Josh Irby

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16 Benefits of Failure

Failure. We fear it. We run from it. We curse it. However, there is good news for failures. Even our worst failures have benefits.

Photo Credit Jes (Creative Commons)

Photo Credit Jes (Creative Commons)

1) Failure shows us what not to do.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
― Thomas A. Edison

2) Failure makes success sweeter.

“Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.”
― Truman Capote

3) Failure builds character.

“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”
― Napoleon Hill

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
― Winston Churchill

4) Failure reveals what we are truly made of.

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”
― Maya Angelou

5) Failure reminds us we are temporary, imperfect beings.

“Failure sometimes enlarges the spirit.  You have to fall back upon humanity and God.”
― Charles Horton Cooley


6) Failure counteracts Pride.

“Failure changes for the better, success for the worse.”
― Lucius Annaeus Seneca

7) Failure uncovers truth and falsehood in the world around us.

“Science, my lad, is made up of mistakes, but they are mistakes which it is useful to make, because they lead little by little to the truth.”
― Jules VerneJourney to the Center of the Earth

8) Failure challenges others to try and succeed where we have failed.

“I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.”
― Amelia Earhart

9) Failure teaches.

“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.”
― Henry Ford

10) Failure brings us closer to success.

“Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.”
― C.S. Lewis

“Don’t be discouraged by a failure. It can be a positive experience. Failure is, in a sense, the highway to success, inasmuch as every discovery of what is false leads us to seek earnestly after what is true, and every fresh experience points out some form of error which we shall afterwards carefully avoid.” ― John Keats



11) Failure prepares us for the main event—our reaction.

“I am not concerned that you have fallen — I am concerned that you arise.”
― Abraham Lincoln

12) Failure hides a treasure.

“What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise”
― Oscar Wilde

13) Failure enables success.

“We are all failures- at least the best of us are.”
― J.M. Barrie

14) Failure awakens us to our weaknesses.

“Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.”
― Henry Ford

15) Failure motivates us to change.

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
― Winston Churchill

16) Failure proves we are truly living.

“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”
― Theodore Roosevelt


Help me add to the list. What benefits have you found in failure? Add them to the comments below.


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