Mark Twain Quotes | The 383 Best Quotes on Motivation, Inspiration, Leadership, Success, Wisdom, Relationship and Friendship

Mark Twain Quotes | The 383 Best Quotes on Motivation, Inspiration, Leadership, Success, Wisdom, Relationship and Friendship

39 Inspiring Mark Twain Quotes

    Mark Twain, a literary icon, left behind a treasure trove of wisdom. He believed that truth's simplicity eliminated the need for a good memory. Courage, he said, isn't the absence of fear but conquering it. Twain encouraged us to explore and dream, for that's where true discovery lies. He celebrated kindness as a universal language. His quotes resonate with life's truths, from embracing opportunities to being busy with purpose, and living without regrets. So, take his advice and embark on your journey through his inspiring words. 

    1. “Life is short, break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that made you smile.” – Mark Twain

    2. “They did not know it was impossible so they did it.” – Mark Twain

    3. “Don’t dream your life, but live your dream.” – Mark Twain

    4. “Let us live so that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.” – Mark Twain

    5. “Courage is not the lack of fear. It is acting in spite of it.” – Mark Twain

    6. “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” – Mark Twain

    7. “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain

    8. “To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence.” – Mark Twain

    9. “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.” – Mark Twain

    10. “The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.” – Mark Twain

    11. “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” – Mark Twain

    12. “Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.” – Mark Twain

    13. “Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” – Mark Twain

    14. “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” – Mark Twain

    15. “You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” – Mark Twain

    16. “The lack of money is the root of all evil.” – Mark Twain

    17. “Better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.” – Mark Twain

    18. “Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.” – Mark Twain

    19. “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” – Mark Twain

    20. “The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.” – Mark Twain

    21. “Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.” – Mark Twain

    22. “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

    23. “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” – Mark Twain

    24. “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” – Mark Twain

    25. “It’s better to be an optimist who is sometimes wrong than a pessimist who is always right.” – Mark Twain

    26. “To stand still is to fall behind.” – Mark Twain

    27. “How far we travel in life matters far less than those we meet along the way.” – Mark Twain

    28. “I can live for two months on a good compliment.” – Mark Twain

    29. “There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded.” – Mark Twain

    30. “To be busy is man’s only happiness.” – Mark Twain

    31. “Nothing exists but you. And you are but a thought.” – Mark Twain

    32. “A thing long expected takes the form of the unexpected when at last it comes.” – Mark Twain

    33. “Optimist: Person who travels on nothing from nowhere to happiness.” – Mark Twain

    34. “Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today.” – Mark Twain

    35. “Unused talents gives you no advantage over someone who has no talent at all.” – Mark Twain

    36. “On with dance, let joy be unconfined, is my motto; whether there’s any dance to dance or any joy to unconfined.” – Mark Twain

    37. “Be careless in your dress if you will, but keep a tidy soul.” – Mark Twain

    38. “Diligence is a good thing, but taking things easy is much more restful.” – Mark Twain

    Related: 450 Best Albert Einstein Quotes on Inspiration, Motivation, Leadership, Success

    40 Best Mark Twain Motivating Quotes

    Mark Twain's wisdom illuminates the path to success. He teaches us to act boldly, for the right time may never come. With imagination, we conquer reality and turn accidents into inventions. Writing what we know and constantly learning defines our journey. Fear is not the absence of courage; it's the mastery of it. Embracing change and accepting uncertainty leads to growth. Life's beauty lies in its unpredictability. Break the rules, face your fears, and savor life's opportunities. Remember, the regrets we carry are often the chances we didn't take. To truly live, we must dare, explore, and create our own future.

    1. “The secret to getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain

    2. “Don’t wait the time is never just right.” – Mark Twain

    3. “Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” – Mark Twain

    4. “Write what you know.” – Mark Twain

    5. “There are those who would misteach us that to stick in a rut is consistency - and a virtue, and that to climb out of the rut is inconsistency - and a vice.” – Mark Twain

    6. “Name the greatest of all inventors. Accident.” – Mark Twain

    7. “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.” – Mark Twain

    8. “Write without pay until somebody offers to pay.” – Mark Twain

    9. “Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.” – Mark Twain

    10. “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” – Mark Twain

    11. “Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I've done it thousands of times.” – Mark Twain

    12. “In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made school boards.” – Mark Twain

    13. “I have spent most of my life worrying about things that have never happened.” – Mark Twain

    14. “Good decisions come from experience. Experience comes from making bad decisions.” – Mark Twain

    15. “Do not complain about growing old. It is a privilege denied to many.” – Mark Twain

    16. “Give every day the chance to become the most beautiful day of your life.” – Mark Twain

    17. “Life is short, break the rules.” – Mark Twain

    18. “Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain.” – Mark Twain

    19. “We regret the things we don’t do more than the things we do.” – Mark Twain

    20. “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” – Mark Twain

    21. “Go to bed early, get up early-this is wise.” – Mark Twain

    22. “A habit cannot be tossed out the window; it must be coaxed down the stairs a step at a time.” – Mark Twain

    23. “Focus more on your desire than on your doubt, and the dream will take care of itself.” – Mark Twain

    24. “One must travel, to learn.” – Mark Twain

    25. “There is no security in life, only opportunity.” – Mark Twain

    26. “Knowledge becomes wisdom only after it has been put to good use.” – Mark Twain

    27. “Don’t part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live. To live a fulfilled life, we need to keep creating the “what is next”, of our lives. Without dreams and goals there is no living, only merely existing, and that is not why we are here.” – Mark Twain

    28. “Supposing is good, but finding out is better.” – Mark Twain

    29. “I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it had ceased to be one.” – Mark Twain

    30. “I was born with Halley’s Comet and I expect to die upon its return.” – Mark Twain

    31. “Necessity is the mother of taking chances.” – Mark Twain

    32. “Do something everyday that you don’t want to do.” – Mark Twain

    33. “A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.” – Mark Twain

    34. “I like criticism, but it must be my way.” – Mark Twain

    35. “And what is a man without energy? Nothing – nothing at all.” – Mark Twain

    36. “Talent without work is useless, thank God.” – Mark Twain

    37. “One must travel, to learn. Every day, now, old Scriptural phrases that never possessed any significance for me before, take to themselves a meaning.” – Mark Twain

    38. “There comes a time in every rightly constructed boy’s life when he has a raging desire to go somewhere and dig for hidden treasure.” – Mark Twain

    39. “Only he who has seen better days and lives to see better days again knows their full value.” – Mark Twain

    40. “But the elastic heart of youth cannot be compressed into one constrained shape long at a time.” – Mark Twain

    Related: 158 Most Powerful John F. Kennedy Quotes on Leadership, Motivation, Inspiration, Success and Life

    97 Famous Mark Twain Quotes on Life

    Mark Twain's timeless quotes offer a unique blend of wisdom and humor. He advises against engaging with ignorance and fretting needlessly. Twain highlights our common humanity, extolling the virtues of kindness and debunking irrational fears. He champions laughter, forgiveness, and the joys of living in the present. Twain's words serve as a poignant reminder to keep an open mind, to cherish lifelong learning, and to uncover the humor in life's intricacies. His profound insights, often delivered with a dash of wit, persist as a source of inspiration and enlightenment. 

    1. “Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.” – Mark Twain

    2. “Worrying is like paying a debt you don't owe.” – Mark Twain

    3. “We are all alike, on the inside.” – Mark Twain

    4. “Some of the worst things in my life never even happened.” – Mark Twain

    5. “It is easier to stay out than get out.” – Mark Twain

    6. “I’m in favor of progress; it’s change I don’t like.” – Mark Twain

    7. “Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.” – Mark Twain

    8. “Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” – Mark Twain

    9. “Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.” – Mark Twain

    10. “Great things can happen when you don’t care who gets the credit.” – Mark Twain

    11. “The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.” – Mark Twain

    12. “Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination.” – Mark Twain

    13. “You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” – Mark Twain

    14. “Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone, you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.” – Mark Twain

    15. “A man’s character may be learned from the adjectives which he habitually uses in conversation.” – Mark Twain

    16. “To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.” – Mark Twain

    17. “A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” – Mark Twain

    18. “Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.” – Mark Twain

    19. “A clear conscience is the sure sign of a bad memory.” – Mark Twain

    20. “I've lived through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.” – Mark Twain

    21. “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.” – Mark Twain

    22. “Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.” – Mark Twain

    23. “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” – Mark Twain

    24. “When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.” – Mark Twain

    25. “Education consists mainly of what we have unlearned.” – Mark Twain

    26. “Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.” – Mark Twain

    27. “The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.” – Mark Twain

    28. “Any emotion, if it is sincere, is involuntary.” – Mark Twain

    29. “Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.” – Mark Twain

    30. “A gentleman is someone who knows how to play the banjo and doesn’t.” – Mark Twain

    31. “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.” – Mark Twain

    32. “Humor is the great thing, the saving thing after all. The minute it crops up, all our hardnesses yield, all our irritations, and resentments flit away, and a sunny spirit takes their place.” – Mark Twain

    33. “Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen.” – Mark Twain

    34. “Humor is mankind’s greatest blessing.” – Mark Twain

    35. “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” – Mark Twain

    36. “Nature knows no indecencies; man invents them.” – Mark Twain

    37. “There was never yet an uninteresting life. Such a thing is an impossibility. Inside of the dullest exterior there is a drama, a comedy, and a tragedy.” – Mark Twain

    38. “Don’t wrestle with pigs. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.” – Mark Twain

    39. “My books are water; those of the great geniuses is wine. Everybody drinks water.” – Mark Twain

    40. “Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.” – Mark Twain

    41. “Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.” – Mark Twain

    42. “Synergy – the bonus that is achieved when things work together harmoniously.” – Mark Twain

    43. “Data is like garbage. You’d better know what you are going to do with it before you collect it.” – Mark Twain

    44. “When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Kentucky, because everything there happens 20 years after it happens anywhere else.” – Mark Twain

    45. “Prediction is difficult- particularly when it involves the future.” – Mark Twain

    46. “There is no such thing as a new idea. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope.” – Mark Twain

    47. “Warm summer sun, shine kindly here. Warm southern wind, blow softly here. Green sod above, lie light, lie light. Good night, dear Heart, Good night, good night.” – Mark Twain

    48. “Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.” – Mark Twain

    49. “When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.” – Mark Twain

    50. “We are all ignorant; just about different things.” – Mark Twain

    51. “Some people give their problems swimming lessons instead of drowning them.” – Mark Twain

    52. “There are only two types of speakers in the world. 1. The nervous and 2. Liars.” – Mark Twain

    53. “There is nothing training cannot do. Nothing is above its reach. It can turn bad morals to good; it can destroy bad principles and recreate good ones; it can lift men to angelship.” – Mark Twain

    54. “Censorship is telling a man he can’t have a steak just because a baby can’t chew it.” – Mark Twain

    55. “Children are natural mimics who act like their parents despite every effort to teach them good manners.” – Mark Twain

    56. “My father was an amazing man. The older I got, the smarter he got.” – Mark Twain

    57. “A clean desk is a sign of a cluttered desk drawer.” – Mark Twain

    58. “Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.” – Mark Twain

    59. “It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want – oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!”– Mark Twain

    60. “Forgiveness is the smell that lavender gives out when you tread on it.” – Mark Twain

    61. “Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand.” – Mark Twain

    62. “A pessimist is a well-informed optimist.” – Mark Twain

    63. “Laughter is the greatest weapon we have and we, as humans, use it the least.” – Mark Twain

    64. “For the majority of us, the past is a regret, the future an experiment.” – Mark Twain

    65. “Seasickness: at first you are so sick you are afraid you will die, and then you are so sick you are afraid you won’t die.” – Mark Twain

    66. “Nothing spoils a good story like the arrival of an eyewitness.” – Mark Twain

    67. “I was young and foolish then; now I am old and foolisher.” – Mark Twain

    68. “December is the toughest month of the year. Others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, October, August, and February.” – Mark Twain

    69. “Work is a necessary evil to be avoided.” – Mark Twain

    70. “A little starvation can really do more for the average sick man than can the best medicines and the best doctors.” – Mark Twain

    71. “The writing begins when you’ve finished. Only then do you know what you’re trying to say.” – Mark Twain

    72. “The nation is divided, half patriots and half traitors, and no man can tell which from which.” – Mark Twain

    73. “Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel.” – Mark Twain

    74. “I am only human, although I regret it.” – Mark Twain

    75. “The physician who knows only medicine, knows not even medicine.” – Mark Twain

    76. “Life is but a dream, a grotesque and foolish dream.” – Mark Twain

    77. “Distance lends enchantment to the view.” – Mark Twain

    78. “Children and fools always speak the truth.” – Mark Twain

    79. “To one in sympathy with nature, each season, in its turn, seems the loveliest.” – Mark Twain

    80. “When I want to read something nice, I sit down and write it myself.” – Mark Twain

    81. “An adventure is something that while it’s happening you wish it wasn’t.” – Mark Twain

    82. “I smoke in moderation. Only one cigar at a time.” – Mark Twain

    83. “Life should begin with age and it’s privileges and accumulations, and end with youth and it’s capacity to splendidly enjoy such advantages.” – Mark Twain

    84. “Thousands of geniuses live and die undiscovered – either by themselves or by others.” – Mark Twain

    85. “Consider the average intelligence of the common man, then realize 50% are even stupider.” – Mark Twain

    86. “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.” – Mark Twain

    87. “Such is professional jealousy; a scientist will never show any kindness for a theory which he did not start himself.” – Mark Twain

    88. “I once sent a dozen of my friends a telegram saying ‘flee at once – all is discovered.’ They all left town immediately.” – Mark Twain

    89. “It is not best that we should all think alike; it is a difference of opinion that makes horse races.” – Mark Twain

    90. “There are 869 different forms of lying, but only one of them has been squarely forbidden. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” – Mark Twain

    91. “A home without a cat – and a well-fed, well-petted and properly revered cat – may be a perfect home, perhaps, but how can it prove title?”– Mark Twain

    92. “There’s one way to find out if a man is honest: ask him; if he says yes, you know he’s crooked.” – Mark Twain

    93. “The trouble ain’t that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain’t distributed right.” – Mark Twain

    94. “Drawing on my fine command of language, I said nothing.” – Mark Twain

    95. “Oh Death where is thy sting! It has none. But life has.” – Mark Twain

    96. “I like a good story well told. That is the reason I am sometimes forced to tell them myself.” – Mark Twain

    97. “My mother had a slender, small body, but a large heart-a heart so large that everybody’s joys found welcome in it, and hospitable accommodation.” – Mark Twain

    32 Best Mark Twain Quotes on Success

    Mark Twain's wisdom on success shines brightly. He encourages individuality by cautioning against following the crowd. Success, he notes, is a constant journey of improvement and adaptation. Twain's humor and wit underlie his lessons, like tackling challenging tasks early in the day, embracing opportunities to learn, and appreciating the value of silence. He highlights the importance of continuous learning, open-mindedness, and persistence in achieving success. Twain's unique blend of humor and insight offers timeless guidance on the path to success.

    1. “The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.” – Mark Twain

    2. “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” – Mark Twain

    3. “Success is a journey, not a destination. It requires constant effort, vigilance and re-evaluation.” – Mark Twain

    4. “The secret of success is making your vocation your vacation.” – Mark Twain

    5. “Work and play are words used to describe the same thing under differing conditions.” – Mark Twain

    6. “Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.” – Mark Twain

    7. “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” – Mark Twain

    8. “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.” – Mark Twain

    9. “It’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all doubt.” – Mark Twain

    10. “Never miss an opportunity to shut up.” – Mark Twain

    11. “Figures don’t lie, but liars figure.” – Mark Twain

    12. “When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not; but my faculties are decaying now and soon I shall be so I cannot remember any but the things that never happened. It is sad to go to pieces like this but we all have to do it.” – Mark Twain

    13. “Success is a journey, not a destination. It requires constant effort, vigilance and reevaluation.” – Mark Twain

    14. “All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.” – Mark Twain

    15. “A good lawyer knows the law; a clever one takes the judge to lunch.” – Mark Twain

    16. “A tax is a fine for doing well, a fine is a tax for doing wrong.” – Mark Twain

    17. “A successful book is not made of what is in it, but what is left out of it.” – Mark Twain

    18. “He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.” – Mark Twain

    19. “The secret of making progress is to get started.” – Mark Twain

    20. “Never let formal education get in the way of your learning.” – Mark Twain

    21. “An open mind leaves a chance for someone to drop a worthwhile thought in it.” – Mark Twain

    22. “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.” – Mark Twain

    23. “The secret of success is making your vocation your vacation.” – Mark Twain

    24. “The secret to success: find out where people are going and get there first.” – Mark Twain

    25. “We can achieve what we can conceive and believe.” – Mark Twain

    26. “The first half of my life I went to school, the second half of my life I got an education.” – Mark Twain

    27. “What is the chief end of man? To get rich. In what way? Dishonestly if we can; honestly if we must.” – Mark Twain

    28. “Never refuse to do a kindness unless the act would work great injury to yourself, and never refuse to take a drink – under any circumstances.” – Mark Twain

    29. “There are two times in a man’s life when he should not speculate: when he can’t afford it, and when he can.” – Mark Twain

    30. “The law of work seems unfair, but nothing can change it; the more enjoyment you get out of your work, the more money you will make.” – Mark Twain

    31. “Human nature is the same everywhere; it deifies success, it has nothing but scorn for defeat.” – Mark Twain

    32. “A few fly bites cannot stop a spirited horse.” – Mark Twain

    Related: The Art of War by Sun Tzu Unabridged Audiobook

    36 Mark Twain's Profound Leadership Quotes

    Mark Twain, the sage of leadership, imparts timeless wisdom. He champions integrity, encouraging us to astonish with righteousness. His insights on loyalty remind us to scrutinize those in power. Twain advocates for change, urging us to act today for a better future. His quotes underscore respect for superiors and the importance of educating minds. He emphasizes doing one's duty diligently and speaking with conviction. Twain's wisdom navigates the complexities of human behavior, offering profound lessons for leaders of all kinds.

    1. “Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest.” – Mark Twain

    2. “It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them.” – Mark Twain

    3. “Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.” – Mark Twain

    4. “If you want to change the future, you must change what you’re doing in the present.” – Mark Twain

    5. “Be respectful to your superiors, if you have any.” – Mark Twain

    6. “In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.” – Mark Twain

    7. “When I am king they shall not have bread and shelter only, but also teachings out of books, for a full belly is little worth where the mind is starved.” – Mark Twain

    8. “Do something everyday that you don’t want to do; this is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain.” – Mark Twain

    9. “Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.” – Mark Twain

    10. “No man’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.” – Mark Twain

    11. “Tough times teach trust.” – Mark Twain

    12. “When everyone is looking for gold, it’s a good time to be in the pick and shovel business.” – Mark Twain

    13. “I’m glad I did it, partly because it was worth it, but mostly because I shall never have to do it again.” – Mark Twain

    14. “Nothing so needs reforming as other people’s habits. Fanatics will never learn that, though it be written in letters of gold across the sky. It is the prohibition that makes anything precious.” – Mark Twain

    15. “If everyone was satisfied with himself, there would be no heroes.” – Mark Twain

    16. “Whatever you say, say it with conviction.” – Mark Twain

    17. “You can’t break a bad habit by throwing it out the window. You’ve got to walk it slowly down the stairs.” – Mark Twain

    18. “Temper is what gets most of us into trouble. Pride is what keeps us there.” – Mark Twain

    19. “Good fathers not only tell us how to live, they show us.” – Mark Twain

    20. “Independence-is loyalty to one’s best self and principles, and this is often disloyalty to the general idols and fetishes.” – Mark Twain

    21. “It is a worthy thing to fight for one’s freedom; it is another sight finer to fight for another man’s.” – Mark Twain

    22. “Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is lightning that does the work.” – Mark Twain

    23. “The Mississippi River will always have its own way; no engineering skill can persuade it to do otherwise...” – Mark Twain

    24. “The future interests me – I’m going to spend the rest of my life there.” – Mark Twain

    25. “Irreverence is the champion of liberty and its only sure defense.” – Mark Twain

    26. “If work were so pleasant, the rich would keep it for themselves.” – Mark Twain

    27. “It is noble to teach oneself; it is still nobler to teach others.” – Mark Twain

    28. “Do your duty today and repent tomorrow.” – Mark Twain

    29. “Never be haughty to the humble, never be humble to the haughty.” – Mark Twain

    30. “To be good is noble; but to show others how to be good is nobler and no trouble.” – Mark Twain

    31. “He liked to like people, therefore people liked him.” – Mark Twain

    32. “The citizen who sees his society’s democratic clothes being worn out and does not cry it out, is not a patriot, but a traitor.” – Mark Twain

    33. “Teaching is like trying to hold 35 corks underwater at once.” – Mark Twain

    34. “Obscurity and a competence – that is the life that is best worth living.” – Mark Twain

    35. “A pilot must have a memory developed to absolute perfection. But there are two higher qualities which he also must have. He must have good and quick judgment and decision, and a cool, calm courage that no peril can shake.” – Mark Twain

    36. “To believe yourself brave is to be brave; it is the one only essential thing.” – Mark Twain

    Related: The 100 Best Leadership Quotes of All Time

    105 Mark Twain's Though-Provoking Wisdom Quotes

    Mark Twain's treasury of wisdom unveils profound insights. He likens anger to corrosive acid, cautions on choosing words wisely, and advocates the wisdom of silence. Twain dissects courage and fear, revealing moral courage's rarity. He jests about troubles and provides biting commentary on politics. His musings on death, education, and human folly are both witty and thought-provoking. He humorously unravels the intricacies of human nature, showcasing the absurdity of life's contradictions. Mark Twain's wisdom remains timeless, offering lessons on humor, humility, and the human condition.

    1. “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.” – Mark Twain

    2. “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.” – Mark Twain

    3. “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.” – Mark Twain

    4. “If you have nothing to say, say nothing.” – Mark Twain

    5. “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear. Except a creature be part coward it is not a compliment to say it is brave.” – Mark Twain

    6. “It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.” – Mark Twain

    7. “I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.” – Mark Twain

    8. “If voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it.” – Mark Twain

    9. “Go to heaven for the climate and hell for the company.” – Mark Twain

    10. “If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you're mis-informed.” – Mark Twain

    11. “I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.” – Mark Twain

    12. “Books are for people who wish they were somewhere else.” – Mark Twain

    13. “Education: the path from cocky ignorance to miserable uncertainty.” – Mark Twain

    14. “If I had more time, I would have written less.” – Mark Twain

    15. “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.” – Mark Twain

    16. “God created war so that Americans would learn geography.” – Mark Twain

    17. “In a good bookroom you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them.” – Mark Twain

    18. “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” – Mark Twain

    19. “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.” – Mark Twain

    20. “Just because you’re taught that something’s right and everyone believes it’s right, it don’t make it right.” – Mark Twain

    21. “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.” – Mark Twain

    22. “The lack of money is the root of all evil.” – Mark Twain

    23. “When angry, count four. When very angry, swear.” – Mark Twain

    24. “Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are pliable.” – Mark Twain

    25. “No amount of evidence will ever persuade an idiot.” – Mark Twain

    26. “The man who is a pessimist before 48 knows too much; if he is an optimist after it he knows too little.” – Mark Twain

    27. “Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.” – Mark Twain

    28. “Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.” – Mark Twain

    29. “Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.” – Mark Twain

    30. “The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year.” – Mark Twain

    31. “Most men die at 27, we just bury them at 72.” – Mark Twain

    32. “If animals could speak, the dog would be a blundering outspoken fellow; but the cat would have the rare grace of never saying a word too much.” – Mark Twain

    33. “Of all God’s creatures, there is only one that cannot be made slave of the leash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve the man, but it would deteriorate the cat.” – Mark Twain

    34. “Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.” – Mark Twain

    35. “While the rest of the species is descended from apes, redheads are descended from cats.” – Mark Twain

    36. “Ignorant people think it is the noise which fighting cats make that is so aggravating, but it ain’t so; it is the sickening grammar that they use.” – Mark Twain

    37. “The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven not man’s.” – Mark Twain

    38. “Out of all the things I have lost, I miss my mind the most.” – Mark Twain

    39. “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” – Mark Twain

    40. “Buy land, they’re not making it anymore.” – Mark Twain

    41. “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.” – Mark Twain

    42. “To someone with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” – Mark Twain

    43. “A half-truth is the most cowardly of lies.” – Mark Twain

    44. “The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.” – Mark Twain

    45. “India is, the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grand mother of tradition. our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only.” – Mark Twain

    46. “The inability to forget is far more devastating than the inability to remember.” – Mark Twain

    47. “A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.” – Mark Twain

    48. “The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.” – Mark Twain

    49. “Some people get an education without going to college. The rest get it after they get out.” – Mark Twain

    50. “The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not.” – Mark Twain

    51. “There is nothing to be learned from the second kick of a mule.” – Mark Twain

    52. “I don’t like to commit myself about heaven and hell – you see, I have friends in both places.” – Mark Twain

    53. “There is no God, no universe, no human race, no earthly life, no heaven, no hell. It is all a dream, a grotesque and foolish dream. Nothing exists but you. And you are but a thought -a vagrant thought, a useless thought, a homeless thought, wandering forlorn among the empty eternities!”– Mark Twain

    54. “Never have a battle of wits with an unarmed person.” – Mark Twain

    55. “In the Spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.” – Mark Twain

    56. “The very ink with which history is written is merely fluid prejudice.” – Mark Twain

    57. “Don’t use a five-dollar word when a fifty-cent word will do.” – Mark Twain

    58. “Familiarity breeds contempt. How accurate that is. The reason we hold truth in such respect is because we have so little opportunity to get familiar with it.” – Mark Twain

    59. “I notice that you use plain, simple language, short words and brief sentences. That is the way to write English – it is the modern way and the best way. Stick to it; don’t let fluff and flowers and verbosity creep in.” – Mark Twain

    60. “The secret source of humor is not joy but sorrow.” – Mark Twain

    61. “Too bad that youth is wasted on the young.” – Mark Twain

    62. “The only certainties in life are death and taxes.” – Mark Twain

    63. “Everything has its limit – iron ore cannot be educated into gold.” – Mark Twain

    64. “Anyone who can only think of one way to spell a word obviously lacks imagination.” – Mark Twain

    65. “Always obey your parents. When they are present. This is the best policy in the long run. Because if you don’t, they will make you. Most parents think they know better than you do, and you can generally make more by humoring that superstition than you can by acting on your own better judgment.” – Mark Twain

    66. “When the world is made to be idiot-proof, the world will become overpopulated with idiots.” – Mark Twain

    67. “Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates.” – Mark Twain

    68. “Let us consider that we are all insane. It will explain us to each other. It will unriddle many riddles.” – Mark Twain

    69. “The trouble with the world is not that people know too little; it’s that they know so many things that just aren’t so.” – Mark Twain

    70. “The calamity that comes is never the one we had prepared ourselves for.” – Mark Twain

    71. “Why is it that we rejoice at a birth and grieve at a funeral? It is because we are not the person involved.” – Mark Twain

    72. “A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.” – Mark Twain

    73. “I wonder if God created man because He was disappointed with the monkey.” – Mark Twain

    74. “But death was sweet, death was gentle, death was kind; death healed the bruised spirit and the broken heart, and gave them rest and forgetfulness; death was man’s best friend; when man could endure life no longer, death came and set him free.” – Mark Twain

    75. “The offspring of riches: Pride, vanity, ostentation, arrogance, tyranny.” – Mark Twain

    76. “Annihilation has no terrors for me, because I have already tried it before I was born – a hundred million years – and I have suffered more in an hour, in this life, than I remember to have suffered in the whole hundred million years put together.” – Mark Twain

    77. “The weakest of all weak things is a virtue that has not been tested in the fire.” – Mark Twain

    78. “Don’t go to sleep, so many people die there.” – Mark Twain

    79. “Education: that which reveals to the wise, and conceals from the stupid, the vast limits of their knowledge.” – Mark Twain

    80. “You can’t reason with your heart; it has its own laws, and thumps about things which the intellect scorns.” – Mark Twain

    81. “Explaining humor is a lot like dissecting a frog, you learn a lot in the process, but in the end you kill it.” – Mark Twain

    82. “Most people can’t bear to sit in church for an hour on Sundays. How are they supposed to live somewhere very similar to it for eternity?”– Mark Twain

    83. “It’s lovely to live on a raft. We had the sky up there, all speckled with stars, and we used to lay on our backs and look up at them, and discuss about whether they was made or only just happened.” – Mark Twain

    84. “If horses knew their strength we should not ride anymore.” – Mark Twain

    85. “A human being has a natural desire to have more of a good thing than he needs.” – Mark Twain

    86. “What a wee little part of a person’s life are his acts and his words! His real life is led in his head, and is known to none but himself.” – Mark Twain

    87. “You believe in a book that has talking animals, wizards, witches, demons, sticks turning into snakes, burning bushes, food falling from the sky, people walking on water, and all sorts of magical, absurd and primitive stories, and you say that we are the ones that need help?”– Mark Twain

    88. “Pessimism is only the name that men of weak nerve give to wisdom.” – Mark Twain

    89. “Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident; the only earthly certainty is oblivion.” – Mark Twain

    90. “Memories which someday will become all beautiful when the last annoyance that encumbers them shall have faded out of our minds.” – Mark Twain

    91. “Civilization largely consists in hiding human nature. When the barbarian learns to hide it we account him enlightened.” – Mark Twain

    92. “If it is a Miracle, any sort of evidence will answer, but if it is a Fact, proof is necessary.” – Mark Twain

    93. “Architects cannot teach nature anything.” – Mark Twain

    94. “By law of periodical repetition, everything which has happened once must happen again and again – and not capriciously, but at regular periods, and each thing in its own period, not another’s and each obeying its own law.” – Mark Twain

    95. “Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand.” – Mark Twain

    96. “What is human life? The first third a good time; the rest remembering about it.” – Mark Twain

    97. “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.” – Mark Twain

    98. “Good breeding consists in concealing how much we think of ourselves and how little we think of the other person.” – Mark Twain

    99. “Change is the handmaiden Nature requires to do her miracles with.” – Mark Twain

    100. “Optimist: day dreamer more elegantly spelled.” – Mark Twain

    101. “In the small town of Hannibal, Missouri, when I was a boy, everybody was poor, but didn’t know it; and everybody was comfortable and did know it.” – Mark Twain

    102. “Not until you become a stranger to yourself will you be able to make acquaintance with the Friend.” – Mark Twain

    103. “Take your mind out every now and then and dance on it. It is getting all caked up.” – Mark Twain

    104. “A sound heart is a surer guide than an ill-trained conscience.” – Mark Twain

    105. “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 down on a hot stove lid again and that is well but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore.” – Mark Twain

    35 Mark Twain's Best Quotes on Relationship and Friendship

    Mark Twain's profound insights on relationships and friendship offer a refreshing perspective on human connections. He encourages leading with the heart in matters of love and finds solace in brightening someone else's day. Twain delves into the complexities of human interactions, from travel revealing true sentiments to the power of sincere honesty confounding adversaries and impressing allies. His observations touch on forgiveness, genuine friendships worth sacrificing for, and the challenge of cruelty among people, making his wisdom resonate across generations.

    1. “When you fish for love, bait with your heart, not your brain.” – Mark Twain

    2. “I have found out that there ain't no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.” – Mark Twain

    3. “The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.” – Mark Twain

    4. “Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” – Mark Twain

    5. “The trouble is not in dying for a friend, but in finding a friend worth dying for.” – Mark Twain

    6. “There is nothing so annoying as having two people talking when you’re busy interrupting.” – Mark Twain

    7. “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.” – Mark Twain

    8. “When in doubt tell the truth. It will confound your enemies and astound your friends.” – Mark Twain

    9. “The truth hurts, but silence kills.” – Mark Twain

    10. “It’s easy to make friends, but hard to get rid of them.” – Mark Twain

    11. “Human beings can be awful cruel to one another.” – Mark Twain

    12. “A man is never more truthful than when he acknowledges himself a liar.” – Mark Twain

    13. “Behind every successful man, there is a woman – And behind every unsuccessful man, there are two.” – Mark Twain

    14. “Good exercise for the heart: reach out and help your neighbor.” – Mark Twain

    15. “You can’t reason someone out of something that they weren’t reasoned into in the first place.” – Mark Twain

    16. “The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.” – Mark Twain

    17. “Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.” – Mark Twain

    18. “You meet people who forget you. You forget people you meet. But sometimes you meet those people you can’t forget. Those are your ’friends.””– Mark Twain

    19. “If you want love and abundance in your life, give it away.” – Mark Twain

    20. “Don’t wake up a woman in love. Let her dream, so that she does not weep when she returns to her bitter reality.” – Mark Twain

    21. “The average woman would rather have beauty than brains, because the average man can see better than he can think.” – Mark Twain

    22. “God’s great cosmic joke on the human race was requiring that men and women live together in marriage.” – Mark Twain

    23. “It takes your enemy and your friend, working together, to hurt you to the heart: the one to slander you and the other to get the news to you.” – Mark Twain

    24. “Let us make a special effort to stop communicating with each other, so we can have some conversation.” – Mark Twain

    25. “The universal brotherhood of man is our most precious possession.” – Mark Twain

    26. “A friend is someone who stays in when the rest of the world has gone out.” – Mark Twain

    27. “Better a broken promise than none at all.” – Mark Twain

    28. “Be good and you will be lonesome.” – Mark Twain

    29. “When people do not respect us we are sharply offended; yet deep down in his private heart no man much respects himself.” – Mark Twain

    30. “Honesty: The best of all the lost arts.” – Mark Twain

    31. “After all these years, I see that I was mistaken about Eve in the beginning; it is better to live outside the Garden with her than inside it without her.” – Mark Twain

    32. “There are three things men can do with women: love them, suffer them, or turn them into literature.” – Mark Twain

    33. “I wish I could make him understand that a loving good heart is riches enough, and that without it intellect is poverty.” – Mark Twain

    34. “Love seems the swiftest, but it is the slowest of all growths. No man or woman really knows what perfect love is until they have been married a quarter of a century.” – Mark Twain

    35. “Wheresoever she was, there was Eden.” – Mark Twain

    Related: The Power of Love: A Letter from Albert Einstein to His Daughter

    Mark Twain's vast array of quotes spans wisdom, humor, and timeless truths. His words inspire us to navigate life with wit, humility, and kindness. From success and leadership to relationships and friendship, Twain's wisdom offers guidance for every facet of existence. His insights remind us that, ultimately, the keys to a fulfilling life lie in our ability to embrace the journey, face our fears, and cherish the bonds we forge along the way. In his words, we find both a mirror reflecting our humanity and a lantern lighting our path forward.

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