Quotes about failure

A collection of quotes on the topic of failure.

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Paramahansa Yogananda photo

„The season of failure is the best time for sowing the seeds of success.“

—  Paramahansa Yogananda Yogi, a guru of Kriya Yoga and founder of Self-Realization Fellowship 1893 - 1952

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„Mankind's greatest achievements have come about by talking, and its greatest failures by not talking.“

—  Stephen Hawking British theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author 1942 - 2018

British Telecom advertisement (1993), part of which was used in Pink Floyd's Keep Talking (1994) and Talkin' Hawkin'<nowiki/> (2014)
Context: For millions of years, mankind lived just like the animals. Then something happened which unleashed the power of our imagination. We learned to talk and we learned to listen. Speech has allowed the communication of ideas, enabling human beings to work together to build the impossible. Mankind's greatest achievements have come about by talking, and its greatest failures by not talking. It doesn't have to be like this. Our greatest hopes could become reality in the future. With the technology at our disposal, the possibilities are unbounded. All we need to do is make sure we keep talking.

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Henry Miller photo

„Everywhere I go people are making a mess of their lives. Everyone has his private tragedy. It's in the blood now - misfortune, ennui, grief, suicide. The atmosphere is saturated with disaster, frustration, futility. Scratch and scratch, until there's no skin left. However, the effect upon me is exhilarating. Instead of being discouraged or depressed, I enjoy it. I am crying for more and more disasters, for bigger calamities, grander failures. I want the whole world to be out of whack, I want every one to scratch himself to death.“

—  Henry Miller, book Tropic of Cancer

Source: Tropic of Cancer (1934), Chapter One
Context: Well, I'll take these pages and move on. Things are happening elsewhere. Things are always happening. It seems wherever I go there is drama. People are like lice - they get under your skin and bury themselves there. You scratch and scratch until the blood comes, but you can't get permanently deloused. Everywhere I go people are making a mess of their lives. Everyone has his private tragedy. It's in the blood now - misfortune, ennui, grief, suicide. The atmosphere is saturated with disaster, frustration, futility. Scratch and scratch, until there's no skin left. However, the effect upon me is exhilarating. Instead of being discouraged or depressed, I enjoy it. I am crying for more and more disasters, for bigger calamities, grander failures. I want the whole world to be out of whack, I want every one to scratch himself to death.

Citát „I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying.“
Michael Jordan photo

„I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying.“

—  Michael Jordan American retired professional basketball player and businessman 1963

Variant: I can appect failure, but I cannot accept not trying.

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Alan Watts photo

„The problem comes up because we ask the question in the wrong way. We supposed that solids were one thing and space quite another, or just nothing whatever. Then it appeared that space was no mere nothing, because solids couldn't do without it. But the mistake in the beginning was to think of solids and space as two different things, instead of as two aspects of the same thing. The point is that they are different but inseparable, like the front end and the rear end of a cat. Cut them apart, and the cat dies. Take away the crest of the wave, and there is no trough.
Here is someone who has never seen a cat. He is looking through a narrow slit in a fence, and, on the other side, a cat walks by. He sees first the head, then the less distinctly shaped furry trunk, and then the tail. Extraordinary! The cat turns round and walks back, and again he sees the head, and a little later the tail. This sequence begins to look like something regular and reliable. Yet again, the cat turns round, and he witnesses the same regular sequence: first the head, and later the tail. Thereupon he reasons that the event head is the invariable and necessary cause of the event tail, which is the head's effect. This absurd and confusing gobbledygook comes from his failure to see that head and tail go together: they are all one cat.
The cat wasn't born as a head which, sometime later, caused a tail; it was born all of a piece, a head-tailed cat. Our observer's trouble was that he was watching it through a narrow slit, and couldn't see the whole cat at once.“

—  Alan Watts British philosopher, writer and speaker 1915 - 1973

Source: The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are (1966), p. 26-27

Barack Obama photo

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“