7 Life Changing Lessons You Can Learn from Mark Twain
in 1871, Mark Twain was born as Samuel Langhorne Clemens in Florida, Missouri, U.S. He was a writer, and lecturer. He was called the “greatest American humorist of his age.” He wrote the now classic novels, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
He wrote some great stuff that is still read by millions today. He also had some great quotes that continue to live on because of the wisdom in them. Mark Twain was a funny, witty, and wise guy. I hope the below quotes will astonish, enlighten, and amuse you.
“I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.”
We walk around all our lives thinking about things that will never happen. We worry, dread, and fear what hasn’t happened and what probably never will.
Our minds are out of control. Our heads are filled with negative thoughts that have no bearing in reality, even if we think they do.
“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.”
We want safety. We want to be secure, but the best life experiences come when we drop those notions and go after what we truly want, whether it feels safe or not.
I’ve battled with this myself, and I often stop myself from doing things because it feels unsafe. I worry too much about the future.
In reality, we can’t know what the future will bring. Even if you have millions in the bank, you may lose it tomorrow. Not even the wealthiest on this planet are secure.
“When people do not respect us we are sharply offended; yet in his private heart no man much respects himself.”
Imagine that something negative happened to you. Maybe someone said something to you that you thought was wrong.
How often do you replay what happened over and over and over again when it’s all over?
We disrespect ourselves by replaying bad thoughts in our mind, which leads to feeling bad, and treating everyone (including ourselves) around us badly.
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”
Going after your dreams can feel like an overwhelming task, but that’s because you’re trying to visualize something in your head that cannot be visualized.
Mark Twain is right on in breaking things into small pieces. It works because you can hold an image in your head of what the end result looks like. Instead of thinking “I need to start an online business,” a better thought would be “I need to start a blog.”
That is, if you want to go down that route. Break things down, and simplify!
“When angry, count to four. When very angry, swear.”
A good and funny quote, but to me it sends the message to not make decisions when you’re angry. People are foolish when they are angry. They snap at others and only create more trouble in their life. Next time you’re angry, either use methods such as The Work or EFT, like I mentioned above, or just count to four, or better yet, ten.
Calm down, and sleep on your decision.
“Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living; the world owes you nothing; it was here first.”
Have you ever felt like you deserved something, but didn’t get it? I know I certainly have. That thought does us no good, even if we think we did deserve whatever it is that we didn’t get. It keeps you stuck instead of moving forward. So what if things didn’t go perfectly? You adjust and you keep on going.
Who knows, maybe that setback wasn’t a setback after all. The negative events in my life have a tendency to blossom into positive ones.
“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.”
Successful people aren’t fearless; no one is. It’s easy to believe that if you got rid of your fears, everything would be fine, but that’s just an excuse for not getting started. You will always have a smidgen of fear when diving into the unknown. Don’t let it stop you; instead use it as fuel to keep going.