best to discover a knowledge he already has in his soul.
The archer who does not share with others the joy of the bow and the arrow will never know his own qualities and defects.
Before you begin anything, seek out your allies, people who are interested in what you are doing.
Your allies will not necessarily be the kind of dazzling people to whom everyone looks up to and of whom they say: “There’s none better.” On the contrary, they are people who are not afraid of making mistakes and who do, therefore, make mistakes, which is why their work often goes unrecognized.
The best allies are those who do not think like everyone else.
People always judge others by taking as a model their own limitations, and other people’s opinions are often full of prejudice and fear.
Join with all those who experiment, take risks, fall, get hurt, and then take more risks. Stay away from those who affirm truths, who criticize those who do not think like them, people who have never once taken a step unless they were sure they would be respected for doing so, and who prefer certainties to doubts.
Join with those who sing, tell stories, take pleasure in life, and have joy in their eyes, because joy is contagious and can prevent others from becoming paralyzed by depression, loneliness, and difficulties.
The bow is life: the source of all energy. The arrow will leave one day. The target is a long way off. But the bow will stay with you, and you must know how to look after it.
A bow has no conscience: it is a prolongation of the hand and desire of the archer. It can serve to kill or to meditate. Therefore, always be clear about your intentions.
A bow is flexible, but it has its limits. Stretching it beyond its capacity will break it or exhaust the hand holding it. Therefore, try to be in harmony with your instrument and never ask more than it can give.
A bow is at rest or under tension in the hand of the archer, but the hand is merely the place where all the muscles of the body, all the intentions of the archer, and all the effort of shooting are concentrated.
In order to understand your bow, it must become part of your arm and an extension of your thoughts.
The arrow is the intention. It is what unites the strength of the bow with the center of the target.
Once the arrow has gone, it will not come back, so it is better to interrupt a shot, because the movements that led up to it were not sufficiently precise and correct, than to act carelessly, simply because the bow was fully drawn and the target was waiting.
But never hold back from firing the arrow if all that paralyzes you is fear of making a mistake. If you have made the right movements, open your hand and release the string. Even if the arrow fails to hit the target, you will learn how to improve your aim next time.
If you never take a risk, you will never know what changes you need to make.
Each arrow leaves a memory in your heart, and it is the sum of those memories that will make you shoot better and better.
The target can be larger, smaller, to the right or the left, but you always have to stand before it, respect it, and bring it closer mentally. Only when it is at the very end of your arrow should you release the bowstring.
Serenity comes from the heart. Although the heart is often tormented by thoughts of insecurity, it knows that—through correct posture—it will be able to do its best.
Elegance is not the most comfortable of postures, but it is the best posture if the shot is to be perfect.
The snow is lovely because it has only one color, the sea is lovely because it appears to be a completely flat surface, but both sea and snow are deep and know their own qualities.
To hold the arrow is to be in touch with your own intention.
The arrow is the intention that leaves the archer’s hand and sets off toward the target; that is, it is free in its flight and will follow the path chosen for it when it was released.
A man’s intention should be perfect, straight, sharp, firm, precise. No one can stop it as it crosses the space separating it from its destiny.
Use your bad moments to discover what makes you tremble. Use your good moments to find your road to inner peace. But do not stop either out of fear or out of joy: the way of the bow has no end.
The archer keeps his eyes fixed on the flight of the arrow, but his heart rests, and he smiles.
Each arrow flies differently. You can shoot a thousand arrows and each one will follow a different trajectory: that is the way of the bow.
The archer learns when he forgets all about the rules of the way of the bow and goes on to act entirely on instinct.
The way of the bow is the way of joy and enthusiasm, of perfection and error, of technique and instinct. But you will only learn this if you keep shooting your arrows.
Which quote from The Archer by Paulo Coelho is your favorite?