If you win, you will be happy; if you lose, you will be wise.” George Bailey
Failure affects us all, but we all view it differently. Below is a list of ten quotes from an assortment of successful people that will surely inspire you to look upon failure differently.
1. Chris Hardwick
No human ever became interesting by not failing. The more you fail and recover and improve, the better you are as a person. Ever meet someone who’s always had everything work out for them with zero struggle? They usually have the depth of a puddle. Or they don’t exist."
The struggles inherent in failure will enrich your character, because you will have learned through them and, as a result, have more ‘depth’ as a person. Failure also affords us a humility that teaches us how to handle and appreciate our eventual success.
2. Thomas A. Edison
I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
The lesson from failure is not merely that you have not achieved your goal. Failure also gives you valuable feedback about what you have tried, so that every wrong attempt becomes another step forward. There is another lesson here: keep moving regardless of the number of ‘failed’ attempts.
3. Janet Fitch
The phoenix must burn to emerge.”
Failure is like a refiners fire; a fundamental part of the process of eventual release.
4. John Wooden
Failure isn’t fatal, but failure to change might be.”
It isn’t failure that sounds the death knell: it is the failure to learn.
5. Ken Robinson
If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.”
To succeed at doing anything truly great, you must take risks. And you risk failure; you risk being wrong. But if you do not take the risk, you will not create anything original, let alone anything great.
6. Michael Jordan
I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”
It is clear that Jordan views failure as a necessary part of the journey to success – “everyone fails”. By contrast, not trying serves no purpose.
7. Abraham Lincoln
My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure."
Don’t focus on the event of failure. Instead, embrace its lessons, which are more important.
8. J.K. Rowling
Failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me.”
Failure is the engine that will drive you to pursue that which matters most to you, casting off anything and everything that stands in your way.
9. Soichiro Honda
Success represents the 1% of your work which results from the 99% that is called failure."
To paraphrase former British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, successes are built on failures. The most important lessons come from challenges, not successes. Yet, we shine a spotlight on people’s successes rather than focus on the more interesting narrative of the failures that have produced those successes.
10. Eloise Ristad
When we give ourselves permission to fail, we, at the same time, give ourselves permission to excel.”
If we allow ourselves the possibility of failure, then we allow ourselves to take risks that could lead to great things. If we did not allow ourselves the possibility of failure, we would not take the risks that are necessary for true success. Few of the much lauded successes today were achieved without failure.
See also: Top 10 Motivational Career Quotes
I hope that on reading this, you will not let an event such as failure hold you back.
Which quotes on failure have inspired you? Share them in the comments box below.