Tuesday, June 17, 2008

J.K. Rowling Quote on Failure

The Benefits of Failure

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 I believed I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had already been realised, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. 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.

Never give up and never be afraid to try.

Link to entire commencement address.


  1. The difficulty with chess is that each new game usually leads to a new failure!

  2. im not a rawling fan, but greatly respect her tenacity and commitment, and success. great quote. i am saving it. thx, dk

  3. after reading the hardvard alumni articel in full, i just sent a copy of it to GM Seirwan and cc to Silman, IM John Donaldson, etc

    (usually, we are cc together from Yasser, to and from).

    in front of the hardvard link, showed url for your blog to them so they know the true atribution.

    take care, dk