7 Life Lessons from Albus Dumbledore

In 1997, the world was introduced to a young wizard by the name of Harry Potter and along with him, a colorful cast of characters whom many would come to know and love. With this motley crew of witches and wizards came the wisdom and reassurance of one Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Dumbledore came to be known as Harry’s mentor and guide and although he is a fictional character, there is real-life wisdom to be found in Dumbledore’s words. So, here are some Dumbledore quotes to help you develop and hone the magic in your own life.

1. “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

This is wise to remember because it is the choices that we make every day that determines our success or failure in life. Many people judge what kind of relationship they will have with you based on the seemingly insignificant choices you make all the time: whether you tip your server, how you treat people in public, how you interact with people in service industries, etc. It is these choices that give a greater insight into your character.

2. "People find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong than being right."

This is a sad reality of life. When people are right about us, especially when it comes to our perceived shortcomings or lapses in judgment, it is far more difficult to get over damage inflicted from the reveal. On the other hand, when someone is wrong about us, it is easier to move on because we can walk away feeling vindicated and superior. It’s important to remember to be honest and humble and own up to our failings or mistakes.

3. “Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.”

This one is fairly self-explanatory. It is important to remember that words have power and that we need to choose the ones we use carefully. Words said in anger; however rash and untrue, will linger in memory longer than those said in praise. So, make sure that you are only saying what you mean, as the impact of those words may affect more deeply than you know.

4. “Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it.”

Putting off the inevitable only makes it that much more painful when the inevitable occurs. This is to say that ignoring pain, especially emotional trauma, can do more harm than good. Unresolved issues can grow and create long-standing issues, as well as mental and emotional damage if left to fester over time.

5. “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that.”

Having ambitions, goals, and dreams is great, but executing the steps to achieve them is what’s most important. Don’t get so caught up in the “planning” phase of your goals that you forget to act on them and live out your dreams.

6. “You fail to recognize that it matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be!”

Never let anyone tell you that just because you weren’t born with certain privileges or access that you cannot achieve your dreams. It doesn’t matter what you have or don’t have at birth, but rather what you make of yourself and put in the work to become.

7. "It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends."

Like Neville Longbottom to whom this quote was addressed, sometimes it is ok to say “no” to friends and family. Standing up for yourself against doubt, naysaying, or overbooking is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your ambitions. Allowing yourself to get bogged down in commitments because you are afraid to say no, or allowing people to doubt your dreams will do nothing but crush them. As important as is to participate and cultivate relationships with people, self-preservation and self-care are just as important, if not more so.

Like the wizarding world of Harry Potter, there is magic to be found in the world around us. Remembering to take time out to plan your goals and setting a path for achievement will lead to a sense of completion and satisfaction that is unparalleled. Take these words of wisdom from Professor Dumbledore and find ways to apply them in your own life to help you on your path to success and fulfillment.

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