This file is about Success, Failure and Mistakes.
Also see Patience and Perseverance, Luck, Acceptance and That's Life.
- Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it. (Lou Holtz)
- All men who have achieved great things have been great dreamers. (Orison Swett Marden)
- Although we cannot do everything at once, we can do something at once.
- Anything I've ever done that ultimately was worthwhile initially scared me to death. (Betty Bender)
- As a rule, he or she who has the most information will have the greatest success in life. (Disraeli)
- Be not ashamed to confess that you have been in the wrong. It is but owning that you now have more sense than you had before, to see your error; more humility to acknowledge it; more grace to correct it. (Jeremiah Seed)
- A bend in the road is not the end of the road, unless you fail to make the turn.
- The best way to escape from a problem is to solve it. (Alan Saporta)
- The common idea that success spoils people by making them vain, egotistic, and self-complacent is erroneous; on the contrary it makes them, for the most part, humble, tolerant, and kind. Failure makes people bitter and cruel. (W. Somerset Maugham)
- Do just once what others say you can't do, and you will never pay attention to their limitations again. (James R. Cook)
- Don't be discouraged by a failure. It can be a positive experience. Failure is, in a sense, the highway to success, inasmuch as every discovery of what is false leads us to seek earnestly after what is true, and every fresh experience points out some form of error which we shall afterwards carefully avoid. (John Keats)
- Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself. (William Faulkner)
- Don't take directions from someone who hasn't been there!
- Don't wait for great opportunities. Seize common, everyday ones and make them great. (Farmers Almanac)
- Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction. (John F. Kennedy)
- Establishing goals is all right if you don't let them deprive you of interesting detours.
- Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it.
- Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.
- Experience is what you get when you do not get what you want.
- Failure is an event, not a person. (William D. Brown)
- The fastest way to succeed is to look as if you're playing by somebody else's rules, while quietly playing by your own. (Michael Konda)
- Giving up doesn't always mean you are weak. Sometimes it means that you are strong enough to let go.
- God gives every bird its food, but He does not throw it into its nest. (J.G. Holland)
- A good scare is worth more to a man than good advice. (Edgar Watson Howe)
- Great love and great achievements involve great risk.
- Great minds have purposes, Little minds have wishes. (Washington Irving)
- The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do. (Walter Bagehot)
- He who builds to every man's advice will have a crooked house. (Danish proverb)
- He who is outside his door has the hardest part of his journey behind him. (Dutch Proverb)
- The highest reward for a persons' toil is not what she gets for it, but rather what she becomes by it.
- I am not competitive. I simply win. (coloradojules)
- I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do. (Edward Everett Hale)
- I do not fail. I succeed in finding out what does not work.
- I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody. (Bill Cosby)
- I honestly think it is better to be a failure at something you love than to be a success at something you hate. (George Burns)
- I not only use all the brains I have, but all I can borrow. (Woodrow Wilson)
- If one advances confidently in the directions of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. (Henry David Thoreau)
- If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail. (Abraham Maslow)
- If we all did the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves. (Thomas Edison)
- If you can't do extraordinary things, do ordinary things extraordinarily well.
- If you can't win, make the fellow ahead of you break the record.
- If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it. (Mary Engelbreit)
- If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere. (Frank A. Clark)
- If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?
- Imagination is all you need to start, and heart all you need to succeed.
- In great attempts it is glorious even to fail. (Cassius)
- In the middle of a difficulty lies opportunity. (Albert Einstein)
- It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things. (Elinor Smith)
- It is better to begin in the evening than not at all. (English proverb)
- It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation. (Herman Melville)
- It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed. (Napoleon Hill)
- It is never too late to be what you might have been. (George Eliot)
- It is not a tragedy to have only one talent; the tragedy is in not using it. (Farmers Almanac)
- It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult. (Seneca)
- It's not how many hours you put in but how much you put into the hours.
- It's not how much you know but the ability to get information and then act on it that gets things done.
- It's not what they take away from you that counts. It's what you do with what you have left. (Hubert Humphrey)
- It's not who you are that holds you back, it's who you think you're not.
- Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great. (Mark Twain)
- Learn to listen. Opportunity could be knocking at your door very softly. (Frank Tyger)
- Learning too soon our limitations, we never learn our powers.
- Life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you respond to it.
- Listen to your heart and proceed with confidence.
- A man can fail many times, but he isn't a failure until he begins to blame somebody else. (John Burroughs)
- A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong, which is but saying...that he is wiser today than he was yesterday. (Alexander Pope)
- The man who has done his level best...is a success, even though the world may write him down a failure. (B. C. Forbes)
- A man would do nothing if he waited until he could do it so well that no one could find fault. (John Henry Newman)
- Many great ideas have been lost because the people who had them could not stand being laughed at.
- The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether it's the same problem you had last year. (John Foster Dulles)
- Most people are more comfortable with old problems than with new solutions.
- Moving fast is not the same as going somewhere. (Robert Anthony)
- No man is a failure who is enjoying life. (William Feather)
- No matter what accomplishments you achieve, somebody helped you. (Althea Gibson)
- No one can predict to what heights you can soar. Even you will not know until you spread your wings.
- Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something.
- Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. (Henry David Thoreau)
- Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.
- Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal. (Henry Ford)
- An obstinate man does not hold opinions--they hold him. (Alexander Pope)
- One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation. (Arthur Ashe)
- One learns by doing a thing; for though you think you know it, you have no certainty until you try. (Sophocles)
- The only thing even in this world are the number of hours in a day. The difference in winning or losing is what you do with those hours. (Woody Hayes)
- The only thing in life achieved without effort is failure.
- Only those who attempt the absurd can achieve the impossible.
- Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly. (Robert F. Kennedy)
- Opportunities are never lost, someone will take the ones you miss.
- Opportunity dances with those who are already on the dance floor. (H. Jackson Brown)
- Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt. (William Shakespeare)
- The person who really wants to do something finds a way; the others find an excuse.
- The power of fortune is confessed only by the miserable, for the happy impute all their success to prudence or merit. (Jonathan Swift)
- Practice makes perfect, so be careful what you practice!
- Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them. (Albert Einstein)
- Progress is not created by contented people. (Frank Tyger)
- Put your heart, mind, intellect and soul even to your smallest acts. This is the secret of success. (Swami Sivanda)
- Reach for the Moon. If you fall short...You may land on a star.
- Reach for the stars, even if you have to stand on a cactus. (Susan Longacre)
- The reward of a thing well-done is to have done it. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
- Rock bottom is good solid ground, and a dead-end street is just a place to turn around. (Buddy Buie and J.R. Cobb)
- The season of failure is the best time for sowing the seeds of success. (Paramahansa Yogananda)
- The secret of success is to know something nobody else knows.
- The shortest way to do many things is to do one thing at once. (Samuel Smiles)
- Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned. (Peter Marshall)
- A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor.
- Some people dream of worthy accomplishments, while others stay awake and do them.
- Some people grin and bear it. Other people smile and change it.
- Success comes in cans. Failure comes in can'ts.
- Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose. (Bill Gates)
- Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom. (General George S. Patton)
- Success is knowing the difference between cornering people and getting them in your corner.
- Success is measured not by what you gain, but what you overcome.
- Success is not measured by what you accomplish. It's measured by the opposition you encounter, and the courage with which you maintain your struggle against the odds. (Jerry Frenz)
- Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire. (Reggie Leach)
- Success is often just an idea anyway.
- Success is that old ABC--ability, breaks, and courage. (Charles Luckman)
- Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. (Booker T. Washington)
- Take calculated risks. That is quite different from being rash. (General George S. Patton, Jr.)
- Take risk not to escape life, but to prevent life escaping you.
- There are always two choices, two paths to take.
One is easy...and its only reward is that it's easy.
- There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure. (Colin Powell)
- There are no shortcuts to any place worth going. (Beverly Sills)
- There is no limit to the good a human can do, if they don't care who gets the credit.
- There is nothing so easy but it becomes difficult when you do it reluctantly.
- There is only one success: to be able to spend your life in your own way, and not to give others absurd maddening claims upon it. (Christopher Darlington Morley)
- Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle. (Abraham Lincoln)
- Those who try to do something and fail are much better off than those who try to do nothing and succeed.
- To accomplish great things we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe. (Anatole France)
- To gain that which is worth having, it may be necessary to lose everything else. (Bernadette Devlin)
- Too many people are thinking of security instead of opportunity. They seem more afraid of life than death. (James F. Byrnes)
- Trouble is merely opportunity dressed in work clothes.
- Try to believe that if you take the leap you'll be taught how to fly.
- Victory is sweetest when you've known defeat
- The vision must be followed by the venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps--we must step up the stairs. (Vance Havner)
- We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. (Aristotle)
- What would you attempt to do if you knew you would not fail? (Dr. Robert Schuller)
- Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it. (Goethe)
- When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me." (Erma Bombeck)
- When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
- Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right. (Henry Ford)
- A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds. (Francis Bacon)
- The world does not pay for what a person knows. But it pays for what a person does with what he knows. (Laurence Lee)
- The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do. (Sarah Ban Breathnach)
- The world hates change yet it is the only thing that has brought progress. (Charles F. Kettering)
- You can do whatever you have to do,
and sometimes you can do it even better than you think you can.
- You can't build a reputation on what you're going to do.
- You can't win if you don't begin.
- You don't have to get ready if you stay ready. (retired NC Highway Patrol Sgt. Mike Humphrey)
- You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need. (Vernon Howard)
- You must have long-range goals to keep you from being frustrated by short-range failures. (Charles C. Noble)
- You shouldn't compare yourself to the best others can do.
- You'll always miss a hundred percent of the shots you don't take.
- You're never as good as everyone tells you when you win and you're never as bad as they say when you lose. (Lou Holtz)
Songs about Success
- Bittersweet Success - John Gaar (2004)
- Color of Success - Morris Day (2004)
- I'm the Most Successful Failure - Bill Goodwin (1967)
- Nothing Succeeds Like Success - Bill Deal and the Rhondels (1971)
- Overnight Success - Anita Pointer (1987)
- Success - Loretta Lynn (1962)
- Sudden Success - Sven Elmlund (2003)
Songs about Habits
- Habit I Can't Break, A - Nick Nixon (1974)
- Hard Habit to Break - Chicago (1984)
- I'll Break the Habit - Rebecca Lynn (1976)
- Old Habits Are Hard to Break - Ronnie Milsap (1991)
- Slave to the Habit - Shane Minor (1999)
Songs about Failure
- Failed Attempt to Alter History, A - Oswald (2001)
- Failure's Not an Option - Lo-Key (2008)
- Fine Art of Failure, The - Drew Womack Band (2004)
- I'm the Most Successful Failure - Bill Goodwin (1967)
- Reason I Failed History, The - Cross My Heart (2003)
- Set Up for Failure - Brad Passons (2004)
- System Failure - Homonym (2004)
- When All Else Fails - John Farnham (1993)
- Always put off until tomorrow the things you should not do today.
- Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy.
- Anything not worth doing is not worth doing well.
- A bad habit never goes away by itself. It's requires an undo-it-yourself project.
- The best way to break a bad habit is to drop it. (Leo Aikman)
- The best way to succeed in life is to act on the advice we give to others.
- Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats. (Howard Aiken)
- The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
- Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
- Failure is not an option. It comes bundled with the software.
- Formula for success: Rise early, work hard, strike oil. (J. Paul Getty)
- A habit is something you can do without thinking--which is why most of us have so many of them. (Frank A. Clark)
- How can they say my life is not a success? Have I not for more than sixty years got enough to eat and escaped being eaten? (Logan Pearsall Smith)
- I accept good advice gracefully -- as long as it doesn't interfere with what I intended to do in the first place.
- I believe that if anything is worth doing, it would have been done already.
- I didn't fight my way to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian.
- If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.
- If there is a 50-50 chance that something can go wrong, then nine times out of ten it will. (Paul Harvey, 1979)
- If you can't learn to do it well, learn to enjoy doing it badly. (Ashleigh Brilliant )
- If you find yourself in a hole the first thing to do is stop diggin'.
- If you have a difficult task give it to a lazy man--
he will find an easier way to do it.
- If you stumble, don't fall; but if you fall, don't waller.
- If your ship hasn't come in...swim out to it!
- If you try to fail and succeed, which have you achieved?
- If you're ridin' ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it's still there.
- I'm the kind of person who always hits the nail right on the thumb!
- It is an ironic habit of human beings to run faster when we have lost our way. (Rollo May)
- It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.
- The key to success in life and baseball: to get a hit you have to swing.
- Life is full of obstacle illusions. (Grant Frazier)
- Mother said there'd be days like this...
She just didn't say there'd be this many!
- Multi-tasking is a way to screw everything up simultaneously.
- The next best thing to solving a problem is finding some humor in it. (Frank A. Clark)
- No one is perfect...that's why pencils have erasers.
- No one wants advice--only corroboration. (John Steinbeck)
- Nothing is so embarrassing as watching someone do something that you said couldn't be done. (Sam Ewing)
- Opportunities always look bigger going than coming.
- Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. (Thomas Edison)
- Opportunity knocks...temptation kicks the door down. (Farmers Almanac)
- Some people reach the top of the ladder only to find it is leaning against the wrong wall.
- Some people set low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve them.
- Success always occurs in private, and failure in full view.
- Success in almost any field depends more on energy and drive than it does on intelligence. This explains why we have so many stupid leaders. (Sloan Wilson)
- Success is often the result of taking a misstep in the right direction. (Al Bernstein)
- Take my advice. I'm not using it!
- There are three kinds of people in the world:
those who make things happen,
those who watch things happen,
and those who say "What happened?"
- There is absolutely no substitute for a genuine lack of preparation.
- There's no use crying over spilt milk; it only makes it salty for the cat.
- Things might be worse. Suppose your errors were published every day like those of a baseball player.
- Those who tell you it's tough at the top have never been at the bottom. (Joe Harvey)
- The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody appreciates how difficult it was.
- We hate to have some people give us advice because we know how badly they need it themselves.
- When we ask advice we are usually looking for an accomplice. (Charles Varlet Marquis de La Grange)
- The worst boss anyone can have is a bad habit. (Monta Crane)
- You cannot plough a field by turning it over in your mind.
- You can't steal second base and keep your foot on first.
I hope my achievements in life shall be these:
That I will have fought for what was right and fair,
that I will have risked for that which mattered,
that I will have given help to those who were in need . . .
That I will have left the earth a better place for what I've done and who I've been.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)
To laugh often and love much;
to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children;
to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends;
to appreciate beauty;
to find the best in others;
to give of one's self;
to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation;
to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived--
this is to have succeeded.
For Want of a Nail
For want of a nail, the shoe was lost;
For want of the shoe, the horse was lost;
For want of the horse, the rider was lost;
For want of the rider, the battle was lost;
For want of the battle, the kingdom was lost,
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.
If you think...
(Walter D. Wintle)
If you think you are beaten, you are;
If you think you dare not, you don't.
If you'd like to win, but think you can't,
It's almost a cinch you won't.
If you think you'll lose, you're lost,
For out in the world we find
Success begins with a fellow's will;
It's all in the state of mind.
If you think you're outclassed, you are;
You've got to think high to rise.
You've got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.
Life's battles don't always go
To the stronger or faster man;
But soon or late the man who wins
Is the one who thinks he can.
The Winds of Fate
(Ella Wheeler Wilcox 1850-1919)
One ship drives east and another drives west
With the selfsame winds that blow.
'Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales
Which tells us the way to go
Like the winds of the sea are the ways of fate,
As we voyage along through life;
'Tis the set of a soul
That decides it's goal,
And not the calm or the strife.
- Don't be afraid of failing because of a mistake; be afraid of failing to learn from a mistake.
- An error doesn't become a mistake until you refuse to correct it. (Orlando A. Battista)
- The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one. (Elbert Hubbard)
- If you don't make mistakes, you're not working on hard enough problems. And that's a big mistake. (F. Wikzek)
- Let not the mistakes of yesterday--nor the fears of tomorrow--spoil our today.
- A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing. (George Bernard Shaw)
- A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them. (John C. Maxwell)
- Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life. (Sophia Loren)
- Mistakes are the portals of discovery. (James Joyce)
- Only those who do nothing make no mistakes.
- She who never made a mistake never made a discovery.
- There are no mistakes, only lessons.
- While one person hesitates because he feels inferior, the other is busy making mistakes and becoming superior. (Henry C. Link)
- Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.
- Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.
- (Oscar Wilde)
- I am willing to make the mistakes if someone else is willing to learn from them.
- If you don't learn from your mistakes, there's no sense in making them. (Farmers Almanac)
- Learn from the mistakes of others because you can't live long enough to make them all yourself.
- No one is listening until you make a mistake.
- One good thing about repeating your mistakes is that you know when to cringe. (Doug Larson)
- Only some of us learn by other people's mistakes; the rest of us have to be the other people.
- Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once.
- Well-adjusted means you can make the same mistake over and over again without getting upset about it.
Songs about Mistakes
- Am I Making the Same Mistake? - Ruth Brown (1950)
- Awful Mistake - Aaron Hale (2008)
- Big Mistake - Brenda Lee Jones (1974)
- Everybody Makes Mistakes - Lacy J. Dalton (1981)
- I Made a Mistake - The Impressions (1964)
- I Must Have Been Mistaken - Larry Hosford (2000)
- I Won't Make That Mistake Again - Gary Lewis and Band (1965)
- I've Made Enough Mistakes Today - Lee Hazlewood (1962)
- I've Made Mistakes Before - Adam Baker (2006)
- I've Paid for My Mistake - Rosalie Allen (1951)
- Just an Honest Mistake - The Limeliters (1961)
- Make No Mistake - Keith Richards (1988)
- Make No Mistake, She's Mine - Ronnie Milsap and Kenny Rogers (1987)
- Maybe I'm Mistaken - The Impressions (1979)
- Million Mistakes, A - Claude King (1950)
- Mistakes - Don Williams (1982)
- My Biggest Mistake - Maxine Brown (1968)
- My Favorite Mistake - Sheryl Crow (1998)
- My First Mistake - The Chi-Lites (1976)
- My Mistake Was to Love You - M. Gaye and D. Ross (1973)
- My Saddest Mistake - Jimmie Osborne (1951)
- Perfect Mistake, A - Matt King (1997)
- Sad Mistake - Chris Kenner (1968)
- Sadly Mistaken - Ronna Reeves (1991)
- Same Mistake - James Blunt (2007)
- Same Mistake Again, The - Steve Wariner (1993)
- She Made One Mistake - Harlan Howard (1966)
- That's Your Mistake - Otis Williams and Band (1955)
- You Must Be Mistakin' Me - Marty Brown (1994)
- You Wouldn't Be My First Mistake - The Whites (1986)