J. K. ROWLING AT HARVARD (2008)

On June 5, 2008, Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling speaks about the benefits of failure and the crucial importance of imagination — in a way that isn’t the least bit contrived but is, rather, brimming with wit, wisdom, humor and humility.

“I cannot criticize my parents for hoping that 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. Poverty entails fear, and stress, and sometimes depression. It means a thousand petty humiliations and hardships. Climbing out of poverty by your own efforts, that is something on which to pride yourself. But poverty itself is romanticized only by fools.” ~ J.K. Rowling

 

“Ultimately, we all have to decide for ourselves what constitutes failure. But the world is quite eager to give you a set of criteria if you let it. Failure means a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself to be 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 where I believe I truly belonged. [R]ock bottom became the solid foundation on which I built my life.”

 

This is a powerful and humbling speech to anyone who has suffered a loss, a difficulty or a challenge, and that is all of us!

Wyn Nathan Davis

Wyn Nathan Davis MBA DTM is a London based sales recruiter, sales trainer and sales process consultant. A best selling author and professional speaker. Wyn is Managing Director of The sales Experts. Contact us for more details connect@thesalesexperts.com +44 (0)20 536 5591