10 Great Mark Twain Quotes

Mark Twain was funny and smart, a combination that created some all-time great quotes.

Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it thousands of times.

Mark Twain

Bad habits are easy to stop… and restart. I’ve had the most success by tracking my winning streaks against bad habits with a new tool I’ll introduce in my next book (coming this year!).

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

Mark Twain

I’m turning 34 later this year. That’s older than I’ve ever been! I like this quote because while many fear death, the subsequent fear of life is a powerful counterpoint. Twain connects the two ideas, suggesting that fearing death will prevent you from living your best life.

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

Mark Twain

Fear is not to be feared! There’s nothing wrong with being afraid. That’s the takeaway, and once you accept fear as a normal part of being human, you will learn to be courageous and deal with it. It’s the denial of fear that cripples us. Accept your fears, and walk through them to get stronger.

Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is lightning that does the work. 

Mark Twain

Real progress in life is not usually impressive, especially at the beginning. Remember that flashy intentions are useless if you don’t follow through. The more I humble myself to do the little things, the more I find they build into things much greater! Thunder doesn’t exist without lightning, so don’t pursue it. 

You can define thunder and lightning however you want, but the point is to tune into the true catalyst of good things in your life.

If you hold a cat by the tail you learn things you cannot learn any other way.

Mark Twain

Don’t do it, unless you haven’t learned this lesson yet. 🙂

The more you explain it, the more I don’t understand it.

Mark Twain

Ok, I won’t explain it. The floor is yours, Mark! Quote rapid fire!

It’s no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.

Name the greatest of all inventors. Accident.

Only kings, presidents, editors, and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial ‘we.’ 

Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest.

All generalizations are false, including this one.

Necessity is the mother of taking chances.

How lucky Adam was. He knew when he said a good thing, nobody had said it before.

All by Mark Twain, 1835-1910
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