J.K. Rowling Speaks at Harvard Commencement : Harvard Magazine
J.K. Rowling, author of the best-selling Harry Potter book series, delivers her Commencement Address, “The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination,” at the Annual Meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association.
"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"
"failure meant a stripping away of the inessential."
"some failure in life is inevitable. 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."
Failure gave me an inner security that I had never attained by
passing examinations. Failure taught me things about myself that I
could have learned no other way. I discovered that I had a strong will,
and more discipline than I had suspected; I also found out that I had
friends whose value was truly above rubies.
The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks
means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive. You
will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships,
until both have been tested by adversity. Such knowledge is a true
gift, for all that it is painfully won, and it has been worth more to
me than any qualification I ever earned."