Capacity, Capability and Potential

Capacity, Capability and Potential

Early stage of growth


Talent! There’s no such thing as talent. What they call talent is nothing but the capacity for doing continuous hard work in the right way ―Winslow Homer

If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves. ― Thomas A. Edison

Put all excuses aside and remember this: YOU are capable. ― Zig Ziglar

Within all of us is a divine capacity to manifest and attract all that we need and desire ―Wayne Dyer

Aviation is proof that given, the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible ―Eddie Rickenbacker

Practice rather than preach. Make of your life an affirmation, defined by your ideals, not the negation of others. Dare to the level of your capability then go beyond to a higher level. ― Alexander Haig

Men are wise in proportion, not to their experience, but to their capacity for experience. ― George Bernard Shaw

One way to improve your business is to increase its capabilities. The more capable your business is of providing value to its customers, the more success your business will experience. ― Hendrith Vanlon Smith Jr

The world is shifting from one of credentials to one of capabilities. ― Roger Spitz

Capability can handle challenges, it doesn’t accept charity. ― Amit Kalantri

Most people have no idea of the giant capacity we can immediately command when we focus all of our resources on mastering a single area of our lives. – Tony Robbins


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Capabilities Quotes (61 quotes) (


We rarely think about our real potential but product designers and operational engineers have to think about this each and every day. Manufacturing plants have to always balance production capacity, capability and toe the fine line between supply and demand.

Our capability, capacity and potential are factors that are closely aligned and related. We cannot improve our potential without improving our capability and capacity first.

This is why in Steve Covey’s iconic book The 7 habits of Highly Effective People, the 7th skill on ‘sharpening the saw’ each and every day is crucial in our lives.

Tools and Capacity

When I think about tools, machines, roads and bridges they are all designed with a purpose, with different capacities, capabilities and optimum ranges of operation.

That simple nail has a definite purpose. We have nails that are used for simple craft and furniture, nails used in the construction industry for trusses and roofing, nails used in shoe making etc. Each nail differs in size, length and the density of steel used to make it.

These different attributes of nails determine their maximum load bearing capacity, life span, environmental conditions they operate in. The same principle applies to all machines and the infrastructure we use.

Toasters, chairs, television sets, phones, air conditioners, shavers, cookers, cars, trains, airplanes, lawn mower machines, tractors. All these machines have a definite purpose, different capacities, capabilities and optimum ranges of operation.

The potential and capacity of these machines and infrastructure can be altered over time, they can either be replaced or upgraded. Roads can be retarmacked to improve their load bearing capacity, phones upgraded to increase their functionality etc.


When I also think about farming I also think about purpose, capacity, optimal range of production and potential. Every area in the world has a different climatic zone that suits different types of crops and animals. The purpose of your farm is hugely defined by the climatic zone it’s found in.

The breeds of animals and crops that are best suited to this climatic zone have been adapted over a long period of time. The holding capacity of the farm is also key. What acreage of crops can you plant? How many animals can be held optimally in that area?

The optimal ranges of production also come into play. What food and pasture is available for your animals in the farm and local market? What’s the availability of labor and capital at your disposal? Do you have enough fertilizer for your crops or is this a purely organic model of operation?

Do we think about the overall potential of the farm? As technology changes can the farm’s potential be increased? Can we utilize green house technology and more efficient means of production?

These questions make us ponder on how we can optimize our farms to get the best out of them.


The iPhone is the most iconic phone in the world today. This phone is the premium brand in the market. Other brands use the iPhone as the yardstick of comparison. It’s a status symbol that defines the pinnacle of achievement.

Steve Jobs the founder of Apple and its chief strategist must have taken time to ponder about the purpose, utility and potential of the phone. Before the iPhone came into play most phone functionality was limited to pure calls and texting.

The Blackberry brought in email messaging and the entire potential, capacity and purpose of phones was revolutionized after. Steve Jobs took it to different heights. The design and functionality principles were enhanced to bring out the iconic phone to the world.

Over time it has gone through several iterations and upgrades in capacity and functionality to the current iPhone 14 version. It has managed to stay relevant from its inception to this day.

Application of this principle in our lives

Do we know our purpose in life, have we taken stock of our current capabilities and skills? Do we know our current capacity? Have we figured out what is our optimal range of task execution that show cases our best value to society? Do we think about our real potential?

We should always keep on learning from our environment and stay relevant. What are we doing to improve our capability and capacity day by day?

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