In 2008, J.K. Rowling spoke at the Harvard Commencement on the benefits of failure and the importance of imagination. Take a look at these quotes from this beloved author, whose advice has spanned through her Harry Potter series and continues to influence the public today.
“Failure meant the stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and I began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged.”
“I was set free because my greatest fear had been realized and I was still alive and I still had a daughter, whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”
“Life is not a checklist of acquisition or achievement, your qualifications, your CV, are not your life. Though you will meet many people of my age and older, who confuse the two. Life is difficult and complicated and beyond anyone’s total control.”
“We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.”
“In its most transformative and revelatory capacity, it[imagination] is the power that enables us to empathize with humans, whose experiences we have never shared.”
To learn more about J.K. Rowling’s story, click here.
To watch her speech, click on the video below.