Posts Tagged ‘BOOKS’

At Harvard, Rowling Stresses Role of Imagination

June 16, 2008

J.K. Rowling extolled the crucial importance of imagination during a speech Thursday at Harvard University’s spring commencement, saying, ”We do not need magic to transform our world.”

The Harry Potter author also stressed the benefit of failure, recalling the humiliations of her time in poverty before her career took off with her string of novels about a bespectacled boy wizard.

Before the speech, two members of Harvard’s class of 1936 paid tribute to Rowling by carrying brooms during an alumni procession.

President Drew Gilpin Faust also welcomed witches, wizards and Muggles — non-magical people in Rowling’s books — to the commencement. Faust noted that there was a larger number of young children than normally expected for a Harvard graduation and that she knew she was the just ”the warm-up act.”

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Focus on the Good Stuff: The Power of Appreciation

May 20, 2008

Have you ever had something taken away from you only to realize how much you appreciated it after it was gone?

I often ask this question when I start one of my talks or seminars on appreciation. As I pause and wait for people to respond, many hands go up.

Most of us have taken someone or something for granted. We only truly realized how much that person or situation meant to us after the fact.

For example, at the age of twenty three my professional baseball career ended abruptly when I blew out my pitching arm. I was in my third season in the minor leagues with the Kansas City Royals, and just like that my childhood dream was over.

I realized looking back on my eighteen years in competitive baseball that I had only one major regret; I pushed myself so hard that I’d forgotten to enjoy the game. I was so focused on “making it” and on overcoming my weaknesses, I had not taken much time to appreciate what I was doing along the way.

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