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Mark Twainisms

Boulder, Colorado

December 23, 2020

Here are some of my favorite sayings of Mark Twain:

“When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.”

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things 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.”

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”

“Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile.”

“Give every day the chance to become the most beautiful of your life.”

“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.”

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.”

“Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you would rather have talked.”

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

“Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.”

“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.”

“The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.”

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

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

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

“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”

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

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

“I can live for two months on a good compliment.”

“It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”

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

“A clear conscience is the sure sign of a bad memory.”

“The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.”

“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.”

“Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain.”

“I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, and I did. I said I didn’t know.”

“When you fish for love, bait with your heart, not your brain.”

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

“When angry, count to four; when very angry, swear.”

“Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other.”

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

“Nothing so needs reforming as other people’s habits.”

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

“If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re mis-informed.”

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