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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 January 21, 2020

                          The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                          The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                          Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

                          your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

                            Why You Need a Vision

                            Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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                            How to Create Your Life Vision

                            Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

                            What Do You Want?

                            The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

                            It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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                            Some tips to guide you:

                            • Remember to ask why you want certain things
                            • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
                            • Give yourself permission to dream.
                            • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
                            • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

                            Some questions to start your exploration:

                            • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
                            • What would you like to have more of in your life?
                            • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
                            • What are your secret passions and dreams?
                            • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
                            • What do you want your relationships to be like?
                            • What qualities would you like to develop?
                            • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
                            • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
                            • What would you most like to accomplish?
                            • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

                            It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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                            What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

                            Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

                            A few prompts to get you started:

                            • What will you have accomplished already?
                            • How will you feel about yourself?
                            • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
                            • What does your ideal day look like?
                            • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
                            • What would you be doing?
                            • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
                            • How are you dressed?
                            • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
                            • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
                            • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

                            It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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                            Plan Backwards

                            It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

                            • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
                            • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
                            • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
                            • What important actions would you have had to take?
                            • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
                            • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
                            • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
                            • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
                            • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

                            Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

                            It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

                            Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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