“The greatest thing Harry Potter has given the world, is the freedom to use our imagination” – Oprah Winfrey.
The Harry Potter books penned by the prolific wordsmith J.K. Rowling are one of the most imaginative, magical and captivating stories ever written.
Hidden in this beautiful series of books are messages of love, friendship, family, courage and many more inspiring life lessons. The books and movies have touched millions of people all over the world. The strong characters have inspired many to take up debates and issues which the book addresses – from libertarianism to feminism to civil rights to raising their voices against power struggles, bigotry, and violence.
J.W. Eagan sensibly said, ‘Never judge a book by its movie.” However, the Harry Potter series is a rare instance of the films complementing the books exceedingly well. Yes, they do not cover all the details, but they do justice to most of the books in the 2-3 hours that is the length of a feature film. The level of detail from art design, to sets, to special effects, to the conviction of the characters portrayed bring alive the enchanting world of Harry Potter. I suspect the close association of the author with the films might have something to do with this.
J.K. Rowling’s sparkling wit, humor and exceptional ability to deliver simple insights with great impact are seen in these several quotes that went on to become extremely popular with fans. Notable among these are those belonging to Albus Dumbledore, who in many ways was her voice in the books.
Here is a pick of some of the best quotes about life lessons relating to different topics:
On coping with loss:
Dumbledore reminds Harry to live in the present moment and not dream of a past gone or a future that could have been.
“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” ― Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Courage comes in various forms, it’s not just about fighting your enemies like Harry, Ron and Hermione demonstrate, but also about confronting your friends like Neville shows us.
“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.” ― Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Dumbledore points out to Harry the wisdom of accepting our mortality and not fearing the end but looking upon it as an opportunity for a new beginning.
“To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.” ― Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
You are a consequence of your choices in life. It doesn’t matter how capable or talented you are, it’s what you do that makes a difference in the world. We are who we choose to become.
“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” ― Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Happiness is an inside job. It is a conscious choice and lasting happiness emanates from within and is not affected by external circumstances. We all have it within us to find that hope in the midst of despair.
“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if only one remembers to turn on the light” – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you. Treating everyone with kindness is important, as Sirius Black points out.
“If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals” – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
On making the right decisions:
- When we are faced with problems, it’s only too easy to take the easy way out but this may not always be the right choice.
“Dark and difficult times lie ahead. Soon we must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy.” – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
On being sensitive:
Empathize with others and put yourself in their shoes to appreciate their point of view.
“Just because you have the emotional range of a teaspoon doesn’t mean we all have.” – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
On accepting and understanding ourselves:
We have all experience positive and negative thoughts, emotions, and sensations. But we have a choice not to be swayed by them, through making independent decisions on how to act appropriately.
“We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.” – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
On being human and recognizing the power of pain:
If we didn’t have problems, we wouldn’t appreciate the good things in life. Pain, loss, and failure is inevitable in life and brings perspective, clarity and is a catalyst for positive change, should you allow it to be.
“Harry, suffering like this proves you are still a man! This pain is part of being human … the fact that you can feel pain like this is your greatest strength. ” – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Everything will work out eventually and for the best, even if it’s not in the way we expected it.
“Things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end, if not always in the way we expect.” – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
On the fear of death:
It is the lack of knowledge and experience that makes us fear death and darkness, just like a child may fear the shadows but as she grows and understands more, she becomes fearless.
“It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more. ” – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
On reality and the mind:
Reality is but an illusion. Everything we experience in the world is a reflection of our mind. So our perception is colored by our internal makeup which is why different people see the same things, differently. This is J.K. Rowling’s favorite quote from the series.
“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
On using words wisely:
Words can hurt or heal so choose yours carefully. Think before you speak.
“Words are in my not-so-humble opinion, the most inexhaustible form of magic we have, capable both of inflicting injury and remedying it.” ―
True love is unconditional and eternal.
“After all this time?”
“Always,” said Snape.” ―
The End of an Epic!
This quote is not from the series and was spoken by JK Rowling at the premiere of the last film. It was the perfect way to bid a fond farewell to Potter fans who mourned the end of their childhood with the end of the series; as many of us grew up with this books and movies. However, they will stay with us forever.
“No story lives unless someone wants to listen. The stories we love best do live in us forever. So whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.” ― J.K. Rowling
So, what is your favorite Harry Potter quote?
Featured photo credit: The Trio in The Burrow via vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net
Last Updated on May 21, 2019
How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship
For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.
If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:
You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.
You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.
In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.
You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.
People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.
You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.
You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.
The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.
You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.
Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.
If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.
Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:
- Understand your own communication style
- Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
- Communicate with precision and care
- Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger
1. Understand Your Communication Style
To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.
In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.
Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.
2. Learn Others Communication Styles
Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.
If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:
“How do you prefer to receive information?”
This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.
To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.
3. Exercise Precision and Care
A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.
On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.
Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.
I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.
I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.
In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.
The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.
Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.
4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger
Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.
In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,
“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”
Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.
Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.
It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.
It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.
It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.
Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.
Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.
The Bottom Line
When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.
I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.
More Articles About Effective Communication
- Conflict Management Styles for Effective Communication at Work
- 13 Best Communication Books for Stronger Social Skills & Relationships
- How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home
- 7 Most Important Communication Techniques to Master in the Workplace
Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com
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