50 Words to Your Dreams Chapter 37 Failure by Michael George Knight

Chapter 37: Failure

The definition of failure is not only the lack of success but the neglect or omission of expected or required action. Which in short failure is the lack of taking correct actions to achieve your goals and success you aim for. Remember your success is the definition YOU give it based on the outcomes and goals YOU want to achieve.


The word failure carries so much negative connotations that people fail to realize that success is built upon a path of failures. Let me explain. In course of living and life in general you will meet with so called failure. I name this, “so call” failure, because in life there is no such thing as failure, only results. If your goal was to lose 12kg’s in 12 months but you only lost 10kg’s, are you a failure or a success? I’ll let you answer that one, all I can say is that if you lose 10kg’s you would feel and look better than you did carrying around those extra kg’s. Get the idea out of your head that there is such a thing called failure. The only thing that exists is results. Jim Rohn says it best, “Results are the name of the game.” At the end of the week, the month, the year, you look back on the results you produced.


The only time you fail at something you are aiming for, is when you stop taking action towards its attainment. The way to success is simple math, keep moving forward taking small actions, continually, adjusting as you go, not stopping until you hit your goal.



Failure is a great school; you learn from failures, you evolve from failures, you readjust your actions, your timeframes, you’re thinking and your commitment. You don’t quit when failures happen you regroup and start again more intelligently. Not achieving your goals by your deadlines does not mean success is not within reach, it just means a) You incorrectly calculated the amount of work that would be required. b) You incorrectly calculated the amount of time would be required to achieve your goal. Two things you can control, your action and your time perspective. Live and Learn from failure, have patience, work hard, never give up and one day in the future you will achieve your goals and dreams.


Success takes time and effort and many times you will fail before you are successful. The difference between success and failure is your reaction to it. It is not always reaching the destination but the journey that is taken to get there. The biggest successes have gone through the biggest failures.



  • Thomas Edison failed thousands of times when trying to create the lightbulb. His famously said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
  • Elvis Presley’s first recordings went nowhere. He was told he couldn’t sing and he was going nowhere.
  • Michael Jordan once didn’t make his high school varsity basketball team and famously quoted “I’ve missed more than 9,000 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”
  • Vincent van Gogh sold only one painting while alive and died a failure.
  • Stephen King was rejected 30 times for his manuscript of Carrie before his wife pushed him to try one more time.
  • Abraham Lincoln failed forward by failing in business, having his sweetheart die, having a nervous breakdown, defeated as a speaker and deferred for nomination for Congress, Defeated for U.S Senate twice all before becoming the President.
  • JK Rowling was a divorced mother, living on welfare, overcome depression and lost while writing the first Harry Potter book.
  • Colonel Sanders was 65-years and rejected 1,009 times before his idea was accepted.
  • Seuss first manuscript was famously rejected 28 times prior to being accepted. By the time he died he has sold 600 million copies of his books, making him by far one of the most famous failures to have ever lived.



  • A failure is a man who has blundered, but is not able to cash in on the experience. (Elbert Hubbard)
  • A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing. (George Bernhard Shaw)
  • A negative mental attitude is one of the primary causes of failure. (W. Clement Stone)
  • A person who never makes mistakes usually makes hardly anything else. (Unknown)
  • A step in the wrong direction is better than staying ‘on the spot’ all your life. (Maxwell Maltz)
  • Act as though it were impossible to fail. (Earl Nightingale)
  • Action without thinking is the cause of every failure. (Peter Drucker)
  • And the trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more. (Erica Jong)
  • Be willing to fail in public, and you have jumped the hurdle holding most people back. (Felix Dennis)
  • Be willing to risk failure in order to succeed. (W. Clement Stone)
  • Behind every successful person there’s a lot of unsuccessful years. (Unknown)
  • Cultivate your desire for success to be greater than the fear of failure; failure is merely a pit stop between where you stand and success. Failure allows you to learn the fastest; failure inspires winners and defeats losers. (Unknown)
  • Defeat is a state of mind; no one is ever defeated until defeat has been accepted as a reality. (Bruce Lee)
  • Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure. (George Edward Woodberry)
  • Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping-stones to success. (Dale Carnegie)
  • Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again. (Richard Branson)
  • Don’t dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer. (Denise Waitley)
  • Don’t let a mistake depress or discourage you. See a mistake as a road to a solution; realize that depression and discouragement are negatives that limit the future. Admit the mistake, admitting the mistake takes courage but the recognition of errors is a sign of maturity. (Peter Drucker)
  • Don’t let failure bully you. Seduce success because you’re so much closer than you think. (Patrick Bet-David)
  • Don’t worry about failure. One big victory will outweigh 1000’s of failures. (Patrick Bet-David)
  • Every failure will teach you a lesson that you need to learn if you will keep your eyes and ears open and be willing to be taught. Every adversity is usually a blessing in disguise. (Napoleon Hill)
  • Every strike brings me closer to the next home run. (Babe Ruth)
  • Every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward. (Thomas Edison)
  • Everyone faces defeat. It may be a stepping-stone or a stumbling block, depending on the mental attitude with which it is faced. (Napoleon Hill)
  • Excuses are the nails used to build a house of failure. (Jim Rohn)
  • Failing does not make us failures, and the only time we do become a failure is when we decide to stop trying anymore. (Unknown)
  • Failing is not failing, unless you fail to get up. (Mary Pickford)
  • Failing to try means you’re trying to fail. (Steve McKnight)
  • Failure consists not in failing to reach our goals, but rather in not setting one. Failure consists of not trying. (Earl Nightingale)
  • Failure doesn’t mean you are a failure it just means you haven’t succeeded yet. (Robert H. Schuller)
  • Failure is a great teacher if you’re open to it. (Oprah Winfrey)
  • Failure is a merely an indication that you missed the amount of effort necessary. (Grant Cardone)
  • Failure is a trickster with a keen sense of irony and cunning. It takes great delight in tripping one up when success is almost within reach. (Napoleon Hill)
  • Failure is an event, not person; that yesterday really did end last night; and that today is my brand-new day. (Zig Ziglar)
  • Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough. (Elon Musk)
  • Failure is experienced by those who, when they experience defeat, stop trying to find the something more. (W. Clement Stone)
  • Failure is just another opportunity to more intelligently begin again. (Henry Ford)
  • Failure is man’s inability to reach his goals in life, whatever they may be. (Og Mandino)
  • Failure is not a single, cataclysmic event. We do not fail overnight. Failure is the inevitable result of an accumulation of poor thinking and poor choices. To put it more simply, failure is nothing more than a few errors in judgment repeated every day. (Jim Rohn)
  • Failure is only an attitude. You only become a failure when you pronounce that judgement on yourself. (Jack Collis)
  • Failure is rarely the result of some isolated event. Rather, it is a consequence of a long list of accumulated little failures which happen as a result of too little discipline. (Jim Rohn)
  • Failure is simply feedback. It’s not that you are bad or not good enough or incapable. Failure (or feedback) gives you the opportunity to look at what’s not working and figure out how to make it work. (Lewis Howes)
  • Failure is simply someone else’s opinion of how a certain act should have been completed. (Wayne Dyer)
  • Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor. (Truman Capote)
  • Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something. (Morihei Ueshiba)
  • Failure isn’t final until you quit. (Steven Furtick)
  • Failure permits no alibis. (Napoleon Hill)
  • Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing. (Denis Waitley)
  • Failure will never overtake you if your determination to succeed is strong enough. (Og Mandino)
  • Fall seven times, stand up eight. (Japanese Proverb)
  • Fear of failure is a conditional response learned in childhood. (Brian Tracy)
  • For every failure, there’s an alternative course of action. You just have to find it. When you come to a roadblock, take a detour. (Mary Kay Ash)
  • Great successes are almost always preceded by many failures. (Brian Tracy)
  • I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying. (Michael Jordan)
  • I don’t know what success is, but I know what failure is. Failure is trying to please everybody. (Og Mandino)
  • I have never known a successful man or woman whose success did not hinge on some failure or another. (Earl Nightingale)
  • I honestly think it is better to be a failure at something you love than to be a success at something you hate. (George Burns)
  • I’ve come to believe that all my past failure and frustrations were actually laying the fountain for the understandings that I now enjoy. (Anthony Robbins)
  • If you are not willing to fail, you will forever be bound in circumstances that involves little risk. (Felix Dennis)
  • If you get up one more time than you fall, you will make it through. (Chinese Proverb)
  • If you set your goals ridiculously high and it’s a failure, you will fail above everyone else’s success. (James Cameron)
  • In order to succeed you must fail, so that you know what not to do the next time. (Anthony J. D’Angelo)
  • Inability to cooperate stood at the head of the list of the causes of failure. (Napoleon Hill)
  • It also takes effort to learn to love ourselves above all others, especially when we are so consciously aware of our failures, doubts and tragedies. It does not, however, take effort to fail. It requires little else than a slowly deteriorating attitude about our present, our future, and about ourselves. (Jim Rohn)
  • It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed. (Theodore Roosevelt)
  • It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all in which case, you fail by default. (J.K. Rowling)
  • It is the individual who is not interested in his fellow men, who has the greatest difficulties in life, and provides the greatest injury to others, it is from such individuals that all human failures spring. (Alfred Adler)
  • Lack of resources isn’t the reason you failed, it’s a lack of resourcefulness is why you failed. (Tony Robbins)
  • Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. (Thomas Edison)
  • Mature, intelligent people realize that failure is just as much a part of success as success is a part of every failure. (Earl Nightingale)
  • Most people fail in life because they major in minor things. (Anthony Robbins)
  • Much of the difference between failure and success lies in what you believe you are entitled to, so you may as well think big. (David Schwartz)
  • My best successes came on the heels of failures. (Barara Corcoran)
  • My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure. (Abraham Lincoln)
  • Never let success get to your head and never let failure get to your heart. (Unknown)
  • Ninety-nine percent of all failures come from people who have a habit of making excuses. (George Washington Carver)
  • Nothing fails like success because you do not learn anything from it. The only thing we ever learn from is failure. Success only confirms our superstitions. (Kenneth Boulding)
  • One can go committing a certain error only if one remains unconscious of it. (Osho)
  • One’s best success comes after their greatest disappointments. (Henry Ward Beecher)
  • Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly. (Robert Francis Kennedy)
  • Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall. (Confucius)
  • Our so-called failures serve us well when they teach us valuable lessons. Often, they’re better teachers than our successes. (Jim Rohn)
  • People fail in their lives because their focus is on another’s wealth rather than their own goals. (Unknown)
  • People usually fail when they are on the verge of success. So give as much care at the end as at the beginning, then there will be no failure. (Wayne Dyer)
  • So what is failure? Failure does not come to a person because he is not recognized by the multitudes during his lifetime or ever. Our success or failure has nothing to do with opinions of others. It has only to do with our own opinion of ourselves and what we’re doing. (Earl Nightingale)
  • Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm. (Winston Churchill)
  • The danger comes when we look at a day squandered and conclude that no harm has been done. After all, it was just one day. But add up these days to make a year and then add up these years to make a lifetime and perhaps you can now see how repeating today’s small failures can easily turn your life into a major disaster. (Jim Rohn)
  • The difference between a successful man and a failure is not one’s better abilities or ideas, but the courage that one has to bet on his ideas, to take a calculated risk and to act. (Maxwell Maltz)
  • The line between failure and success is so fine that we scarcely know when we pass it: so fine that we are often on the line and do not know it. (Elbert Hubbard)
  • The men who try to do something and fail are infinitely better than those who try nothing and succeed. (Llyod Jones)
  • The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows. (Buddha)
  • The person who never made a mistake never tried anything new. (Albert Einstein)
  • The season of failure is the best time for sowing the seeds of success. (Paramahansa Yogananda)
  • Thoughts are things; they have tremendous power. Thoughts of doubt and fear are pathways to failure. When you conquer negative attitudes of doubt and fear you conquer failure. (Bryan Adams)
  • We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated. (Maya Angelou)
  • We must remind ourselves that we will fail 100 percent of the time we don’t try. (Lewis Howes)
  • We need to run the risk of going too far in order to discover how far we really can go. (Jim Rohn)
  • What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail? (Robert Schuller)
  • Why is it, when we read about the great achievements of successful men in sports, or business, we are seldom told about their failures? For example: we now read of the amazing record of the immortal Babe Ruth, with 714 home runs; but another unapproached world’s record of his is carefully buried in the records, never to be mentioned striking no more times than any other people in history. He failed 1,330 times! One thousand three hundred and thirty times he suffered the humiliation of walking back to the bench amidst jeers and ridicule. But he never allowed fear of failure to slow him down or weaken his effort. When he struck out he didn’t count that failure that was effort! (Frank Bettger)
  • Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You’re thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at 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’ll find success. On the far side. (Thomas J. Watson – Chairman of IBM)
  • You always pass failure on the way to success. (Mickey Rooney)
  • You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance at doing what you love. (Jim Carrey)
  • You never lose. You either win, or you learn. (Unknown)
  • You want to know the difference between a master and a beginner? The master has failed more times than the beginners has even tried. (Unknown)



That’s a wrap on

50 Words to Your Dreams

Chapter 37: Failure

Let me know your thoughts on Chapter 37

If you need some accountability in your life

connect with me for a free coaching session at


For 100’s of Video, Written & Audio Book Summaries check out our website


Stay tuned for Chapter 38 in the series “FEAR”

Leave a Reply

Scroll to top