12:00 pm EDT, July 31, 2015

Harry Potter quotes: 10 times J.K. Rowling inspired readers

There are many, many amazing quotes in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels (and by extension, the movies). Is it possible to pick just 10 Harry Potter quotes? We say it is!

July 31 is Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling’s shared birthday. We’re sure both real and imaginary (except it’s happening inside your head, so by Dumbledore logic, it’s all real) celebrations are always happening during the momentous occasion, and we Harry Potter fans aren’t going to miss out on a party!

Related: Quiz: Which of these bizarre creatures is your true Patronus?

To mark this yearly occasion, Hypable has gathered a list of the 10 best (yes, best!) Harry Potter quotes about life from the books. There was only one rule: they couldn’t all have been said by Albus Dumbledore.

Hopefully what follows is a list of your favorite quotes, with a few unusual choices sprinkled in for flavor.

We have all learned countless invaluable life lessons from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, but these are the 10 most important truths we always carry with us:

Best ‘Harry Potter’ quotes

‘It is our choices that show who we truly are, far more than our abilities.’ – Albus Dumbledore

Harry Potter Quote Choices

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The entire Harry Potter series is based on the power of choice. Voldemort made a choice when he marked Harry rather than Neville. Snape made a choice when he allied himself with Dumbledore. Harry made a choice when he followed Quirrell through the trap-door. Ron and Hermione chose to go with him. Every single Hogwarts student ultimately chose their own House.

And this quote is possibly the most important piece of advice J.K. Rowling has ever given us.

You can say you’re a good person, but what have you actually done to make the world a better place? Be as good as your word. Practice the kindness you claim to believe in.

And if you are of the creative mindset, don’t let your talent go to waste because you believe you’re not good enough. The best writer in the world might never publish anything because they’re too afraid of failure, whereas someone with a fraction of their abilities becomes wildly successful because they chose to make an effort, and fought tooth and nail for every word they wrote.

Your life is not defined by your pre-existing abilities, your looks, or your surroundings. You have the power to choose the person you want to become.

‘If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.’ – Sirius Black

Harry Potter Quote Sirius

Sirius Black was a broken man, but his heart was always in the right place.

This piece of advice, which broke up an argument between Ron and Hermione in Goblet of Fire (about house-elves, of course), has so much real-world relevance. Look at any authority figure — whether it be a politician, a celebrity, a teacher, a parent or a public service officer — and ask yourself: how does this person treat those over whom he or she holds power?

Someone can be nice and friendly when they want something from you, but how about when they hold something you want or need? Consider that, whenever you’re unsure about a person’s intentions.

It’s also worth turning this around on yourself. As Rowling’s fellow author J.M. Barrie once said, “Always try to be a little kinder.”

‘Don’t let the Muggles get you down.’ – Ron Weasley

Harry Potter Quote Muggles

This is an unremarkable quote at first glance, but here’s why it’s important: as Harry Potter fans, we believe in the strength of hope, the value of dreams, and the power of imagination. That makes us capable of extraordinary things.

Unfortunately the world can be a dark and bitter place. Your dreams can seem impossible, your hopes can seem futile. There is so much negativity pressing in from all sides, people telling you to give up, to accept your lot, to fall into mediocrity.

They are the Muggles. You are not a Muggle. They can’t touch you, because you have magic — whether it be literal or figurative — inside of you.

‘Perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it.’ – Albus Dumbledore

Harry Potter Quote Power

This is a wonderfully provocative comment from J.K. Rowling’s #1 mouthpiece, Albus Dumbledore. After all, looking at the state of the world, are the ones who seek power and glory really the ones best suited to set the moral and legal standards we live by?

Of course to get power, you usually have to seek it, so it’s a tough standard to set for humanity. It’s hard to get attention just by being a decent person (although not impossible, as history has proven).

But to be a leader, to speak for others, you first have to allow those others to speak. To lead, you have to listen. To properly wield authority, you have to let go of your ego. It’s not too much to ask.

‘The thing about growing up with Fred and George is that you sort of start thinking anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.’ – Ginny Weasley

Harry Potter Quote Ginny

Ginny Weasley is a fantastic character. While Harry is off on his own adventures, Ginny transforms herself from a vulnerable first-year who was almost swallowed by darkness into a strong, capable, Quidditch-playing badass who steps out of the shadows and turns Harry’s world upside-down in Half-Blood Prince.

She makes her life about her, not Harry, and she ends up getting everything she’s ever wanted. How does she do it? Pure and utter nerve.

The thing about life is, you’ve only got the one. Sitting back and being too scared to follow your dreams is a complete and utter waste of time. You may fail. But try. Jump as high as you can. Fall down. Get back up. Cheat. Trick the system. (Just… not in a scary illegal way. We’re talking U-No-Poo level tricks, here.)

Go to page 2 for Dumbledore’s most iconic quote, and words of wisdom from The Dark Lord himself

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