J. K. Rowling on Failure

Iseng-iseng browsing, ternyata hari ini adalah ulang tahun J.K. Rowling yang ke-47 πŸ˜€ Penulis yang dikenal dengan seri Harry Potter-nya sekarang sedang bersiap untuk merilis novelnya yang baru: The Casual Vacancy. Berbeda dengan novel sebelumnya, nampaknya ini adalah novel (sedikit) dewasa yang tidak menceritakan petualangan seorang bocah laki-laki yang mendapatkan surat untuk masuk sekolah sihir.

Oh ya, J.K. Rowling pernah menjadi pembicara di Harvard pada tahun 2008, dan topik yang dibahasnya adalah apa yang dapat kita pelajari dari kegagalan. Berikut adalah videonya:

So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant 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 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, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.

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.

Failure gave me an inner security that I had never attained by passing examinations. Failure taught me things about myself that I could have learned no other way. I discovered that I had a strong will, and more discipline than I had suspected; I also found out that I had friends whose value was truly above the price of rubies.

The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive. You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity. Such knowledge is a true gift, for all that it is painfully won, and it has been worth more than any qualification I ever earned.

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