Bringing the Magic to Life: What Harry Potter Taught Me About Success

By: Katie

In previous posts, I wrote about what Harry Potter taught me about myself and about others. For my last post in this series, I’m going to write about what Harry Potter taught me about success.

Success isn’t simple.
I’m a firm believer that success in one area of your life isn’t worth it if it comes at the cost of another.  It’s easy to develop tunnel vision when it comes to striving to achieve your goals, but it’s important to remember that achieving your goals alone won’t necessarily mean success. Voldemort had power, intimidation, and at face value was very successful in achieving his goal of being in extreme power. However, he was alone. He didn’t have friends, and the only people who stuck close to him did so more out of fear or obsession than anything positive. Voldemort was so committed to becoming all-powerful that he focused on only that, leading a lonely life because of it. Sacrificing meaningful relationships, happiness, health, or your sanity to maintain your 4.0 just isn’t worth it.

HP Success

You’ll fail along the way.
If anyone exemplifies this idea, it is the Harry Potter characters. How many times did the “good guys” try to get rid of Voldemort? How many times did Voldemort try to get rid of them? Countless, practically. However, both sides continued to fight for what mattered to them. One side fought for cruelty while the other fought for peace, but still, they didn’t let failure after failure stop them, and their string of failures eventually led to a final success (well, for one side, anyway).  Failure is an unavoidable byproduct of working toward something important or doing something you care about. Whether it be to defeat an evil lord or get a job you love, you’re not going to get the “happy ending” you want without some unhappy circumstances beforehand.

Sometimes you need to break the rules.
Sometimes authority just needs to be challenged. Sometimes the status quo should be thrown out. And sometimes, the way to succeed is to forget the rules and follow your own. When Harry, Ron, and Hermione broke into Bellatrix’s vault at Gringotts to search for a horcrux, Harry used the imperius curse on a goblin so they could get inside. The imperius curse is one of the unforgivable curses, so named because it is considered so awful that its use is an unforgivable offense and will land you a lifelong prison sentence. However, they may not have gotten to the vault without its use. While this act wasn’t necessarily ethical or moral, arguably, Harry had no choice. Sometimes you can’t get where you want to be from inside the confines of what’s expected, what’s always been done, or what is deemed correct. While I don’t condone breaking laws that exist to protect others, there are times when established systems might not allow for the success you seek. When that happens, consider developing your own system instead.

We have about 1 million words detailing the experience of the Harry Potter characters (I got that number from Yahoo Answers, so it must be right). In those words, we find countless lessons that can guide our decisions, actions, and feelings toward others, ourselves, and success. The situations in your life may not involve defeating a dark lord or manipulating the world with magic, but the story of Harry Potter can still provide with wisdom you can apply to your own muggle life.

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The Top 3 Things to Take Away From “10 Career Tips for 20-Somethings”

By: Meg

I recently read an opinion post written for Forbes by Mary Ray as a part of YEC Women (Young Entrepreneur Council), a program for mentoring young female business professionals. Her post was written with women in mind, but it does apply to everyone working their way up their career path. It’s not about how to make money, or the decisions you should make. This article is about the things you can do to make life easier for yourself, to be successful as a working person, not just at work. You should definitely take a look at the full article here: 10 Career Tips for a 20-Something.

Tips for 20-somethings

Here’s what I took out of it:

Take care

Above all, when setting yourself up for success you need to remember you. It’s easy to forget yourself among all of the stress of finals, job interviews, work, etc. that the whole point is to be happy with where we are. So yes, work hard, but also spend time with yourself and the people who make you happy. Schedule it in if you have to. Just make sure that you’re taking care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. How? From the article:

  • Work out- however you want, just get your heart pumping
  • Surround yourself with people who support you
  • “Every night, think of three positive things from the day”

Advocate for yourself

When it comes to your career, there is nobody who is going to make sure you’re reaching your goals. That’s all up to you. You need to be able to stand up for yourself: Negotiate that raise, be heard in meetings, only take on what you can handle, etc. Be confident! The best thing you can do for yourself is to know that you are good, and that you deserve to be treated that way.

Cultivate relationships

You need people around you. So does everyone else. That’s why networking is a huge part of the working world. The people you are working with understand the world you’re in, so they’re good people to have with you when you need to vent. They’re also good if/when you move on. Don’t forget about the people in your past. Former bosses and coworkers are still people you can call on, so make sure to keep those relationships in good standing.

I can definitely see why this was written by someone mentoring young women. Often, we forget that we have to take care of ourselves, not just everyone else. We need to practice advocating for ourselves, and that’s often really hard to do. So I think it’s important to remind yourself of that pretty often. I’m personally bookmarking this…and putting it in as a task for next semester’s finals week to make me feel better.

Overall, the one thing us Millennials need to remember is that our career is for us. It does no good to have a killer resume if at the end of the day we’re not happy.

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The Three C’s to Success

By: David

The love doctor once told me that if I wanted to attract potential mates in the world of dating I’d have to acquire the “three C’s”. Now I’m not here today to give dating advice because that would indeed be chaotic, but in today’s blog post I’ll be talking about how the three C’s can benefit you in the workplace, and pretty much any other area, as well. Stick around and read on as I’ll be highlighting what these wonderful “C’s” are!


I’m sure you’ve heard numerous people (including me) stress how important confidence may be in the workplace, academics, and life in general. Confidence is one of the big three because you can benefit from it in the workplace whether it be through giving presentations, communicating with coworkers daily, or even just working within the workplace. It is highly beneficial because with confidence you can prove that you’re capable of completing tasks with efficiency and with this your boss/supervisor will feel a lot more comfortable with making the decision of having hired you. Confidence is the most important out of the three because it is key to achieving the remaining two. Be careful though, because too much confidence may prove to be disastrous as well.


Now if you’re familiar with the video game, “The Sims”, there are multiple ways to increase your charisma skill within the game, but the most basic and common way to level up your charisma skill is by talking to yourself in the mirror. Now I’m not saying that you should do exactly that, but working on your charisma skill might prove to be extremely beneficial in the long run. Saying the right things during the right time can really benefit your path to success. A good example of this is interviewing. During the interview process, you can really land a job with your charisma by selling yourself to employers. Charisma indeed goes a long way and will get you far, but keep in mind that you can’t please everybody, every time.


I was going to start off by telling a joke about “infinity”, but I realize that it would never end. *Ba Dum Tsss. That was a terrible joke, I know, but stay with me. You see, comedy and humor go a long way and is the last piece to the puzzle. When people are able to add a little bit of comedy and humor to their work it gets people laughing, and when people are laughing it eases the environment and brightens everyone’s mood. Humor can positively turn a work atmosphere around because it really does add that additional spark to the workplace. One observation I’ve seen from stand-up comedians is that they are all confident with their jokes and in the end, if no one is laughing at least they themselves are laughing. Being humorous isn’t and shouldn’t be the number one thing to do and learn, but why not take some time to invest in some puns and jokes?

In finale, all of these characteristics are eventually acquired through time and effort. Just like any other skill out there, daily application and a little bit of research help with the developing process. Though there are a zillion other traits that are highly beneficial and can lead you to success. These three are just common characteristics you can always keep in mind. If trouble ever comes knocking at the door just always remember the three C’s of confidence, charisma, and comedy. They’ll get you out of almost any situation, when applied properly. This marks the end of today’s post, hope you all enjoy your break and stay warm folks!

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