Literature: Mark Twain Quotes to Live By

Mark Twain Quotes to Live By


Mark Twain once said, “I am not an American, I am THE American.” Though that might be a bit of a profound statement, it's too far from the truth. 

Few authors have ever equaled Mark Twain’s dexterity when it comes to knowledge of the English language. None have surpassed it. By the end of Mark Twain’s long and illustrious career, he would become a role model for generations of Americans in pursuit of the ways of the true gentleman. 


Here are some quotes that illustrate how one should live a life suitable for the likes of Mark Twain:

Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.

Few things in life are as important in life as a good sense of humor. Not only did Mark Twain understand that, he perfected the craft. Even during the darkest points in his novels, or his life for that matter, he still understood the need for humor, which is why he could overcome even the most difficult tragedies. Though he became bitter toward the end of his life, he never gave up the eternal yearning for a good laugh.

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

Nothing good has ever come from normal. Craziness, on the other hand, has benefited human nature more than any force out there. Don’t be afraid to let loose. Be afraid of falling into the majority. Take risks, make mistakes. You don’t learn from doing the right things, and the most fun stories in life come from the worst mistakes. Live a little, and never be afraid to have fun.


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

A man is only as good as his word. Once a lie breaches a relationship nothing can fix it. Mark Twain knew that, and took it to heart. Nothing hurts more than a bold-faced lie, which is why people always feel the need to cover their tracks with even more lies. The truth leads itself, though. While the truth may hurt in the short term, very rarely will it ever cut deep enough to do any significant damage. True men embrace their convictions, while cowards hide from them.

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.

The company you endure can be just as important, if not more so, than your actions alone. The greatest men in history had great friends. Hell, nearly every book Twain wrote told the story of an enduring friendship. Few great things in life ever come from one person, but rather are a collection of great ideas from great men collected by another great man.

Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.

It’s easy to live a full life. It’s nearly impossible to live life to the fullest. Everyone gets the urge on occasion to sit back and relax, but the truly great ones know better than that. Life is too short to watch greatness unfold before your eyes. Make it happen and you will be truly satisfied.

Life is short, Break the Rules.
Forgive quickly, Kiss SLOWLY.
Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably
And never regret ANYTHING
That makes you smile.

If there was one Mark Twain quote that encompassed everything he believed in, it would probably be this one. Mark Twain was no martyr. He was never afraid to take the rocky road, which might be why he had so many great experiences. He was never one to hold a grudge, as evidenced in his many novels about the human condition. As apparent from his other quotes, he was a man of staunch values. Nothing was more important to him than good bourbon, good relationships and big smiles.


And that is why he was such a big person.


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