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Failure Quotes (1508 Quotes)


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  • Strength and success - they are above morality, above criticism. It seems, then, that it is not what you do, but how you do it and what you call it. Is there a check in men, deep in them, that stops or punishes? There doesn't seem to be. The only punishment is for failure. In effect no crime is committed unless a criminal is caught.
    (John Steinbeck, "The Winter of Our Discontent")
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  • The Vicar's talk was not always inspiriting: he had escaped being a Pharisee, but he had not escaped that low estimate of possibilities which we rather hastily arrive at as an inference from our own failure.
    (George Eliot, "Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life")
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  • Any kind of organized revolt against the party, which was bound to be a failure, struck her as stupid. The clever thing to do was to break the rules and stay alive all the same.
    (George Orwell, "1984")
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  • Michael had once read to her how God had cast a man and woman out of paradise. Yet, for all their human faults and failures. God had shown them the way back in.
    (Francine Rivers, "Redeeming Love")
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  • She felt a stealing sense of fatigue as she walked; the sparkle had died out of her, and the taste of life was stale on her lips. She hardly knew what she had been seeking, or why the failure to find it had so blotted the light from her sky: she was only aware of a vague sense of failure, of an inner isolation deeper than the loneliness about her.
    (Edith Wharton, "The House of Mirth")
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  • When I tried this morning, after an hour or so of unhappy thinking, to dip back into my meditation, I took a new idea with me: compassion. I asked my heart if it could please infuse my soul with a more generous perspective on my mind's workings. Instead of thinking that I was a failure, could I perhaps accept that I am only a human being--and a normal one, at that?
    (Elizabeth Gilbert, "Eat, Pray, Love")
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  • If she does have a failing, and it's obviously only a tiny one, it's that she doesn't seem particularly curious about other people, or me, anyway.
    (David Nicholls, "A Question of Attraction: A Novel")
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  • In my mind, the men and women of NASA are history's modern pioneers. They attempt the impossible, accept failure, and then back to the drawing board while the rest of us stand back and criticize.
    (Dan Brown, "Deception Point")
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  • Despite the failure of Velda Cannon's Depends, we'd had a great time.
    (Charlaine Harris, "Club Dead")
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  • Do not despair. I know you will not despair. You have a manly and a proud heart. A proud heart can survive a general failure because such a failure does not prick its pride. It is more difficult and more bitter when a man fails alone.
    (Chinua Achebe, "Things Fall Apart")
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  • Nothing is too small. I counsel you, put down in record even your doubts and surmises. Hereafter it may be of interest to you to see how true you guess. We learn from failure, not from success!
    (Bram Stoker, "Dracula")
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  • We need not despair even in our worst, for our failures are forgiven. The only fatal thing is to sit down content with anything less than perfection.
    (C.S. Lewis, "Mere Christianity")
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  • You must ask for God's help. Even when you have done so, it may seem to you for a long time that no help, or less help than you need, is being given. Never mind. After each failure, ask forgiveness, pick yourself up, and try again. Very often what God first helps us towards is not the virtue itself but just this power of always trying again.
    (C.S. Lewis, "Mere Christianity")
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  • And for all those years, we never talked about the disaster at the recital or my terrible accusations afterward at the piano bench. All that remained unchecked, like a betrayal that was now unbreakable. So I never found a way to ask her why she had hoped something so large that failure was inevitable. And even worse, I never asked her what frightened me the most: Why had she given up hope?
    (Amy Tan, "The Joy Luck Club")
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  • I had always assumed we had an unspoken understanding about these things: that she didn't really mean I was a failure, and I really meant I would try to respect her opinions more. But listening to Auntie Lin tonight reminds me once agian: My mother and I never really understood one another. We translated each other's meanings and I seemed to hear less than what was said, while my mother heard more. No doubt she told Auntie Lin I was going back to school to get a doctorate.
    (Amy Tan, "The Joy Luck Club")
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