One of the quickest ways to find inspiration is by looking at those who inspire us. This shifts our focus on all the opportunities that might be around us rather than obstacles. Instead of limitations, you begin to see abundance. There are countless lessons one can learn from how others overcome hardships and turn them into possibilities. I believe this is absolutely the case with J.K. Rowling. You may know her as the author of the best-selling book series of all time, which turned into blockbuster films, theme parks, and even podcasts. Harry Potter took the world by storm and the rest is history. However, what you may not know is how she got there.
The idea of Harry Potter came to Rowling in 1990, while riding on a train. In the 7 years that followed until publication, J.K. Rowling experienced the death of her mother, the birth of her first child, divorce from her first husband, jobless and living on welfare. If this wasn’t enough, she was then rejected by 12 publishers. When a publisher finally did agree to print Harry Potter, they advised that she not publish under her name, because they felt boys would not read a book written by a woman. This of course gave very little credit to boys and also took for granted that girls would be indifferent to reading books written by men. Therefore, Rowling agreed to use the initial to her first name, Joanne, and the K was borrowed from her grandmother’s name, Kathleen, as she does not have a middle name. In addition, she was advised by her publisher to make sure she get another job because she would never make a living writing children’s books. Despite all of these challenges, she persisted in telling her story.
Life lessons we can learn from J.K. Rowling:
- Make the best of adverse situations – even when you feel you have hit rock bottom, look at failures as just a lesson in your journey.
- Take ownership for your actions – there comes a time where you need to stop making excuses and take responsibility.
- Don’t forget where you started – despite any success you may have, remember to stay humble.
- Focus on attitude – don’t lose sight of what is important to you and be true to yourself.
- Never give up – I know this cliché can get old but she is proof that even when all the odds are against you, never stop believing in yourself.
Today, J.K. Rowling is the only author to become a billionaire, although she has fallen off that list mostly due to charitable donations. Many people would have quit had they experienced a mere fraction of the obstacles she faced; however, she did not let this stop her. I could not imagine a life without the wizarding world. Now more than ever, there is a belief that success comes overnight, but her life is a reminder that success requires persistence. Lastly, don’t be afraid to fail nor let failure stop you. For this weeks #MakeItHappen, focus on how you are persevering past challenges. Let us know who else might be inspiring you and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or share your story and tag us on social.
Go make it happen,
Luly & the YTeach Team
“It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be!”
– Albus Dumblebore