All was well.

Any Harry Potter fans out there?! If you are, you know all was well are the famous three final words, brilliant author, J. K. Rowling used to end her magical seven book series. I must admit, I didn’t get into the “whole Harry Potter thing” until the first movie was released in 2001. The timing was a bit odd considering the first book was released in the U.S. when I was 12, but for whatever reason, as a 15-year-old teenager, I tagged along with my mom when she took my cousin to see Harry Potter in the Sorcerer’s Stone.

Having absolutely no idea what the movie was going to be about, I was instantly hooked. Before we even made it to the parking lot of the theatre, I asked my mom if we could buy the books and to my surprise, she already had them.

I had no idea this was a worldwide phenomenon, but I clearly understood why. I instantly dove into the books and will forever thank my mom for the introduction.

My mom passed away a few short years later. Trying to cling on any part of her that I could still experience, my love for the Harry Potter series only grew. As I read the books and watched the movies the first time around, I simply loved the story. Being transported to this whole other world, with the possibilities endless, what’s not to love?! It still baffles me how people just don’t see the attraction!

Now, as an adult, I have learned to appreciate the series even more. First and foremost, J. K. Rowling is a literary genius and one of my heroes. The way she has intricately written an entire series, plus more is beyond my comprehension, but above her talent, her personal story of overcoming the odds is what really inspires me the most.

Long story short, she was a single mom, living on government assistance and is now the most successful author in history, with Forbes estimating her worth at $1 billion in 2004. In 2012, she was booted from the exclusive billionaire list due in part to her extreme generosity, an estimated $160million in charitable giving.

It is women like her that give me hope for all of us. She has demonstrated if you stay true to your dreams, work hard, and don’t let past failures determine your future, you can do anything you set your mind to.

Working hard is important. But there is something that matters even more, believing in yourself.

– Harry Potter

I believe that we attract into our life what we hold true in our heart. Our deepest beliefs about ourselves are directly reflected in the people and opportunities that surround us. What you believe is possible, how you see yourself in your own story will always determine your success in life. Some people say that the law of attraction is nonsense, but I’ve seen it work firsthand in my own life and in the lives of those around me – whether they see it or not. It’s magic in it’s own way because our mind is a powerful tool, a tool we too often take for granted. Instead of letting life happen for us, creating what we want, too many people let life happen to them. These people are always playing a reactive role instead of going out there and making their dreams come true.

My favorite line of the entire series illustrates this principle perfectly:

Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean it is not real?

– Albus Dumbledore

If you can see it in your mind, you can see it in your life. You just have to choose to believe anything is possible and it will be.

Earlier this year, my sister-in-law and nieces spent the weekend with Andy and me so that we could have a Harry Potter weekend, complete with themed beverages and Harry’s birthday cake.

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It’s a tradition I began with my sister-in-law years ago and was thrilled to be able to share it with our nieces this year. Over the course of two days, we watched all 8 movies, drank butterbeer, polyjuice potion and more importantly, made memories I will cherish always.

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If there is one lesson that I can teach my sister-in-law, my nieces, or anyone else out there willing to listen, it is that we are the authors of our own stories. Stay positive, dream big, and make life happen!

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