The Power of Imagination

J.K. Rowling, best known as the author of the Harry Potter series, recently delivered an exceptional speech for the Commencement Ceremony at Harvard University.

It’s an amazing discussion of the power of failure and imagination. It’s definitely worth your time to read the full text, or watch the video. She said,

“We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we
need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.”

Each of us has the power within us to change the world. Do you doubt it?

Steve Jobs didn’t doubt it.
He imagined a world where every person could have the same computing power that only large organizations had at that point. He dreamed of a world where computers were so user-friendly everybody could use them.

John F. Kennedy didn’t doubt it.
He had the vision that man could walk on the moon. He set forth his vision with the power of words to direct an entire country’s resources toward that mission. A short time later, Neil Armstrong uttered his famous words, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Martin Luther King didn’t doubt it.

He had a dream that people would be judged solely by the contributions they made to society, not by the color of their skin. His dream led to a movement to bring equal opportunity to all.

You may say that you don’t have …

… the imagination of JK Rowling. To create a world that can inspire millions of young people to read again at a time when everyone thought that only video games could attract them.

 … the creativity of Steve Jobs. To see the possibilities for individuals to have access to technology at their fingertips.

… the vision of John F. Kennedy. To see the impossible as possible and to inspire an entire nation to get behind the effort.

… the oratory skills of Martin Luther King. To put the need for change front and center on the agenda of his country and to move people to effect that change.

The unique power within you.
You do have the power to imagine a better world and make a difference in your own life and the life of others. Your imagination flows from your unique genetic make-up and your personal experiences.

No one else – who has ever walked on this earth, is here now, or ever will be – can duplicate what you have and who you are. You are one of a kind!

It’s up to you to live up to the potential that is within you … just imagine! How will you leave the world a better place? What are you doing now to make a difference in the lives of others?

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  1. […] Every once in a while, a commencement address really stands out to us. We pointed out J.K. Rowling’s wonderful speech to Harvard graduates in 2008. […]

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