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Limitations

  • I could never work with great spirit in any material unless I knew that the amount of it was limited—I had to be hedged in by a boundary of either space or material, in order to awaken the feeling of creative excitement.

  • Learning too soon our limitations, we never learn our powers.

  • Every limit is a beginning as well as an ending.

  • ... I have made my limitations tools of learning and true joy.

    • Helen Keller,
    • "Helen Keller at 80," in This Week Magazine ()
  • Some time in our lives every man and woman of us, putting out our hands toward the stars, touch on either side our prison walls the immutable limitations of temperament

  • When we refuse to accept our limitations, Nature, who is a stern realist, pays us out.

  • ... there is only one kind of wisdom that has any social value, and that is the knowledge of one's own limitations.

  • To know one's own limitations is the hallmark of competence.

  • A world based on machine images is a world filled with boundaries. In a machine, every piece knows its place.

  • Necessity can set me helpless on my back, but she cannot keep me there; nor can four walls limit my vision.

  • When I was young, my producer, George Tyler, told me that were I four inches taller I could become one of the greatest actresses of my time. I decided to lick my size. A string of teachers pulled and stretched till I felt I was in a medieval torture chamber. I gained nary an inch — but my posture become military. I became the tallest five-foot woman in the world. And my refusal to be limited by my limitations enabled me to play Mary of Scotland, one of the tallest queens in history.

    • Helen Hayes,
    • with Sandford Dody, On Reflection, An Autobiography ()
  • Oh, the glory of setting your own bounds and leaping around within them!

    • Jenny Read,
    • 1972, in Kathleen Doyle, ed., Jenny Read: In Pursuit of Art and Life ()
  • ... art transcends its limitations only by staying within them.

  • ... the basic experience of everyone is the experience of human limitation.

  • The human personality has no limitations except those which it accepts.

  • Great art likes chains. The greatest artists have created art within bounds. Or else they have created their own chains.

  • ... sometimes it's in your limitations that you find your greatest strengths.

  • We all have limits. A characteristic of the personally powerful person is the ability to recognize, accept, and respect those limits.

    • Mary Elizabeth Schlayer,
    • in Mary Elizabeth Schlayer with Marilyn H. Cooley, How to Be a Financially Secure Woman ()

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  • I work better the more I am confined and the less I am distracted. My ultimate place would be a closet.

    • ,
    • in The New York Times ()
  • ... the most important thing one can do for children is not accept the limitations they are so willing to impose on themselves.

    • Ruth Simmons,
    • in Marlo Thomas and Friends, The Right Words at the Right Time ()
  • To know one's limitations is a good and necessary thing for effective work in life. Now that I know what I can't do, I shall put more determination and whole-souled devotion in the work I can do.

    • Paula Sandburg,
    • letter to Charles Sandburg during their courtship (1908), in Penelope Niven, Charles Sandburg ()
  • The human race wished me to accept the limitations with which it had thoughtfully provided me.