Below you’ll find many quotations about mistakes and errors, and how we handle them in our lives.

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Argue like you’re right, listen like you’re wrong.

— Adam Grant, Think Again

No one should be ashamed to admit they are wrong, which is but saying, in other words, that they are wiser today than they were yesterday.

— Alexander Pope

To err is human; to forgive, divine.

— Alexander Pope

Some feminists feel that a woman should never be wrong. We have a right to be wrong.

— Alice Childress

Tell no lies. Expose lies whenever they are told. Mask no difficulties, mistakes, failures. Claim no easy victories.

— Amilcar Cabral

You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful.

— Amy Bloom

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

This the grave of Mike O’Day / Who died maintaining his right of way. / His right was clear, his will was strong. / But he’s just as dead as if he’d been wrong.

— Anonymous

One man may hit the mark, another blunder; but heed not these distinctions. Only from the alliance of the one, working with and through the other, are great things born.

— Antoine de Saint-Exupery

To free a man from error is to give, not take away.

— Arthur Schopenhauer

Don’t cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.

— Aubrey De Graf

Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.

— Babe Ruth

In science it often happens that scientists say, ‘You know that’s a really good argument; my position is mistaken,’ and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn’t happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion.

— Carl Sagan

Those who make uncritical observations or fraudulent claims lead us into error and deflect us from the major human goal of understanding how the world works. It is for this reason that playing fast and loose with the truth is a very serious matter.

— Carl Sagan, Broca’s Brain

We get a second chance at everything, including our mistakes.

— Christopher X. Shade

One has the right to be wrong in a democracy.

— Claude Pepper

When men are most sure and arrogant they are commonly most mistaken, giving views to passion without that proper deliberation which alone can secure them from the grossest absurdities.

— David Hume

For most digital-age writers, writing is rewriting. We grope, cut, block, paste, and twitch, panning for gold onscreen by deleting bucketloads of crap. Our analog ancestors had to polish every line mentally before hammering it out mechanically. Rewrites cost them months, meters of ink ribbon, and pints of Tippex. Poor sods.

— David Mitchell

The only person who never makes mistakes is the person who never does anything.

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

If it is a mistake of the head and not the heart don’t worry about it, that’s the way we learn.

— Earl Warren

I am glad that I paid so little attention to good advice; had I abided by it I might have been saved from some of my most valuable mistakes.

— Edna St. Vincent Millay

You like to respect and admire someone whom you love, but actually, you love even more the people who require understanding and who make mistakes and have to grow with their mistakes.

— Eleanor Roosevelt

We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives … not looking for flaws but for potential.

— Ellen Goodman

The contemplation of things as they are, without substitution or imposture, without error or confusion, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention.

— Francis Bacon

An architect’s most useful tools are an eraser at the drafting board, and a wrecking bar at the site.

— Frank Lloyd Wright

What replaces fear? A capacity to trust the abundance of life. All wisdom traditions posit the profound truth that there are two fundamental ways to live life: from fear and scarcity or from trust and abundance…. We come to believe that even if something unexpected happens or if we make mistakes, things will turn out all right, and when they don’t, life will have given us an opportunity to learn and grow.

— Frederic Laloux, Reinventing Organizations

Is man one of God’s blunders? Or is God one of man’s blunders?

— Friedrich Nietzsche

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

— Friedrich Nietzsche

Without music, life would be a mistake.

— Friedrich Nietzsche

Blessed are the forgetful: for they get the better even of their blunders.

— Friedrich Nietzsche

Dare to err and to dream. Deep meaning often lies in childish play.

— Friedrich Schiller

It is not bigotry to be certain we are right; but it is bigotry to be unable to imagine how we might possibly have gone wrong.

— G. K. Chesterton

You are not a mistake. You are not a problem to be solved. But you won’t discover this until you are willing to stop banging your head against the wall of shaming and caging and fearing yourself.

— Geneen Roth

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

— George Bernard Shaw

Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.

— George Bernard Shaw

Take each day as you find it,
If things go wrong, don’t mind it,
For each day leaves behind it
A chance to start anew.

— Gertrude Ellgas

I have had to experience so much stupidity, so many vices, so much error, so much nausea, disillusionment and sorrow, just in order to become a child again and begin anew. I had to experience despair, I had to sink to the greatest mental depths, to thoughts of suicide, in order to experience grace.

— Herman Hesse, Siddhartha

[W]hen people thought the Earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the Earth was spherical they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the Earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the Earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together.

— Isaac Asimov

The interval between the decay of the old and the formation and the establishment of the new, constitutes a period of transition which must always necessarily be one of uncertainty, confusion, error, and wild and fierce fanaticism.

— John C. Calhoun

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

It is one thing to show a man that he is in an error, and another to put him in possession of the truth.

— John Locke

In general, pride is at the bottom of all great mistakes.

— John Ruskin

Indiscretions can lead to great lessons.

— Julieanne O’Connor

Flawed, we’re truly interesting, truly memorable, and yes, truly beautiful.

— Justina Chen Headley

A mistake is simply another way of doing things.

— Katharine Graham

When an old and distinguished person speaks to you, listen to him carefully and with respect — but do not believe him. Never put your trust into anything but your own intellect. Your elder, no matter whether he has gray hair or has lost his hair, no matter whether he is a Nobel laureate — may be wrong. The world progresses, year by year, century by century, as the members of the younger generation find out what was wrong among the things that their elders said. So you must always be skeptical — always think for yourself.

— Linus Pauling

Coincidence takes a lot of planning.

— Malcolm Nance

Even a stopped clock is right twice every day. After some years, it can boast of a long series of successes.

— Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

Today is a new day. You will get out of it just what you put into it. If you have made mistakes, there is always another chance for you. And supposing you have tried and failed again and again, you may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down.

— Mary Pickford
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