An inspiring life lesson from J.K. Rowling

IMG_2381Yes, I did it, friends! Finally, I have read the whole 956 pages of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I remember having bought it during a trip to Oxford in 2005 (!) and I promised myself to read it before I would watch the movie. This day has come at last.

It was a great read and I enjoyed every single page of Harry´s 5th year at Hogwarts. Sure it is written for children but the stories are rich and filled with adult elements which makes it a fun one: Influence of the press, the despicable personality of Mrs Umbridge which will make your skin crawl (and reminds me of actual people),.. and let’s face it everyone would like to quit their job in the epic way the Weasley twins did.

While the Order of The Phoenix kept me entertained all along and I am proud of my little “achievement” (never voluntarily read a book this big), what I am most inspired about is the story of the author Joanne Rowling.

Did you know that before her writing career she was a broke single mother living off unemployment benefits? The first manuscript containing the 3 first chapters of the Philosopher´s Stone had been rejected 12 times before finally being read by the editor at Bloomsbury,…and as well by his 8-year old daughter who upon reading the first chapters immediately asked for more.

The rest is history, everyone knows or has heard of Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling has become one of the best selling authors and according to Forbes, she is the richest author. However, as you can see it did not come without pain, struggle and persistence.  Writing books made her happy, she believed in her project, followed through, faced constant rejection and learned to deal with it, she failed and rose back up again like the Phoenix,…

Although it may sound cliché, the morale of the story is this: If you have a passion and strongly believe in it, follow through no matter what. Your idea keeps being rejected? Good, keep pushing. Naysayers are mocking your idea? Who cares, when you will have perfected your product/idea, success will come and results will show. Our modern society is not wired to praise the success of others (here are the 3 reasons why) so don’t let the average Muggle that is not doing anything stop you. At the end of the day you might not end up on any top lists like J.K. Rowling but if you do not pursue your dreams if you do not try your best you’ll never know what it could have been. Who knows what opportunities are out there for you?

I will just end with this quote from Rowling herself :

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

This article as such has little to do with personal finance but I got so inspired I felt it was my duty to share it with you! And on a side note, I hope Blue-ray players will still be around when I finish reading the Deathly Hallows in 2041.

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7 thoughts on “An inspiring life lesson from J.K. Rowling

  1. Thank you for sharing! She is a great story herself, that lady, and such a role model. We are so afraid, I don’t know why, of mistakes, of doing it wrong, that we end up doing so little. A great reminder that failing is good. We need to start praising ourselves for failing. At least we are acting and learning, not letting the life just pass by 🙂

    1. True words mexploring! I had a seminar about the 7 habits of Highly effective people and there is one topic that can be linked to this article : In the book that came with the seminar there is a question to reflect on. I do not remember its exact words but it asks you to think about what do you want to have achieved when you are 80 years old. So if at 80 you want to say I have run a marathon, I speak Japanese, I launched my company,… go for it 🙂

      1. Nice take! 80 years is a good span, so that there is no excuse at saying “i am too old to start this” 🙂 before you are 80. And even then – not 🙂 But I need to admit, that I feel discomfort at the word “effective”. Maybe, we all talk about the same thing, but I’d better be happy throughout my life than effective. Though being effective is good too. But not my first priority. What do you think?

      2. Well I the title of the book by Stephen Covey cannot be changed so the word effective will remain :). We are not robots I agree and everyone wants to be happy, what I see is that the effective habits taught in the book are guidelines to lead you to what makes you happy. In short focus on what makes you happy but find your ways to get there. The purpose of this blog is as well to help people achieve happiness but by focusing on the financial building block since that is one of the things I am passionate about and I can contribute to it.

      3. I see your point and I support that the effective behavior can lead to happiness. I think, it is much better than non-effective habits. I don’t have anything against effectivity, it is just a case of focus that bothers me. But it is my own case, I guess. When you get tired after being too focused on achieving and just want to live a life. I am sure, as long one is able to balance those different things, effectivity and joy of life, everything is gonna be fine 🙂

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