Friday, July 29, 2011

What I Learned from Harry Potter

Harry Potter has been a part of my life since I was in high school. I've read the books, seen the movies too many times to count and my daughter is a huge fan. It's become part of who I am. I was sad to see it end.

I cried at the beginning of the movie.

I cried at the end of the movie.

I felt like a part of childhood had died.

As I reflect on that moment I realize that as it was such an important part of my life, there are so many lessons I took away from Harry Potter. These life lessons are things that have really made me stop and wonder whether I'm as brave as Harry, confident as Hermoine, wise as Dumbledore. And while I don't say yes to any of those, I do try. I try to be a better person, and that's what is important. So here are a few life lessons I've taken away over the years and how they apply to healthy living.

Lessons I Learned from Dumbledore:

"It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that." Dumbledore
I have that number that I want, the goal that I seek, but if I focus too much on it, I lose sight of today. I lose sight of the life in front of me. Goals are important to us, but do we "dwell" on them. While I'm constantly trying to reach those goals, am I forgetting where I've been, what I've done. Can I truly say I'm living for this moment?

"It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." Dumbledore
I don't have to be a marathon runner or fitness guru. I am not judged by anyone but myself. It's not about how much I lose, how far I run, or much weight I can lift... its about trying and not giving up. And choices are cumulative! It's not about what you do sometimes, it's about what you do most of the time that makes you who you are.

"We must try not to sink beneath our anguish, Harry, but battle on." Dumbledore
Giving up isn't an option. When times are tough, when I feel the need to beat myself up for the poor choices I made, I battle on. Sometimes we can run a little further, push those weights a little harder with just battling on and not allowing ourselves to give in to the anguish or pain.

"Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light." Dumbledore
"Turning on the light" is digging deep and finding that spark, that emotion, the reason for it all. When we motivate ourselves push forward through our dark times we're lighting up our future!

"Dark and difficult times lie ahead. Soon we must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy."
There's a right way to treat your body and then there's an EASY way. The easy way involves not caring, because its easier for our emotions to just not care about anything. Apathy is the easy way out. Care and concern for ourselves in the right way. Life it about creating a challenge for ourselves so that we're constantly moving and learning and growing. Don't settle for easy, step up to the challenge!

"Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike."
Neglect is something that I allowed myself to become prey to for almost 10 years. We can dislike our body, but when we neglect it is when we are truly giving up on an important aspect of our lives. Once we realize that our body is something that deserves attention, love, and compassion we truly transform.
Speak Your Pain
"Harry's refusal to share his fears and feelings, or ask for help, once seemed like a frustrating tic. In the past few books, however, it's become clear that it's his tragic flaw..." (courtesy of

Right Vs Easy
" Dumbledore says, it is not ones abilities that define them, it is their choices. Time and time again, Harry Potter chooses good over evil. He supports what is right over what is easy and that is what leads to his triumph." (courtesy of

Courage is All You Need
"Harry might not be as powerful and knowledgeable but he faces up to everything that he thrown at him and that is how he triumphs."(courtesy of

Trust Yourself
"The most important factor when it came to magic was self-confidence. If you did not believe in yourself, your spell had no power."(courtesy of
"If one kid can overcome a preposterous tally of deaths and mass destruction en route to killing his nemesis, you can probably push through one more set at the gym." (courtesy of )