“The mind is a universe and can make a heaven of hell, or a hell of heaven.” John Milton
As soon as he died, Juan found himself in a gorgeous place, surrounded by all the comfort and beauty he had dreamed of.
A fellow dressed in white approached him and said, “You have the right to have whatever you want; any food, pleasure or amusement.”
Charmed, Juan did everything he dreamed of doing during his life. After many years of pleasures, he sought the fellow in white and asked, “I have already experienced everything I wanted. Now I need to work in order to feel useful and fulfilled.”
“I am sorry,” said the fellow in white, “but that is the only thing I am unable to give you. There is no work here.”
“How terrible,” Juan said annoyed, “I will spend eternity dying of boredom! I’d much rather be in hell!”
The man in white approached him and said in a low voice:
“And where do you think you are?”…………………
Sometimes we believe that our lives would be happier or easier if we did not have challenges or work to do. No matter how much we dislike the challenges that come our way, with the right perspective and attitude, they help us grow and expand our vision in life. Our life is fulfilling when we have purpose and as we work through the obstacles that life presents, we may just find our piece of heaven on earth!
42 thoughts on “Be careful what you wish for…..”
I think hard work and keeping productive contributes a great deal to our happiness. Idleness allows us to stew in our emotions. Sometimes that’s good; sometimes it’s not.
Yes I agree Carrie, it’s not that we have to work all the time, it’s about using our time in mindfulness and presence. 🙂
Love the story…
Me too. 🙂
I love the story too!
Yes, Paul Coelho is the master of story telling. Thanks Julie.
Great story to illustrate an important point. Contrast makes life interesting. Without the downs, how would we measure the ups? 😉
Exactly Eliza. It’s the truth. 🙂
I totally agree Karen. When our basic needs are met, we need purpose and a sense of belonging. Great illustration! ❤
We have all experienced this truth. Thanks Diana.
Wow, just wonderful!
Yes the story is powerful. Thanks Nico.
Good story! Love it when we get to shift perspectives and assumptions are exposed. 🙃
Yes me too Val. This is how we learn. Thankyou. 🙂
What a wonderful story. Often we talk about purposeful living, but it seems few know how to pursue it. In retirement, many believe “free time” is the goal. Free time becomes a reality, not a goal. What we do with free time becomes the reality. Purposeful living fills this time with joy and meaning. Discovering one’s purpose in life makes this transition a true blessing.
Retirement certainly holds this illusion for many. When we are truly living our soul’s purpose in life, (or if we are lucky enough to be) it no longer feels like work, and we are no longer waiting for that illusive free time in the future or retirement, I hope I am always serving and doing the work I am called to do, it makes me feel alive and fulfilled. Thanks for your thoughts Jonathan..
You really touch on an important thing in life ~ something when things are most difficult I feel the most comfortable because I know I can make it better. 🙂 And the John Milton quote is one of my favorites ~ had it on my door when I was just starting out in Hong Kong – reading it when times were tough felt good. Great post Karen.
You have a great attitude towards trials in life Randall, and that for me is the formula for success. I love this quote by Theodore Roosevelt, it is like Milton’s quote, and putting it up on your door reminds us all, that we have the power at anytime to change our perspective, no matter what obstacles come our way. Thankyou. 🙂
It is not the critic who counts, not the one who points out how the strong man stumbled or how the doer of deeds might have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred with sweat and dust and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, if he wins, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.
President Theodore Roosevelt
Wow, that is a powerful quote ~ Teddy is one of my heroes, but I did not know this quote of his, but the “whose face is marred with sweat and dust and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause” is definitely Teddy 🙂 Thank you for this…
Another one for your door! 🙂
I so agree with this. There is so much potential we have inside us. Count your blessing as it nurtures your soul.
Yes we do, and to understand that potential is endless, is the gift. Thankyou.
Powerful story Karen..
It is Akhila, thankyou 🙂
Great story. I can relate. After four very ‘challenging’ years with no time to breathe, I have now been retired and ‘free’ for three months. I am now starting to feel just a little bit edgy 🙂
Yes so true Elizabeth, we wait for the silence and the freedom, only to find it’s not what we planned. It does take getting used to and you are working on some great goals this year and that is more than enough. Be present to every moment, that in itself takes time!! 🙂
Exactly how I felt during our “Holiday Stand-down” where we worked one week for that Christmas week and then off for the New Year week. I was good to chill and relax for a week, but after awhile I actually missed going to work. I could say that I’m a person who thrives on chaos and challenges.
Happy New Year Rommel, nice to hear from you. Yes you do love the busyness and chaos ha!! and that’s okay to feel uncomfortable, but learning to understand why it feels so uncomfortable, might be good to work on too. 🙂
An excellent point well made Karen, by yourself and Mr. Coelho. I think that having a sense of purpose, albeit one in which objectives will change over time, is vital for a healthy mind.
I agree Hariod, and we have all felt this throughout our life. Thankyou.
I have found myself floundering about at times in my retirement. I do some volunteer work but I need a little more. I’ll be coming up with a few new projects this year, for sure.
Well done Emilie, I think also it is about focus. No matter what we are doing, make sure we are focused, and mindful and that keeps our minds alert and alive.
Everyone needs a purpose in life. Great story.
They do Jennifer! Thankyou.
Work is fun when you do what you love. Thanks Karen. You always share such great stories with us!
Love and Peace
Well I wish I wrote those amazing stories! Thankyou Mary, I agree work is easy when we are doing what we love. Peace to you also.
a great reoccurring moment,
where do you think you are?!
i reside daily
in busylessness 🙂
I like that word David! “Busylessness” You are so creative. 🙂
What a great story, Karen! And I agree…I don’t think I could ever just sit and do nothing useful, but what I do has to be meaningful, the more so when I ‘mature’ more 🙂
Working to keep busy or to ignore our issues is not true work. I see so many working in jobs that they have no passion for or wish they could be somewhere else. If we can search for meaning and a true purpose in life, I have found it never feels like work!! Thanks Helen.
Great story Karen we all have our challenges to deal with and Im betting we would go nuts if life was perfect. Perfect moments are pretty good though.
Yes we would go crazy! thanks Kath. 🙂