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82 Famous Mark Twain Quotes About Life (BEST)

26 Most Powerful Mark Twain Quotes to Live By

“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.”

Mark Twain
Let us endeavour so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.
Let us endeavour so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.
Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.
Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.
Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.
Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.
The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.
The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.
The secret of getting ahead is getting started.
The secret of getting ahead is getting started.
If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.
If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.
To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence.
To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence.
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.
Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.
Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.
I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.
I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.
It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.
It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.
A half-truth is the most cowardly of lies.
A half-truth is the most cowardly of lies.
You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.
You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.
Always obey your parents when they are present.
Always obey your parents when they are present.

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”

Mark Twain
The lack of money is the root of all evil.
The lack of money is the root of all evil.
Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.
Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.
Better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.
Better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.
A man’s character may be learned from the adjectives which he habitually uses in conversation.
A man’s character may be learned from the adjectives which he habitually uses in conversation.
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
Never put off till tomorrow what may be done the day after tomorrow just as well.
Never put off till tomorrow what may be done the day after tomorrow just as well.
A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.
A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.
The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.
The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.

22 Inspiring Mark Twain Quotes on Life & Success

Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.
Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.
With courage you will dare to take risks, have the strength to be compassionate, and the wisdom to be humble. Courage is the foundation of integrity. - Mark Twain
With courage you will dare to take risks, have the strength to be compassionate, and the wisdom to be humble. Courage is the foundation of integrity.
It is wiser to find out than suppose.
It is wiser to find out than suppose.
The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.
The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.
Give every day the chance to become the most beautiful of your life.
Give every day the chance to become the most beautiful of your life.
Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile.
Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile.
Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain.
Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain.
Do something every day that you don’t want to do. This is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain.
Do something every day that you don’t want to do. This is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain.
Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.
Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.
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.
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.
Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest.
Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest.
The trouble is not in dying for a friend, but in finding a friend worth dying for.
The trouble is not in dying for a friend, but in finding a friend worth dying for.
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you would rather have talked.
Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you would rather have talked.
It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them.
It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them.
A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.
A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.
Life does not consist mainly, or even largely, of facts or happenings. It consist mainly of the storm of thoughts that is forever flowing through one’s head.
Life does not consist mainly, or even largely, of facts or happenings. It consist mainly of the storm of thoughts that is forever flowing through one’s head.
I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.
I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.
When angry, count to four; when very angry, swear.
When angry, count to four; when very angry, swear.
Thousands of geniuses live and die undiscovered – either by themselves or by others.
Thousands of geniuses live and die undiscovered – either by themselves or by others.
To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.
To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.
The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.
The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.

34 of the Best Mark Twain Quotes to Think About

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.”

Mark Twain
I don’t like to commit myself about heaven and hell – you see, I have friends in both places.
I don’t like to commit myself about heaven and hell – you see, I have friends in both places.
When you fish for love, bait with your heart, not your brain.
When you fish for love, bait with your heart, not your brain.
The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.
The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.
Honesty: The best of all the lost arts.
Honesty: The best of all the lost arts.
If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re mis-informed.
If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re mis-informed.
Human beings can be awful cruel to one another.
Human beings can be awful cruel to one another.
There’s one way to find out if a man is honest - ask him; if he says yes, you know he’s crooked.
There’s one way to find out if a man is honest – ask him; if he says yes, you know he’s crooked.
The most interesting information comes from children, for they tell all they know and then stop.
The most interesting information comes from children, for they tell all they know and then stop.
The source of all humor is not laughter, but sorrow.
The source of all humor is not laughter, but sorrow.
Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.
Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.
A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining, but wants it back the minute it begins to rain.
A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining, but wants it back the minute it begins to rain.
Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it thousands of times.
Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it thousands of times.
Never have a battle of wits with an unarmed person.
Never have a battle of wits with an unarmed person.
Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.
Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.
Never tell the truth to people who are not worthy of it.
Never tell the truth to people who are not worthy of it.
Conservatism is the blind and fear-filled worship of dead radicals.
Conservatism is the blind and fear-filled worship of dead radicals.
Let us endeavor so to live so that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.
Let us endeavor so to live so that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.
The more things are forbidden, the more popular they become.
The more things are forbidden, the more popular they become.
Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.
Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.
Loyalty to a petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul.
Loyalty to a petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul.
Don’t part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.
Don’t part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.
Principles have no real force except when one is well-fed.
Principles have no real force except when one is well-fed.
Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.
Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.
Books are for people who wish they were somewhere else.
Books are for people who wish they were somewhere else.
Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; truth isn’t.
Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; truth isn’t.
His head was an hour-glass; it could stow an idea, but it had to do it a grain at a time, not the whole idea at once.
His head was an hour-glass; it could stow an idea, but it had to do it a grain at a time, not the whole idea at once.
Of all the animals, man is the only one that is cruel. He is the only one that inflicts pain for the pleasure of doing it.
Of all the animals, man is the only one that is cruel. He is the only one that inflicts pain for the pleasure of doing it.
Nothing so needs reforming as other people’s habits.
Nothing so needs reforming as other people’s habits.
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.
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.
A clear conscience is the sure sign of a bad memory.
A clear conscience is the sure sign of a bad memory.
The man who is a pessimist before 48 knows too much; if he is an optimist after it, he knows too little.
The man who is a pessimist before 48 knows too much; if he is an optimist after it, he knows too little.
Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.
Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.
Out of all the things I have lost, I miss my mind the most.
Out of all the things I have lost, I miss my mind the most

Mark Twain Short Biography

Best known for writing one of the Great American Novels (GAV), Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884) – the sequel of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), Samuel Langhorne Clemens – more professionally known as Mark Twain – is said to be The Father of American Literature by William Faulkner.

Mark Twain wasn’t just a brilliant writer and novelist, he’s an exceptional humorist, adventurer, satirist, and lecturer too.

Do something every day that you don’t want to do. This is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain.”

Mark Twain

He is a popular public figure – even up to the 21st century (more than a century after his death). Foreseeably, Mark Twain is one of America’s greatest and most beloved writers.

These are the top 14 most-favorited Mark Twain books, collections, and biography (by Reedsy):

  1. The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County (1865)
  2. The Innocents Abroad (1869)
  3. Roughing It (1872)
  4. The Gilded Age (1873)
  5. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876)
  6. A Tramp Abroad (1880)
  7. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885)
  8. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1889)
  9. The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson and Those Extraordinary Twins (1893)
  10. Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc (1896)
  11. Following the Equator (1897)
  12. The Mysterious Stranger (1916)
  13. Letters from the Earth (1962) – Mark Twain never intended for this to be published hence the date – decades after his death.
  14. Autobiography of Mark Twain (2010)

The greatest lesson I’ve learned from Mark Twain is to be myself and never allow age to define me.

A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”

Mark Twain

Further reading:

Here are the best Mark Twain sayings so you can ponder upon his wisdom and laugh at his witty philosophical quotes.

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