I rarely read novels, but I've read everything written by Paulo Coelho. Below is an excerpt from By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept.
Every day, we are given the sun—and also one moment in which we have the ability to change everything that makes us unhappy. Every day, we try to pretend that we haven’t perceived that moment, that it doesn’t exist—that today is the same as yesterday and will be the same as tomorrow. But if people really pay attention to their everyday lives, they will discover that magic moment. It may arrive in the instant when we are doing something mundane, like putting our front-door key in the lock; it may lie hidden in the quiet that follows the lunch hour or in the thousand and one things that all seem the same to us. But that moment exists.
Joy is sometimes a blessing, but it is often a conquest. Our magic moment helps us to change and sends us off in search of our dreams. Yes, we are going to suffer, we will have difficult times, and we will experience many disappointments—but all of this is transitory; it leaves no permanent mark. And one day we will look back with pride and faith at the journey we have taken.
Pitiful is the person who is afraid of taking risks. Perhaps this person will never be disappointed or disillusioned; perhaps they won’t suffer the way people do when they have a dream to follow.
But when that person looks back—and at some point everyone looks back—they will hear their heart saying, “What have you done with the miracles that were planted in your days? What have you done with the talents bestowed on you? You buried yourself in a cave because you were fearful of losing those talents. So this is your heritage: the certainty that you wasted your life.” Pitiful are the people who must realise this. Because when they are finally able to believe in miracles, their life’s magic moments will have already passed them by.