Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Ability

"The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise." -

"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." - Henry Ford

"If there is any secret to success, it lies in the ability to get the other person's point of view and see things from his angle as well as from your own." - Henry Ford

"Respect is not fear and awe; it...is the ability to see a person as he is, to be aware of his unique individuality. Respect, thus, implies the absence of exploitation. I want the loved person to grow and unfold for his own sake, and in his own ways, and not for the purpose of serving me." -

"Humans have the ability to act consciously, and collectively, [exercising foresight to] choose their own evolutionary path. In our crucial epoch we cannot leave the selection of the next step in the evolution of human society and culture to chance. We must plan for it, consciously and purposefully." -

"Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there." - Abraham Lincoln

"Each struggle, each defeat, sharpens your skills and strengths, your courage and your endurance, your ability and your confidence."" - Og Mandino

"Obstacles are necessary for success because in selling, as in all careers of importance, victory comes only after many struggles and countless defeats. Yet each struggle, each defeat, sharpens your skills and strengths, your courage and your endurance, your ability and your confidence and thus each obstacle is a comrade-in-arms forcing you to become better or quit. Each rebuff is an opportunity to move forward; turn away from them, avoid them, and you throw away your future." - Og Mandino

"You are not here to fritter away your precious hours when you have the ability to accomplish so much by making a slight change in your routine." - Og Mandino

"The value and force of a man's judgment can be measured by his ability to think independently of his temperamental leanings." - Alice Beal Parsons

"The test of a successful person is not an ability to eliminate all problems before they arise, but to meet and work out difficulties when they do arise. We must be willing to make an intelligent compromise with perfection lest we wait forever before taking action. It's still good advice to cross bridges as we come to them." -

"The ability to focus attention on important things is a defining characteristic of intelligence." - Robert J. Shiller, fully Robert James "Bob" Shiller

"Our contemporary concern about meaning is peculiar to the modern world. It arises from our relative wealth and freedom in the context of malaise, even despair, about man's ability to achieve lasting and genuine happiness." - Irving Singer

"In order to change, one must first assume responsibility: one must commit oneself to some action. The word "responsibility" itself denotes that capability: "response"+"ability" - that is the ability to respond." - Irvin David Yalom

"The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness." - Abraham Harold Maslow

"I can feel guilty about the past, apprehensive about the future, but only in the present can I act. The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness." - Abraham Harold Maslow

"The certainty of a God giving meaning to life far surpasses in attractiveness the ability to behave badly with impunity. The choice would not be hard to make. But there is no choice and that is where the bitterness comes in. The absurd does not liberate; it binds. It does not authorize all actions. Everything is permitted does not mean that nothing is forbidden. The absurd merely confers an equivalence on the consequences of those actions." - Albert Camus

"The certainty of a God giving meaning to life far surpasses in attractiveness the ability to behave badly with impunity. The choice would not be hard to make. But there is no choice and that is where the bitterness comes in. The absurd does not liberate; it binds. It does not authorize all actions. Everything is permitted does not mean that nothing is forbidden. The absurd merely confers an equivalence on the consequences of those actions." -

"Power is defined [as] the ability to make certain things happen, or to prevent certain things from happening." - Alvin Toffler

"The greatest gift that extraordinarily successful people have over the average person is their ability to get themselves to take action." - Anthony "Tony" Robbins

"Supreme Being is as impartial as the sun. If one flower bud opens when the run arise and another does not, it is due to its own preparedness and not to any partiality of the sun. Similarly, Divine Grace flows everywhere, always; it is only man’s willingness and ability to respond to it that varies. Supreme Being cannot be propitiated. Being all benevolence, it can not be induced to become more benevolent to one than to another or in one instance than in another. All things manifest Supreme Being in its innumerable aspects; all things issue forth from it and return to it." - Arthur W Osborn

"Our ability to relax into life reflects our willingness to trust." - Author Unknown NULL

"Peace is not the absence of conflict from life, but the ability to cope with it." - Author Unknown NULL

"Wealth is the product of man's ability to think." - Ayn Rand, born Alisa Zinovyevna Rosenbaum

"Great ability develops and reveals itself increasingly with every new assignment." - Baltasar Gracián

"The primary cause of success in life is the ability to set and achieve goals. That’s why the people who do not have goals are doomed forever to work for those who do. You either work to achieve your own goals or you work to achieve someone else’s." - Brian Tracy

"Experience shows that success is due less to ability than to zeal. The winner is he who gives himself to his work body and soul." - Charles Buxton

"Real wealth is determined by the level of your ability to live our your dreams." - Charles J. Givens

"Virtue in a rich person is the ability to give, in a poor man it is the refusal to beg, in a man of high position it is a humble attitude towards fellowmen, and in a man of low position it is the ability to see through life." - Chinese Proverbs

"A dog is not considered good because of his barking, and a man is not considered clever because of his ability to talk." - Chuang Tzu, also spelled Chuang-tsze, Chuang Chou, Zhuangzi, Zhuang Tze, Zhuang Zhou, Chuang Tsu, Chouang-Dsi, Chuang Tse, or Chuangtze

"Time goes by: reputation increases, ability decline." - Dag Hammarskjöld

"Time goes by; reputation increases, ability declines." - Dag Hammarskjöld

"Let us not get so busy or live so fast that we can't listen to the music of the meadow or the symphony that glorifies the forest. Some things in the world are far more important than wealth; one of them is the ability to enjoy simple things." - Dale Carnegie, originally spelled Dale Carnegey

"Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make you a far happier and more productive person." - David M. Burns

"Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life." - David M. Burns

"The author of genius does keep till his last breath the spontaneity, the ready sensitiveness, of a child, the "innocence of eye" that means so much to the painter, the ability to respond freshly and quickly to new scenes, and to old scenes as though they were new; to see traits and characteristics as though each were new-minted from the hand of God instead of sorting them quickly into dusty categories and pigeon-holing them without wonder or surprise; to feel situations so immediately and keenly that the word "trite" has hardly any meaning for him; and always to see "the correspondences between things" of which Aristotle spoke two thousand years ago." - Dorothea Brande

"You must not retain for one instant any man in a responsible position where you have become doubtful of his ability to do the job… This matter frequently calls for more courage than any other thing you will have to do, but I expect you to be perfectly cold-blooded about it." - Dwight Eisenhower, fully Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower

"A disposition to preserve, and an ability to improve, taken together, would be my standard of a statesman." - Edmund Burke

"A retentive memory may be a good thing, but the ability to forget is the true token of greatness." - Elbert Green Hubbard

"It is a fine thing to have ability, but the ability to discover ability in others is the true test." - Elbert Green Hubbard

"The link between ideas and action is rarely direct. There is almost always an intermediate step in which the idea is overcome. De Tocqueville points out that it is at times when passions start to govern human affairs that ideas are most obviously translated into political action. The translation of ideas into action is usually in the hands of people least likely to follow rational motives. Hence, it is that action is often the nemesis of ideas, and sometimes of the men who formulate them. One of the marks of the truly vigorous society is the ability to dispense with passion as a midwife of action - the ability to pass directly from thought to action." - Eric Hoffer

"They who lack talent expect things to happen without effort. They ascribe failure to a lack of inspiration or ability, or to misfortune, rather than to insufficient application. At the core of every true talent there is an awareness of the difficulties inherent in any achievement, and the confidence that by persistence and patience something worthwhile will be realized. Thus talent is a species of vigor." - Eric Hoffer

"Freedom of judgment can be attained only when we learn to estimate an individual according to his own ability and character." - Ernst P. Boas

"The art of archery is not an athletic ability mastered more or less through primarily physical practice, but rather a skill with its origin in mental exercise and with its object consisting in mentally hitting the mark. Therefore, the archer is basically aiming himself. Through this, perhaps, he will succeed in hitting the target - his essential self." - Eugen Herrigel

"Reading serves for delight, for ornament, for ability. The crafty condemn it; the simple admire it; the wise use it." - Francis Bacon

"Studies serve for delight, for ornament, and for ability. Their chief use for delight is in privateness and retiring; for ornament is in discourse; and ability is in the judgment and disposition of business. For expert men can execute, and, perhaps, judge of particulars, one by one; but the general counsels and the plots and marshaling of affairs come best from those that are learned." - Francis Bacon

"The true test of being comfortable with someone else is the ability to share silence." - Frank Tyger

"All wise men share one trait in common: the ability to listen." - Frank Tyger

"Youth is happy because it has the ability to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old." - Franz Kafka

"This is the seal of the absolute and sublime destiny of man - that he knows what is good and what is evil; that his destiny is his very ability to will either good or evil." - Georg Hegel, fully Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel