JK Rowling Talks About the Benefits of Failure

If we haven’t failed at something by the time you reach midlife, we probably aren’t trying to break boundaries or reach our deepest dreams. This video of JK Rowling’s commencement speech to Harvard graduates delivers a profound message–that “rock bottom is a solid foundation” from which realize that when you have nothing left to lose, you are completely free to start anew on the path to your life’s ambitions.

She said it better than I did, as you would expect from the author of the Harry Potter books, so take a watch.

J.K. Rowling Speaks at Harvard Commencement from Harvard Magazine on Vimeo.

GLORIA FELDT is the bestselling author of No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power, a sought-after speaker and frequent contributor to major news outlets, and the Co-Founder and President of Take The LeadPeople has called her “the voice of experience,” and among the honors she has been given, Vanity Fair named her one of America’s “Top 200 Women Legends, Leaders, and Trailblazers,” she was named Glamour’s “Woman of the Year,” a She Knows Media Inspiring Woman, and a Women’s eNews 21 Leaders for the 21st century.

As co-founder and president of Take The Lead, she has created the most comprehensive initiative to prepare, develop, inspire, and propel women to take their fair and equal share of leadership positions across all sectors by 2025. The women’s leadership nonprofit offers a variety of training programs and workshops including the 50 Women Can Change The World immersive, online courses, a free weekly newsletter, events including a monthly Virtual Happy Hour program and Take The Lead Day symposium that reached over 400,000 women globally in 2017.