Art & Culture
Lessons from Harry Potter
hear the story of JK Rowling, the now famous author of the
Harry Potter books, and wonder how anyone ever gets to be so
mother with an infant, she sat for hours writing a book that
she was convinced would change her life. Did Rowling have wealthy parents
or a supportive circle of friends? On the contrary, she was
on welfare and often had to write in a local cafe with her baby
in a carriage beside her...because her welfare check didn't
leave enough money to pay the electric bill.
these hardships, or maybe because of them, Rowling persisted
and finished writing her book... Harry Potter and the Philosopher's
When it was done, the first three publishers she
approached wouldn't talk to her. Rejected but holding onto hope,
she went to another publisher who saw the potential and accepted
the manuscript for publication. The book was published and picked
up in America where it was published as Harry Potter and
the Sorcerer's Stone, a movie deal was made...
The rest is
is now one of the wealthiest women in the world because she
managed to believe in herself and persist in following her dreams
when it seemed impossible for them to come true. In the darkest
hours of her life she gave birth to Harry Potter, a young boy
who struggles against dark forces, but never gives in and always
succeeds in the end.
a person to continue through such hardship? This article by
John Watson may provide some answers...
Motivation By Daily Applause
One of our
most powerful psychological needs is the craving to be appreciated
by our fellow humans. Often the quickest way to receive the
applause we desire is to keep working hard without it. Those
who work hard on their own in private usually end up receiving
applause in public. Just the thought of this future applause
can provide powerful motivation.
In the film
Topsy Turvy, about the relationship and work of the comic
opera geniuses Gilbert and Sullivan, Gilbert's wife tells him
how she would have loved to be an actress. She had noticed how
an actress often receives rapturous applause from an audience
after each performance. She exclaims to Gilbert, "Wouldn't
it be wonderful if ordinary people gave themselves a round of
applause at the end of the day."
this is why many of us dream of being a great speaker or actor
on stage receiving a standing ovation. Applause is a powerful
motivator. We all work hard when other people are watching. The runner speeds
up as he or she approaches the crowds near the end of the race.
Even if he or she is amongst the tailenders a sudden burst of
energy will manifest itself. The footballer plays out of his
skin in front of a big crowd.
anyone who can work hard without an audience will usually end
up receiving applause from an audience. Whatever you do in secret
whether good or bad frequently becomes public. The
man who does sit ups in private looks good in public. The man
who does not do sit ups may look obese in public. The woman
who takes care of her money in private can drive an expensive
car in public. The woman who wastes her money in private may
end up cadging lifts from her friends. The
writer who can write for a year or so on her own produces a
blockbuster like Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
and then is surrounded by admiring audiences wherever she goes.
In the meantime,
let us praise ourselves and those around us who live a great
day and then receive no applause.