The best brewer sometimes makes bad beer.
People who bite the hand that feeds them usually lick the boot that kicks them.
—Eric Hoffer (1902–83) American Philosopher, Author
Whatever task you undertake, do it with all your heart and soul. Always be courteous, never be discouraged. Beware of him who promises something for nothing. Do not blame anybody for your mistakes and failures. Do not look for approval except the consciousness of doing your best.
—Bernard M. Baruch (1870–1965) American Financier, Economic Consultant
I recall that my workshop leaders were tactful in their ways of acquainting me with my shortcomings as a writer. So much so that I hardly realized they were doing it. I want always to keep that sort of thing in mind when I’m teaching. The way you get better in everything in this life is to make mistakes. Otherwise you’re probably doing it right by accident. But you have to do everything wrong before you can really start with some authority to do it right.
—Tobias Wolff (b.1945) American Novelist, Editor, Journalist, Educator
The errors of great men are venerable because they are more fruitful than the truths of little men.
—Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) German Philosopher, Scholar, Writer
I can’t help detesting my relations. I suppose it comes from the fact that none of us can stand other people having the same faults as ourselves.
—Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) Irish Poet, Playwright
The fast talker makes mistakes.
A failure is a man who has blundered, but is not able to cash in on the experience.
—Elbert Hubbard (1856–1915) American Writer, Publisher, Artist, Philosopher
Intelligence is not to make no mistakes, but quickly to see how to make them good.
—Bertolt Brecht (1898–1956) German Poet, Playwright, Theater Personality
It is said that only a fool learns from his own mistakes, a wise man from the mistakes of others.
You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm.
—Colette (1873–1954) French Novelist, Performer
A man’s life is interesting primarily when he has failed, I well know. For it’s a sign that he tried to surpass himself.
—Georges Clemenceau (1841–1929) French Head of State, Physician, Publisher, Political leader
Don’t mistake activity for achievement.
—John Wooden (1910–2010) American Sportsperson
No man ever achieved worth-while 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 (1883–1970) American Author, Journalist, Attorney, Lecturer
Making mistakes is human. Repeating ’em is too.
—Malcolm S. Forbes (1919–1990) American Publisher, Businessperson
There is only one real failure possible; and that is, not to be true to the best one knows.
—Frederic William Farrar (1831–1903) English Clergyman, Writer
It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character.
—Dale Turner (1917–2006) American Priest, Columnist, Epigrammist
Men’s faults to themselves seldom appear.
—William Shakespeare (1564–1616) British Playwright
A failure establishes only this, that our determination to succeed was not strong enough.
—Christian Nestell Bovee (1820–1904) American Writer, Aphorist
The beauty of “spacing” children many years apart lies in the fact that parents have time to learn the mistakes that were made with the older ones — which permits them to make exactly the opposite mistakes with the younger ones.
—Sydney J. Harris (1917–86) American Essayist, Drama Critic
Don’t dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer.
—Denis Waitley (b.1933) American Motivational Speaker, Author
Know when to tune out. If you listen to too much advice, you may wind up making other people’s mistakes.
—Ask Ann Landers (1918–2002) American Advice Columnist
A stumble may prevent a fall.
—Thomas Fuller (1608–61) English Cleric, Historian
Men are apt to prefer a prosperous error to an afflicted truth.
That fellow seems to me to possess but one idea, and that is a wrong one.
—Samuel Johnson (1709–84) British Essayist
To lose is to learn.
Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.
—Franklin P. Jones
A known mistake is better than an unknown truth.
I sometimes react to making a mistake as if I have betrayed myself. My fear of making a mistake seems to be based on the hidden assumption that I am potentially perfect and that if I can just be very careful I will not fall from heaven. But a ‘mistake’ is a declaration of the way I am, a jolt to the way I intend, a reminder I am not dealing with the facts. When I have listened to my mistakes I have grown.
—Hugh Prather (b.1938) American Christian Author, Minister, Counselor
The faults of a superior man are like the sun and moon. They have their faults, and everyone sees them; they change and everyone looks up to them.
—Confucius (551–479 BCE) Chinese Philosopher
An error is the more dangerous in proportion to the degree of truth which it contains.
—Henri Frederic Amiel (1821–81) Swiss Moral Philosopher, Poet, Critic
There are no significant bugs in our released software that any significant number of users want fixed
—Bill Gates (b.1955) American Businessperson, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, Author
What is defeat?—Nothing but education; nothing but the first step to something better.
—Wendell Phillips (1811–84) American Abolitionist, Lawyer, Orator
A benevolent man should allow a few faults in himself, to keep his friends in countenance.
—Benjamin Franklin (1706–90) American Political Leader, Inventor, Diplomat
Our mistakes from the past are just that: mistakes. And they were necessary to make in order to become the wiser person we became.
—Bill Maher (b.1956) American Comedian, TV Personality, Social Critic, Author, Actor
Mistakes are almost always of a sacred nature. Never try to correct them. On the contrary: rationalize them, understand them thoroughly. After that, it will be possible for you to sublimate them.
—Salvador Dali (1904–89) Spanish Painter
He who is shipwrecked the second time cannot lay the blame on Neptune.
If one dream should fall and break into a thousand pieces, never be afraid to pick one of those pieces up and begin again.
Some faults are so closely allied to qualities that it is difficult to weed out the vice without eradicating the virtue.
—Oliver Goldsmith (1730–74) Irish Novelist, Playwright, Poet
Humankind’s chief fault is that they have so many small ones.
—Jean Paul (1763–1825) German Novelist, Humorist
From the errors of others, a wise man corrects his own.
—Publilius Syrus (fl.85–43 BCE) Syrian-born Roman Latin Writer
Sometimes we may learn more from a man’s errors than from his virtues.
—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–82) American Poet, Educator, Academic
The broadest and most prevalent error requires the most disinterested virtue to sustain it.
—Henry David Thoreau (1817–62) American Philosopher
Remember you will not always win. Some days, the most resourceful individual will taste defeat. But there is, in this case, always tomorrow – after you have done your best to achieve success today.
—Maxwell Maltz (1899–1975) American Surgeon, Motivational Writer
As it can be maintained that all the great advances have come from men under forty, so the history of the world shows that a very large proportion of the evils may be traced to the sexagenarians, nearly all the great mistakes politically and socially, all of the worst poems, most of the bad pictures, a majority of the bad novels and not a few of the bad sermons and speeches.
—William Osler (1849–1919) Canadian Physician
Certain defects are necessary for the existence of individuality.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) German Poet
I love fools experiments. I am always making them.
—Charles Darwin (1809–82) English Naturalist
When I reflect, as I frequently do, upon the felicity I have enjoyed, I sometimes say to myself, that were the offer made me, I would engage to run again, from beginning to end, the same career of life. All I would ask, should be the privilege of an author, to correct in a second edition, certain errors of the first.
—Benjamin Franklin (1706–90) American Political Leader, Inventor, Diplomat
Failure is often God’s own tool for carving some of the finest outlines in the character of his children; and, even in this life, bitter and crushing failures have often in them the germs of new and quite unimagined happiness.
—Thomas Hodgkin (1798–1866) English Physician, Pathologist
When a king makes a mistake, all the people suffer.