Quotes for
the Journey:

Failure



  
Failure is only the opportunity
to begin again, more intelligently.

Henry Ford

   

What can any of us do with our talent but try to develop our vision, so that through frequent failures we may learn better what we missed in the past.        -William Carlos Williams

   

You must accept that you might fail; then, if you do your best and still donít win, at least you can be satisfied that youíve tried.  If you donít accept failure as a possibility, you donít set high goals, you donít branch out, you donít tryóyou donít take the risk.        -Rosalynn Carter

   
It is a common mistake to think of failure as the enemy of success.  Failure is a teacher--a harsh one, but the best.  Pull your failures to pieces looking for the reason.  Put your failure to work for you.       -Thomas J. Watson, Sr.
   

When we can begin to take our failures non-seriously, it means we are ceasing to be afraid of them.  It is of immense importance to learn to laugh at ourselves.        -Katherine Mansfield

   
We learn wisdom from failure much more than from success.  We often discover what will do, by finding out what will not do; and probably those who never made a mistake never made a discovery.       -Samuel Smiles
    

If you have made mistakes, even serious ones, there is always another chance for you.  You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call failure is not the falling down, but the staying down.       -Mary Pickford

  
We need to teach highly educated people that it is not a disgrace to fail and that they must analyze every failure to find its cause.  They must learn how to fail intelligently, for failing is one of the greatest arts of the world.        -Charles F. Kettering
   
I will tell you that there have been no failures in my life.  I don't want to sound like some metaphysical queen, but there have been no failures.  There have been some tremendous lessons.       -Oprah Winfrey
   

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

Beverly Sills

I'd rather be a failure at something I enjoy
than be a success at something I hate.

George Burns

    

Failure is instructive.  People who really think learn quite as much from their failures as from their successes.        -John Dewey

   

Learn how to fail intelligently.        -Charles F. Kettering

   
A failure is not always a mistake; it may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances.  The real mistake is to stop trying.        -B.F. Skinner
    

The entrepreneurs know that it doesn't always work.  It's not uncommon to go through a couple of failures before you hit it.       -Thomas Perkins

   

If you're not failing,
you're not trying anything.

Woody Allen

There is no failure except
in no longer trying.

Elbert Hubbard

   
Virtually nothing comes out right the first time.  Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement.  The only time you don't want to fail is the last time you try something. . . . one fails forward toward success.       -Charles F. Kettering
   
The credit belongs to the people who are actually in the arena; whose faces are marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strive valiantly,; who err and come short again and again; who know the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and and spend themselves in worthy causes; who, at the best, know in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if they fail, at least fail while daring greatly, so that their place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.       -Theodore Roosevelt
   

   

Success is never final; failure is rarely fatal.      -Joe Paterno

   

I wasn't afraid to fail.  Something good always comes out of failure.       -Ann Baxter

   
Failure is the catalyst that allows many people to make positive changes in their lives, and that allows people to move on to something bigger and better.  Failure pushes many people just a little bit closer to inevitable success, for in failure, they learn what won't work, or what more needs to be done.  Thomas Edison is widely quoted as having said that he didn't fail at all when he tried thousands of ways to make a light bulb, none of them working--he just learned thousands of ways that didn't work, and with each "failure," he could eliminate another possible method for accomplishing his goal.

Unfortunately, though, many people allow failure to stigmatize them, to prevent them from trying any more, to cause them to give up hope of ever doing anything "right."  They find it impossible to move on, to try any other risk, to try anything new.  Their fear of failure keeps them from adding anything new to their lives, and possibly worst of all, keeps them from feeling the thrill and satisfaction of accomplishment when they've done something new very well.  Their fears prevent them from meeting new people, from going new places, from trying new things, and from creating new spaces in their lives.  They fall into a rut that's defined by fear.

I don't feel there's necessarily anything wrong with many ruts.  I'm in a few myself, and they're very pleasant.  But they're also ruts in which I continue to learn and explore and expand and change.  (Many would argue that if that's the case, they're not ruts at all, but I don't see the term "rut" as being necessarily negative.)  They aren't ruts that are created by my fear of taking chances or doing new things.  If that ever becomes the case, I'll have to make some drastic changes and get out of them.  The important thing for me always to be aware of is whether or not a current rut is caused by a past failure--do I avoid trying this new project because I tried it once before and failed?  Do I not try to meet this person because I failed in a relationship with just such a person at some time in my past?  If my failures are defining my life, then I'm in trouble.

I've failed a lot, at many different endeavors.  I've come in last place in many things.  I've been passed over for promotions, I've lost boards in the army, I've not been hired for the jobs I've applied for.  But each time I've been fortunate enough not to allow that failure to keep me from trying.  When I lost a board, I came back the next month and won the next one.  When I haven't been hired, I've gone elsewhere and applied.  When I was turned down by a slew of PhD. programs, I moved to a place I wanted to live and started to work.  I've been very blessed, because there's something in my genetic code that gives me the ability to shake off failure--I don't even regard it as failure any more--and move on.  But not all people are so fortunate.

How many people do you know who fail in a relationship and then won't have anything to do with anyone afterwards?  Or who fail in a tournament and who won't do that sport or activity any more?  I suppose one of the most dangerous aspects of that type of behavior is the possibility that such a person is not acting out of fear of failing again, but out of fear of how people will regard them for having failed.

I've got bad news:  You're going to fail at many things in your life.  But I have good news, too:  You're going to fail at many things in life.  Failure is how you learn, how you grow, how you transform yourself into a new person, into a wonderful reflection of the beautiful creation you are.  If you don't allow yourself to grow and to learn from your failures, you're doing a great disservice to yourself and to those people who surround you who deserve to have you be the wonderful person you have the capability to become.  Look at the failures and shortcomings in your life as refinement, as you move on and become a beautiful example of what a human being can be.

And remember--failure is not the absence of success; failure is a step towards success.

From livinglifefully.com.

   

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If I'm not free to fail, I'm not free to take risks, and everything in life that's worth doing involves a willingness to take a risk and involves the risk of failure. . . I have to try, but I do not have to succeed.     -Madeleine L'Engle
  
I had rather attempt something great and fail, than to attempt nothing at all and succeed.     -Robert Schuller, Tough Times Never Last
  
Even after the greatest defeats, the depressing thought of being a failure is best combated by taking stock of all your past achievements.     -Hans Selye
  
Remind thyself, in the darkest moments, that every failure is only a step toward success, every detection of what is false directs you toward what is true, every trial exhausts some tempting form of error, and every adversity will only hide, for a time, your path to peace and fulfillment.     -Og Mandino
  
Failure is just another way to learn how to do something right.     -Marion Wright Edelman
  
There is a distinction between failing and being a failure.  Few things are learned in life without failing at least once.  Did you learn to roller skate without falling a few times?  Did you learn to ride a bike without losing your balance?  Chances are you didn't.  You may have wanted to do those things so intensely that you quickly put unsuccessful attempts behind you and kept trying.  Soon you acquired the skill to do the thing you wanted.  Even though in the process of learning you may have failed many times, you were not a failure.  "Failing" simply became an open door to try again.     -John Marks Templeton, Worldwide Laws of Life
  
So much of life involves risk and the possibility of failure.  If you are not afraid of failure, you will take many more risks in your life.  The more risks you take, the more alive you will feel.  You are afraid of failure because you fear rejection.  The moment you give up seeking acceptance from others, your fear of rejection will disappear.  And with it, the fear of failure.     -Leonard Jacobson
  
For every failure, there's an alternative course of action.  You just have to find it.  When you come to a roadblock, take a detour.     -Mary Kay Ash
  
"When I was a young man," he said, "the last wolf in this part of the country was hunted down and killed.  The newcomers to this land brought their long-held fears of the wolf with them.  The newcomers thought, and still think, that the wolf was successful because he loved to kill and was good at it.  To them, he was evil and had to be killed.  They didn't realize that he failed more than he succeeded.  He went hungry eight or nine times out of ten because his prey got away.  When he finally succeeded the tenth time, he satisfied his hunger.  What others saw as a lust for killing was really perseverance.  That was the secret of his success:  He never quit."     -Joseph M. Marshall III
  
Failures

'Tis better to have tried in vain,
  Sincerely striving for a goal,
Than to have lived upon the plain
  An idle and a timid soul.

'Tis better to have fought and spent
  Your courage, missing all applause,
Than to have lived in smug content
  And never ventured for a cause.

For those who try and fail may be
  The founders of a better day;
Though never theirs the victory,
  From them shall others learn the way.

Edgar Guest
  
  
Because a person has failed once or a dozen times, you don't set them down as a failure until he or she is dead or loses courage--and that's the same thing.     -George Horace Lorimer
  
I'm proof against that word failure.  I've seen behind it.  The only failure a person ought to fear is failure in cleaving to the purpose he or she sees to be best.     -George Eliot
  
"You're making a common mistake," he said.  "You're thinking of failure as the enemy of success.  But it isn't at all.  Failure is a teacher--a harsh one, perhaps, but the best.  You say you have a desk full of rejected manuscripts?  That's great!  Every one of those manuscripts was rejected for a reason.  Have you pulled them to pieces looking for that reason?  That's what I have to do when an idea backfires or a sales program fails.  You've got to put failure to work for you."
   He folded his napkin and put it beside his plate.  "You can be discouraged by failure--or you can learn from it.  So go ahead and make mistakes.  Make all you can.  Because, remember, that's where you'll find success.  On the far side of failure."     -Arthur Gordon, quoting Thomas J. Watson
  
In every failure is the seed of success.     -unattributed
  
There really is no such thing as failure.  There is only the rearrangement of plans and surrender of ego.     -Susan Falter-Barns
  
What a shame to be so afraid of failure that you stop living.  My wife has a great one-liner about failure:  "Never consider yourself a failure--you can always serve as a bad example."  She is right.  Failure can be a better teacher than success.     -Bernie Siegel
  
The sheer rebelliousness in giving ourselves permission to fail frees a childlike awareness and clarity. . . . When we give ourselves permission to fail, we at the same time give ourselves permission to excel.      -Eloise Ristad
  
Real failure comes when we consider ourselves good enough at something to be able to repeat it rather than to develop it.  "Success is dangerous," the painter Pablo Picasso said.  "One begins to copy oneself, and to copy oneself is more dangerous than to copy others.  It leads to sterility."      -Joan Chittister, Seeing with Our Souls
  
You need the ability to fail.  I'm amazed at the number of organizations that set up an environment where they do not permit their people to be wrong.  You cannot innovate unless you are willing to accept some mistakes.      -Charles Knight
  
Those who hope to avoid all failure and misfortune are trying to live in a fairyland; wise people realistically accept failures as a part of life and build philosophies to meet them and make the best of them.     -Wilferd A. Peterson
  

     

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