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Photo: L

As is a tale, so is life
Not how long it is
But how good it is,
Is what matters
– Seneca

In her commencement address at Havard University in 2008;  JK Rowling spoke to the graduating class about:
(i) Benefits of failure and
(ii) Importance of imagination

Having failed at marriage and her job, what’s failure?

“Failure was 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 where I believed I truly belonged.

I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realised and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom was the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.

The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means you are ever after secure in your ability to survive.”

The speech was recently published (2015) in a think book, beautifully illustrated in red, white and black.

If you have a chance to travel back in time to meet you at 21, what advice would you give you?