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5 Quotes That Will Make You View Failure Differently

If you’re finding it hard to get back on the horse after a setback, perhaps these famous, successful names will help you view failure in a different light:

Of his many failed business ventures, serial entrepreneur Lebo Gunguluza says: “I’ve failed so many times that I can anticipate a challenge long before it arises. Failure teaches you what will happen if you don’t do x,y,z.”

He says his attitude has changed for the better. “I’ve learnt to have a thick skin, look at a challenge directly and understand exactly what it requires of me.”

Lebo Gunguluza Picture Supplied 690X450 Crop 80
Serial entrepreneur Lebo Gunguluza has lost millions but forged ahead in his entrepreneurial journey.

Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game’s winning shot – and missed. I’ve failed over and over again in my career. That’s how I learnt to succeed.

Michael Jordan

Motoring tycoon Henry Ford failed about five times in the course of his career. Through persistence, he became a legend in business and a pioneer of his industry. His lesson is simple: "One who fears failure limits his activities. Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently." 

Media entrepreneur and talk-show queen Oprah Winfrey was fired from her first TV gig for being "too emotionally invested in her stories". Her take on things going pear-shaped? "When you're down there in the hole, it looks like failure. When that moment comes, it's OK to feel bad for a little while. Give yourself time to mourn what you think you may have lost. But here's the key: learn from every mistake, because it’s there to teach you and force you to do better and achieve more,” she told the Harvard Gazette.

Before becoming a successful bridalwear designer, Vera Wang failed to make the 1968 American Olympic figure-skating team. Later, when she became an editor at Vogue, but was passed over for the position of Editor-in-Chief, she learnt to see the disappointment as a stepping stone – not a terminus. “Don't be afraid of failing. Not trying is worse than failing. We have to have the courage to try again, otherwise what are we here for?” she asks.

Retired basketball champion Michael Jordan says: “ I’ve missed more than 9 000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game’s winning shot – and missed. I’ve failed over and over again in my career. That’s how I learnt to succeed.”

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