Do you know that the famed car maker Henry Ford did not learn the limits of his abilities as he advanced in life?
What I’m trying to say is the quotation: “As we advance in life, we learn the limits of our abilities” is NOT by Henry Ford!
Henry Ford Did Not Learn The Limits Of His Abilities
As I have advanced in checking and verifying the sources of quotations, I learn that, there are limited credible quotation sites with citations.
Currently, there are countless wrongly attributed quotes found in many popular quotation websites, published books, magazines, newspapers and also gifts & merchandise.
Anyway, there is a similar quote by the British historian and novelist, James Anthony Froude.
“As we advance in life we learn the limits of our abilities” – James Anthony Froude
(Short Studies On Great Subjects By James Anthony Froude, Second Series, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1893, Education: An Address Delivered To The Students At St. Andrew’s March 19, 1869, P. 320) source
(This quote is also found in: Inaugural Address Delivered To The University Of St. Andrews, March 19, 1869 By James Anthony Froude, London: Longmans, Green, And Co., 1869, P. 3) source
This line is actually taken from an inaugural address Anthony Froude delivered to the University of St. Andrew’s on March 19, 1868.
English writer and historian James Anthony Froude is notoriously known for his scandalous 1849 novel “The Nemesis of Faith“.
By the way, I totally agree with this line “as we advance in life we learn the limits of our abilities“.
We have to accept the fact that there are limitations in life as we aged.
That include our physical, mental and spiritual capacities.
I am not saying those uplifting and motivational words: perseverance, tenacity, persistence, determination and positivity are balderdash or lies.
Or the popular mantra “keep your dream alive”.
Everything has its limit.
We must know and accept our limitations willingly and gracefully, as we advanced with age.
As what Foude said in the speech;
“As we advance in life, we learn the limits of our abilities. Our expectations for the future shrink to modest dimensions. The question with us is no longer what we shall do, but we have done.”
Similarly to what the great Roman orator Cicero said:
“…the fruit of old age, […] is the memory of abundant blessings previously acquired.” – Macus Tullius Cicero
“fructus autem senectutis est,[…], ante partorum bonorum memoria et copia.” (Latin)
(Cicero In Twenty-Nine Volumes, Vol. 20, Edited And Translated By William Armistead Falconer, Harvard University Press, 1923, P. 83) source
(The quote in Latin is found in: Cicero De Senectute (Cato Maior), A Dialogue On Old Age, Edited By Joseph Henry Allen, William Francis Allen, James Bradstreet Greenough, Boston: Ginn Brothers, 1875, On Old Age, XIX. 71, P. 26) source
Here is a great list of ability quotations you should check them out.