Eloquent Ability Advice By Aristotle, Confucius, René Descartes And Other Great Personalities

These insightful ability advice by influential personalities are quoted from various reliable sources.

Anyway, 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.

ability adviceThere 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 Advice With Citations

Anyway, now let’s find out these ability advice 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

(Born To Win: Find Your Success Code By Zig Ziglar, Tom Ziglar, AudioInk, 2012, Ch. Ten, The Power Of Encouragement And Hope, Encouragement Creates Hope)


“It’s not what you’ve got; it’s what you use that makes a difference.” – Zig Ziglar

(Born To Win: Find Your Success Code By Zig Ziglar, Tom Zaglar, AudioInk, 2012, Ch. Ten, The Power Of Encouragement And Hope, Encouragement Creates Hope)


At times we’re limited, not by our abilities, but by our lack of courage.” – Quotationize


“The man who is fitted out by nature, and sent into the world with great abilities, is capable of doing great good or mischief in it.” – Joseph Addison

(The Works Of Joseph Addison, Complete In Three Volumes, Embracing The Whole Of The “Spectator,” & C, Vol. I, New York: Harper & Brothers, 1842, The Spectator, No. 224, Friday, November 16, 1711, P. 328)

(The quote is also found in: The Spectator: With Notes And General Index, From The London Stereotype Edition, Complete In Two Volumes, Vol. I, Philadelphia: Published By J. J. Woodward, 1832, No. 224, Friday, November 16, 1711, P. 328)

(Another source of the quote: The Spectator, A New Edition, With Introduction, Notes, And Index By Henry Morley, In Three Volumes, Vol. II, London: George Routledge And Sons, Limited, 1891, No. 224, Friday, November 16, 1711-Hughes)


“What you are capable of achieving is determined by your talent and ability. What you attempt to do is determined by your motivation. How well you do something is determined by your attitude.” – Lou Holtz

(Winning Every Day: The Game Plan For Success By Lou Holtz, Foreword By Harvey Mackey, Harper Collins, 2009, Introduction: The Game Plan For Success, 1. The Power Of Attitude)

(The second part of the quote is here.)


“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

(‪You Can If You Think You Can By Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, Simon and Schuster, 2013, Two: So What’s Your Problem? You Can Handle It, Free Ice Water, P. 36)


“It requires great ability to found states and governments, but only common talent to carry them on.” – Wendell Philips

(Speeches, Lectures, And Letters By Wendell Philips, Boston: Lee And Shepard, Publishers, 1884, Lincoln’s Election, P. 306)

(The quote is also found here.)


“In general the sign of knowledge or ignorance is the ability to teach, and for this reason we hold that art rather than experience is scientific knowledge…” – Aristotle

(The Metaphysics Books I-IX By Aristotle, With English Translation By Hugh Tredennick, Lon: William Heinemann Ltd., New York:: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, Book I)

(The quote is also found in: Aristotle By Abraham Edel, Dell Publishing Company, 1967, P. 315)


You will be surprised how strong you are, if you’ve a strong belief in your ability.” – Quotationize


” …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 G. F. Graham, Edited, With An Introduction And Illustrative Authorities By Henry Reed, LL.D., New York: D. Appleton & Company, 1851, Section II, Active And Passive Synonymes, Ability-Capacity, P. 103)

(The quote is also found here.)


” … we rate ability in men by what they finish, not by what they attempt.” – Norman Macdonald

(Maxims And Moral Reflections By Norman Macdonald, New York: Collins & Hannay, 1827, Maxims, Series I, 35, P. 19)


Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there.” – John Wooden

(They Call Me Coach By John Wooden, Jack Tobin, McGraw-Hill, 2004, 23, P. 152)


“Ability comprehends the power of doing in general, without specifying the quality or degree…” – George Crabb

(English Synonyms Explained, In Alphabetical Order With Copious Illustrations And Examples, By George Crabb, London: George Routledge And Sons, Ability, P. 10)

(The quote is also found in: English Synonyms Explained, In Alphabetical Order With Copious Illustrations And Examples, By George Crabb, London: Baldwin, Cradock , And Joy, 1816, Ability, P. 9)


“Every person is responsible for all the good within the scope of his abilities, and for no more… ” – Gail Hamilton

(Country Living And Country Thinking By Gail Hamilton, Boston: Ticknor And Fields, 1864, Men And Women, P. 167)


“The gentleman is troubled by his own lack of ability, not by the failure of others to appreciate him.” – Confucius

“君子病無能焉,不病人之不己知也。” (Mandarin)

(The Analects Sayings Of Confucius Translated By D.C. Lau, 15:19)

(The quote is also found in: The Analects By Confucius, Translated By D.C. Lau, Dorset Press, 1986, 15:19, P. 134)

Another English translation of the quote is:

“The superior man is distressed by his want of ability. He is not distressed by men’s not knowing him.” – Confucius

(The Analects Of Confucius, Translated By James Legge, Book 15: Wei Ling Gong, 15:19)


“Men, like bullets, go farthest when they are smoothest… ” – Jean Paul Friedrich Richter

“Die Menschen gehen wie Schießkugeln weiter, wenn sie abgeglättet sind… “ (German)

(Titan: A Roman From The German Of Jean Paul Friedrich Richter, Translated By Charles T. Brooks, In Two Volumes, Vol. I, Boston: Ticknor And Fields, 1862, Fourth Jubilee, 26. Cycle, P. 156)

(The quote is also found in: Titan: A Roman From The German Of Jean Paul Friedrich Richter, Translated By Charles T. Brooks, In Two Volumes, Vol. I, New York: Henry Holt And Company, 1877, Fourth Jubilee, 26. Cycle, P. 156)

(The quote in German is found in: Jean Paul Richter: Titan, Kapitel 33, 26. Zykel)

(The quote in German is also found in: Titan Von Jean Paul, Erster Band, Berlin, 1800, Kapitel 33, 26. Zykel, P. 262)


“Success is the maximum utilization of the ability that you have.” – Zig Ziglar

(Inspiration From The Top: A Collection Of My Favorite Quotes By Zig Ziglar, Thomas Nelson Inc, 2012, P. 154)


“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)

(Discourse On The Method Of Rightly Conducting One’s Reason And Of Seeking Truth In The Sciences By René Descartes, Part 1, P. 1)

Another English translation of the quote is:

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., Illinois: The Open Court Publishing Company, 1899, Discourse On Method, Part I, P. 1)

(The 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, Paris: Editions Dezobry, 1863, Premiére Partie, Diverses Considérations Toughant Les Sciences, P. 18 )

(The quote inFrench is also found 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

(The Booker T. Washington Papers: 1903-4 By Booker T. Washington, Louis R. Harlan, And Raymond W. Smock, Editors, University Of Illinois Press, 1977, 31 July 1903, An Account Of The Boston Riot In The Boston Globe, Conditions In Boston, P. 235)

(The quote is also found here.)

Note: An Address to the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Boston, Massachusetts, 30 July 1903


“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.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

“Primum argumentum conpositae mentis existimo posse consistere et secum morari.” (Latin)

(Letters From A Stoic: All In Three Volumes By Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Translated By Richard Mott Gummere, Enhanced Media, 2015, Letter II- On Discursiveness in Reading, P. 8)

(Another source of the 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)

(The quote in Latin is found in: Seneca Ad Lucilium Epistulae Morales, With An English Translation By Richard M. Gummere, In Three Volumes, Vol. I, London: William Heinemann, 1918, The Epistles Of Seneca, II. Seneca Lvcilio Svo Saltem, P. 6)

(The quote in Latin is also found in: L Annaei Seneca Ad Lucilium Epistulae Morales Selectae: Für Den Schulgebrauch, Gotha, F.A. Perthes, 1913, P. 15)


“To be able to look back upon ones life in satisfaction, is to live twice.” – Kahlil Gibran

(Tears And Laughter By Kahlil Gibran, Edited By Martin L. Wolf, Open Road Media, 2011, Gibran Quotes)


“… we judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

(Kavanagh: A Tale By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Illustrated With Original Designs By Birket Foster, London: W. Kent And Co. (Late D. Bogue), 1858, Ch. I, P. 10)

(The quote is also found in: Kavanagh: A Tale By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Edited For The Modern Reader By Jean Downey, New Haven, Connecticut: College & University Press, 1965, Ch. I, P. 27)

(Another source of the quoteis found in: Kavanagh, A Tale By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Boston: Ticknor, Reed, And Fields, 1849, Ch. 1, P. 3)


“Ability wins us the esteem of the true men; luck that of the people.” – François De La Rochefoucauld

“Nous attire l’estime des honnêtes gens, et notre étoile celle du public.” (French)

(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, London: Simpson Low, Marston & Company, Ltd., 1898, 165, P. 21)

(The quote is also found in: 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, New York: Scribner, Welford And Co., 1871, 165, P. 21)

(The quote in French is found in: Réflexions Ou Sentences Et Maximes Morales De La Rochefoucauld, Édition Louis Lacour, Imprimée Par D. Jouaust, Paris: Académie Des Bibliophiles, 1868, 165, P. 54)

(The quote in French is also found in: Collected La Rochefoucauld Maxims And Other Reflections, Translated With An Introduction And Notes By E. H. And A. M. Blackmore And Francine Giguére, Oxford University Press, 2007, Moral Reflections Or Sententiae And Maxims: Fifth Edition, 1678, V: 165, P. 46)


“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” – John Wooden

(They Call Me Coach By John Wooden, Jack Tobin, Word Books, 1972, 7, P. 50)

(The 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

(The Multicultural Dictionary Of Proverbs: Over 20,000 Adages From More Than 120 Languages, Nationalities and Ethnic Groups By Harold V. Cordry, McFarland, 2005, Thought And Language, 17627, P. 260)


“… all may do what has by man been done. – Edward Young

(The Complaint; Or Night Thoughts On Life, Death, And Immortality By Edward Young, With The Life Of The Author, London: Thomas Tegg, 1812, The Complaint, Night The Sixth, The Infidel Reclaimed, Part I, P. 128)

(The quote is also found in: Night Thoughts, On Life, Death, And Immortality By Edward Young, New-York: R. & W. A. Bartow, 1818, The Complaint, Night VI, The Infidel Reclaimed, Part I, P. 133)


“Who does the best his circumstance allows, does well, acts nobly, angels could no more.” – Edward Young

(The Complaint; Or Night Thoughts On Life, Death, And Immortality By Edward Young, With The Life Of The Author, London: Thomas Tegg, 1812, The Complaint, Night The Second, On Time, Death, And Friendship, P. 18)

(The quote is also found in: Night Thoughts, On Life, Death, And Immortality By Edward Young, New-York: R. & W. A. Bartow, 1818, The Complaint, Night II, On Time, Death, And Friendship, P. 24)


“Martyrdom… is the only way in which a man can become famous without ability.” – George Bernard Shaw

(The Devil’s Disciple: A Melodrama By Bernard Shaw, New York: Brentano’s Publishers, 1906, Act III, P. 56)

(The quote is also found in: The Devil’s Disciple A Melodrama In Three Acts By George Bernard Shaw, New York: Cosimo Inc, 2006, Act III, P. 58)


“Cowardice, as distinguished from panic, is almost always simply a lack of ability to suspend the functioning of the imagination.” – Ernest Hemingway

(Men At War: The Best War Stories Of All Time, Edited With An Introduction By Ernest Hemingway, Based On A Plan By William Kozlenko, New Complete Edition, New York: Bramhall House, 1979, Introduction By Ernest Hemingway, P. XXIV)

(The quote is also found in: Men At War: The Best War Stories Of All Time, Edited With An Introduction By Ernest Hemingway, Based On A Plan By William Kozlenko, Crown Publishers, Inc., 1942, Introduction By Ernest Hemingway, P. 17)


“…for 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, London: Longmans & Co., 1870, L. Of Studies, P. 497)

(The quote is also found in: The Works Of Francis Bacon, Lord Chancellor Of England: A New Edition: By Basil Montagu, Esq., Vol. I, William Pickering, 1825, L. Of Studies, P. 167)


“They can because they think they can.” – Virgil

“Possunt, quia posse videntur.” (Latin)

(The Aeneid Of Virgil By Virgil, Translated Into English Verse By John Conington, New York: A. C. Armstrong And Son, 1886; Book V, P. 153)

(The quote is also found in: The Aeneis Of Virgil, Translated Into Blank Verse By Joseph Trapp, Volume The First, London: Great Neck Publishing., 1718, Remarks Upon The Fifth Book, P. 427)

Another English translation of the quote is:

“For they can conquer, who believe they can.” – Virgil

(The Aeneid By Virgil, Translated By John Dryden, P.F. Collier & Son, 1909, The Fifth Book of the Aeneis)

(The quote in Latin is found in: Vergil Aeneid 5, Edited By Joseph Farrell And Randall Ganiban, Indiana: Hackett Publishing Company, 2014,  Liber Quintes, P. 47)

(The quote in Latin is also found in: Virgil’s Aeneid, Book I – Vi, The Original Text With A Literal Interlinear Translation,  By Frederick Holland  Dewey, Nedw York: Translation Publishing Company, Inc., 1917, Book V, P. 215)


“For what it lies in our power to do, it lies in our power not to do…” – Aristotle

(The Ethics Of Aristotle: The Nicomachean Ethics, Translated By James Alexander Kerr Thomson, Allen & Unwin, 1953, Book III, Ch. VII, P.73)

(The quote is also found in: The Ethics Of Aristotle: The Nicomachean Ethics, Penguin Books, 1959, P. 89)

Another English translation of the quote is:

“Because wherever it is in our power to do, it is also in our power to forbear doing…” – Aristotle

(The Nicomachean Ethics By Aristotle, Translated From The Greek By The Rev. D. P. Chase, George Routledge & Sons, 1910, Book III, Ch. VII, Of The Free Agancy Of Man, P. 71)


“…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

(Business By Andrew Carnagie, Whitman Publishing Company, 1916, P. 12)


“There is great ability in knowing how to conceal one’s ability.” – Francois De La Rochefoucauld

“C’est une grande habileté que de savoir cacher son habileté.” (French)

(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, London: 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)

(The quote in French is found in: Réflexions Ou Sentences Et Maximes Morales De La Rochefoucauld, Édition Louis Lacour, Imprimée Par D. Jouaust, Paris: Académie Des Bibliophiles, 1868, 245, P. 80)

(The quote in French is also found in: Collected La Rochefoucauld Maxims And Other Reflections, Translated With An Introduction And Notes By E. H. And A. M. Blackmore And Francine Giguére, Oxford University Press, 2007, Moral Reflections Or Sententiae And Maxims: Fifth Edition, 1678 (V), V: 245, P. 70)


“No one can make a start, however outstanding his abilities, if he lacks scope and opportunity and a patron to support him.” – Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus (Pliny The Younger)

“Neque enim cuiquam tam statim clarum ingenium est, ut possit emergere; nisi ill materia, occasio, fautor etiam, commendatorque contingat.” (Latin)

(The Letters Of The Younger Pliny, With An English Translation By Betty Radice, Penguin UK, 2003, 23. To Triarius)

(The quote is also found in: Letters And Panegyricus [Of] Pliny, With An English Translation By Betty Radice, Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1969, 23. To Triarius, P. 455)

(The quote in Latin is found in: Quintilien Et Pline Le Jeune: Oeuvres Complètes Avec La Traduction En Francais, Publiees Sous La Direction De M. Nisard, Paris, Chez Firmin Didot Fréres, Fils Et Cie, 1865, Pline Le Jeune, Livre Sixième, Lettre XXIII, C. Pline A Triarius Suo S, P. 619)

(The quote in Latin is also found in: Quintilien Et Pline Le Jeune, Oeuvres Complètes, Avec La Traduction En Francais, Publiees Sous La Direction De M. Nisard, Paris, J. J. Dubochet Et Compagnie, Éditeurs, 1842, Pline Le Jeune, Livre Sixième, Lettre XXIII, C. Pline A Triarius Suo S, P. 619)

(Another source of the quote in Latin is found here.)


“As we advance in life, we learn the limits of our abilities.” – James Anthony Froude

(Short Studies On Great Subjects, Volume II By James Anthony Froude, University Press Of The Pacific, 2004, Education, An Address Delivered To The Students At St. Andrew’s, March 19, 1869, P. 439)

(The quote is also found in: Littell’s Living Age Conducted By E. Littell, Fourth Series, Volume XIII, From The Beginning, Vol. CI, April, May, June, 1869, Boston: Littell And Gay, 1869, Littell’s Living Age, No. 1302 – May 15, 1869, 1. Inaugural Address At The University Of St. Andrew’s, P. 387)


“…we rate ability in men by what they finish, not by what they attempt.” – Norman MacDonald

(Maxims And Moral Reflections By Norman MacDonald, Collins & Hannay, 1827, Reflections 35, P. 19)


“…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.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

(“The Crack-Up”: A Desolately Frank Document From One For Whom The Salt Of Life Has Lost Its Savor, Part I: The Crack-Up, Esquire The Magazine For Men, February 1, 1936, P. 41)

(You can view the page here.)

(The quote is also found in: Esquire: The Magazine For Men, Volume 97, By William S. Burroughs, Esquire Publishing Company, 1982, P.74)

(Another source of the quote: My Lost City: Personal Essays, 190-1940 By F. Scott Fitzgerald, Edited By James L. W. West III, Cambridge University Press, 2005, The Crack-Up, P. 139)


“An able man shows his spirit by gentle words and resolute actions. He is neither hot nor timid.” – Lord Chesterfield

(The Modern Chesterfield By Lord Chesterfield Maxims Of Lord Chesterfield, Prepared For His Son, January 15, 1753, Selected And Edited, Wildside Press LLC, 2008, P. 246)

(The quote is also found in: Letters Written By The Late Right Honourable Philip Dormer Stanhope, Earl Of Chesterfield, To His Son, Philip Stanhope, Together With Several Other Pieces On Various Subjects, Published By Mrs. Eugenia Stanhope, From The Originals Now In Her Possession, In Two Volumes, Volume II, 1774-1775, Miscellaneous Pieces, Maxims, P. 516)


“The art of using moderate abilities to advantage wins praise, and often acquires more reputation than real brilliancy.”  – Francois De La Rochefoucauld

“L’art de savoir bien mettre en œuvre de médiocres qualités dérobe l’estime, et donne souvent plus de réputation que le véritable mérite.” (French)

(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)

(The quote in French is found in: Maximes Et Réflexions Morales Du Duc De La Rochefoucauld, Paris: Ménard Et Desenne, Fils, 1817, CLXII, P. 35)

(The quote in French is also found in: Collected La Rochefoucauld Maxims And Other Reflections, Translated With An Introduction And Notes By E. H. And A. M. Blackmore And Francine Giguére, Oxford University Press, 2007, Moral Reflections Or Sententiae And Maxims: Fifth Edition, 1678 (V), V: 162, P. 46)


“With moderate abilities modesty is mere honesty; but with great talent it is hypocrisy.” – Arthur Schopenhauer

“Bescheidenheit bei mittelmäßigen Fähigkeiten ist bloße Ehrlichkeit. Bei großen Talenten ist sie Heuchelei.” (German)

(Parerga And Paralipo: Short Philosophical Essays By Arthur Schopenhauer, Translated From The German By E. F. J. Payne, Volume Two, Clarendon Press, 2000, XXVI. Psychological Remarks, 343, P. 603)

Another English translation of the quote is:

“With people of only moderate ability modesty is merely honesty; but with those who possess great talent, it is hypocrisy.” – Arthur Schopenhauer

(Essays From The Parerga And Paralipomena By Arthur Schopenhauer, Translated From German By Thomas Bailey Saunders, George Allen And Unwin, 1951, Psychological Observations, P. 44)

(The quote in German is found in: Parerga Und Paralipomena: kleine Philosophische Schriften, Von Arthur Schopenhauer, Zweite verbesserte Und Beträchtlich Vermehrte Auflage, Aus Dem Handschriftlichen Nachlasse Des Verfassers herausgegeben von Julius Frauenstädt, Zweiter Band, Berlin: A. W. Hahn, 1862, Kapitel XXVI, Psychologische Bemerkungen, 355, P. 638)

(The quote in German is also found in: Parerga Und Paralipomena: kleine Philosophische Schriften, Von Arthur Schopenhauer, Zweiter Band, Leipzig: F. A. Brockhaus, 1874, Kapitel XXVI, Psychologische Bemerkungen, 355, P. 638)


“Ability wins us the esteem of the true men; luck that of the people.” – Francois De La Rochefoucauld

“Notre mérite nous attire l’estime des honnêtes gens, et notre étoile celle du public.” (French)

(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)

(The quote in French is found in: Maximes Et Réflexions Morales Du Duc De La Rochefoucauld, Paris: Ménard Et Desenne, Fils, 1817, CLXV, P. 36)

(The quote in French is also found in: Collected La Rochefoucauld Maxims And Other Reflections, Translated With An Introduction And Notes By E. H. And A. M. Blackmore And Francine Giguére, Oxford University Press, 2007, Moral Reflections Or Sententiae And Maxims: Fifth Edition, 1678 (V), V: 165, P. 46)


“… the winds and waves are always on the side of the ablest navigators.” – Edward Gibbon

(The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire By Edwards Gibbon, Verbatim Reprint, In Three Volumes, Vol.III, London: Frederick Warne And Co., no date circ, Ch. LXVIII, A.D. 1453, Succour And Victory Of Four Ships, P. 718)

(The quote is also found in: The History Of The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire By Edwards Gibbon, A New Edition In One Volume,: With Some Account Of The Life And Writings Of The Author, By Alexander Chalmers, London: Printed For T. Cadell, Strand, 1837, Ch. LXVIII, Succour And Victory Of Four Ships, P. 1176)


“For human ability is an unequal match for the violent and unforeseen vicissitudes of the world.” – Hugh Blair

(Sermons, Volume 1 By Hugh Blair, Hickman & Hazzard, 1822, Sermon II, On The Influence Of Religion Upon Adversity, P.40)


“Many persons go to the grave with unrecognized abilities, having failed either to find opportunity or to recognize it when it came” – Robert Brown Asrey

(The Rise of Napoleon Bonaparte By Robert B. Asprey, Basic Books, 2000, Chapter 11: Fall And RedemptionJune 1794-May 1795, P. 102)


“A man must not deny his manifest abilities, for that is to evade his obligations.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

(The Treasure Of Franchard By Robert Louis Stevenson, Chapter V, Treasure Trove)

(The quote is also found in: The Merry Men, And Other Tales And Fables By Robert Louis Stevenson, iUniverse, 2000, The Treasure of Franchard, Chapter 5, Treasure Trove, P. 169)


“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

(Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Annual Message To Congress, January 4, 1935)

(The 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

(Ultimate Leadership: Maximize Your Potential and Empower Your Team By John Maxwell, Thomas Nelson Inc, 2007, The Law Of The Lid, Success Without Leadership, P. 16)


“There are some persons who only disgust with their abilities, there are persons who please even with their faults.” – Francois De La Rochefoucauld

“Il y a des gens dégoûtants avec du mérite, et d’autres qui plaisent avec des défauts.” (French)

(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, London: Simpson Low, Marston & Company, Ltd., 1898, 155, P. 20)

(The quote is also found in: 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, New York: Scribner, Welford And Co., 1871, 155, P. 20)

(The quote in French is found in: Réflexions Ou Sentences Et Maximes Morales De La Rochefoucauld, Édition Louis Lacour, Imprimée Par D. Jouaust, Paris: Académie Des Bibliophiles, 1868, 155, P. 51)

(The quote in French is also found in: Collected La Rochefoucauld Maxims And Other Reflections, Translated With An Introduction And Notes By E. H. And A. M. Blackmore And Francine Giguére, Oxford University Press, 2007, Moral Reflections Or Sententiae And Maxims: Fifth Edition, 1678 (V), V: 155, P. 44)


“Few of us have abilities to know all the ill we occasion.” – François De La Rochefoucauld

“Il n’y a gueres d’homme assez habile pour connoistre tout le mal qu’il fait.” (French)

(The Duke De La Rochefoucauld’s Maxims And Moral Reflections, With A Biographical Preface And And Appendix By The Editor, New York: G & C. Carvill & Co., 1835, Ability, 3, P. 12)

(The quote is also found in: Maxims And Moral Reflections By The Duke De La Rochefoucauld, With A Memoir Of The Author By The Chevalier De Chatelain, London: William Tegg, 1868, Ability, V, P. 2)

(The quote in French is found in: Réflexions Ou Sentences Et Maximes Morales De La Rochefoucauld, Édition Louis Lacour, Imprimée Par D. Jouaust, Paris: Académie Des Bibliophiles, 1868, 269, P. 87)

(The quote in French is also found in: Maximes Et Réflexions Morales Du Duc De La Rochefoucauld, Paris: Ménard Et Desenne, Fils, 1817, CCLXXVII, P. 63)


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