Born Samuel Langhorne Clemens, American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer, is better known to us as Mark Twain. He has a colorful life story and an inspiring one, yet again proving that excellence is not the exclusive domain of a select few.
To say I am a big fan of Mark Twain’s words would be an understatement. I love his witty sarcasm. My first introduction to his work was the classic “The adventures of Tom Sawyer” –one of my all-time favorite books—and I absolutely love it. Who wouldn’t? This is one book I think every adult and child should read!
I have wonderful childhood memories reading the book with my uncle, who introduced me to some of the best books I’ve read. He enjoyed quoting from the classics, imprinting them in my memory.
Did you know that Mark Twain’s birth and death coincided with the appearance of Halley’s Comet?
I came in with Halley’s Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year (1910), and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don’t go out with Halley’s Comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: “Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together.”
– Mark Twain, a Biography
Today, I’d like to share some of my favorite Mark Twain quotes – inspiring, wise, and often with a healthy dash of humor, but always with a strong underlying message.
I looked for a featured image in keeping with my craze for watercolor images, but didn’t really find any. So I made my own. I hope you like my sketch!
Enjoy the quotes! And I’d love to know which one(s) you liked the most!
50 Inspiring Quotes by Mark Twain That Will Make You Smile
- Our conscience takes no notice of pain inflicted on others until it reaches a point where it gives pain to us. In all cases without exception we are absolutely indifferent to another person’s pain until his sufferings make us uncomfortable.
- If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.
- Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
- Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover
- Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see
- Conscience, man’s moral medicine chest.
- Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter
- Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect
- Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words
- A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes
- A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.
- Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.
- Don’t part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.
- Habit is habit and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time.
- All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.
- We are always more anxious to be distinguished for a talent which we do not possess, than to be praised for the fifteen which we do possess.
- I can teach anybody how to get, what they want out of life. The problem is that I can’t find anybody who can tell me what they want.
- We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it – and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove lid. She will never sit on a hot stove lid again – and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore.
- I’ve lived through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.
- An uneasy conscience is a hair in the mouth.
- When I was fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have him around. When I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.
- Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.
- Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been.
- It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.
- The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer someone else up.
- The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.
- Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it
- The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.
- When angry, count four. When very angry, swear.
- To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.
- Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.
- Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.
- Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.
- The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.
- It’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all doubt
- Worrying is like paying a debt you don’t owe.
- When you fish for love, bait with your heart, not your brain.
- Write what you know.
- The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and starting on the first one.
- Good judgement is the result of experience and experience the result of bad judgement.
- Nothing that grieves us can be called little: by the eternal laws of proportion a child’s loss of a doll and a king’s loss of a crown are events of the same size
- They did not know it was impossible so they did it
- There is no such thing as an ordinary life.
- Thunder is impressive, but it is lightning that does the work.
- Work and play are words used to describe the same thing under differing conditions.
- It is a good idea to obey all the rules when you’re young just so you’ll have the strength to break them when you’re old.
- Life does not consist mainly, or even largely, of facts and happenings. It consists mainly of the storm of thought that is forever flowing through one’s head.
- If you have nothing to say, say nothing.
- There is nothing so annoying as a good example
- How common it is to pass an old street corner beggar, then slacken your pace for two blocks, stop, turn, go back & settle with your conscience.
Which inspiring quote by Mark Twain did you like the most?