Taking a leaf from Senia’s wonderful quotes posts, and because I seem to have made a few this past week (ouch!), here’s what greatness has had to say about what to do when you make mistakes.


We must not say every mistake is a foolish one.

George Bernard Shaw:

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

Igor Stravinsky:

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.

Mahatma Gandhi:

Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.

John Powell:

The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.

Edward Phelps:

The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything.

Peter McWilliams:

To avoid situations in which you might make mistakes may be the biggest mistake of all.

Theodore Roosevelt:

It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows achievement and who at the worst if he fails at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

Albert Einstein:

Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.

Vincent Van Gogh:

If one wants to be active, one must not be afraid of going wrong, one must not be afraid of making mistakes now and then. Many people think that they will become good just by doing no harm — but that’s a lie…. That way lies stagnation, mediocrity.

Sophia Loren:

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

Henry C. Link:

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

Tony Robbins:

Success is the result of good judgment, good judgment is the result of experience, and experience is often the result of bad judgment!

F. Wikzek:

If you don’t make mistakes, you’re not working on hard enough problems. And that’s a big mistake.

Alexander Pope:

A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong, which is but saying… that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.

Phyllis Theroux:

Mistakes are the usual bridge between inexperience and wisdom.

Elbert Hubbard:

The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.

Mel Brooks:

As long as the world is turning and spinning, we’re gonna be dizzy and we’re gonna make mistakes.