J. K. Rowling gave the commencement address at Harvard a few days ago. I read it online, and I loved it.
In particular, I loved what she said about failure. One of my resolutions is to Enjoy the fun of failure, and I think what she said is quite true. I especially appreciated her observation, “Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”
Also, one of the most important of my Twelve Commandments is “Be Gretchen.” Why is this so hard? Why do so many people (like myself) choose careers for the wrong reasons? Rowling touched on this when she observed, “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.”
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