“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 PhoenixAdvertising
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?
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The Gentle Art of Saying No
It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.
But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.
What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.
But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:
- Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
- Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
- Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
- Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
- Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
- Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
- Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
- Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
- Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
- It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.
Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com