All the life advice I learned from ‘Harry Potter’

I’m not alone in finding inspiration from Harry Potter. There are people all over the globe who absorbed life advice from both the books and the movies, who can quote both to suit any situation. But most of the time when people are quoting from the series, they’re looking to Dumbledore. He’s great, of course, but I’ve found all kinds of wisdom from the other characters in the series. Here are some great quotes from Harry Potter that aren’t from the kindly headmaster.

“I am what I am, and I’m not ashamed. There’s some who’ll hold it against you, but they’re not worth botherin’ with.” —Hagrid

Hagrid was quoting his own father here, but it’s clear that he firmly believes this as well. Sometimes we fall into the trap of trying to be someone that others want, and it takes a solid friend like Hagrid to remind us that the people that matter like you just the way you are.

“There’s nothing wrong with your work except lack of confidence.” —Minerva McGonagall

Self-doubt is something everyone goes through, but sometimes we need to fake it till we make it. No matter what your work is, confidence is always a key factor to success. Believe in yourself and you’d be surprised at how much more you can do.

“I don’t just like people because they are handsome!” —Hermione Granger

Not precisely advice, but just a nice little reminder that looks definitely aren’t everything. In fact, they mean very little.

“What you fear most of all is fear. Very wise.” —Remus Lupin

It’s important to be cautious, but it’s equally important to take risks. So it’s smart to be wary of fear, and question whether being afraid is holding you back.

“Young and whole men don’t necessarily remain so.” —Molly Weasley

The counterpoint to the advice above is to remember that we are all fallible, and we are all going to experience trouble in our lives. Perfect people do not exist. Everyone goes through difficulties in life.

“The thing is, it helps when people stand up to them, it gives everyone hope.” —Neville Longbottom

Neville talks about standing up to the new, awful Dark Arts professor, and even though he knows he’ll fail, he knows it’s important to try. It only takes one person to stand up in order to give others the confidence to join them. If Neville can do it, so can you.

“We feel our futures lie outside the world of academic achievement.” —Fred Weasley

Sure, this is a smart alec reason that Wesley didn’t want to do his homework. But it’s also a delightful reminder that not everyone is meant for the same path.

“The world isn’t split into good people and Death Eaters.” —Sirius Black

This is a good way of pointing out that most people do not fit into a box or label. People are always a complicated mixture of things. Do you fit into one category? No? Didn’t think so.

“Size is no guarantee of power.” —George Weasley

No matter who you are, where you are, or what you are, you can do something great and powerful.

“Anything is possible if you’ve got enough nerve.”—Ginny Weasley

Inspired by her devious and adventurous brothers, Ginny tosses out some real empowerment here. It’s both a thrilling and freeing thought.

“The mind is not a book, to be opened at will and examined at leisure. The mind is a complex and many layered thing.” —Severus Snape

You’re allowed to have conflicting thoughts and work things out in your head. Mind reading doesn’t exist, because our minds are too complicated for it. It’s better to accept that you don’t have all the answers.


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[Image courtesy Warner Bros.]