Harry Potter Life Lessons
We are all like Harry Potter.
No, no, listen. Hear me out.
For those of you who have been living under a rock and haven’t heard of this very famous character…
Harry Potter is the protagonist of both the Harry Potter books by JK Rowling and the series of movies of the same name.
Harry is a gawky young boy when we meet him.
He has black hair, round glasses, a scar on his forehead and a pretty low opinion of himself.
He lives with his nasty aunt and uncle who are verbally abusive to him, and his equally nasty cousin of the same age, who is physically abusive to him.
But the thing about Harry *SPOILER ALERT* is that he is a wizard.
He has all this potential and power he had no idea about during his childhood years.
The reason he lives with his aunt and uncle is because his parents were killed when he was just a baby.
He discovers the truth of all this on his eleventh birthday.
So go ahead and ask…
Jeannie, how are we all like Harry Potter? We’re not wizards!
But we do all have power and potential, just like Harry.
Even though Harry’s relatives kept the truth from him, he’d had signs and indications of his potential abilities along the way.
Now granted, we may not have made the glass of a zoo cage disappear accidentally like Harry did, but we have signs of our own true potential, too.
Many of us are taught certain things that stifle our creativity and limit our beliefs growing up.
Many of us believe we must conform to societal norms to fit in.
If you grew up poor, chances are higher that you became a poor adult.
If you grew up the child of divorce, the chances that all your romantic relationships have always been happy and blissful aren’t 100%.
If you were taught that you were born into sin and have to fight against the evil inside of you all the time, it’s doubtful that you automatically started living a peaceful and content existence once you grew up.
If you were berated and bullied a lot as a kid, you may have self-confidence issues now.
If you were taught that job security is absolutely essential to your sense of wellbeing, you may work for a large corporation or have a government job now – even if that job doesn’t leave you feeling fulfilled and happy.
We are all raised with certain belief systems.
These systems come from our families, our schools, our friends, our churches, our society, and our friends.
Much of the time, these are beliefs that they themselves were taught.
Often these beliefs are passed on with the best of intentions.
Harry Potter was taught that he was a “normal” boy because his aunt and uncle were afraid of magic.
They were afraid of his potential.
They were afraid of the power he was capable of wielding.
And Harry believed them.
He’d never seen wizards before growing up.
Even when he first meets a wizard and sees what he can do, Harry has a hard time believing what he’s seeing at first.
We’re much the same.
When we embark on our spiritual journeys and we discover that we’re not just meat bags walking around, many of us have a difficult time believing it.
We’ve been taught out whole lives that we’re just these flawed and possibly sinful humans.
And we are flawed.
But that doesn’t also mean that we’re not perfectly beautiful and powerful spiritual beings at the same time.
That doesn’t mean we haven’t witnessed a few clues and feelings that hint we may be more than skin, bone and sinew.
Think about a time when you felt perfectly peaceful or blissful.
What were your circumstances?
Were you on vacation?
Did you have a wonderful time with someone or several someones?
Were you in nature?
Were you by yourself?
Was music involved?
Were you doing something for the first time?
I remember the first time I went to a state fair with the man who would become my husband.
I’d been to that same fair every year of my life for as long as I could remember, but going with him was a totally different and much more exhilarating experience.
We were smiling, laughing or kissing as we rode rides, tried to pop balloons with darts and ate cotton candy.
It’s one of my favorite early memories of us together.
Back then as teenagers we were in the first stages of this long, abiding and beautiful lifetime relationship.
We had realized how much potential we had together, and how much power we had to either make or break each other’s hearts.
Luckily, we both took that responsibility very seriously and our marriage has been blissfully happy.
And that power and potential exists in every aspect of our lives.
- Our relationships
- Our jobs or careers
- Our ability to be successful and prosperous
- Our ability to create
- Our potential to follow our dreams
Once we realize our full power and potential, it’s then up to us to act on it.
Harry Potter embraced his newfound abilities with both hands.
He became a focal point for other magical folks, an inspiration to them.
Although the truth of what he really was had been hidden from him, upon learning who he was, Harry began to slowly transform into one of the most powerful and influential wizards in the world.
Over the course of seven years, Harry went from a scrawny boy picked on mercilessly by his family to a grown man capable of saving everyone from evil.
Was that transformation easy or quick?
Was it horribly difficult at times?
Did Harry doubt himself and his abilities along the way?
But the reason the character of Harry Potter is such an inspiration is because he never gave up.
Even when facing torture…
Even when facing the loss of his loved ones…
Even with tears running down his face…
Even when facing his own death at the ripe old age of seventeen…
Harry kept going.
And here’s another spoiler…
Stop listening if you don’t want to know how his story ends…
He defeated his fear, his tragic past, and with every odd on earth against him…
And we can win, too.
Yes, Harry Potter is a fictional character.
But people defeat adversity all the time.
We will face challenges.
We will face fear and sorrow. We will face things that we may not be sure we can survive.
But everything is a choice.
Harry Potter made his choices, and we make our choices.
Harry chose to do what was right rather than what is easy, and so can we.
What choices have you made that were difficult? Share if you’d like in the comments. Looking for more life lessons? Check out this great article about the Life Lessons learned by some of the smartest people in the world.