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+ 402 Edison failed 10,000 times before he made the electric light. Do not be discouraged if you fail a few times. Napoleon Hill

+ 300 Has a philosopher like you failed to discover that our country is more to be valued and higher and holier far than mother or father or any ancestor, and more to be regarded in the eyes of the gods and of men of understanding? Socrates

+ 392 And thus one man makes a vortex all round and steadies the earth by the heaven; another gives the air as support for the earth, which is sort of a broad trough. Any power which in disposing them as they are disposes them for the best never enters into their minds, not do they imagine that there is any superhuman strength in that; they rather expect to find another Atlas of the world who is stronger and more everlasting and more containing than the good is, and are clearly of the opinion that the obligatory and containing power of the good is as nothing; and yet this is the principle which I would fain learn if anyone would teach me. But as I have failed either to discover myself or to learn of anyone else, the nature of the best, I will exhibit to you, if you like, what I have found to be the second best mode of inquiring into the cause.

+ 431 I thought that as I had failed in the contemplation of true existence, I ought to be careful that I did not lose the eye of my soul; as people may injure their bodily eye by observing and gazing on the sun during an eclipse, unless they take the precaution of looking at the image reflected in the water, or in some similar medium. ...I was afraid that my soul might be blinded altogether if I looked at things with my eyes or tried by the help of my senses to apprehend them. And I thought that I had better had recourse to ideas, and seek in them truth in existence. I dare to say that the simile is not perfect--for I am far from admitting that he who contemplates existence through the medium of ideas, sees them only "through a glass darkly," any more than he who sees them in their working and effects.

+ 364 I have scarcely felt greater pain in my life than on learning yesterday from Bob's letter, that you had failed to enter Harvard University. And yet there is very little in it, if you will allow no feeling of discouragement to seize, and prey upon you. It is a certain truth, that you can enter, and graduate in, Harvard University; and having made the attempt, you must succeed in it. Must? is the word. I know not how to aid you, save in the assurance of one of mature age, and much severe experience, that you can not fail, if you resolutely determine, that you will not. Abraham Lincoln

+ 284 My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure. Abraham Lincoln

+ 263 War should never be entered upon until every agency of peace has failed. William McKinley

+ 352 I accuse the present Administration of being the greatest spending Administration in peacetime in all American history - one which piled bureau on bureau, commission on commission, and has failed to anticipate the dire needs or reduced earning power of the people. Bureaus and bureaucrats have been retained at the expense of the taxpayer. We are spending altogether too much money for government services which are neither practical nor necessary. In addition to this, we are attempting too many functions and we need a simplification of what the Federal government is giving the people. Franklin D. Roosevelt

+ 262 I never failed in mathematics. Before I was fifteen I had mastered differential and integral calculus. Albert Einstein

+ 189 I had never failed. I've just found 10,000 ways which do not work.

+ 227 I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. Thomas Edison

+ 404 Long before it was known to me as a place where my ancestry was even remotely involved, the idea of a state for Jews (or a Jewish state; not quite the same thing, as I failed at first to see) had been 'sold' to me as an essentially secular and democratic one. The idea was a haven for the persecuted and the survivors, a democracy in a region where the idea was poorly understood, and a place where—as Philip Roth had put it in a one-handed novel that I read when I was about nineteen—even the traffic cops and soldiers were Jews. This, like the other emphases of that novel, I could grasp. Indeed, my first visit was sponsored by a group in London called the Friends of Israel. They offered to pay my expenses, that is, if on my return I would come and speak to one of their meetings.

I still haven't submitted that expenses claim. The misgivings I had were of two types, both of them ineradicable. The first and the simplest was the encounter with everyday injustice: by all means the traffic cops were Jews but so, it turned out, were the colonists and ethnic cleansers and even the torturers. It was Jewish leftist friends who insisted that I go and see towns and villages under occupation, and sit down with Palestinian Arabs who were living under house arrest—if they were lucky—or who were squatting in the ruins of their demolished homes if they were less fortunate. In Ramallah I spent the day with the beguiling Raimonda Tawil, confined to her home for committing no known crime save that of expressing her opinions. (For some reason, what I most remember is a sudden exclamation from her very restrained and respectable husband, a manager of the local bank: 'I would prefer living under a Bedouin muktar to another day of Israeli rule!' He had obviously spent some time thinking about the most revolting possible Arab alternative.) In Jerusalem I visited the Tutungi family, who could produce title deeds going back generations but who were being evicted from their apartment in the old city to make way for an expansion of the Jewish quarter. Jerusalem: that place of blood since remote antiquity. Jerusalem, over which the British and French and Russians had fought a foul war in the Crimea, and in the mid-nineteenth century, on the matter of which Christian Church could command the keys to some 'holy sepulcher.' Jerusalem, where the anti-Semite Balfour had tried to bribe the Jews with the territory of another people in order to seduce them from Bolshevism and continue the diplomacy of the Great War. Jerusalem: that pest-house in whose environs all zealots hope that an even greater and final war can be provoked. It certainly made a warped appeal to my sense of history.
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

+ 276 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. Michael Jordan

+ 281 I have a great respect for incremental improvement, and I've done that sort of thing in my life, but I've always been attracted to the more revolutionary changes. I don't know why. Because they're harder. They're much more stressful emotionally. And you usually go through a period where everybody tells you that you've completely failed. We don't get a chance to do that many things, and every one should be really excellent. Because this is our life. Life is brief, and then you die… And we've all chosen to do this with our lives. So it better be damn good. It better be worth it, Steve Jobs — Fortune

+ 235 We're all islands shouting lies to each other across seas of misunderstanding. Rudyard Kipling, The Light That Failed

+ 286 When I understood the task, it was not with a resolve such as men often make. With me it was a sacred vow, a question of life and death. I knew that I would perish if I failed. Now I felt that the battle was won. Back in the deep recesses of the brain was the solution, but I could net yet give it outward expression. Nikola Tesla

+ 283 Free love? as if love is anything but free. Man has bought brains, but all the millions in the world have failed to buy love. Emma Goldman

+ 102 Obama has no solutions. Obama has failed the country and its great citizens, and they don't like it when somebody such as myself speaks the truth about this - it hurts too much. Donald Trump

+ 80 Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better. Samuel Beckett

+ 87 Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better. Samuel Beckett

+ 63 I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. Thomas A. Edison

+ 116 He had only one major publication. It was in Hebrew; had no references; wasn't published in an academic journal; and some doubt he wrote it himself. He may have created the world, but what has he done since? The scientific community cannot replicate his results. He never received permission from the ethics board to use human subjects. When one experiment went awry, he tried to cover it up by drowning the subjects. He rarely came to class; telling the students to, "Read the book." Some say he had his son teach the class. He expelled his first two students. His office hours were irregular and sometimes held on a mountain top. Although there were only ten requirements, most students failed.