Harry Potter

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Oprah, J.K. Rowling & Failure

I drank in the Oprah interview with J.K. Rowling like a kid eating popcorn in the front row of the theater. Two of my favorite ladies in the world sitting together for tea, chatting like old friends felt like life at its best. I love a great conversation, and let me tell you, this was a great conversation.

Oprah asks such great questions – the ones I always want to ask – and J.K. (Jo) was so open and honest. Yeah!!

On the show, a clip from a Harvard University commencement speech showed Jo talking about failure and how failure is so important. She said that she hit rock bottom and that foundation is where she rebuilt her life. Having gone through my own huge failure (complete with paralyzing stint in the ditch) I so related to what she shared. I have spoken to friends about how we all ‘play it safe’ and ‘quit’ when we think we aren’t going to win something. I wrote about my Oprah tryout…that day my intuition told me I would not get a call back, but my inner guidance said, “Go.” In our world so focused on succeeding and racking up achievements, what would one every think about going somewhere where you know you won’t win? That day, I got to see and learn what the experience has to offer me.

My own failure was debilitating. I was ill-prepared for it as I had skirted dealing with any failure (except for the end of my first marriage) my entire life. Once I locked into a path, and then my intuition alerted me that all the doors were closing, I freaked (literally!). I was scared. I could only hold on for dear life. But what I didn’t know then that J.K., Oprah and many others, including myself, know is that failure is just a moment in time that molds you and offers you a gift to use to create something new. Like Jo said… her rock bottom became her foundation… “there was nothing left to lose.”

When Pat Bacilli was on my show a few weeks ago, she talked about this, too. She talked about not going for it, playing it safe. Jo, in the commencement clip, eluded to the unfortunate experience of playing it so safe that you might as well not lived at all. Ah, yes. Wise words for all of us.

When I go speak for organizations, I ask, “What is your juicy dream? What is the dream in the back of your heart that you know you want to go for?” Most people know what their dream is. Not many dare to let it see the light of day. I dare you to pull yours out and consider taking just one step.

When I went to the childrens’ book writing conference a few weeks ago, I met many people who had written for years and never considered publishing. There I was, juicy dream in my heart, 30+ years later considering the possibility of my dream. Why now? For me, it is because I’m no longer afraid. As Jo shared in her interview, poverty cut everything that was not essential. I’ve done that too. I now have space for what is most important to me, and I also know what is important to me. Now it is time to do only those things. Nothing more. Nothing less.

And, yes, spending an hour with Oprah and Jo is one of those things most important to me. It goes under the heading of ‘tea with good friends.’ It’s an interview I’ll never forget. It even included a tidbit about Jo hearing an encouragement from a ‘voice’… “The hard part will be getting published. If you do that, it will be huge.” SO glad she didn’t give up!

J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter

By |October 2nd, 2010|Dream Big, World We Live In|0 Comments