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Ability

Ability

Quotations



Sourced

  • A man must not deny his manifest abilities, for that is to evade his obligations.

  • Competence, like truth, beauty and contact lenses, is in the eye of the beholder.

  • Ability involves responsibility. Power to its last particle is duty.
    • Alexander Maclaren, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 1.


  • I don't even know how to use a parking meter, let alone a phone box.
    • Diana, Princess of Wales (The Times 22nd August 1994, replying to allegations that she had been making nuisance telephone calls.)

  • In the last analysis, ability is commonly found to consist mainly in a high degree of solemnity.

  • Intelligence is quickness to apprehend as distinct from ability, which is capacity to act wisely on the thing apprehended.


  • Martyrdom... is the only way in which a man can become famous without ability.

  • Natural abilities are like natural plants, that need pruning by study.

  • Natural ability without education has more often attained to glory and virtue than education without natural ability.

  • Man is not altogether an imbecile. True, "circumstances do make the man." But they make him only in the sense and degree that he permits them to make him.
    • G. D. Boardman, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 1.

  • One should oblige everyone to the extent of one's ability. One often needs someone smaller than oneself.

  • Our vanity desires that what we do best should be considered what is hardest for us.

  • What we do upon a great occasion will probably depend upon what we already are; what we are will be the result of previous years of self-discipline, under the grace of Christ or the absence of it.
    • Henry Parry Liddon, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 1.

Unsourced

  • A gifted horse will lead a good rider to victory. A great rider will give to the horse the gift of soundness.

  • Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.

  • Don't be discouraged by a failure. It can be a positive experience. Failure is, in a sense, the highway to success, in as much as every discovery of what is false leads us to seek earnestly after what is true, and every fresh experience points out some form of error which we shall afterwards carefully avoid.


  • Ability is of little account without opportunity.
    • Napoleon Bonaparte

  • Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there.


  • An able man shows his spirit by gentle words and resolute actions.

  • Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a good carpenter to build one.


  • The trouble with the world is that the stupid are always cocksure and the intelligent are always filled with doubt.

  • Big jobs usually go to the men who prove their ability to outgrow small ones.

  • The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world's problems.


  • Everyone must row with the oars he has.
    • English Proverb

  • Great ability develops and reveals itself increasingly with every new assignment.

  • I am only one, but I am still one; I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.

  • I think you are gonna find, when is over... I think you're gonna find yourself one smilin' mother er. The thing is Butch, right now, you've got ability. But painful as it may be, ability don't last. And your days are just about over. Now that's a hard mother in' fact of life. But it's a fact of life your ass is gonna hafta get realistic about. See this business is filled to the brim with unrealistic mother ers. Mother ers who thought their ass would age like wine. If you mean it turns to vinegar, it does. If you mean it gets better with age, it don't. Besides Butch, how many fights you think you got left in you anyway? Two? Boxers don't have an 'old timer's day.' You came close, but you never made it, and if you were gonna make it, you woulda made it before now.

  • I merely took the energy it takes to pout and wrote some blues.

  • In dreams and in love there are no impossibilities.


  • Men are often capable of greater things than they perform. They are sent into the world with bills of credit, and seldom draw to their full extent.
    • Horace Walpole


  • One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.


  • The question "Who ought to be boss?" is like as "Who ought to be the tenor in the quartet?" Obviously, the man who can sing tenor.

  • The superior man is distressed by his want of ability.

  • The wind and the waves are always on the side of the ablest navigators.

  • There is something that is much more scarce, something finer far, something rarer than ability. It is the ability to recognize ability.

  • They are able because they think they are able.
    • Vergil

  • There are no stupid questions, only stupid people.
    • Anonymous

  • We all have ability. The difference is how we use it.

  • When one must, one can.
    • Proverb in many languages

  • Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right.

  • It's no use saying we are doing our best. You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.

  • I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestioned ability of a man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.

  • Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the things you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not...
    • Thomas H. Huxley

  • No man is without some quality, by the due application of which he might deserve well of the world; and whoever he be that has but little in his power should be in haste to do that little, lest he be confounded with him that can do nothing.
    • Dr. Johnson

  • We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.

  • Every person is responsible for all the good within the scope of his abilities, and for no more.

  • The possession of great powers no doubt carries with it a contempt for mere external show.
    • James A. Garfield

  • The art of using moderate abilities to advantage wins praise, and often acquires more reputation than actual brilliancy.



  • Natural ability can almost compensate for the want of every kind of cultivation; but no cultivation of the mind can make up for the want of natural ability.
    • Schopenhauer

  • Native ability without education is like a tree without fruit.