An aphorism is nothing else but the slightest
form of writing raised to the highest level of expressive communication. Carl William Brown





The greatest mistake of penetration is not to have fallen short, but to have gone too far.


Francois De La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680, French classical writer)


To err is human; to admit it, superhuman.


Doug Larson


We can afford almost any mistake once.


Lewis Lehr (1852-1921, American businessman, founder of 3M Company)


You must learn from the mistakes of others. You can't possibly live long enough to make them all yourself.


Samuel Levenson


To err is human also in so far as animals seldom or never err, or at least only the cleverest of them do so.


Georg C. Lichtenberg (1742-1799, German physicist, satirist)


While one person hesitates because he feels inferior, another is busy making mistakes and becoming superior.


Henry C. Link


The study of error is not only in the highest degree prophylactic, but it serves as a stimulating introduction to the study of truth.


Walter Lippmann (1889-1974, American journalist)


Sometimes we may learn more from a man's errors, than from his virtues.


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1819-1892, American poet)


Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life.


Sophia Loren (1934-, Italian film actress)


We will be victorious if we have not forgotten how to learn.


Rosa Luxemburg (1870-1919, German revolutionary)


A man who cannot make mistakes cannot do anything.


Bernard Magazine


Remember you will not always win. Some days, the most resourceful individual will taste defeat. But there is, in this case, always tomorrow -- after you have done your best to achieve success today.


Maxwell Maltz (1944-, Canadian-born American plastic surgeon, author of "Psycho-Cybernetics")


Whenever you make a mistake or get knocked down by life, don't look back at it too long. Mistakes are life's way of teaching you. Your capacity for occasional blunders is inseparable from your capacity to reach your goals. No one wins them all, and your failures, when they happen, are just part of your growth. Shake off your blunders. How will you know your limits without an occasional failure? Never quit. Your turn will come.


Og Mandino (1923-1996, American motivational author, speaker)

Author's website:


So long as a person who has made mistakes... honestly and sincerely wishes to be cured and to mend his ways, we should welcome him and cure his sickness so that he can become a good comrade.


Zedong Mao (1893-1976, Founder of the People's Republic of China)


No man fails who does his best...


Orison Swett Marden (1850-1924, American author, founder of Success Magazine)


No man is beaten until his hope is annihilated, his confidence gone, As long as a man faces life hopefully, confidently, triumphantly, he is not a failure; he is not beaten until he turns his back on life.


Orison Swett Marden (1850-1924, American author, founder of Success Magazine)


There can be no failure to a man who has not lost his courage, his character, his self respect, or his self-confidence. He is still a King.


Orison Swett Marden (1850-1924, American author, founder of Success Magazine)


Lord, deliver me from the person who never makes a mistake, and also from the person who makes the same mistake twice.


William James Mayo (1861-1939, American surgeon, founder of Mayo Clinic)


If you mess up and learn nothing, it's a mistake. If you mess up and learn something, it's an experience.


Mark McFadden


You can beat the Bear once, but never the same way twice.


John McKay (1923-, American football coach)


Remember your past mistakes just long enough to profit by them.


Dan McKinnon


The value of action is that we make mistakes; mistakes show us what we need to learn.


Peter McWilliams (American author, "Life 101")


Consider every mistake you do make as an asset.


Paul J. Meyer (American businessman, author, motivator)


Mistakes are merely steps up the ladder.


Paul J. Meyer (American businessman, author, motivator)


Don't be afraid to make a mistake. But make sure you don't make the same mistake twice.


Akio Morita (1921-, Japanese businessman, CEO of Sony Corporation)


The sooner you make your first five thousand mistakes the sooner you will be able to correct them.


Kimon Nicolaides


What then in the last resort are the truths of mankind? They are the irrefutable errors of mankind.


Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900, German philosopher)


One loss is good for the soul. Too many losses are not good for the coach.


Knute Rockne (1888-1931, Norwegian-born American football coach)


There is no reason to repeat bad history.


Eleanor Holmes Norton


It is better to be young in your failures than old in your successes.


Flannery O'Connor (1925-1964, American author)


A man whose errors take ten years to correct is quite a man.


Julius Robert Oppenheimer (1904-1967, American nuclear physicist)


Give me a fruitful error anytime, full of seeds, bursting with its own corrections.


Vilfredo Pareto (1848-1923, French economist, sociologist)


I do not fear failure. I only fear the slowing up of the engine inside of me, which is pounding, saying, "Keep going.  Someone must be on top; why not you?"


George S. Patton (1885-1945, American army general during World War II)


There might be false starts and do-overs.You are entitled to experiment before you find your calling.


Jane Pauley


To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.


Joseph Chilton Pearce


I never make stupid mistakes. Only very, very clever ones.


John Peel


It is not easy, but you have to be willing to make mistakes. And the earlier you make those mistakes, the better.


Jane Cahill Pfeiffer


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.


Mary Pickford (1893-1979, Canadian-born American actress)


Supposing you have tried and failed again and again.You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call "failure" is not the falling down, but the staying down.


Mary Pickford (1893-1979, Canadian-born American actress)


A new idea is rarely born like Venus attended by graces. More commonly it's modeled of baling wire and acne. More commonly it wheezes and tips over.


Marge Piercy


A man should never be ashamed to own that he is wrong, which is but saying in other words that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.


Alexander Pope (1688-1744, British poet, critic, translator)


Mistakes are stepping stones to success.


Charles E. Popplestone


Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.


Chinese Proverb (Sayings of Chinese origin)


In a group of many words, there is bound to be a mistake somewhere in them.


Chinese Proverb (Sayings of Chinese origin)


He who is shipwrecked the second time cannot lay the blame on Neptune.


English Proverb (Sayings of British origin)


The mistakes of other people are good teachers.


Estonian Proverb


An old error is always more popular than a new truth.


German Proverb (Sayings of German origin)


We learn from our mistakes.


Italian Proverb (Sayings of Italian origin)


Even champions make mistakes -- there is no one who doesn't.


Taiwanese Proverb


The entire history of science is a progression of exploded fallacies.


Ayn Rand (1905-1982, Russian philosopher, author, "Atlas Shrugged")


The man who can own up to his error is greater than he who merely knows how to avoid making it.


Cardinal Jean Francois de Retz (1613-1679, French statesman, prelate)


I believe in recovery, and I believe that as a role model I have the responsibility to let young people know that you can make a mistake and come back from it.


Ann Richards (1933-, American politician)


A series of failures may culminate in the best possible result.


Gisela Richter


It is necessary for you to learn from others' mistakes. You will not live long enough to make them all yourself.


Hyman G. Rickover (1900-1986, American naval engineering officer)


The sheer rebelliousness in giving ourselves permission to fail frees a childlike awareness and clarity.... When we give ourselves permission to fail, we at the same time give ourselves permission to excel.


Eloise Ristad


We'll do all right if we can capitalize on our mistakes.


Mickey Rivers


Life, like war, is a series of mistakes, and he is best who wins the most splendid victories by the retrieval of mistakes.


Frederick W. Robertson


Failure is a disappointment but not defeat.


Jeanne Robertson


Do not be afraid of mistakes, providing you do not make the same one twice.


Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962, American First Lady, columnist, lecturer, humanitarian)


The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything


Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919,  American President (26th))


Falsity cannot keep an idea from being beautiful; there are certain errors of such ingenuity that one could regret their not ranking among the achievements of the human mind.


Jean Rostand (1894-1977, French biologist, writer)


It is sometimes well for a blatant error to draw attention to overmodest truths.


Jean Rostand (1894-1977, French biologist, writer)


It isn't making mistakes that's critical; it's correcting them and getting on with the principal task.


Donald Rumsfeld (1932-, American Secretary of Defense, 2000-present)


Flops are a part of life's menu and I've never been a girl to miss out on any of the courses.


Rosalind Russell


More people would learn from their mistakes if they weren't so busy denying them.


Harold J. Smith


I try to extract something positive from every situation, even if it's just learning not to make the same mistake twice.


Claudia Schiffer (1970-, German model, actress)


I have found that I always learn more from my mistakes than from my successes. If you aren't making some mistakes, you aren't taking enough chances.


John Sculley (1939-, American businessman, former chairman of Apple Computers)


Be aware that young people have to be able to make their own mistakes and that times change.


Gina Shapira


A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.


George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950, Irish-born British dramatist)


He who never made a mistake, never made a discovery.


Samuel Smiles (1812-1904, Scottish author)


Once we realize that imperfect understanding is the human condition, there is no shame in being wrong, only in failing to correct our mistakes.


George Soros (1930-, Hungarian-born American businessman)


It is human to err, but it is devilish to remain willfully in error.


St. Augustine (354-430, Numidian-born bishop of Hippo, theologian)


If I had to live my life over again, I'd try to make more mistakes next time.


Nadine Stair (1904-1991, American poet)


Our mistakes won't irreparably damage our lives unless we let them.


James E. Sweaney


Life would be dull without them.


Oscar Wilde (1856-1900, British author, wit)


We don't make mistakes, we only have happy accidents.


Author Unknown


A man finds he has been wrong at every stage of his career, only to deduce the astonishing conclusion that he is at last entirely right.


Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1895, Scottish essayist, poet, novelist)


I have learned throughout my life as a composer chiefly through my mistakes and pursuits of false assumptions, not by my exposure to founts of wisdom and knowledge.


Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971, Russian composer)


There are few, very few, that will own themselves in a mistake.


Jonathan Swift (1667-1745, Anglo-Irish satirist)


From the errors of others a wise man corrects his own.


Publilius Syrus (85 BC- 43BC, Roman writer)


He who is shipwrecked twice is foolish to blame the sea.


Publilius Syrus (85 BC- 43BC, Roman writer)


Men are apt to prefer a prosperous error to an afflicted truth.


Jeremy Taylor (1613-1667, British churchman, writer)


Mistakes are the usual bridge between inexperience and wisdom.


Phyllis Therous


We are built to make mistakes, coded for error.


Lewis Thomas (1913-1993, American physician, educator)


The broadest and most prevalent error requires the most disinterested virtue to sustain it.


Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862, American essayist, poet, naturalist)


The broadest and most prevalent error requires the most disinterested virtue to sustain it.


Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862, American essayist, poet, naturalist)


Some of the best lessons we ever learn are learned from past mistakes. The error of the past is the wisdom and success of the future.


Dale Turner


A man who never made a mistake, never made anything worth a darn.


Author Unknown


A mistake at least proves that somebody stopped talking long enough to DO something.


Author Unknown


It is said that only a fool learns from his own mistakes, a wise man from the mistakes of others.


Author Unknown


It's easy to stop making mistakes. Just stop having ideas.


Author Unknown


Learn from your parents mistakes -- use birth control.


Author Unknown


Make the mistakes of yesterday your lessons for today.


Author Unknown


MISTAKES are the stepping stones that lead to future accomplishments.


Author Unknown


The best may slip, and even the most cautious fall; but he is more than human who errors not at all.


Author Unknown


The error of the past is the success of the future. A mistake is evidence that someone tried to do something.


Author Unknown


There is a wheel on the affairs of men; revolve, and its mechanism is such that it prevents any man from being always fortunate.


Author Unknown


There is nothing wrong with making mistakes. Just don't respond with errors.


Author Unknown


Things could be worse. Suppose your errors were counted and published every day, like those of a baseball player.


Author Unknown


Trouble brings experience, and experience brings wisdom.


Author Unknown


Your past is always going to be the way it was. Stop trying to change it.


Author Unknown


Even the knowledge of my own fallibility cannot keep me from making mistakes. Only when I fall do I get up again.


Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890, Dutch-born French painter)


Don't dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer.


Denis Waitley (1933-, American author, speaker, trainer, peak performance expert)

Author's website:


Mistakes are painful when they happen, but years later a collection of mistakes is what is called experience.


Denis Waitley (1933-, American author, speaker, trainer, peak performance expert)

Author's website:


You must learn from your past mistakes, but not lean on your past successes.


Denis Waitley (1933-, American author, speaker, trainer, peak performance expert)

Author's website:


In all science, error precedes the truth, and it is better it should go first than last.


Sir Hugh Walpole (1884-1941, New Zealand writer)


The sight of a cage is only frightening to the bird that has once been caught.


Michelene Wand


Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show you a man who never makes anything. The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass. The only men who are past the danger of making mistakes are the men who sleep at Greenwood.


H. L. Wayland


It's very easy to forgive others their mistakes, it takes more gut and gumption to forgive them for having witnessed your own.


Jessamyn West (1903-1984, American author)


Life is the only real counselor. Wisdom unfiltered through personal experience does not become a part of the moral tissue.


Edith Wharton (1862-1937, American author)


Experience is the name we give to our mistakes.


Oscar Wilde (1856-1900, British author, wit)


If you're not making mistakes, then you're not doing anything. I'm positive that a doer makes mistakes.


John Wooden (1910-, American basketball coach)


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