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Charles Kettering quotes (40)

A person must have a certain amount of intelligent ignorance to get anywhere.
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A problem well stated is a problem half-solved.
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An inventor fails 999 times, and if he succeeds once, he's in. He treats his failures simply as practice shots.
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An inventor is simply a fellow who doesn't take his education too seriously.
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Believe and act as if it were impossible to fail.
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Every time you tear a leaf off a calendar, you present a new place for new ideas and progress.
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High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation.
Charles Kettering   Category: Business

I object to people running down the future. I am going to live all the rest of my life there.
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If you have always done it that way, it is probably wrong.
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If you want to kill any idea in the world, get a committee working on it.
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In America we can say what we think, and even if we can't think, we can say it anyhow.
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Inventing is a combination of brains and materials. The more brains you use, the less material you need.
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It doesn't matter if you try and try and try again, and fail. It does matter if you try and fail, and fail to try again.
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It is not a disgrace to fail. Failing is one of the greatest arts in the world.
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Keep on going and the chances are you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. I have never heard of anyone stumbling on something sitting down.
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Knowing is not understanding. There is a great difference between knowing and understanding: you can know a lot about something and not really understand it.
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My definition of an educated man is the fellow who knows the right thing to do at the time it has to be done. You can be sincere and still be stupid.
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My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there.
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No one would have crossed the ocean if he could have gotten off the ship in the storm.
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One fails forward toward success.
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Our imagination is the only limit to what we can hope to have in the future.
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People are very open-minded about new things - as long as they're exactly like the old ones.
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People think of the inventor as a screwball, but no one ever asks the inventor what he thinks of other people.
Charles Kettering   Category: Science

Problems are the price of progress. Don't bring me anything but trouble. Good news weakens me.
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The biggest job we have is to teach a newly hired employee how to fail intelligently. We have to train him to experiment over and over and to keep on trying and failing until he learns what will work.
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The only difference between a problem and a solution is that people understand the solution.
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The only time you mustn't fail is the last time you try.
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The opportunities of man are limited only by his imagination. But so few have imagination that there are ten thousand fiddlers to one composer.
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The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.
Charles Kettering   Category: Change

The Wright brothers flew right through the smoke screen of impossibility.
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There exist limitless opportunities in every industry. Where there is an open mind, there will always be a frontier.
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There is a great difference between knowing and understanding: you can know a lot about something and not really understand it.
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There will always be a frontier where there is an open mind and a willing hand.
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Thinking is one thing no one has ever been able to tax.
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We need to teach the highly educated man that it is not a disgrace to fail and that he must analyze every failure to find its cause. He must learn how to fail intelligently, for failing is one of the greatest arts in the world.
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We often say that the biggest job we have is to teach a newly hired employee to fail intelligently... to experiment over and over again and to keep on trying and failing until he learns what will work.
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We should all be concerned about the future because we will have to spend the rest of our lives there.
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You can be sincere and still be stupid.
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You can't have a better tomorrow if you are thinking about yesterday all the time.
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You will never stub your toe standing still. The faster you go, the more chance there is of stubbing your toe, but the more chance you have of getting somewhere.
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