A few years ago, I used to have a colleague that was big on inspirational videos. You name it, he had it. He always wanted to be a life coach (he’s a life coach now), and those videos I think helped him hone his skill. Several times he would call me in to his office, to “see something”. Almost everytime I would leave his office in tears, my heart bursting. I would be clutching a piece of paper on which I’d hastily scribbled something I heard that got to me. Lol.
One of those times, it was J.K. Rowling’s address to the Harvard University graduating class of 2008. That time though, I didn’t leave with any hastily scribbled words, I got him to send me the video. I still watch it from time to time. I don’t plan to stop anytime soon. My children will watch it as well. Yes, it’s that serious. One of the things she spoke about was the benefits of failure, because as you might have guessed, Harvard students are not exactly accustomed or acquainted with failure or adversity.
So I’ve decided to share with you my notes from one of the times I’ve watched the video. I’ll be condensing the notes into bullet points so they don’t bore you. I hope they mean as much to you as they do to me.
» Failure means a stripping away of the inessential. You suddenly realize that you’re not more important than the failure you are at this moment. This realization helps you focus only on what’s important, giving you the required determination to follow through on a previously set goal.
» Because your greatest fear has become realised, you can focus not on what you wish you had, but on what you do have.
» Rock bottom now becomes the foundation on which you begin to rebuild your life. It is said that he that is down need fear no further fall.
» It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all. This makes you a failure by default.
» Failure will show you things about yourself that you could never have found out any other way. Things like resilience, discipline and invaluable relationships.
» You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until you have been tested by adversity.
» Personal happiness lies in knowing that life is not a checklist of acquisitions or qualifications, even though not many may agree.
Be great, always