When a man has fulfilled all four of these requisites—to be wide awake, to have fear, respect, and absolute assurance—there are no mistakes for which he will have to account; under such conditions his actions lose the blundering quality of the acts of a fool. If such a man fails, or suffers a defeat, he will have lost only a battle, and there will be no pitiful regrets over that.
—Carlos Castaneda (1925–98) Peruvian-born American Anthropologist, Author
We are not interested in the possibilities of defeat; they do not exist.
—Queen Victoria (1819–1901) British Royal
Be careful that victories do not carry the seed of future defeats.
—Ralph Washington Sockman (1889–1970) American United Methodist Pastor
For by superior energies; more strict affiance in each other; faith more firm in their unhallowed principles, the bad have fairly earned a victory over the weak, the vacillating, inconsistent good.
—William Wordsworth (1770–1850) English Poet
The defeats and victories of the fellows at the top aren’t always defeats and victories for the fellows at the bottom
—Bertolt Brecht (1898–1956) German Poet, Playwright, Theater Personality
Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.
—Sun Tzu (fl. c.544–496 BCE) Chinese General, Military Theorist
When the frustration of my helplessness seemed greatest, I discovered God’s grace was more than sufficient. And after my imprisonment, I could look back and see how God used my powerlessness for His purpose. What He has chosen for my most significant witness was not my triumphs or victories, but my defeat.
—Charles Caleb Colton (c.1780–1832) English Clergyman, Aphorist
Those who are prepared to die for any cause are seldom defeated.
—Jawaharlal Nehru (1889–1964) Indian Head of State
Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.
—F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896–1940) American Novelist
The problems of victory are more agreeable than those of defeat, but they are no less difficult.
—Winston Churchill (1874–1965) British Head of State, Political leader, Historian, Journalist, Author
There are some defeats more triumphant than victories.
—Michel de Montaigne (1533–92) French Essayist
He who fears being conquered is sure of defeat.
—Napoleon I (1769–1821) Emperor of France
Politics has become so expensive that it takes a lot of money even to be defeated.
—Will Rogers (1879–1935) American Actor, Rancher, Humorist
All we have to do is to receive what we are given…We are given the naturalness to love someone, to be calm in crisis, to ignore self-defeating suggestions, to be pleasant, forgiving, tender, helpful, unworried, brave, energetic.
—Vernon Howard (1918–92) American Spiritual Teacher, Philosopher
Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.
—Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919) American Head of State, Political leader, Historian, Explorer
Defeat may serve as well as victory to shake the soul and let the glory out.
—Edwin Markham (1852–1940) American Poet, Lecturer
A reformer is one who sets forth cheerfully toward sure defeat.
—Lydia Maria Child (1802–80) American Abolitionist, Writer
If you live long enough, you’ll see that every victory turns into a defeat.
—Simone de Beauvoir (1908–86) French Philosopher, Writer, Feminist
No man is defeated without some resentment, which will be continued with obstinacy while he believes himself in the right, and asserted with bitterness, if even to his own conscience he is detected in the wrong.
—Samuel Johnson (1709–84) British Essayist
We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.
—Maya Angelou (1928–2014) American Poet
The purpose of life is not to win. The purpose of life is to grow and to share. When you come to look back on all that you have done in life, you will get more satisfaction from the pleasure you have brought into other people’s lives that you will from the times that you outdid and defeated them.
—Harold Kushner (b.1935) American Jewish Religious Leader, Priest
Believe you are defeated, believe it long enough, and it is likely to become a fact.
—Norman Vincent Peale (1898–1993) American Clergyman, Self-Help Author
I’ve learned that something constructive comes from every defeat.
—Tom Landry (1924–2000) American Sportsperson
There is only one reason for an individual to side-step to the useless side: the fear of a defeat on the useful side.
—Alfred Adler (1870–1937) Austrian Psychiatrist
We learn little from victory, but a great deal from defeat.
To walk through the ruined cities of Germany is to feel an actual doubt about the continuity of civilization.
—George Orwell (1903–50) English Novelist, Journalist
Victory is sweetest when you’ve known defeat.
—Malcolm S. Forbes (1919–1990) American Publisher, Businessperson
Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.
—Napoleon I (1769–1821) Emperor of France
Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.
—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–82) American Poet, Educator, Academic
A wise man fights to win, but he is twice a fool who has no plan for possible defeat.
—Louis L’Amour (1908–88) American Novelist, Short-story Writer