Friday, May 28, 2010

Lightnings: The Glory of Failure

If Thomas Edison as an inventor has 5000 failure credits for the light bulb alone, how many credits of failure do you have?

"A thinker sees his own actions as experiments and questions--as attempts to find out something. Success and failure are for him answers above all. "

"You always pass failure on the way to success."

"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat. "

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

"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. "

"A minute's success pays the failure of years. "

"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. "

"We all have a few failures under our belt. It's what makes us ready for the successes. "

"If you have made mistakes, even serious ones, there is always another chance for you. What we call failure is not the falling down but the staying down. "

"Three failures denote uncommon strength. A weakling has not enough grit to fail thrice. "

"The guy who takes a chance, who walks the line between the known and unknown, who is unafraid of failure, will succeed. "

"There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.

"I'd rather be a failure at something I love than a success at something I hate. "

"Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement. "

"Sound character provides the power with which a person may ride the emergencies of life instead of being overwhelmed by them. Failure is... the highway to success. "

"Each failure to sell will increase your chances for success at your next attempt. "

"Mighty hard to tell the people you love you’re a failure. "

"Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It's quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn't as all. You can be discouraged by failure - or you can learn from it. So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because, remember, that's where you will find success. "

"Before success in any man's life he is sure to meet with much temporary defeat and, perhaps, some failure. When defeat overtakes a man, the easiest and most logical thing to do is to quit. That is exactly what the majority of men do. "

"I can accept failure, but I can't accept not trying. "

"We are all of us failures, at least, the best of us are."

"Don't fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things. The saddest summary of a life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have. "

"The awareness of the ambiguity of one's highest achievements (as well as one's deepest failures) is a definite symptom of maturity. "

"The only real failure in life is the failure to try. "

"If the truth be known, most successes are built on a multitude of failures. "

"Success isn't necessarily permanent - but neither is failure. "

"It is a mistake to suppose that men succeed through success; they much oftener succeed through failures. Precept, study, advice, and example could never have taught them so well as failure has done."

"Every great work, every great accomplishment, has been brought into manifestation through holding to the vision, and often just before the big achievement, comes apparent failure and discouragement. "

"Not many people are willing to give failure a second opportunity. They fail once and it is all over. The bitter pill of failure is often more than most people can handle. If you are willing to accept failure and learn from it, if you are willing to consider failure as a blessing in disguise and bounce back, you have got the essential of harnessing one of the most powerful success forces. "

"Our achievements speak for themselves. What we have to keep track of are our failures, discouragements and doubts. We tend to forget the past difficulties, the many false starts, and the painful groping. We see our past achievements as the end results of a clean forward thrust, and our present difficulties as signs of decline and decay."

Bookmark and Share


  1. On Front End of Innovation group on LinkedIn:


    Good question! A lot of emphasis has been placed on failing forward, and turning the lessons-learned from a failure into best practices toward the next iteration of discussion and design.

    In general, I don't think we should be seeking out failure (unless trying to find a breaking point as a test method). Yet, becoming stuck based on a fear of perfectionism could be considered a failure -- ie, no action could be considered as much of a failure as moving and learning.

    Ideally, we would be moving forward with our eyes open, and using our previous lessons learned to prevent disasters. This, knowing we inform cohorts and partners of risks but keeping forward motion and progress in mind.

    Best Regards,

    Posted by Bryce Bolton

  2. On Creative Mind Finland group on LinkedIn:

    "It's important that nobody gets mad at you for screwing up," says Lee Unkrich, director of Toy Story 3. "We know screwups are an essential part of making something good. That's why our goal is to screw up as fast as possible." ( ...)
    Posted by Marius Lönnrot

  3. On Customer Experience Management group on LinkedIn:

    Hi Mahmoud

    I am no stranger to failure. In fact, I believe that failure is an essential ingredient to greater success.

    The only thing is, failure can be a painful experience. It takes character and courage to overcome.

    cheers and thks for sharing!
    Posted by Nuryusman Mohamed Ibrahim

  4. On Product Management Consortium group on LinkedIn:

    A quote I love is "The man that never made a mistake, never made anything"

    Competition and failure is a prerequisite for change and improvement.
    Posted by Julian Niemiec ©

  5. On Design Management Institute group on LinkedIn:

    I love this concept! Thank you for sharing.
    Posted by Erica Vranak

  6. On Center for Innovation Management Studies group on Linkedin:

    Thank you for posting this, being a Brit we have a special place for failure.
    Scott's failed attempt to win the race to South Pole made him a national hero, Dunkirk was regarded by many of my father's generation as a proud glorious failure, and before that they wrote poems to other failures such as the disasterous "Charge of The Life Brigade". What they find so admirable are the virtues and qualities these failures displayed, in the face of overwhelming odds
    Posted by Peter Doyle

  7. On Qatar Business Network group on LinkedIn:

    Hello Mahmoud,

    Thanks for sharing such excellent quotes. It is a good way to remind ourselves not to give up.

    It is import to keep our focus squarely on success and not on failure. Failures need not be glorified. We should see failures as stepping-stones to success. And should not dwell too much on failures, except to learn from them and move on.

    To quote Fisher and Allen : " In reality there is no such thing as failure; It's just part of our education on the way to our inevitable success". ( Mark Fisher and Marc Allen 2008).

    Nothing inspire more than success. So the ultimate objective and the focus of our undivided attention should be success.

    Wish everyone the best of luck and success in their endeavours.

    Posted by S. Zafar Iqbal, CHA

    Thanks alot! BR AURORA