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Gizmotude Quotation Archives



If you're going to define me properly, you must think in terms of my failures as well as my successes. ~~ Harrison Ford


Commit yourself to a dream … Nobody who tries to do something great but fails is a total failure. Why? Because he can always rest assured that he succeeded in life's most important battle--he defeated the fear of trying. ~~ Robert H. Schuller


If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. ~~ Unattributed


When ideas fail, words come in very handy. ~~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


The failure to read good books both enfeebles the vision and strengthens our most fatal tendency -- the belief that the here and now is all there is. ~~ Allan Bloom


Happiness is the only sanction of life; where happiness fails, existence remains a mad and lamentable experiment. ~~ Santayana


Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. ~~ Thomas Edison


Cats do not need to be shown how to have a good time, for they are unfailingly ingenious in that respect. ~~ James Mason


Not failure, but low aim, is crime. ~~ James Russell Lowell [For an Autograph]


You show me a good and gracious loser, and I'll show you a failure! ~~ Knut Rockne


Failure can get to be a rather comfortable old friend. ~~ Mignon McLaughlin


Failure seldom stops you; what stops you is the fear of failure. ~~ Jack Lemmon


If men could regard the events of their own lives with more open minds, they would frequently discover that they did not really desire the things they failed to obtain. ~~ Andre Maurois


How to succeed: try hard enough. How to fail: Try too hard. ~~ Malcolm Forbes


I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure--which is: Try to please everybody. ~~ Herbert Bayard Swope


The lot of critics is to be remembered by what they failed to understand. ~~ George Moore


It's hard to say who gets criticized the most, the successful person, or the failure … but it's mighty close. ~~ Joe Moore


Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them. ~~ James Baldwin


Failure: Is it a limitation? Bad timing? It's a lot of things. It's something you can't be afraid of, because you'll stop growing. The next step beyond failure could be your biggest success in life. ~~ Debbie Allen


Militarism… is one of the chief bulwarks of capitalism, and the day that militarism is undermined, capitalism will fail. ~~ Helen Keller


A writer doesn’t die of heart failure, but of typographical errors. ~~ Isaac Bashevis Singer


Laws can embody standards; governments can enforce laws--but the final task is not a task for government. It is a task for each and every one of us. Every time we turn our heads the other way when we see the law flouted--when we tolerate what we know to be wrong--when we close our eyes and ears to the corrupt because we are too busy, or too frightened--when we fail to speak up and speak out--we strike a blow against freedom and decency and justice. ~~ Robert F. Kennedy


Bowmen bend their bows when they wish to shoot; unbrace them when the shooting is over. Were they always kept strung they would break and fail the archer in time of need. So it is with men. If they give themselves constantly to serious work, and never indulge awhile in pastime or sport, they lose their senses and become mad. ~~ Herodotus


A minute's success pays the failure of years. ~~ Robert Browning


Every successful person has had failures, but repeated failure is no guarantee of eventual success. ~~ Ashleigh Brilliant


Success is never final, but failure can be. ~~ Bill Parcells


Nature gave men two ends--one to sit on, and one to think with. Ever since then man's success or failure has been dependent on the one he used most. ~~ George R. Kirkpatrick


The systems that fail are those that rely on the permanency of human nature, and not on its growth and development. ~~ Oscar Wilde


Reading about one's failings in the daily papers is one of the privileges of high office in this free country of ours. ~~ Nelson A. Rockefeller


If we seek the average level we cannot hope to achieve a high level of success. Our only hope is to avoid being a failure. ~~ A. Lou Vickery


Nothing is more humiliating than to see idiots succeed in enterprises we have failed in. ~~ Gustave Flaubert


What we've got here is failure to communicate. ~~ Frank R. Pierson [Cool Hand Luke screenplay]


At 20 you have many desires which hide the truth, but beyond 40 there are only real and fragile truths--your abilities and your failings. ~~ Gerard Depardieu


In great attempts it is glorious even to fail. ~~ Vince Lombardi


What would happen if Mozart were alive today? After composing his first symphony at the age of four he would be Time's Man of the Year. He and his family would move to the Malibu Colony. He'd host "Saturday Night Live." He'd sign with Michael Ovitz, who'd package a sitcom for him. It would fail, as all sitcoms do, and little Mozart would go on drinking sprees and end up in rehab. At the age of, say, seven, Mozart would be a regular on "Hollywood Squares." ~~ Cynthia Heimel


You must accept that you might fail; then, if you do your best and still don't win, at least you can be satisfied that you've tried. If you don't accept failure as a possibility, you don't set high goals, you don't branch out, you don't try--you don't take the risk. ~~ Rosalynn Carter


Man fails to profit from the lessons of history because his prejudgments prevent him from drawing the indicated conclusions and [because] history will often capriciously take a different direction from that in which her lessons point. ~~ Barbara W. Tuchman


The world is hard to love, though we must love it because we have no other, and to fail to love it is not to exist at all. ~~ Mark Van Doren


I think success has no rules, but you can learn a lot from failure. ~~ Jean Kerr


A true friend is one who overlooks your failures and tolerates your successes. ~~ Doug Larson


There are only two kinds of people who fail: Those who listen to nobody, and… those who listen to everybody. ~~ Thomas M. Beshere, Jr.


A sure sign of a crisis is the prevalence of cranks. It is characteristic of a crisis in theory that cranks get a hearing from the public which orthodoxy is failing to satisfy. ~~ Joan Robinson


[In answer to the question, what do you want to be?:] I would like to be myself. I tried to be other things, but I always failed. ~~ Third Grader


When you think you have something entirely worked out, you haven't. Something you failed to consider will arise, messing you up royally. ~~ Unattributed


Success is often achieved by those who don't know that failure is inevitable. ~~ Coco Chanel


Most of us have a significant fear of losing control and equate its loss with some type of failure. Using humor as a coping skill requires that we give up some of that immediate control, step back from a seemingly overwhelming situation, and laugh at ourselves. This occasional relinquishment of control can be more than a temporary relief; it can empower us by putting us back in touch with ourselves, allowing us to re-engage with a renewed sense of self. ~~ Donna Strickland, RN


There are multitudes of men and women who… attempt to get rid of the sense of moral failure by identifying themselves with groups which condone or approve the indulgences which they are either unable or unwilling to give up. ~~ Anton T. Boisen


The game of life is to come up a winner, to be a success, or to achieve what we set out to do. Yet there is always the danger of failing as a human being. ~~ Richard Milhous Nixon


Nothing bad's going to happen to us. If we get fired, it's not failure, it's a midlife vocational reassessment. ~~ P. J. O'Rourke


Optimism is a kind of heart stimulant--the digitalis of failure. ~~ Elbert Hubbard


It's pretty hard to tell what does bring happiness; poverty and wealth have both failed. ~~ Kin Hubbard


[On his increased popularity as measured in a public opinion poll taken soon after the Bay of Pigs failure:] The worse I do, the more popular I get. ~~ John F. Kennedy


1. When in doubt, mumble. 2. When in trouble, delegate. 3. When in charge, ponder. When all else fails, read the instructions. ~~ Arthur Bloch


The older generation almost always fails to understand the younger one--they think their own immutable values the only ones…And so the older generation barks like a dog at what they don't understand. ~~ Count Leo Tolstoy


When all philosophies shall fail,

This word alone shall fit;

That a sage feels too small for life,

And a fool too large for it. ~~ G. K. Chesterton


Learning takes us through many states of life, but it fails utterly in the hour of danger and temptation. Then faith alone saves. ~~ Mohandas K. Gandhi


So long as the body is affected through the mind, no audacious device, even of the most manifestly dishonest character, can fail of producing occasional good to those who yield to it an implicit or even a partial faith. ~~ Oliver Wendell Holmes


In failing circumstances no man can be relied on to keep his integrity. ~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


Ensure that both plan and dispositions are flexible--adaptable to circumstances. Your plan should foresee and provide for a next step in case of success or failure. ~~ B. H. Liddell Hart


Better to fail in attempting exquisite things than to succeed in the department of the utterly contemptible. ~~ Arthur Machen


If success is corrupting, failure is narrowing. ~~ Stephen Spender


The dark, uneasy world of family life--where the greatest can fail and the humblest succeed. ~~ Randall Jarrell


An inability to stay quiet … is one of the most conspicuous failures of mankind. ~~ Walter Bagehot


In our brief national history we have shot 4 of our presidents, worried 5 of them to death, impeached 1 and hounded another out of office. And when all else fails, we hold an election and assassinate their character. ~~ P. J. O'Rourke


I would prefer even to fail with honor than win by cheating. ~~ Sophocles


The possibility that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


Good people are good because they've come to wisdom through failure. ~~ William Saroyan


You must never feel that you have failed. You can always come back to something later on when you have more knowledge or better equipment and try again. ~~ Gertrude Elion

An error is simply a failure to adjust immediately from a preconception to an actuality. ~~ John Cage


If the second marriage really succeeds, the first one didn't really fail. ~~ Mignon McLaughlin


Nature is a kind mother. She couldn't well afford to make us perfect, so she made us blind to our failings. ~~ Josh Billings


Kindness and intelligence don't always deliver us from the pitfalls and traps: there are always failures of love, of will, of imagination. There is no way to take the danger out of human relationships. ~~ Barbara Grizzuti Harrison


I speak to the black experience, but I am always talking about the human condition--about what we can endure, dream, fail at, and still survive. ~~ Maya Angelou


[The 11th Commandment, carved on a stone marker in central Alabama:] Thou shalt inherit the Holy Earth as a faithful steward, conserving its resources and productivity from generation to generation. Thou shalt safeguard they fields from soil erosion, thy living waters from drying up, thy forests from desolation, and protect thy hills from overgrazing by the herds, that thy descendants may have abundance forever. If any shall fail in this stewardship of the land, thy fruitful fields shall become sterile stony ground and wasting gullies, and thy descendants shall decrease and live in poverty or perish from off the face of the earth. ~~ W. C. Lowdermilk [attributed]


I never failed to convince an audience that the best thing they could do was to go away. ~~ Thomas Love Peacock


There can be no real freedom without the freedom to fail. ~~ Eric Hoffer


There is no error so monstrous that it fails to find defenders among the ablest men. Imagine a congress of eminent celebrities such as More, Bacon, Grotius, Pascal, Cromwell, Bossuet, Montesquieu, Jefferson, Napoleon, Pitt, etc. The result would be an Encyclopedia of Errors. ~~ Lord Acton


No matter what happens, keep on beginning and failing. Each time you fail, start all over again, and you will grow stronger until you find that you have accomplished a purpose--not the one you began with perhaps, but one you will be glad to remember. ~~ Anne Sullivan


A leader's fundamental choice is whether to approve the use of force. If he decides to do so, his only vindication is to succeed. His doubts provide no justification for failure; restraint in execution is a boon to the other side; there are no awards for those who lose with moderation. Once the decision to use force has been made, the President has no choice but to pursue it with total determination--and to convey the same spirit to all those implementing it. Nations must not undertake military enterprises or major diplomatic initiatives that they are not willing to see through. ~~ Henry A. Kissinger


Oh, you must fail! If you don't fail, you don't know the degrees of success… You have to fall down to learn how to [improve]. ~~ Carol Bartz


Never fail to know that if you are doing all the talking, you are boring somebody. ~~ Helen Gurley Brown


Film is a personal effort and if you fail, you should fail for the right reasons--it's the only way of growing. ~~ Dustin Hoffman


He who takes a stand is often wrong, but he who fails to take a stand is always

wrong. ~~ Unattributed


How often we fail to realize our good fortune in living in a country where happiness is more than a lack of tragedy. ~~ Paul Sweeney


[In her last letter to her husband:] Please know that I am aware of the hazards. I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be a but a challenge to others. ~~ Amelia Earhart


The job description of mother is clearly in need of revision. As it stands, the shifts are 24 hours, for a period of approximately 1,825 consecutive days. The benefits are sorely in need of amendment: no vacations, no sick leave, no lunch hours, no breaks. Moreover, it is the only unpaid position I know of that can result in arrest if you fail to show up for work. ~~ Mary Kay Blakely


Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly. ~~ Robert F. Kennedy


In making one discovery we never fail to get an incomplete knowledge of others of which we previously had no idea, so that we cannot solve one problem without finding new ones. ~~ Joseph Priestly


There will be a time when loud-mouthed, incompetent people seem to be getting the best of you. When that happens, you only have to be patient and wait for them to self-destruct. It never fails. ~~ Richard Rybolt


We failed to anticipate Pearl Harbor not for want of the relevant materials, but because of a plethora of irrelevant ones. ~~ Roberta Wohlstetter


The root of the guilt problem lies in human nature itself, in our failure as human beings to live in accordance with our potentialities and our vision of the good. ~~ J. Glenn Gray


Sometimes a noble failure serves the world as faithfully as a distinguished success. ~~ Edward Dowden


In war, as in life, it is often necessary, when some cherished scheme has failed, to take up the best alternative open, and if so, it is folly not to work for it with all your might. ~~ Sir Winston Spencer Churchill


While we are young the idea of death or failure is intolerable to us; even the possibility of ridicule we cannot bear. ~~ Isak Dinesen


When a man repeats a promise again and again, he means to fail you. ~~ Edmund Fuller


Memory seldom fails when its office is to show us the tombs of our buried hopes. ~~ Lady Marguerite Blessington


We are neurotically haunted today by the imminence, and by the ignominy, of failure. We know at how frightening a cost one succeeds: to fail is something too awful to think about. ~~ Louis Kronenberger


When Christian theology becomes traditionalism and men fail to hold and use it as they do a living language, it becomes an obstacle, not a help to religious conviction. To the greatest of the early Fathers and the great scholastics theology was a language which, like all language, had a grammar and a vocabulary from the past, but which they used to express all the knowledge and experience of their own time as well. ~~ Lily Dougall


Failing organizations are usually over managed and under led. ~~ Warren Bennis


Drunkenness is not a mere matter of intoxicating liquors; it goes deeper--far deeper. Drunkenness is the failure of a man to control his thoughts. ~~ David Grayson


You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try. ~~ Beverly Sills


To bear failure with courage is the best proof of character that anyone can give. ~~ William Somerset Maugham


The very weird religion of celebrity scares me. It's like people are creating fake heroes because they don't have any real ones. The politicians have failed us, religion has failed us, so who do people turn to? Celebrities. It's wrong. ~~ Michael Stipe


Radicals who would take us back to the roots of things often fail because they disregard the fruit Time has produced and preserved. Conservatives fail because they would preserve even what Time has decomposed. ~~ Louis D. Brandeis (see Said Who?)


The men who try to do something and fail are infinitely better than those who try to do nothing and succeed. ~~ Lloyd Jones


I'd rather be a failure at something I enjoy than a success at something I hate. ~~ George Burns


Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death. ~~ Anais Nin


The failure to meet somebody's eyes, if prolonged for an hour or so, is extremely off-putting and discouraging and I warmly recommend it as a weapon. ~~ Arthur Marshall


Success and failure are not true opposites and they're not even in the same class; they're not even a couch and a chair. ~~ Lillian Hellman


It used to be when all else failed, a guy went into the army; now he becomes a

consultant. ~~ Blackie Sherrod


Decency, security, and liberty alike demand that government officials shall be subjected to the same rules of conduct that are commands to the citizen. In a government of laws, existence of the government will be imperiled if it fails to observe the law scrupulously. ~~ Louis D. Brandeis


One must be a god to be able to tell successes from failures without making a mistake. ~~ Anton Pavlovich Chekhov


You always pass failure on you way to success. ~~ Mickey Rooney


I believe that you learn more from failing than from succeeding. Yet we have a built-in fear of failure, a shame of failure, which I think is pretty harmful. ~~ Peter Gabriel


Try as hard as we may for perfection, the net result of our labors is an amazing variety of imperfectness. We are surprised at our own versatility in being able to fail in so many different ways. ~~ Samuel McChord Crothers


More men fail through lack of purpose than lack of talent. ~~ Billy Sunday


Success isn't permanent, and failure isn't fatal. ~~ Mike Ditka


Remember, if you are attempting the impossible, you will fail. ~~ Unattributed


In Washington, success is just a training course for failure. ~~ Simon Hoggart


Diplomacy and defense are not substitutes for one another. Either alone would fail. ~~ John F. Kennedy


Now civilizations, I believe, come to birth and proceed to grow by successfully responding to successive challenges. They break down and go to pieces if and when a challenge confronts them which they fail to meet. ~~ Arnold J. Toynbee


No one can say that Christianity has failed. It has never been tried. ~~ Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.


It is the duty of the executive to remove ruthlessly anyone… who consistently fails to perform with high distinction. To let such a man stay on corrupts the others. ~~ Peter F. Drucker


Pregnant failures are not unknown in history. History recognizes what I may call "delayed achievement": The apparent failures of today may turn out to have made a vital contribution to the achievement of tomorrow--prophets born before their time. ~~ Edward Hallett Carr


Sometimes what you want to do has to fail you so you won't. ~~ Marguerite Harmon Bro [Sarah]


The happy people are failures because they are on such good terms with themselves that they don't give a damn. ~~ Dame Agatha Christie


Apparent failure may hold in its rough shell the germs of a success that will blossom in time, and bear fruit throughout eternity. ~~ Frances Ellen Watkins Harper


I suppose some editors are failed writers--but so are most writers. ~~ T. S. Eliot


Everyone excels in something in which another fails. ~~ Latin proverb


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. It is failure that makes people bitter and cruel. ~~ William Somerset Maugham


It is the common failing of totalitarian regimes that they cannot really understand the nature of our democracy. They mistake dissent for disloyalty … They mistake a few committees for a country. They misjudge individual speeches for public policy. ~~ Lyndon Baines Johnson


Management: An activity or art where those who have not yet succeeded and those who have proved unsuccessful are led by those who have not yet failed. ~~ Paulsson Frenckner


Learn how to fail intelligently, for failing is one of the greatest arts in the world. ~~ Charles Kettering