A lot of things have been said about J.K. Rowling. From struggling as a single mother to achieving billionaire author status, she’s cracked open the door to the wizarding world of Harry Potter and friends to millions of readers all over the globe.
In 2008, she was chosen to deliver the commencement speech at Harvard University, which soon turned into a motivational talk reaching out to millions of people. In 2015, it even became a book called Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the importance of imagination.
While being an amazing story teller and an inspiration for an entire generation, I still think that her most important words remain the ones she spoke to us, like these ones:
“What I feared most for myself at your age was not poverty, but failure.”
And although it could seem difficult to succeed on a scale she did, very few can find the words to express the importance of embracing failure the way she did.
So, from her speech to you, here are two quotes that nail the importance of failing in life and that spoke to me.
1. “Failure gave me an inner security that I had never attained by passing examinations. Failure taught me things about myself that I could have learned no other way. I discovered that I had a strong will, and more discipline than I had suspected; I also found out that I had friends whose value was truly above the price of rubies.”
2. “So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and 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 realised, 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.”