I'm always curious to know what successful people really know about failure and mistakes. Not all captains of industry are holding up their failures to the light for didactic analysis. Is it possible that some successful people have never experienced failure (which is distinct from privilege as Rowling points out) and that success begets success? Or if they have failed at something that was deeply meaningful to them, how they have come through it without letting it define their abilities for the future?

In a 2008 commencement address, J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, warns the new Harvard graduates about the inevitability of failure and the necessity of risk for living:

“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.”

Do all successful people value their failures as an essential experience or life lesson as J.K. Rowling does, or were they simply rendered inconsequential? Whether you’ve been in the winner’s circle or not, I’m curious to hear in what way your failure has been valuable to you, or if it was at all.

Share Your Reflection



I value my failures as much as my success's. Both take me further along my journey in life; therefore one is as important as the other.

My failure to practice my flute directly led to my sons both becoming accomplished musicians. I insisted that they practice no matter what, and paid for qualified instructors, as well as fine instruments They both carried their instruments with them when they were deployed as Army officers serving our country.

I agree with you. Weird anyway, since I do not have to be Rowling's Harry Potter fever hardly hear anything about. I read the books, not just Harry Potter. Very good. http:/w./konyv-konyvek.hu/book_images/2...

Wonderful words to carry us into this graduation season in the coming months.

Very inspiring and thoughtful. You may be interested in a conference given in Lansdale, PA April 14-16, 2011, called "Epic Fail". Check it out at jrbriggs.com

Interference with fault detection in the same component. To
continue the above passenger vehicle example, it may not be obvious to
the driver when a tire has been punctured, with either of the
fault-tolerant systems.

As I know love is the most unexplainable word in this world as well two people who love each other DEEPLY are not two souls but a one soul dwelling in two bodies....Rowling have me the sense of this....thanks.....