Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes


"Failure is the line of least persistence." - Author Unknown NULL

"To laugh is to risk appearing the fool. To weep is to risk appearing sentimental. To reach out for another is to risk involvement. To expose our feelings is to risk exposing our true self. To place your ideas and dreams before the crowd is to risk loss. To love is to risk not being loved in return. To hope is to risk despair. To try at all is to risk failure. But risk we must, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing. The man, the woman who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing." - Author Unknown NULL

"I do not make success or failure the criteria by which I live. I like to take chances and I am impressed by others who do so with a freedom of spirit. Those who dare to try also dare to fail. This is a wonderful thing! If we limit ourselves to what is risk-free, we may be missing out on the most rewarding adventures in life." - Author Unknown NULL

"When Abraham Lincoln was a young man he ran for the Legislature in Illinois and was badly swamped. Next he entered business, failed and spent seventeen years of his life paying up the debts of a worthless partner. He was in love with a beautiful young woman to whom he became engagedand then, she died. Later he married a woman who was a constant burden to him. Entering politics again, he was badly defeated for Congress. He failed to get an appointment to the U.S. Land Office. He was badly defeated for the U.S. Senate. In 1856 he became a candidate for the Vice-Presidency and was again defeated. In 1858 he was defeated by Douglas. One failure after another, bad failures, great setbacks. In the face of all this he eventually became one of the country's greatest men, if not the greatest. When you think of a series of setbacks like this, doesn't it make you feel small to become discouraged, just because you think that you're having a hard time in life?" - Author Unknown NULL

"Your education has been a failure, no matter how much it has done for your mind, if it has failed to open your heart." - Author Unknown NULL

"Make the most of every failure; fall forward." - Author Unknown NULL

"Big goals can create a fear of failure. Lack of goals guarantees it." - Author Unknown NULL

"If life is to be fully human it must serve some end which seems, in some sense, outside human life, some end which is impersonal and above mankind, such as God or truth or beauty. Those who promote life do not have life for their purpose. They aim rather at what seems like a gradual incarnation, a bringing into our human existence of something eternal, something that appears to imagination to live in a heaven remote from strife and failure and the devouring jaws of Time." - Bertrand Russell, fully Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell

"Poverty is not wholly a personal failure. It also represents the failure of an economic system. And the remedy is not wholly one of charity, but of political and economic action. Poverty is a reflection also no those who are not poor." -

"It is the 'follow through' that makes the great difference between ultimate success and failure, because it is so easy to stop." -

"To be elated at success and disappointed at failure is to be the child of circumstances; how can such a one be called master of himself?" - Chinese Proverbs

"The rulers of old set off all success to the credit of their people, attributing all failure to themselves." - Chuang Tzu, also spelled Chuang-tsze, Chuang Chou, Zhuangzi, Zhuang Tze, Zhuang Zhou, Chuang Tsu, Chouang-Dsi, Chuang Tse, or Chuangtze

"A noble person is distressed by his own lack of capacity; he is never distressed at the failure of others to recognize his merits." - Confucius, aka Kong Qiu, Zhongni, K'ung Fu-tzu or Kong Fuzi NULL

"The concept of a life experiment can help us get past the fear of failure. The only real failure is not to experiment." - Copthorne Macdonald

"Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest steppingstones to success. No other element can do so much for a man if he is willing to study them and make capital out of them. Look backward. Can't you see where your failures have helped you?" - Dale Carnegie, originally spelled Dale Carnegey

"Success is not forever and failure isn't fatal." - Don Shula

"A failure is a man who has blundered, but is not able to cash in on the experience." - Elbert Green Hubbard

"There is no failure except in no longer trying... The line between failure and success is so fine that we scarcely know when we pass it: so fine that we are often on the line and do not know it." - Elbert Green Hubbard

"Genius is only the power of making continuous efforts. The line between failure and success is so fine that we scarcely know when we pass it: so fine that we are often on the line and do not know it.... There is no failure except from within, no really insurmountable barrier save our own inherent weakness of purpose." - Elbert Green Hubbard

"There is no failure except in no longer trying. There is no defeat except from within, no insurmountable barrier except our own inherent weakness of purpose." - Elbert Green Hubbard

"It is often the failure who is the pioneer in new lands, new undertaking, and new forms of expression." - Eric Hoffer

"It is to escape responsibility for failure that the weak so eagerly throw themselves into grandiose undertakings." - Eric Hoffer

"They who lack talent expect things to happen without effort. They ascribe failure to a lack of inspiration or ability, or to misfortune, rather than to insufficient application. At the core of every true talent there is an awareness of the difficulties inherent in any achievement, and the confidence that by persistence and patience something worthwhile will be realized. Thus talent is a species of vigor." - Eric Hoffer

"Success for women, is always part failure." - Erica Mann Jong

"If one asks for success and prepares for failure, one will get the situation one has prepared for." -

"The whole record of civilization is a record of the failure of money as a higher incentive. The enormous majority of men never make any serious effort to get rich. The few who are sordid enough to do so easily become millionaires with a little luck, and astonish the others by the contrast between their riches and their stupidity... The belief in money as an incentive is founded on the observation that people will do for money what they will not do for anything else." - George Bernard Shaw

"He who has never failed somewhere, that man cannot be great. Failure is the true test of greatness." - Herman Melville

"Realizing that no simple formulas apply to everyone, we develop the courage to live a unique spiritual life, in our own idiosyncratic way. While archetypal patterns exist to guide seekers, in the West individuals can find their won way within these deeper patterns by honoring their unique backgrounds, temperaments, values and creative capacities... We commit ourselves to passionate action in the world, without becoming overly attached to the success or failure of our endeavors... In spiritual maturity, recognizing that such an attitude of indifference stems from a fear of life, we commit to our spouses, professions, and social action, developing compassion and equanimity through a balanced engagement with life." - Jack Kornfield

"He who has conquered doubt and fear has conquered failure." -

"To begin to think with purpose, is to enter the ranks of those strong ones who only recognize failure as one of the pathways to attainment." -

"Failure teaches success." - Japanese Proverbs

"Failure is the source of success." - Japanese Proverbs

"Pride goes before ruin, arrogance, before failure." - Jewish Proverbs

"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

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

"An error is simply a failure to adjust immediately from a preconception to an actuality." - John Cage, fully John Milton Cage, Jr.

"Failure is, in a sense, the highway to success, inasmuch as every discovery of what is false leads us to seek earnestly after what is true, and every fresh experience points out some form of error which we shall afterward carefully avoid." - John Keats

"Albeit failure in any cause produces a correspondent misery in the soul, yet it is, in a sense, the highway to success, inasmuch as every discovery of what is false leads us to seek earnestly after what is true, and every fresh experience points out some form of error which we shall afterward carefully eschew." - John Keats

"War remains the decisive human failure." - John Kenneth Galbraith, aka "Ken"

"One of the reasons mature people stop learning is that they become less and less willing to risk failure." - John W. Gardner, fully John William Gardner

"The greatest failure of all is the failure to act." - John Wooden, fully John Robert Wooden

"Success or failure, the truth of life really has little to do with its quality. The quality of life is in proportion, always, to the capacity for delight. The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention." - Julia Cameron

"The guns and bombs, the rockets and the warships, are all symbols of human failure." -

"Problems are the cutting edge that distinguishes between success and failure. Problems call for our courage and our wisdom; indeed, they create our courage and our wisdom." - M. Scott Peck, fully Morgan Scott Peck

"Failure is success if we learn from it." - Malcolm S. Forbes, fully Malcolm Stevenson Forbes, Sr.

"One of the commonest mistakes and one of the costliest thinking that success is due to some genius, some magic - something or other which we do not possess. Success is generally due to holding one, and failure to letting go. You decide to learn a language, study music, take a course of reading, train yourself physically. Will it be success or failure? It depends upon how much pluck and perseverance that word “decide” contains. The decision that nothing can overrule, the grip that nothing can detach will bring success." - Maltbie Babcock, fully Maltbie Davenport Babcock

"Before success in any man's life he is sure to meet with much temporary defeat and, perhaps, some failure. 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 ever achieved worthwhile success who did not at one time or other, find himself with at least one foot hanging well over the brink of failure." - Napoleon Hill

"Success comes to those who become success conscious. Failure comes to those who indifferently allow themselves to become failure conscious." - Napoleon Hill

"Through some strange and powerful principle of "mental chemistry" which has never divulged, Nature wraps up in the impulse of strong desire, "that something" which recognizes no such word as "impossible," and accepts no such reality as failure." - Napoleon Hill