JK Rowling

The upside of failure

In this TED TALK video , Harry Potter author, JK Rowlings, gives the commencement speech at Harvard University, June 2008 about the upside of failure.

Here are a few titbits of her talk.

  • There is an expiry date on making your parents responsible for everything.
  • Poverty is romanticised only by fools.
  • What constitutes failure? For Harvard grads, failure may well equate to success for most people.
  • Failure means a stripping away of the inessential, and forced Rowlings to go with the one dream that she had, to write about her big idea.
  • Some failure is inevitable, unless you live so cautiously.
  • Failure gave an inner security and a discipline.
  • Failure tests relationships and is worth more than any qualification.
  • Personal happiness is not a checklist of achievement, and life is not a CV of victories.
  • Imagination is the power that enables us to empathise with beings we have never met or imagined.
  • Choosing to live in mentally and imaginatively narrow spaces brings its own agrophobia.
  • What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.

These points assembled by Mark O’Brien

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