Check out this list of authentic ability quotes to bring out the best in you.
What is ability?
It is a broad term referring to possession of the talents and skills necessary to perform a current task.
In other words, it is what a person can do now.
According to dictionaries, ability is possessing the skill or capability of doing something.
Other concepts related to ability are: aptitude, capability, knowledge, power, intelligence and skill.
There is this insightful book by Catherine Nomura and Julia Waller, titled “Unique Ability: Creating the Life You Want“.
According to the authors, we all have a unique ability.
It is when we discover this special information about yourself, you can focus on what you know best and you’ll be happier, more productive and add more value to your life.
Ability Quotes To Bring Out The Best In You
Anyway, here are authentic ability quotes with full citations, to bring out your aptitude, capability, knowledge and skill:
“You are the only person on earth who can use your ability. If you learn from defeat, you haven’t really lost.” – Zig Ziglar
“It’s not what you’ve got; it’s what you use that makes a difference.” – Zig Ziglar
“We’re limited, not by our abilities, but by our lack of courage.” – Quotationize
“For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.” – Unknown
“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” – Unknown
Believe In Your Ability Quotes
“Believe that problems do have answers. Believe that they can be overcome. Believe that they can be handled. And finally, believe that you can solve them.” – Norman Vincent Peale
“Ability is nothing without opportunity.” – Unknown
“Ability will never catch up with the demand for it.” – Unknown
“It’s not just the attempt we make, but the ability to finish what we have started” – Quotationize
“The gentleman is troubled by his own lack of ability, not by the failure of others to appreciate him.” – Confucius
(This quote is aso found in: The Analects By Confucius, Translated By D.C. Lau, Dorset Press, 1986, 15:19; p.134)
“The junzi blames himself for lacking ability; he does not blame others for not recognizing him.” – Confucius
“Natural ability without education has more often attained to glory and virtue than education without natural ability.” – Unknown
“Success is the maximum utilization of the ability that you have.” – Zig Ziglar
“For it isn’t enough to have a good mind; what matters most is using it well.” – René Descartes
“Car ce n’est pas assez d’avoir l’esprit bon, mais le principal est de l’appliquer bien.” (French)
Another English translation:
“For to be possessed of a vigorous mind is not enough; the prime requisite is rightly to apply it.” – René Descartes
(Discourse On The Method Of Rightly Conducting One’s Reason And Of Seeking Truth In The Sciences By René Descartes, Translation From French And Collated With The Latin By John Veitch, L.L.D., The Open Court Publishing Company, 1899, Discourse On Method, Part I; p.1)
(The original quote in French is found in: Discours De La Méthode Pour Bien Conduire Sa Raison Et Chercher La vérité Dans Les Sciences, Par M. I. Carré, Editions Dezobry, 1863, Premiére Partie, Diverses Considérations Toughant Les Sciences; p.18 )
(You can also find the French version here.)
“…the world cares very little what you or I know, but it does care a great deal about what you and I do.” – Booker T. Washington
(Address To The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Boston, Massachusetts; 30 July 1903)
(The quote is found in: The Booker T. Washington Papers: 1903-4 By Booker T. Washington, Louis R. Harlan, University of Illinois Press, 1977, 31 July 1903, An Account Of The Boston Riot In The Boston Globe, Conditions In Boston; p.235)
“Life will always hands us problems, it’s our ability to handle them.” – Quotationize
“The primary indication, to my thinking, of a well-ordered mind is a man’s ability to remain in one place and linger in his own company.” – Seneca
(Another source of this quote in English is found in: Ad Lucilium Epistulae Morales, With An English Translation By Richard M. Gummere, London: William Heinemann New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1918, Epistle II: On Discursiveness In Reading; p.7)
“To be able to look back upon ones life in satisfaction, is to live twice.” – Kahlil Gibran
“Nothing so conclusively proves a man’s ability to lead others as what he does from day to day to lead himself.” – Thomas J. Watson, Sr.
“The height of ability consists in a thorough knowledge of the real value of things, and of the genius of the age in which we live.” – François De La Rochefoucauld
“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” – John Wooden
(This quote is also found in: They Call Me Coach By John Wooden, Jack Tobin, Bill Walton, Published By McGraw Hill Professional, 2004, 7 ; p.56)
“If you can’t bite, don’t show your teeth.” – Yiddish proverb
“Enduring setbacks while maintaining the ability to show others the way to go forward is a true test of leadership.” – Nitin Nohria
“Don’t measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but what you should have accomplished with your ability.” – Unknown
“Martyrdom… is the only way in which a man can become famous without ability.” – George Bernard Shaw
(The quote is also found here.)
“…we judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
(This quote is also found in: Kavanagh: A Tale By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Ticknor, Reed, And Fields, 1851, Chapter 1; p.3)
“…natural abilities are like natural plants; they need pruning by study.” – Francis Bacon
(The Works Of Francis Bacon, Baron Of Verulam, Viscount St. Alban, Lord High Chancellor Of England, Collected And edited By James Spedding, M.A., Robert Leslie Ellis, M.A. And Douglas Denon Heath, Vol.VI, Longmans & Co., 1870, L. Of Studies; p.497)
“They can because they think they can.” – Virgil
“Possunt, quia posse videntur” (Latin)
Another translation of this quotes:
“For they can conquer, who believe they can.” – Virgil
“…what it lies in our power to do, it lies in our power not to do.” – Aristotle
Another English translation:
“…wherever it is in our power to do, it is also in our power to forbear doing…” – Aristotle
“…ability is the power of applying knowledge to practical purposes.” – George Frederick Graham
(English Synonymes Classified and Explained: With Practical Exercises Designed for Schools and Private Tuition By George Frederick Graham, Henry Reed, D. Appleton, 1847, Section II. Active And Passive Synonymes; p.103)
“…for no amount of ability is of the slightest avail without honor.” – Andrew Carnegie
“It requires no small degree of ability to know when to conceal one’s ability.” – Francois De La Rochefoucauld
Another English translation:
“It requires no small degree of ability to know when to conceal it.” – Francois De La Rochefoucauld
“Ability is a poor man’s wealth.” – Unknown
“As we advance in life, we learn the limits of our abilities.” – James Anthony Froude
“…we rate ability in men by what they finish, not by what they attempt.” – Norman MacDonald
“Natural abilities 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 abilities.” – Unknown
“There is great ability in knowing how to conceal one’s ability.” – Francois De La Rochefoucauld
(Reflections;Or Sentences And Moral Maxims By Francois Duc De La Rochefoucauld, Prince De Marsillac, Translated By J. W. Willis Bund, M.A. LL.B And J. Hain Friswell, Simpson Low, Marston & Company, Ltd., 1898, 245; p. 31)
(This quote is also found in: Reflections: Or, Sentences and Moral Maxims By François Duc De La Rochefoucauld, Open Road Media, 2017, 245)
Limited Ability Quotes
“The art of using moderate abilities to advantage wins praise, and often acquires more reputation than real brilliancy.” – Francois De La Rochefoucauld
(Reflections;Or Sentences And Moral Maxims By Francois Duc De La Rochefoucauld, Prince De Marsillac, Translated By J. W. Willis Bund, M.A. LL.B And J. Hain Friswell, Simpson Low, Marston & Company, Ltd., 1898, 162; p.21)
(This quote is also found in: Reflections: Or, Sentences and Moral Maxims By François Duc De La Rochefoucauld, Open Road Media, 2017, 162)
“With moderate abilities modesty is mere honesty; but with great talent it is hypocrisy.” – Arthur Schopenhauer
Another English translation:
“With people of only moderate ability modesty is merely honesty; but with those who possess great talent, it is hypocrisy.” – Arthur Schopenhauer
“Ability wins us the esteem of the true men; luck that of the people.” – Francois De La Rochefoucauld
(Reflections;Or Sentences And Moral Maxims By Francois Duc De La Rochefoucauld, Prince De Marsillac, Translated By J. W. Willis Bund, M.A. LL.B And J. Hain Friswell, Simpson Low, Marston & Company, Ltd., 1898, 165; p.21)
(This quote is also found in: Reflections: Or, Sentences and Moral Maxims By François Duc De La Rochefoucauld, Open Road Media, 2017, 165)
“Ability without honor is useless.” – Unknown
“…human ability is an unequal match for the violent and unforeseen vicissitudes of the world.” – Hugh Blair
“Many persons go to the grave with unrecognized abilities, having failed either to find opportunity or to recognize it when it came” – Robert B. Asrey
“A man must not deny his manifest abilities, for that is to evade his obligations.” – Robert Louis Stevenson
Greater Ability Quotes
“We continue to recognize the greater ability of some to earn more than others. But we do assert that the ambition of the individual to obtain for him and his a proper security, a reasonable leisure, and a decent living throughout life, is an ambition to be preferred to the appetite for great wealth and great power.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt
(This quote is also found in: Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Second State Of The Union Address, January 4, 1935)
“The higher you want to climb, the more you need leadership. The greater the impact you want to make, the greater your influence needs to be. Whatever you will accomplish is restricted by your ability to lead others.” – John C. Maxwell
Some quotations above which are attributed to “Unknown“, is because I could not find their reliable sources.
Then there quotes which are credited to “Quotationize”. These quotes are originally coined by me.