Very Good Lives by JK Rowling: Book Summary

In this book summary of Very Good Lives by JK Rowling, you’ll find my notes, valuable lessons, and important action steps.

Very Good Lives Summary

The first step to personal development is achievable goals.

There are two main things you should know when entering the real world as an adult:

  1. A bunch of good comes from failure
  2. Imagination is critically important

Poverty brings many negative feelings with it (depression and embarrassment) and gets in the way of living a noble life.

Reaching rock bottom strips you of your inessential desires and identities. And it can free you to focus on succeeding in what truly matters for your present and future.

Always follow your dreams. It’s the best for everyone around and you.

If you don’t take risks and try new things because of the fear of failure, you’re failing to live and your life becomes a failure already.

Having humility will assist you in surviving the temporary unpleasant circumstances of life.

You can find inspiration all around you if you look for it.

“Unlike any other creature on this planet, human beings can learn and understand without having experienced. They can think themselves into other people’s places.”

Choose to exercise your imagination to view life through other people’s perspective and struggles. That’ll help you stand up for them.

We affect other people’s lives by simply living during the same time as them. Everything we do, or don’t do, has an ultimate effect.

“As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters.” – Seneca

Mini Summary

If you know you have a dream you’ve always wanted to accomplished, stay committed to it through thick and thin. Never give up on it, no matter what other people say. You owe it to yourself to all out go for it.

If you harness them in the right way, your failures and your imaginations will be the keys to unlocking a better life for others and yourself.

We all carry the power inside of us to change the world by our voice, decisions, and actions. Use your talents to lift up those less fortunate in this world. That’s how you can live a very good life.

Three Favorite Quotes

“I was set free, because my greatest fear had already been realized, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”

“You might never fail on the scale I did, but some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.”

“We do not need magic to transform our world; we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.”

Action Steps For You

What’s a very good life to you? Of course I can’t answer, only you can.

A good life starts with chasing your dream. For JK Rowling, her dream was to write novels full-time and wow did she accomplish that after writing arguably the best series of all time in Harry Potter.

My dream is to become one of the best businessmen, reach financial freedom, and help others accomplish their dreams.

What’s your dream? You need to start there. Grow in your self awareness, learn what you’re good at and not so good at, talented at and not so talented at, passionate about and not so passionate about.

Start with a dream.

Then, continue chasing that dream regardless of failure and setback. In the time it sucks, but your failures can free you.

And keep using your imagination to empathize with others. Use your gifts to help those less fortunate than you.

Those are some of the core pieces to living a very good life.

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Brian Robben

Brian Robben is the founder of Take Your Success, a site dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and wantrepreneurs grow a profitable business and reach freedom. For in-depth training, visit:

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Rachel Bishop

    This book is fantastic and a must on all shelves. I have read it and I will continue to read it when I feel a little off. I am currently reading Marco LeRoc’s book Activate Your Untapped Potential. This is full of the motivation to stay on top of our lives and continue our success. I recommend it, his site it great too,

    1. Brian Robben

      You’re so right, Rachel, about this being a must on all shelves. I’ll check out the book when I get to it (I have a long list of future reads).

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