#5: ‘I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.’ ―Thomas A. Edison
If you’ve been on the Internet any time soon, then chances are you’ll now that Edison isn’t exactly its favorite son. Still, even though Tesla’s the people’s choice today, for whatever Edison was or wasn’t historically, he did still have a lasting impact on the world, and its author notwithstanding this remains one of the great inspirational quotes.
The connection between Edison and this quote is obvious, as is the advice that should come from it—if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again…and wen that doesn’t work, bet someone cleverer than you $50,000 that they can’t do better, wait for them to do just that, and then rip them off and ride your newly-found ‘success’ all the way to the bank!
OK, we’re finished with the Edison/Tesla ribbing. To be fair to the Wizard of Menlo Park, he held the record for most patents for close to a century with an impressive total of 1,903—he didn’t beg, borrow and steal all of them, after all.
Whatever he should or shouldn’t get credit for, Edison DID give rise to this truly great entry in the annals of inspirational quotes. What’s more, there are different definitions of ‘success,’ as seen above.
Love her or hate her, there’s no doubting that financially, Kim Kardashian is a MAJOR success…and yet, chances are the uber-ascetic Gandhi wouldn’t see her efforts as such. Likewise, Tesla was a financial failure but scientific genius, while Edison was an incredibly successful businessman, even if by a modern reappraisal Tesla might’ve been the better scientist.
And that’s the hidden beauty of Edison’s quote, and why we include here among the other great inspirational quotes. Both Edison and Tesla were BOTH successful in the end—they just enjoyed different kinds of success.
You too might fail one respect, or even 10,000 respects, but keep trying, and you might just find a path to a kind of success you never even thought possible.