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11 Life Lessons From JK Rowling

11 Life Lessons From JK Rowling

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    So you didn’t have a perfect childhood? Sorry for your loss. What a great excuse you may have for not going all the way to make your dreams come true.

    Warning: today your excuses may be gone forever, no matter what your life looks like. After reading these golden nuggets of life delivered by JK Rowling to a graduating class at Harvard, you will be in on her life secrets. These mini lessons take you from any excuse to the life of your dreams. Read at your own risk. By the end of this post, you will have no reason left to stuff your big and little dreams under the mattress.

    A lightning idea struck Jo, and she became a billionaire author. Are you ready to enter your magical life?  Here are some of her life philosophies that you too can take on.

    1. “Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”

    Here is how JK perceived her rock bottom:

    “I had failed on an epic scale. An exceptionally short lived marriage had imploded and I was a jobless alone parent and as poor as it was possible to be in Britain without being homeless.”

    You too can build up from your own rock bottom, laying a foundation for your dreams and goals, no matter where you are at in this very moment.

    owl moon harry potter

      2. “Failure gave me an inner security that I have never had by passing examinations.”

      Does inner security comes from a job, money, getting an A? The perfect spouse or relationship?

      Not according to Jo. Her inner security came from failure.

      “Failure meant the stripping away of the inessential.”

      What can you strip away? What is inessential in your life? What will be left? What’s left is only what’s important to you along with inner security that you are choosing only a path that is right for you.

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      harry potter bookover

        3. “Poverty itself is romanticized only by fools. It means a thousand petty humiliations and hardships.”

        Some people associate poverty with spirituality. Or they think that it’s romantic to be writhing in hunger and cold, scratching out your craft anyway, digging deep.

        Jo disagrees. Why romanticize humiliation and hardships?

        “I cannot criticize my parents for hoping I would never experience poverty. They had been poor themselves and I have since been poor. And I quite agree with them that it is not an ennobling experience.”

        It may be time for you to romanticize wealth and abundance, and look forward to bringing your gifts to this world, while satiated, with some extra money in the bank. Now that is ennobling.

        harrypotter kid jumping

          4. “Talent and intelligence never yet inoculated anyone against the caprice of the fates.”

          So you have a college education or know you’re smart. That’s great, but as far as the fates, well as Jo says,

          “Your qualifications are not your life.”

          There’s no room for self-judgment here—life is what it is for all of us. Do what you can to get what you want. Keep on keeping on, and don’t give up.

          the end

            5. “The moment you are old enough to take the wheel, responsibility lies with you.”

            If you’re blaming someone else for you not finding your own dream and bringing it to life, grab the wheel; you’re old enough to drive.

            “I do not blame my parents…there is an expiry date for blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction. I discovered that I had a strong will and more discipline than I had suspected.”

            You have what it takes, so take it. The minute you stop blaming, you can start steering.

            hogwarts

              6. “We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all the power we need inside ourselves already.”

              Wouldn’t it be nice to have Harry or Hermione’s magic wand? Or to go into a wand shop and browse?

              If Jo tells you that you have magic and power inside yourself, then you do. Believe it, allow it to surface and get ready for a wild ride.

              cartoon harry potter etc

                7. “The crucial importance of imagination.”

                Did you think imagination is to be left for the kids? Maybe you’re just a big kid after all.

                “Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not and therefore the fount of all invention…we have the power to imagine better.”

                 

                “It is the power that enables us to empathize with humans whose experiences we never shared.”

                Go ahead and daydream. Let your imagination run where it may and imagine a better life, a better world. You have Jo’s permission.

                Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

                  8. “The first story I finished was when I was six years old.”

                  Our childhoods have lots of clues. What were you doing when you were six? What toy did you want? What did you play with?

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                  If you can’t remember, take a trip to the virtual toy store and see what you want to play with and play. It may lead to what you really want to be doing.

                  harrypotter book page

                    9. “I began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me.”

                    What work matters to you?

                    “I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was.”

                    What might you be pretending to be? What box are you in? Climb on out.

                    harrypottercastle

                       

                      10. “Harry Potter gave me back self-respect. Harry gave me a job to do that I loved more than anything else.”

                      Do what you love and what you are meant to do and the self-respect will follow.

                      stars harry potter

                        11. “It is impossible to live without failing at something unless you live so cautiously that you might not have lived at all, in which case you fail by default.”

                        Failure is good. It means you are out in the ring, not in the nosebleed section, watching other people battle it out.

                        “There was a point where I really felt I had ‘penniless divorcee lone parent’ tattooed on my head.”

                         

                        “What I feared most; failure. I was the biggest failure I knew.”

                        What do you think you have tattooed on your forehead? Too old to start? Young and inexperienced? Too poor? Too scared?

                        Time to pour the concrete and lay the foundation for greater things.

                        lovely view for harry potter

                          Here is a bonus life lesson:

                          “I don’t think about who the audience is for my books.”

                          Expectations of others can rule our lives if we let them. IF we let them.

                          “I was striking an uneasy balance between the ambition I had for myself and what those closest to me expected of me.”

                          Take a break from wondering how to create your career based on what others want. If you do what helps you, with the gifts you have, you will do as Jo did.

                          So there you have it. Life on JK Rowling’s terms.

                          “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.”

                          Go ahead. Set yourself free. Your failures can be your stepping stones to greatness. This one life you have is yours to live. Do what you love and want to do—that’s where the magic is. Believe in yourself.

                          Light yourself up and dig deep for the magic inside you. It’s there, and it’s in all of us. Harry leads the way!

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                          Last Updated on July 10, 2020

                          How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                          How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                          We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

                          We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

                          So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

                          Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

                          What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

                          Boundaries are limits

                          —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

                          Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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                          Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

                          Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

                          Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

                          How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

                          Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

                          1. Self-Awareness Comes First

                          Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

                          You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

                          To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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                          You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

                          • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
                          • When do you feel disrespected?
                          • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
                          • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
                          • When do you want to be alone?
                          • How much space do you need?

                          You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

                          2. Clear Communication Is Essential

                          Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

                          Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

                          3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

                          Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

                          That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

                          Sample language:

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                          • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
                          • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
                          • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
                          • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
                          • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
                          • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
                          • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

                          Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

                          4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

                          Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

                          Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

                          Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

                          We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

                          It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

                          It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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                          Final Thoughts

                          Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

                          Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

                          Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

                          The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

                          Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

                          Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

                          They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

                          Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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