Sunday, January 28, 2007

Curious about Capacity - In What Areas Do We Use Our Capacity? What Does Capacity Mean to You?

Definitions: 1) The power of receiving and holding ideas, knowledge, etc.; the comprehensiveness of the mind; the receptive faculty; capability of understanding or feeling.
2 ) Ability; power pertaining to, or resulting from, the possession of strength, wealth, or talent; possibility of being or of doing.
3) Outward condition or circumstances; occupation; profession; character; position; as, to work in the capacity of a mason or a carpenter.

Capacity spans a huge number of areas, attitudes and abilities. It also serves as a definition of how capable we are in a variety of pursuits. For example, what is our capacity for exercise and what are the circumstances that help and/or hinder our capacity? What is our capacity for learning, for understanding, for the wide range of communication, for leadership, creativity, for courage, and on and on.

Yes, capacity knows no limits. I discovered that as I found a plethora of capacity quotations from experts of all ages, professions and opinions. I feel that by sharing these, you will develop - as I have - a new respect for what capacity stands for. And, not just for you, but also for peers, friends, family members and the renowned.

Some general quotations:
  • Wealth is the product of man's capacity to think.” - Ayn Rand, Russian writer
  • And I find - I'm 63, and my capacity to be by myself and just spend time by myself hasn't diminished any. That's the necessary part of being a writer, you better like being alone.” - John Irving, American novelist
  • I just think that we're capable of so much more; we don't utilize all our capacity like we should.” - Marcus Allen, American athlete
  • The capacity you're thinking of is imagination; without it there can be no understanding, indeed no fiction.” - William Trevor, Irish writer
  • Using the power of decision gives you the capacity to get past any excuse to change any and every part of your life in an instant.” - Tony Robbins, American author

Defining terms by the use of the idea of capacity:

  • Genius... is the capacity to see ten things where the ordinary man sees one.” - Ezra Pound, American poet
  • Bravery is the capacity to perform properly even when scared half to death.” - Omar N. Bradley, American soldier
  • Freedom is man's capacity to take a hand in his own development. It is our capacity to mold ourselves.” - Rollo May, American psychologist
  • Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” - Mohandas Gandhi, Indian leader
  • Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” - Warren G. Bennis, American psychologist
  • The creative individual has the capacity to free himself from the web of social pressures in which the rest of us are caught. He is capable of questioning the assumptions that the rest of us accept.” - John W. Gardner, American educator
  • True genius resides in the capacity for evaluation of uncertain, hazardous, and conflicting information.” - Winston Churchill, English statesman

In addition, some capacity quotations with a bit of a twist:

  • Nature shows that with the growth of intelligence comes increased capacity for pain, and it is only with the highest degree of intelligence that suffering reaches its supreme point.” - Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher
  • The capacity to be puzzled is the premise of all creation, be it in art or in science.” - Erich Fromm, American psychologist
  • The capacity of human beings to bore one another seems to be vastly greater than that of any other animal.” - H. L. Mencken, American writer
  • One of the many interesting and surprising experiences of the beginner in child analysis is to find in even very young children a capacity for insight which is often far greater than that of adults.” - Melanie Klein, Austrian psychologist
  • Smiling is very important. If we are not able to smile, then the world will not have peace. It is not by going out for a demonstration against nuclear missiles that we can bring about peace. It is with our capacity of smiling, breathing, and being peace that we can make peace.” - Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese activist

So, what do you think? What capacities do you have? And what capacities would you like to strengthen? I would love to hear from you!

Here are a few quotations to take with you and chew upon this coming week:

  • We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.” - Martin Luther King, Jr., American leader
  • Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship. The act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth.” - Peter Drucker, American businessman
  • The capacity for hope is the most significant fact of life. It provides human beings with a sense of destination and the energy to get started.” - Norman Cousins, American editor