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Failure Quotes

"I have missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot . . . and missed. And I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why . . . I succeed." Michael Jordan


"Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing." Dr. Denis Waitley

"When one door closes another door opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us." Alexander Graham Bell

"Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently." Henry Ford

"The men who have done big things are those who were not afraid to attempt big things, who were not afraid to risk failure in order to gain success." B.C. Forbes

"Someday I hope to enjoy enough of what the world calls success so that someone will ask me, "What's the secret of it?" I shall say simply this: 'I get up when I fall down.'" Paul Harvey

"Most successful people can identify one minute, one moment, where their lives changed, and it usually occurred in times of adversity." Willie Jolley

"I think everyone should experience defeat at least once during their career. You learn a lot from it." Lou Holtz

"When you are down on your back, if you can look up, you can get up." Les Brown

"There are no failures - only feedback." R. Bandler

"Failure is the path of least resistance." Sir James Matthew Barrie

"If at first you don't succeed, think how many people you've made happy." H. Duane Black

"Don't fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things. The saddest summary of a life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have." Louis E. Boone

"A minute's success pays the failure for years." Robert Browning

"I'd rather be a failure in something that I love than a success in something that I hate." George Burns

"A man may fail many times, but he isn't a failure until he begins to blame somebody else." John Burroughs

"Men are failures, not because they are stupid, but because they are not sufficiently impassioned." Struther Burt

"They never fail who die in a great cause." George Gordon, Lord Byron

"Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor." Truman Capote

"Show me someone content with mediocrity and I'll show you someone destined for failure." Johnetta Cole

"In order to succeed you must fail, so that you know what not to do the next time." Anthony J. D'Angelo

"The only real failure in life is one not learned from." Anthony J. D'Angelo

"Defeat never comes to any man until he admits it." Josephus Daniels

"The person who really thinks learns quite as much from his failures as from his successes." John Dewey

"Show me a thoroughly satisfied man, and I will show you a failure." Thomas Alva Edison

"I'm proof against that word failure. I've seen behind it. The only failure a man ought to fear is failure of cleaving to the purpose he sees to be best." George Elliot

"The great dividing line between success and failure can be expressed in five words: "I did not have time." Franklin Field

"Keep these concepts in mind: You've failed many times, although you don't remember. You fell down the first time you tried to walk. You almost drowned the first time you tried to swim. . . . Don't worry about failure. My suggestion to each of you: Worry about the chances you miss when you don't even try." Sherman Finesilver

"Failure is success if we learn from it." Malcom S. Forbes

"A shy failure is nobler than an immodest success." Kahlil Gibran

"Haste in every business brings failure." Herodotus

"Before success comes in any man's life he is sure to meet with much temporary defeat and, perhaps, some failures. When defeat overtakes a man, the easiest and most logical thing to do is to quit. That is exactly what the majority of men do." Napoleon Hill

"No man is ever whipped, until he quits -- in his own mind." Napoleon Hill

"Persistence is to the character of man as carbon is to steel." Napoleon Hill

"The majority of men meet with failure because of their lack of persistence in creating new plans to take the place of those which fail." Napoleon Hill

"When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal." Napoleon Hill

"There is no loneliness greater than the loneliness of a failure. The failure is a stranger in his own house." Eric Hoffer

"When on the brink of complete discouragement, success is discerning that . . . the line between failure and success is so fine that often a single extra effort is all that is needed to bring victory out of defeat." Elbert Green Hubbard

"There is no failure except in no longer trying. There is no defeat except from within, no really insurmountable barrier save our own inherent weakness of purpose." Frank McKinney "Kin" Hubbard

"An inventor fails 999 times, and if he succeeds once, he's in. He treats his failures simply as practice shots." Charles Franklin Kettering

"Failure is the foundation of success, and the means by which it is achieved." Lao Tzu

"As the opportunity grows for unlimited growth and progress, the chances of failure increase. There is no such thing as a program that will provide security and growth and progress with no risk . . . even within the church. As freedom for unrestricted development is enhanced, the possibilities for failure are also increased. The risk factor is great." Dean L. Larsen

"My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure." Abraham Lincoln

"The probability that we may fail in struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just" Abraham Lincoln

"In great attempts it is glorious even to fail." Vince Lombardi

"Because a fellow has failed once or twice, or a dozen times, you don't want to set him down as a failure till he's dead or loses his courage - and that's the same thing." George Horace Lorimer

"Remember the two benefits of failure. First, if you do fail, you learn what doesn't work; and second, the failure gives you the opportunity to try a new approach." Roger Von Oech

"What we call failure is not the falling down, but the staying down." Mary Pickford

"If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure." Dan Quayle

"I've come to believe that all my past failure and frustration were actually laying the foundation for the understandings that have created the new level of living I now enjoy." Anthony (Tony) Robbins

"Failure is not a single, cataclysmic event. You don't fail overnight. Instead, failure is a few errors in judgment, repeated every day." Jim Rohn

"Success is never ending: failure is never final." Robert Schuller

"You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try." Beverly Sills

"The saddest failures in life are those that come from not putting forth the power and will to succeed." Edwin Percy Welles

"I would rather lose in a cause that I know some day will triumph than to triumph in a cause that I know some day will fail." Wendell Wilkie

"Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure." George E. Woodberry

"No one can defeat us unless we first defeat ourselves." Dwight Eisenhower

"If you think education is expensive, try ignorance." Derek Bok

"It is not the great temptations that ruin us; it is the little ones." John W. DeForest


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