“So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Because I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me.”
This lovely ode to the benefits of failure was part of the 2008 Harvard University Commencement address delivered by J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series.
Most of us naturally think that it’s only our successes that lead to the good things in our lives, and that we’re best off forgetting our failures, or avoiding them altogether.
But when we try to see failure not as a definition of who we are, but as an inevitable part of engaging with life, we can become more comfortable with it. And getting friendly with failure can open us up to benefits — including self-knowledge, focus, persistence, courage, and resilience – that can directly help us create the lives we want to live.