Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination byJ. K. Rowling

For years now I've been admiring the talks and writings of JK Rowling, as it is clear her own life experiences and the hardships she lived, have shaped her into a fascinating and wise person.

In her interviews and life documentaries it is obvious to me that she is a very genuine and caring person with a fantastic view of the world and how she can contribute to it.

Then in her 2008 commencement speech at Harvard University, she shared some real insights that became viral as more and more people had a chance to read them for herself.

The good news is that this speech is now published as a book in kindle or hardcover printed that you can glean her philosophy for yourself.

JK Rowling's life advice:

*On the benefits of failure*

"There is an expiry date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction; the moment you are old enough to take the wheel, responsibility lies with you."

"I am not dull enough to suppose that because you are young, gifted and well-educated, you have never known hardship or heartbreak. Talent and intelligence never yet inoculated anyone against the caprice of the Fates."

"I am not going to stand here and tell you that failure is fun. That period of my life was a dark one, and I had no idea that there was going to be what the press has since represented as a kind of fairy tale resolution. "

"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. "

Some excerpts from "(Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination) Author: J. K. Rowling published on (April, 2015)"

I just love the way this woman thinks... her values and ethics are outstanding... and what a brain!!!

Here are some more excerpts for you:

On the power of imagination and empathy

"We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better."

"Many prefer not to exercise their imaginations at all. They choose to remain comfortably within the bounds of their own experience, never troubling to wonder how it would feel to have been born other than they are."

"Those who choose not to empathise enable real monsters. For without ever committing an act of outright evil ourselves, we collude with it, through our own apathy."

"Every day of my working week in my early 20s I was reminded how incredibly fortunate I was, to live in a country with a democratically elected government, where legal representation and a public trial were the rights of everyone."

"One of the many things I learned at the end of that Classics corridor down which I ventured at the age of 18, in search of something I could not then define, was this, written by the Greek author Plutarch: ‘What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.’ That is an astonishing statement and yet proven a thousand times every day of our lives. It expresses, in part, our inescapable connection with the outside world, the fact that we touch other people’s lives simply by existing."

And I especially appreciate this one:

"As is a tale, so is life:
not how long it is,
but how good it is,
is what matters."

Grab your copy here: (Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination) Author: J. K. Rowling published on (April, 2015)


Comments for Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination byJ. K. Rowling

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Speechless! or maybe not...
by: Christine Larsen

Thank you for sharing her wonderful thoughts Helene. So uplifting and inspiring; so truthful about herself and just how Life is.

From the first quoted sentence about taking responsibility for yourself; and the marvellous 'Talent and intelligence never yet inoculated anyone against the caprice of the Fates', to what she calls 'an astonishing statement', the last of her own quotes - from Greek author Plutarch: ‘What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality’ - J.K. Rowling reveals completely new depths to the amazing woman she has become.

Christine Christine Larsen Author

You're right Christine
by: Helene

I think that JK has a lot more to offer the world than her incredible gifts as the author of Harry Potter books.

It is my vision that over time she will become a mover and shaker, creating positive change in the world.

When you think about it, she has already made a big difference to a whole generation of kids who refused to read books... they now accept there is value in that activity, and might just continue to learn from reading, become smarter Voters of Governments and better Parents of their kids (and encourage them to read too... or even may read TO their kids.. what a thought)

I just find it refreshing that she hasn't just taken her money and gone to a tax haven and lived the superficial life of appearing in trendy fashion pages and sharing "selfies" of herself... Instead she does and will continue to contribute back to the world that accepted her gifts and helped make her "rich and famous" for what she had to offer the world.

We will just have to 'look and see' to find out where her life leads to. In the meantime, this book of her philosophy in life is a very interesting start.

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