Quotations About
failure

We didn’t lose the game; we just ran out of time.

Posted in: Vince Lombardi

The Operative: You know, in certain older civilized cultures, when men failed as entirely as you have, they would throw themselves on their swords.
Dr. Mathias: Well, unfortunately, I forgot to bring a sword.

Posted in: Serenity

Drew Baylor: A failure is simply the non-presence of success.

Posted in: Elizabethtown

Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.

Posted in: Truman Capote

Master Fung: There are no lessons in winning, but a thousand in losing.

Posted in: Xiaolin Showdown

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.

Nike Culture : The Sign of the Swoosh (1998)
Posted in: Michael Jordan

Dirk gave a gracious bow of his head to the man’s retreating back, and then hurried on, opening the newspaper at the horoscope page as he did so.
“Virtually everything you decide today will be wrong,” it said bluntly.

You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed.
You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you’ll be the best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don’t
Because, sometimes, you won’t.

Oh, the Places You'll Go! (1990)
Posted in: Dr. Seuss

Ultimately, we all have to decide for ourselves what constitutes failure, but the world is quite eager to give you a set of criteria if you let it.

Posted in: J.K. Rowling

I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.

Posted in: J.K. Rowling

Tony Stark: You’re missing the point. There’s no throne. There is no version of this where you come out on top. Maybe your army comes, and maybe it’s too much for us, but it’s all on you. Because if we can’t protect the Earth, you can be damned well sure we’ll avenge it.

I’m a failed poet. Maybe every novelist wants to write poetry first, finds he can’t, and then tries the short story, which is the most demanding form after poetry. And, failing at that, only then does he take up novel writing.

Paris Review interview (1958)
Posted in: William Faulkner

By noon it was clear that the Socialists would have a majority. At luncheon my wife said to me, ‘It may well be a blessing in disguise.’ I replied, ‘At the moment it seems quite effectively disguised.’

The Second World War, Volume VI : Triumph and Tragedy (1953)

Success is not forever and failure isn’t fatal.

Often (likely) mis-attributed to Winston Churchill as "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts."
Posted in: Don Shula

Andrew: We went down about as well as a turd souffle.

Posted in: Peter's Friends

Homer: Trying is the first step towards failure.

Posted in: The Simpsons

Fail I alone, in words and deeds?
Why, all men strive and who succeeds?

"The Last Ride Together" (1859)
Posted in: Robert Browning

A minute’s success pays the failure of years.

"Apollo and the Fates" (1887)
Posted in: Robert Browning

Coach Taylor: Give all of us gathered here tonight the strength to remember that life is so very fragile. We are all vulnerable and we will all at some point in our lives fall; we will all fall. We must carry this in our hearts…that what we have is special. That it can be taken from us and that when it is taken from us we will be tested…we will be tested to our very souls. We will now all be tested. It is these times…it is this pain that allows us to look inside ourselves.

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

As quoted in The Leadership Secrets of Colin Powell (2003) by Oren Harari
Posted in: Colin Powell

Kirk: I don’t believe in the no-win scenario.

Conquered people tend to be witty.

Mr. Sammler's planet, (1976)
Posted in: Saul Bellow

Marla Daniels: The game is rigged, but you cannot lose if you don’t play.

The Detail (season 1, episode 2)
Posted in: The Wire

Herzog by his example gave me a model for the film artist: fearless, driven by his subjects, indifferent to commercial considerations, trusting his audience to follow him anywhere. In the 38 years since I saw my first Herzog film, after an outpouring of some 50 features and documentaries, he has never created a single film that is compromised, shameful, made for pragmatic reasons or uninteresting. Even his failures are spectacular.

Awake in the Dark: The Best of Roger Ebert (2006)
Posted in: Roger Ebert

“It was 84-0 at the end. Actually, they stopped it early for some reason.”
Stuart suppressed a smile. “Bad luck, Bertie. But I’m sure that they’ll do better next time.” He paused. “What do you think went wrong, Bertie?”
Bertie thought for a moment. “I think it’s because our team was told that they should share the ball, Daddy. So they did. They shared.”

The Importance of Being Seven (2012)