Problems &
Dealing with Failure


"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." Albert Einstein


"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." Albert Einstein


Inspirational Quotes


Failure is success if we learn from it. Malcolm S. Forbes

Failures are divided into two classes -
those who thought and never did,
and those who did and never thought.

John Charles Salak

The People who get on in this wordl are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can't find them, make them

George Bernard Shaw

"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

Many receive advice. Only the wise profit from it. Syrus

Chance favors the prepared mind - Louis Pasteur

When we have done our best, we should wait the result in peace - J Lubbock

Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals.

Genius is the ability to reduce the complicated to the simple - C.W. Ceran

" I always view problems as opportunities in work clothes". Henry Kaiser

"Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities". Albert Einstein

"Those who dare to fail greatly can ever acheive greatly." Robert F Kennedy

"To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing."
- Elbert Hubbard

"Nothing great will ever be acheived without great men, and men are great only if they are determined to be so." Charles de Gaulle

Difficulties and obstacles, if properly understood and used, can turn out to be an unexpected source of strength. Gesar was the great warrior king of Tibet, whose escapades form the greatest epic of Tibetan literature. Gesar means “indomitable,” someone who can never be put down. From the moment Gesar was born, his evil uncle Trotung tried all kinds of means to kill him. But with each attempt Gesar only grew stronger and stronger.

For the Tibetans, Gesar is not only a martial warrior but also a spiritual one. To be a spiritual warrior means to develop a special kind of courage, one that is innately intelligent, gentle, and fearless. Spiritual warriors can still be frightened, but even so they are courageous enough to taste suffering, to relate clearly to their fundamental fear, and to draw out without evasion the lessons from difficulties. Sogyal Rinpoche



Success is not to be pursued; it is to be attracted by the person you become.

Failure is not a single, cataclysmic event. You don't fail overnight. Instead, failure is a few errors in judgment, repeated every day.

Don't take the casual approach to life. Casualness leads to casualties.

Success is the study of the obvious. Everyone should take Obvious I and Obvious II in school.

It's too bad failures don't give seminars. Wouldn't that be valuable? If you meet a guy who has messed up his life for forty years, you've just got to say, "John, if I bring my journal and promise to take good notes, would you spend a day with me?"

Success is not so much what we have as it is what we are.

Success is 20% skills and 80% strategy. You might know how to read, but more importantly, what's your plan to read?

Average people look for ways of getting away with it; successful people look for ways of getting on with it.

Excerpted from The Treasury of Quotes by Jim Rohn. Copyright 1994 Jim Rohn International. These quotes are by Jim Rohn, America's Foremost Business Philosopher. To subscribe to the Free Jim Rohn Weekly E-zine, go to

There is no such thing as failure. Take problems in your stride, they are natural.

Failure is a state of mind. It is how you react to a perceived negative outcome that matters. You always get a result, no matter what happens. What is important is what do you do next - what do you learn from that experience.

Need to know what failure feels like - how judge success without failure.

Eg. Edison went through 25,000 different methods to make a battery, before he finally developed one that worked. Shortly afterwards he was asked, 'how do you feel, having failed 25,ooo times'. Edison replied 'I know 25,000 ways how not to make a battery, how about you?!'

Unfortunately, in our society you have to learn how to deal with failure. We don't always get what we want.

You can tell how professional a sportsman is by the way he accepts defeat.

In competitions I feel it is generally the competitor with a stronger state of mind and spirit that succeeds. Positive Mental Attitude.

I feel you should know your own abilities, strengths and limits.

If you are in a competition and you are losing / winning by a heavy margin continue to play as if this particular frame is the most important game of the match.

A mistake that a lot of boxers made when defending titles was that they programmed themselves just to defend a title. Instead they should have programmed themselves as if they were playing for the belt for the first time! This increases chances of winning.

Problems are seed for opportunity

The major obstacle to resolving problems in our lives is that we deal with them as though they are something outside of us. The truth is that every problem is an outward manifestation of our state of conciousness. When our conciousness is clear and at peace, the problem diasppears. Arnold Patent, 'You can have it all'

There are similar quotes which basically say the same: people don't know how do deal with problems because they don't know how to be silent and peaceful!

Ask empowering questions

Focus on the solutions as well as know the deep rooted cause of the problem. New Testament - problems should be turned around and used

Friednietzche - said no pain no gain - need suffering, and pain to have happiness. Anything worthwhile will have strain; but the pain is worth it in end. It is the manner in which failure is received.

Worries lead to vital clues. Maybe the fact that you keep encountering problems is because you are not on the right path.

Anxiety - can be useful because it leads to panic - which leads to analysis of what is wrong

Don't look for drink or drugs as a solution to solving problems. to imagine a drink can drown sorrows and help you escape- is the worst. These are temporary short term solutions which don't solve anything. Happiness doesn't come from escaping from them

drugs are just an external solution for an internal problem

Those that were Great and aquired Greatness - overcame difficulties in life eg. Einstein, Beethoven etc.

Difficulty is normal - gap between where are & where need to be

Garderners - get many roots/ plants that are ugly - and make them beautiful. Learn to respond well to suffering, learn to make something beautiful out of out of darkness


There's always a silver lining. Ask yourself:

Ask for Answers


Stay Alert

(Extracts from Celestine Prophecy, Experiential Guide, by J. Redfield & C. Adrienne)


When we ask ourselves, 'Why do I have a problem? the brain doesn't wake up. Why? because the brain does not wake up when we deal with thte past or memory. But if we just look at the question, out comes insecurity, and then alertness which wakes up our brain...this leads to new perspectives, answers, inspiration and intuition. Manuel Schoch

This is similar to the Zen Perspective and what Krishnamurti says about problems.

Spontaneous comprehension - Krishnamurti

We never say, "Let me see what that thing is that suffers." You cannot see by enforcement, by discipline. You must look with interest, with spontaneous comprehension. Then you will see that the thing we call suffering, pain, the thing that we avoid, and the discipline, have all gone. As long as I have no relationship to the thing as outside me, the problem is not; the moment I establish a relationship with it outside me, the problem is. As long as I treat suffering as something outside-I suffer because I lost my brother, because I have no money, because of this or that-I establish a relationship to it and that relationship is fictitious. But if I am that thing, if I see the fact, then the whole thing is transformed, it all has a different meaning. Then there is full attention, integrated attention and that which is completely regarded is understood and dissolved, and so there is no fear and therefore the word sorrow is non-existent.


read about Who am I? to see who is it that suffers

"Empty Boat," with Pema Chodron, from Start Where You Are, Pema Chodron (Shambhala Publications, 1994)

There's a Zen story in which a man is enjoying himself on a river at dusk. He sees another boat coming down the river toward him. At first it seems so nice to him that someone else is also enjoying the river on a nice summer evening. Then he realizes that the boat is coming right toward him, faster and faster. He begins to get upset and starts to yell, "Hey, hey watch out! For Pete's sake, turn aside!" But the boat just comes faster and faster, right toward him. By this time he's standing up in his boat, screaming and shaking his fist, and then the boat smashes right into him. He sees that it's an empty boat. This is the classic story of our whole life situation.

Pema Chodron is a senior disciple of Chogyam Trunpa Rinpoche, teacher of Tibetan Buddhism, Abbess of Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia, and author of When Things Fall Apart and other fine books.


Namely, see the problem as it is, with no fear or desire attached.

Merge with the problem

and then the problem either disappears or the solution appears (as an answer(idea or inspiration) or impulse for action

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