[04.02.10]
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The Opportunity That Failure Brings

A few weeks ago, I saw a tweet from @katrinakibben that included a link from a speech.  The speech was from a few years ago and maybe you’ve already seen it.  But I hadn’t.

The link came at the perfect moment for me.  And I hope the link hits you at just the right time.

The speech was by J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter author) who was giving the commencement address at Harvard.  If you have a few minutes, I highly recommend watching it.

It includes the coverage of two topics.  Failure and imagination.

If you are in the middle of a search or are considering a new role due to troubles where you are, the speech may open your eyes to the value of experiencing a failure.  And it doesn’t have to be a failure that knocks you down.  Just one that gets you to think.

Here’s a quote from her speech that grabbed me by the throat.  To get you going.

Failure meant the 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 where I believed I truly belonged.  I was set free.  Because my greatest fear had been realized 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 a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.

J.K. Rowling Speaks at Harvard Commencement from Harvard Magazine on Vimeo.

Now some of you will read this and say: “I didn’t fail, I got laid off”.  “And I don’t have a big idea.”

All I am saying is to consider the points from the speech.  That an opportunity may be hidden in your situation. It is up to you to look for one.

So consider other life paths.  Other directions.  As you look for your next role.

And if you are searching, send me a note.  Happy to give you a few ideas.

Tim Tyrell-Smith is the creator of Tim’s Strategy. As a blogger, Tim has been a regular contributor to U.S. News and World Report, interviewed twice on NPR and is the author of two career books (“30 Ideas” and “HeadStrong”). Become a fan at http://facebook.com/TimsStrategy and follow on Twitter (@TimsStrategy). He lives with his wife and three kids in Mission Viejo, California.

Tim Tyrell-Smith – who has written posts on Tim's Strategy®.



Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
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