Best Mark Twain Quote About Life, Travel, Writing, Love and more!


best mark twain quotes about life

Even if you’ve only heard his name mentioned in English class, Mark Twain did more than just write ‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’ and ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.’

Born Samuel Clemens on November 30, 1835, Twain was raised primarily in the town of Hannibal, Missouri, on the Mississippi River. He attended school until he was 12 years old, then began working as a printing apprentice in order to support his family.

Though he is best known as a novelist, Twain’s accomplishments don’t end there. He was well-traveled, with his many occupations taking him across the United States and around the world. Twain was also a respected social critic. At one point, he even became a licensed steamboat pilot—a profession that provided him with his pseudonym. “Mark Twain” was a boating term which indicated that the depth of water was safe for the steamboat.

Twain’s writings highlight all areas of life—writing, friendship, education, courage, politics, and travel—and his quotes are just as relevant today as they were more than a century ago when they were written.

Favorite Quotes from Mark Twain in 2019

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

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

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

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

5. “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

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

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

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

9. “Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been.” ― Mark Twain

10. “Unconsciously we all have a standard by which we measure other men, and if we examine closely we find that this standard is a very simple one, and is this: we admire them, we envy them, for great qualities we ourselves lack. Hero worship consists in just that. Our heroes are men who do things which we recognize, with regret, and sometimes with a secret shame, that we cannot do. We find not much in ourselves to admire, we are always privately wanting to be like somebody else. If everybody was satisfied with himself, there would be no heroes.” ― Mark Twain

11. “Books are for people who wish they were somewhere else.” ― Mark Twain

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

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

14. “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

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

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

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

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

19. “Worrying is like paying a debt you don’t owe.” ― Mark Twain

20. “There is a charm about the forbidden that makes it unspeakably desirable.” ― Mark Twain

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

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

23. “Education: the path from cocky ignorance to miserable uncertainty.” ― Mark Twain

24. “Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it thousands of times.” ― Mark Twain

25. “The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer someone else up.” ― Mark Twain

26. “The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.” ― Mark Twain

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

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

29. “The secret to getting ahead is getting started.” ― Mark Twain

30. “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

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

32. “Let us not be too particular. It is better to have old second-hand diamonds than none at all.” ― Mark Twain

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

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

35. “I can last two months on a good compliment.” ― Mark Twain

36. “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

37. “Comparison is the death of joy.” ― Mark Twain

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

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

40. “That is just the way with some people. They get down on a thing when they don’t know nothing about it.” ― Mark Twain

41. “Any emotion, if it is sincere, is involuntary.” ― Mark Twain

42. “If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.” ― Mark Twain

43. “The most interesting information come from children, for they tell all they know and then stop.” ― Mark Twain

44. “A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.” ― Mark Twain

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

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

47. “The human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter.” ― Mark Twain

48. “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.” ― Mark Twain

49. “Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” ― Mark Twain

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

51. “Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.” ― Mark Twain

52. “If you tell the truth you do not need a good memory!” ― Mark Twain

53. “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

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

55. “Just when I thought I was learning how to live, ’twas then I realized I was learning how to die.” ― Mark Twain

56. “Ob scurity and a competence—that is the life that is best worth living.” ― Mark Twain

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

58. “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

59. “Good judgement is the result of experience and experience the result of bad judgement.” ― Mark Twain

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

61. “A half-truth is the most cowardly of lies.” ― Mark Twain

62. “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

63. “Be good and you will be lonesome.” ― Mark Twain

64. “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” ― Mark Twain

65. “I do not wish any reward but to know I have done the right thing.” ― Mark Twain

66. “Write what you know.” ― Mark Twain

Do you resonate with any of these Mark Twain quotes? If so, let us know which ones!


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