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`` Very Good Lives : The Fringe Benefits Of Failure And The Importance Of Imagination Essay

Decent Essays
J.K. Rowling gave the speech, ‘Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination’ at a Harvard Commencement ceremony in 2008. The message was so impactful it was published as a book in 2015. This book is recommended to anyone at a crossroads in life but its applicable to people in all walks of life. It takes courage to face failure and true wisdom to embrace it. This book explains the reasons for embracing failure and uses of imagination. It enlightens the self, and therefore, applies to everything we do. Rowling opens by talking about self-improvement. She felt incredibly honored to be asked to give the commencement speech but also nervous. Who would have thought J.K. Rowling gets nervous. She subdued her anxiety by imagining the audience as an enormous class of Gryffindors. Her own speech was inspired by her own graduation commencement where she heard a speech by the well-known British philosopher, Baroness Mary Warnock. Ironically, she remembers nothing from the speech. She would consider her own speech a success if anyone at least remembered the wizard joke. Her first lesson: Achievable goals are the first step of self-improvement. She briefly recalls her 21 year-old self and the pressure of being between her own ambitions and that which her parents had hoped for her. Even then, she knew all she wanted to do was write but it wasn’t something her parents were thrilled about. They had experienced poverty and hope that their daughter would
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