In January 2011, I set a goal to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Since then, I have failed 12 times to achieve my goal. It has been said: "If at first you don't succeed, try, try, again." I hate that saying.
I don't hate it because I disparage the virtues of persistence or determination -- such characteristics are vital in achieving any meaningful goal in life -- and I obviously have demonstrated a willingness to vigorously pursue these traits. I dislike it because it omits some KEY ingredients in any formula of true success.
Here's the way the saying should go: "If at first you don't succeed, do your homework to figure out why, make a better plan moving forward, and then try again."