As the seventh month dies, it’s time to celebrate the birthday of everyone’s favorite wizard, Harry Potter!
The Harry Potter books and films defined the lives of many Millennials. So, of course, Millennials have learned many of life’s most important lessons from these stories. In honor of his birthday, here are seven lessons we’ve from Harry Potter:
1. Find your support system. (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone)
In the first chapter of Harry’s story, the most important thing he does has nothing to do with winning Quidditch matches or saving the school from Lord Voldemort. The most important thing about Harry’s first year at Hogwarts is the friends he makes. He develops very close bonds with Ron, Hermione, and Hagrid. Plus, he finds other allies in his fellow classmates and Gryffindors. Building a strong support system is extremely important to a successful life and career. Never underestimate the importance of friendship.
2. Choices outweigh abilities. (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets)
During Harry’s second year at Hogwarts, Professor Dumbledore says one of most well-known quotes in the entire series: “It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” This lesson can be applied to so many areas of our lives, so let’s focus on your career. Skills and abilities are definitely important for landing a job (you obviously won’t get a job you can’t perform). But your choices far outweigh your skills. If you want something really badly, you can make it happen.
3. All fears can be conquered. (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban)
Fear is one of the biggest themes in the third Harry Potter book. With Dementors surrounding Hogwarts, Harry learns how to overcome fear and defeat them. There are many fears that come with entering the professional world. Millennials need to realize there are ways to conquer every single fear. Break down your fear and figure out a way to make it less frightening. (When in doubt, shouting spells at them might help!)
4. Play to your strengths and think outside the box. (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)
In Goblet of Fire, Harry is entered into the Triwizard Tournament at where he his first task is to face a dragon. Instead of thinking of ways to tackle the dragon head-on, Harry plays to his strengths. He is very good at flying a broom, so he focuses on ways to incorporate that into the challenge. There is more than one way to solve a problem. Before you go with the most obvious solution, decide whether or not it makes sense for you. If not, find a solution that involves your strengths.
5. When all else fails, teach yourself. (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix)
In the Book Five, Harry and his friends aren’t satisfied with the quality of teaching in their Defense Against the Dark Arts (DADA) class. Professor Umbridge isn’t preparing them enough for the real world. They take matters into their own hands by forming Dumbledore’s Army, a club that meets regularly to learn defensive spells outside the classroom. This is a perfect example of what Millennials should be doing to get ahead of the game in their careers. If you’re not learning the skills you need to get ahead in the classroom, find another way to learn them. (And if you start your own club, be sure to give it a cool name like The DA!)
6. Networking. (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince)
Harry’s sixth year is when he begins to learn about the lovely world of networking. The new DADA professor is the king of networking at Hogwarts. He even has his own exclusive club for students who he thinks will go far in life. He tells Harry about previous members of his club and where they are now. It’s important to have allies in the professional world. Find people who will mentor you and advocate for you. You never know how these people will be able to help you in the future.
7. Don’t give up searching. (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows)
The final Harry Potter book is all about the search for Lord Voldemort and his horcruxes (seven pieces of his soul, for those not in the know). The important thing to take away from this mission is to never give up. Whether your mission is a matter of life and death, or simply to land a job, never stop searching. Things turn around when you least expect it, so keep going. Harry defeated Voldemort in the end, didn’t he?
Millennials have learned a lot from Harry over the years. We can apply these lessons to our lives and our careers as we watch the films over and over for years to come. Happy Birthday Harry Potter, and thank you for all you have taught us!
What are some other lessons you’ve learned from Harry Potter?
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