Quotes About Ability

Most popular ability quotes

Is there any delight as great as the child's discovering ability?


Ability is a poor man's wealth.
Every man loves what he is good at.
There is only one proof of ability—action.


Ability atrophies through lack of exercise.
Ability and necessity dwell near each other.


Ability is wont to grow old, and with it fame.
They are able because they think they are able.
Would that my ability was equal to my inclination.
Ability will never catch up with the demand for it.
The superior man is distressed by his want of ability.


We all have ability.  The difference is how we use it.
You cannot fly like an eagle with the wings of a wren.


Out of my lean and low ability
I'll lend you something.
Don't let your will roar when your power only whispers.


It is a great ability to be able to conceal one's ability.
The wicked are always surprised to find ability in the good.
As we advance in life, we learn the limits of our abilities.
Discipline is the refining fire by which talent becomes ability.

discipline talent

Ability without ambition is like kindling wood without the spark.


The ultimate high: A man's abilities equaling his opinion of 'em.
The superior man is distressed by the limitations of his ability.


The tragedy is that so many have ambition and so few have ability.


Abilities wither under criticism, they blossom under encouragement.

criticism encouragement

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


Ability wins us the esteem of the true men; luck that of the people.
Native ability without education is like a tree which bears no fruit.


We rate ability in men by what they finish, not by what they attempt.
Natural abilities are like natural plants, that need pruning by study.


The desire of appearing persons of ability often prevents our being so.
Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a good carpenter to build one.
Ability hits the mark where presumption overshoots and diffidence falls short.
There are many rare abilities in the world which Fortune never brings to light.


Great ability develops and reveals itself increasingly with every new assignment.
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.
When a workman knows the use of his tools, he can make a door as well as a window.


Ability is active power, or power to perform; as opposed to capacity, or power to receive.
The abilities of man must fall short on one side or other, like too scanty a blanket when you are a-bed.
Men who undertake considerable things, even in a regular way, ought to give us ground to presume ability.
He is a man of splendid abilities, but utterly corrupt.  He shines and stinks like rotten mackerel by moonlight.

witty insults

Ability and achievement are bona fides no one dares question, no matter how unconventional the man who presents them.
The art of using moderate abilities to advantage wins praise, and often acquires more reputation than actual brilliancy.
Natural ability without education has more often raised a man to glory and virtue than education without natural ability.
Intelligence is quickness to apprehend as distinct from ability, which is capacity to act wisely on the thing apprehended.


He is the best sailor who can steer within fewest points of the wind, and exact a motive power out of the greatest obstacles.
If you have great talents, industry will improve them: if you have but moderate abilities, industry will supply their deficiency.
He who has acquired the ability may wait securely the occasion of making it felt and appreciated, and know that it will not loiter.
A special ability means a heavy expenditure of energy in a particular direction, with a consequent drain from some other side of life.
There is something that is much more scarce, something finer far, something rarer than ability. It is the ability to recognize ability.
Ours is a very practical age, and no matter how skillfully a man play the game of life, there is but one test of his ability—did he win?
All great events hang by a hair.  The man of ability takes advantage of everything and neglects nothing that can give him a chance of success.
The superior man is distressed by the limitations of his ability; he is not distressed by the fact that men do not recognize the ability he has.


If money is your hope for independence you will never have it. The only real security that a man will have in this world is a reserve of knowledge, experience, and ability.

experience knowledge money

Ability is not something to be saved, like money, in the hope that you can draw interest on it.  The interest comes from the spending.  Unused ability, like unused muscles, will atrophy.
Thousands of men of great native ability have been lost to the world because they have not had to wrestle with obstacles, and to struggle under difficulties sufficient to stimulate into activity their dormant powers.
I believe that happiness consists in having a destiny in keeping with our abilities.  Our desires are things of the moment, often harmful even to ourselves; but our abilities are permanent, and their demands never cease.

destiny happiness

Ability, n. The natural equipment to accomplish some small part of the meaner ambitions distinguishing able men from dead ones.  In the last analysis, ability is commonly found to consist mainly in a high degree of solemnity.