The progress of rivers to the ocean is not so rapid as that of man to error.
—Voltaire (1694–1778) French Philosopher, Author
Disappointments are to the soul what a thunder-storm is to the air.
—Friedrich Schiller (1759–1805) German Poet, Dramatist
No man is a failure who is enjoying life.
—William Feather (1889–1981) American Publisher, Author
All of us failed to match our dreams of perfection. So I rate us on the basis of our splendid failure to do the impossible.
—William Faulkner (1897–1962) American Novelist
Often we can achieve an even better result when we stumble yet are willing to start over, when we don’t give up after a mistake, when something doesn’t come easily but we throw ourselves into trying, when we’re not afraid to appear less than perfectly polished. By prizing heartfulness above faultlessness, we may reap more from our effort because we.
—Sharon Salzberg (b.1952) American Buddhist Teacher
Mistakes are stepping stones to success.
—Charles E. Popplestone (1901–49) American Self-Help Book
Don’t mistake activity for achievement.
—John Wooden (1910–2010) American Sportsperson
The sooner you make your first five thousand mistakes the sooner you will be able to correct them.
—Kimon Nicolaides (1891–1938) Greek-American Artist
Humankind’s chief fault is that they have so many small ones.
—Jean Paul (1763–1825) German Novelist, Humorist
All wrong doing is done in the sincere belief that it is the best thing to do.
—Arnold Bennett (1867–1931) British Novelist, Playwright, Critic
Because a fellow has failed once or twice or a dozen times, you don’t want to set him down as a failure till he’s dead or loses his courage—and that’s the same thing.
—George Horace Lorimer (1867–1937) American Editor, Publisher, Philanthropist
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
Whenever you make a mistake or get knocked down by life, don’t look back at it too long. Mistakes are life’s way of teaching you. Your capacity for occasional blunders is inseparable from your capacity to reach your goals. No one wins them all, and your failures, when they happen, are just part of your growth. Shake off your blunders. How will you know your limits without an occasional failure?. Never quit. Your turn will come.
—Og Mandino (1923–96) American Self-Help Author
A man’s personal defects will commonly have with the rest of the world precisely that importance which they have to himself. If he makes light of them, so will other men.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) American Philosopher
The best brewer sometimes makes bad beer.
Mistakes are a natural part of growing up. They’re to be expected and made light of. But children bloom like spring flowers under praise. They want so much to be noticed and appreciated, to excel and have that excellence noticed.
—Earl Nightingale (1921–89) American Motivational Speaker, Author
What is defeat?—Nothing but education; nothing but the first step to something better.
—Wendell Phillips (1811–84) American Abolitionist, Lawyer, Orator
In politics… never retreat, never retract… never admit a mistake.
—Napoleon I (1769–1821) Emperor of France
It’s easy to stop making mistakes. Just stop having ideas.
A car crash harnesses elements of eroticism, aggression, desire, speed, drama, kinesthetic factors, the stylizing of motion, consumer goods, status—all these in one event. I myself see the car crash as a tremendous sexual event really: a liberation of human and machine libido (if there is such a thing).
—J. G. Ballard (1930–2009) English Novelist, Short Story Writer
Without music, life would be an error. The German imagines even God singing songs
—Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) German Philosopher, Scholar, Writer
Wise men profit more from fools than fools from wise men; for the wise men shun the mistakes of fools, but fools do not imitate the successes of the wise.
—Cato the Elder (Marcus Porcius Cato) (234–149 BCE) Roman Statesman
Never say, “oops”. Always say, “Ah, interesting”.
When a king makes a mistake, all the people suffer.
Adversity is a severe instructor, set over us by one who knows us better than we do ourselves, as he loves us better too. He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper. This conflict with difficulty makes us acquainted with our object, and compels us to consider it in all its relations. It will not suffer us to be superficial.
—Edmund Burke (1729–97) British Philosopher, Statesman
A stumble may prevent a fall.
—Thomas Fuller (1608–61) English Cleric, Historian
Forgiveness is a virtue of the learned. To err is human, to forgive divine.
—Subhashita Manjari Sanskrit Anthology of Proverbs
Life would be dull without them.
—Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) Irish Poet, Playwright
But have you ever noticed one encouraging thing about me, Marilla? I never make the same mistake twice. Oh don’t you see, Marilla? There must be a limit to the mistakes one person can make, and when I get to the end of them, then I’ll be through with them. That’s a very comforting thought.
—Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874–1942) Canadian Novelist
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