J.K. Rowling – Imagine Better
Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling discusses how her “epic” failure laid the groundwork for her to rebuild her life by pursuing her one true passion of writing.
“I had failed on an epic scale. An exceptionally short-lived marriage had imploded, and I was jobless, a lone parent and as poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain without being homeless. The fears that my parents had had for me, and that I had had for myself, had both come to pass. And by every usual standard, I was the biggest failure I knew.
“So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because 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 where I believed I truly belonged. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.
“You might never fail on the scale I did. But 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. 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 than any qualification I ever earned.
“We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all the power we need inside ourselves already. We have the power to imagine better.”