I recently embarked on a weekend trip to London. If you have never been, I would highly, highly recommend going. It’s a beautiful city, full of amazing sights.
Shop on Oxford Street, see the style in Camden Town, have tea and scones in cute little English cafes and take in the sights at the fountain in Trafalgar Square.
Potential itinerary items in London are endless. However, the highlight of the entire trip was the Warner Bros. Studio Tour, The Making of Harry Potter. It encapsulated my entire childhood in one building.
I stood in the Great Hall, outside of 4 Privet Drive, inside the Knight Bus, drank butterbeer, sat in Hagrid's motorbike and in the Weasley's Flying Ford Anglia, walked down Diagon Alley and bought puking pastilles!
I watched the making of the movie, as told by Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint) and was directed by Draco (Tom Felton, on an audio digital device) around the tour.
I saw the suits and gowns from the Yule Ball, the inside of the Weasley's Burrow, the Gryffindor Common Room, the hair and makeup sets and Professor Umbridge's office.
I saw the Ministry of Magic's fountain statue, the making of Dobby, a magnificent model of Hogwarts and its grounds and Harry's cupboard under the stairs. The most amazing part of it all was that none of this would have ever existed without one lady’s amazing imagination: JK Rowling.
I cannot imagine life without Harry Potter. While that might sound crazy, I re-read the books every few years just for fun, and to be honest, it's my go-to hangover movie.
It’s terrifying to think that had Rowling never put pen to paper, this world, these characters and this magic would have remained in her imagination and never been shared with anyone.
This is why JK Rowling is the best person in the world. Not only has she done more for literacy than anyone else in Gen-Y, she is also the first ever self-made billionaire author and has successfully fashioned a worldwide empire for the franchise.
She created a whole new world, in which children from all corners of the Earth found solace, excitement, comfort, imagination and magic.
With more than 400 million books in 69 different languages across 200 countries, Rowling has truly captured the hearts and imaginations of young and old alike and opened their eyes to a world of mystical stories.
With this in mind, here are the three most important things that JK Rowling has taught our generation:
I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. - Michael Jordan
Echoing the sentiments of MJ, JK believes that we don't talk enough about failure. Think about it: All we ever hear are success stories; how someone climbed to the top or how well a celebrity is doing. Nobody ever talks about his or her failures.
JK believes that some of us are so afraid to fail that we are in straight jackets of our own making. We cannot possibly reach our full potential if we fear that we will fail. Is it not the ability to resist or use failure that often leads to the greatest successes? Well, it was for Rowling.
Initially, 12 publishers turned down the Harry Potter books, but the 13th publisher was so enthralled by the story that an agreement was struck immediately. Now, ask yourself this: Would you have kept going after 12 failures? Never give up.
2. Rock Bottom
Rock bottom became the solid foundations upon which I rebuilt my life. - JK Rowling
Did you know that JK Rowling suffered from clinical depression after her mother’s death? And that she lived in hand-to-mouth poverty by the age of 25, with a small baby?
This was what Rowling describes as her rock bottom. She explains that her bout with clinical depression represents one of the most tumultuous times in her life, in which the absence of feeling occupied her days.
She felt no hope to ever better, no sadness, no happiness, no relief and no emotion at all -- just hollowness and emptiness. It was this bout of depression that inspired the creation of the dementors: demons who sucked the life and soul out of someone.
Where is the lesson here, you might ask? Rowling is not romanticizing her rock bottom, but acknowledging it and liberating herself from it.
Adopt this "What have I got to lose?" attitude and incorporate it into your everyday life. Seize every opportunity because why not? Ultimately, no matter the outcome, you are guaranteed a new experience and will learn something about yourself that you may never have known.
Isn't that what life is all about? You will never know until adversity tests you. Such knowledge is a true gift.
It's fair to infer that without love, the books would not be what they are today. The books follow Harry as he comes to terms with his parents’ death, which mirrors Rowling's experience with coming to terms with her own mother’s death.
So, love every day; love your life, your friends, your family and more. Thank you, JK Rowling, for making magic a reality and our reality magic.
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