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The Long And Winding Road: Quotes About Endurance

Updated on March 25, 2017

Most of us would consider endurance an admirable trait. After all, who doesn’t admit the athlete who endures despite numerous injuries? To say nothing of those who endure in the face of great difficulty. Part of endurance is unavoidable failure, and this is why many of these quotes address failure. Despite the aversion most people have to failure, it is often instructive. It can, among other things, teach us to strive more mightily, or to have a sense of humor when things go badly. Moreover, it helps us realize what our true priorities are. After all, if you are willing to dust yourself off—whether literally or metaphorically—and try again, what you are striving for is surely important. This level of endurance often requires a strong focus on what you may be seeking—whether success, love, fame, or contentment. Regardless where and even why you are exercising endurance, I sincerely hope these quotes will inspire you to endure no matter what challenges you are currently experiencing.


Theodore Roosevelt: “A soft, easy life is not worth living, if it impairs the fibre of brain and heart and muscle. We must dare to be great; and we must realize that greatness is the fruit of toil and sacrifice and high courage… For us is the life of action, of strenuous performance of duty; let us live in the hardness, striving mightily; let us run the risk of wearing out than rusting out.”

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

James Baldwin: “Beyond talent lie all the usual words: discipline, love, luck—but most of all, endurance.”

Chin-ning Chu: “It is within the process of endurance that opportunity reveals itself.”

Jim Thorpe: “I never was content unless I was trying my skill or testing my endurance.”


Moroccan Proverb: “Endurance pierces marble.”

George F. Kennan: “Heroism is endurance for one moment more.”

Goethe: “Enjoy what you can, endure what you must.”

Buddha: “Endurance is one of the most difficult disciplines, but it is to the one who endures that the final victory comes.”

Samuel Beckett: “Ever tried. Every failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

Endurance can take many forms


Niccolo Machiavelli: “All courses of action are risky, so prudence is no avoiding danger (it’s impossible), but calculating risk and acting decisively. Make mistakes of ambition and not mistakes of sloth. Develop the strength to do bold things, not the strength to suffer.”

Thomas J. Watson: “Would you really like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure.”

“Only those who are asleep make no mistakes.” Ingvar Kamprad

Victor Hugo: “Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.”


Ralph Waldo Emerson: “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”

Jean Jacques Rousseau: “Endurance is the first lesson a child should learn because it’s the only one they will most need to know.”

Thomas Carlyle: “Endurance is patience concentrated.”

Seneca: “There is nothing the busy man is less busied with than living; there is nothing harder to learn.”

Steve Jobs: “For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something…almost everything—all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure—these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.”

Henry Ward Beecher: “The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one often comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won’t.”

“It is in our nature to explore, to reach into the unknown. The only true failure would be not to explore at all.” Sir Ernest Shackleton

“Do not look to the ground for your next step; greatness lies with those who look to the horizon.” Norwegian Proverb


“If you aren’t failing every now and then, you’re probably playing it safe.” Woody Allen

“To get through the hardest journey we need take only one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping.” Chinese Proverb

“The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experiences.” Eleanor Roosevelt

“Sometimes our fate resembles a fruit tree in winter. Who would think that those branches would turn green again and blossom…but we hope it, we know it.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Napoleon Hill: “One of the most common causes of failure is the habit of quitting when one is overtaken by temporary defeat.”

Chinese Proverb: “Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up.”


Hunter S. Thompson: “So we shall let the reader answer this question for himself: who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?”

“When you walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown, you must believe that one of two things will happen. There will be something solid for you to stand upon or you will be taught to fly.” Patrick Overton, The leaning tree: [poems]

Lee Martin: “Life will test you, I tell them. It will test you as a writer, and it will test you as a person. The two are never separate.”


Korean Proverb: “A turtle travels only when it sticks its neck out.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: “Man errs as long as he strives.”

Theodore Roosevelt: “There are two things that I want you to make up your minds to. First, that you are going to have a good time as long as you live—I have no use for the sour-faced man—and next, that you are going to do something worthwhile, that you are going to work hard and do the things you set out to do.”

Eleanor Roosevelt: “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you stop to look fear in the face.”

Henry Ford: “Failure is the opportunity to begin again, only this time more wisely.”



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    • Julie K Henderson profile image

      Julie K Henderson 2 years ago

      I agree. Thank you for commenting.

    • GiftsByDiana profile image

      Diana Burrell-Shipton 2 years ago from Hubbard, Ohio, USA

      So true !

      Life can get tough and sometimes we don't think that we can make it another day, but we do if we just keep going.