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170 Brilliant Mark Twain Quotes For Everyday Wisdom

170 Brilliant Mark Twain Quotes For Everyday Wisdom

Mark Twain was one of the most influential writers of the 19th century.

His words have left a significant mark on literature, being considered as relevant today as they were back in the day.

Below you’ll discover the best Mark Twain quotes I could find online.

Let them take you into the brilliant mind of the legendary guy who introduced us to the iconic duo — Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn!

10 Most Famous Mark Twain Quotes

1. “Life is short. Break the rules. Forgive quickly. Kiss slowly. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably. Never regret anything that makes you smile.” ― Mark Twain

A close-up of a frowned Mark Twain representing a famous Mark Twain quote

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

3. “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.” ― Mark Twain

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

5. “Let us live so that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.” ― Mark Twain

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

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

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

9. “I don’t need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better.” ― Mark Twain

10. “Work like you don’t need the money. Dance like no one is watching. And love like you’ve never been hurt.” ― Mark Twain

Inspirational Quotes By Mark Twain

1. “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

Portrait of Mark Twain representing an inspirational Mark Twain quote

2. “Give every day a chance to become the most beautiful day in your life.” ― Mark Twain

3. “There is no easy or quick plan to happiness, there is no single spot where you can start. Where you are right now is the best place to begin.” ― Mark Twain

4. “To do good is noble. To tell others to do good is even nobler and much less trouble.” ― Mark Twain

5. “There isn’t time, so brief is life, for bickerings, apologies, heartburnings, callings to account. There is only time for loving, and but an instant, so to speak, for that.” ― Mark Twain

6. When you are seeking to bring big plans to fruition it is important with whom you regularly associate. Hang out with friends who are like-minded and who are also designing purpose-filled lives. Similarly, be that kind of a friend for your friends.” ― Mark Twain

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

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

9. “Right is right, and wrong is wrong, and a body ain’t got no business doing wrong when he ain’t ignorant and knows better.” ― Mark Twain

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

11. “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” ― Mark Twain

See also: Ultimate Collection Of 60 Do What Makes You Happy Quotes

12. “What is joy without sorrow? What is success without failure? What is a win without a loss? What is health without illness? You have to experience each if you are to appreciate the other. There is always going to be suffering. It’s how you look at your suffering, how you deal with it, that will define you.” ― Mark Twain

13. “When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade, without further introduction.” ― Mark Twain

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

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

See also: Ultimate List Of 100 Lightning Quotes To Inspire You

16. “Humor is mankind’s greatest blessing.” ― Mark Twain

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

18. “One frequently only finds out how really beautiful a woman is, until after considerable acquaintance with her.” ― Mark Twain

19. “The proper office of a friend is to side with you when you are in the wrong. Nearly anybody will side with you when you are in the right.” ― Mark Twain

20. “It is higher and nobler to be kind.” ― Mark Twain

21. “Whoever is happy will make others happy too.” ― Mark Twain

See also: Top 220 Happy Quotes For Instagram To Spread Good Vibes

22. “Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritations and resentments slip away and a sunny spirit takes their place.” ― Mark Twain

23. “You meet people who forget you. You forget people you meet. But sometimes you meet those people you can’t forget. Those are your ‘friends’.” ― Mark Twain

24. “Don’t you worry your pretty little mind. People throw rocks at things that shine and life makes love look hard.” ― Mark Twain

25. “Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of a joy you must have someone to divide it with.” ― Mark Twain

See also: 80 Inspiring Quotes On Joy To Turn Your Frown Upside Down

Mark Twain Quotes About Life

1. “Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen.” ― Mark Twain

Mark Twain sitting in a chair and smoking a cigarette

2. “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

3. “Life does not consist mainly, or even largely, of facts or happenings. It consists mainly of the storm of thoughts that is forever flowing through one’s head.” ― Mark Twain

4. “I can teach anybody how to get what they want out of life. The problem is I can’t find anybody who can tell me what they want.” ― Mark Twain

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

6. “When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.” ― Mark Twain

7. “I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.” ― Mark Twain

8. “We chase phantoms half the days of our lives. It is well if we learn wisdom even then, and save the other half.” ― Mark Twain

9. “If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and man.” ― Mark Twain

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

11. “Of all the animals, man is the only one that is cruel. He is the only one that inflicts pain for the pleasure of doing it.” ― Mark Twain

12. “The lack of money is the root of all evil.” ― Mark Twain

13. “Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” ― Mark Twain

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

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

16. “The funniest things are forbidden.” ― Mark Twain

17. “The secret of success is making your vocation your vacation.” ― Mark Twain

18. “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

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

20. “Whoever has lived long enough to find out what life is, knows how deep a debt of gratitude we owe to Adam, the first great benefactor of our race. He brought death into the world.” ― Mark Twain

21. “There is no such thing as an ordinary life.” ― Mark Twain

22. “But that is the way we are made: we don’t reason, where we feel; we just feel.” ― Mark Twain

23. “All say, ‘how hard it is that we have to die’ — a strange complaint to come from the mouths of those who have had to live.” ― Mark Twain

24. “Obscurity and a competence — that is the life that is best worth living.” ― Mark Twain

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

Mark Twain Quotes On Education

1. “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” ― Mark Twain

2. “Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond; cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.” ― Mark Twain

3. “Some people get an education without going to college. The rest get it after they get out.” ― Mark Twain

4. “Everything has its limit — iron ore cannot be educated into gold.” ― Mark Twain

5. “Choosing not to read is like closing an open door to paradise.” ― Mark Twain

6. “If books are not good company, where shall I find it?” ― Mark Twain

7. “Education: that which reveals to the wise, and conceals from the stupid, the vast limits of their knowledge.” — Mark Twain

8. “When I am king they shall not have bread and shelter only, but also teachings out of books, for a full belly is little worth where the mind is starved.” ― Mark Twain

9. “In a good bookroom you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them.” ― Mark Twain

10. “Learning softeneth the heart and breedeth gentleness and charity.” ― Mark Twain

11. “Education consists mainly of what we have unlearned.” — Mark Twain

12. “Every time you stop a school, you will have to build a jail. What you gain at one end you lose at the other. It’s like feeding a dog on his own tail. It won’t fatten the dog.” ― Mark Twain

13. “The less a man knows the bigger the noise he makes and the higher the salary he commands.” ― Mark Twain

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

15. “The world is made wrong; kings should go to school to their own laws, at times, and so learn mercy.” ― Mark Twain

Quotes On Writing By Mark Twain

1. “There are three things men can do with women: love them, suffer them, or turn them into literature.” ― Mark Twain

2. “It is my belief that nearly any invented quotation, played with confidence, stands a good chance to deceive.” ― Mark Twain

3. “The only difference between reality and fiction is that fiction needs to be credible.” ― Mark Twain

4. “My books are water; those of the great geniuses is wine. Everybody drinks water.” ― Mark Twain

5. “Write without pay until somebody offers to pay.” — Mark Twain

6. “Every person is a book, each year a chapter.” ― Mark Twain

7. “A successful book is not made of what is in it, but what is left out of it.” — Mark Twain

8. “Most writers regard the truth as their most valuable possession, and therefore are economical in its use.” ― Mark Twain

9. “The very ink with which all history is written is merely fluid prejudice.” ― Mark Twain

10. “Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.” ― Mark Twain

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

12. “Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.” ― Mark Twain

13. “Anyone who can only think of one way to spell a word obviously lacks imagination.” ― Mark Twain

14. “Use the right word, not its second cousin.” ― Mark Twain

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

16. “Don’t use a five-dollar word when a fifty-cent word will do.” ― Mark Twain

17. “One should never use exclamation points in writing. It is like laughing at your own joke.” ― Mark Twain

18. “’Classic’ — a book which people praise and don’t read.” ― Mark Twain

19. “The test of any good fiction is that you should care something for the characters; the good to succeed, the bad to fail. The trouble with most fiction is that you want them all to land in hell together, as quickly as possible.” ― Mark Twain

20. “When one writes a novel about grown people, he knows exactly where to stop – that is, with a marriage; but when he writes about juveniles, he must stop where he best can.” ― Mark Twain

Wise Quotes By Mark Twain

1. “The most permanent lessons in morals are those which come not of book teaching but of experience.” ― Mark Twain

2. “Good breeding consists of concealing how much we think of ourselves and how little we think of the other person.” ― Mark Twain

3. “Nothing that grieves us can be called little: by the eternal laws of proportion a child’s loss of a doll and a king’s loss of a crown are events of the same size.” ― Mark Twain

4. “Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.” ― Mark Twain

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

6. “A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn no other way.” ― Mark Twain

7. “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).” ― Mark Twain

8. “Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.” ― Mark Twain

9. “To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” ― Mark Twain

10. “I don’t like to commit myself about Heaven and Hell, you see, I have friends in both places.” ― Mark Twain

11. “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” ― Mark Twain

12. “Necessity is the mother of taking chances.” ― Mark Twain

13. “Truth is the most valuable thing we have. Let us economize it.” ― Mark Twain

14. “Laughter without a tinge of philosophy is but a sneeze of humor. Genuine humor is replete with wisdom.” ― Mark Twain

15. “You can’t reason with your heart; it has its own laws and thumps about things which the intellect scorns.” ― Mark Twain

16. “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” ― Mark Twain

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

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

19. “Good judgment is the result of experience and experience the result of bad judgment.” ― Mark Twain

20. “Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident; the only earthly certainty is oblivion.” ― Mark Twain

21. “It takes your enemy and your friend, working together, to hurt you to the heart: the one to slander you and the other to get the news to you.” ― Mark Twain

22. “If you must be indiscrete, be discrete in your indiscretion.” ― Mark Twain

23. “The ability to find solutions to life’s challenges is what makes us grow as a person.” ― Mark Twain

24. “If you have to swallow a frog, don’t stare at it too long.” ― Mark Twain

25. “A man is never more truthful than when he acknowledges himself a liar.” ― Mark Twain

See also: 160 Best Quotes About Liars To Help You Deal With Them

Motivational Mark Twain Quotes 

1. “Focus more on your desire than on your doubt, and the dream will take care of itself.” ― Mark Twain

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

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

See also: 210 Best Quotes About Courage To Unleash Your Inner Hero

4. “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and starting on the first one.” — Mark Twain

5. “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.” ― Mark Twain

6. “Do the thing you fear the most and the death of fear is certain.” ― Mark Twain

See also: 170 Greatest Quotes About Fear To Help You Conquer It

7. “Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.” ― Mark Twain

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

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

See also: 80 Not Feeling Like A Priority In A Relationship Quotes

10. “To believe yourself brave is to be brave; it is the one only essential thing.” ― Mark Twain

11. “Be careless in your dress if you must, but keep a tidy soul.” ― Mark Twain

12. “When you fish for love, bait with your heart, not your brain.” ― Mark Twain

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

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

15. “I think that to one in sympathy with nature, each season, in turn, seems the loveliest.” ― Mark Twain

See also: 170 Nature Captions For Instagram For All The Nature Lovers

16. “How little a thing can make us happy when we feel that we have earned it.” ― Mark Twain

17. “They did not know it was impossible so they did it” ― Mark Twain

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

19. “It is never wrong to do the right thing.” ― Mark Twain

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

See also: 180 Greatest Honesty Quotes To Inspire Authentic Living

21. “Buy land, they’re not making it anymore.” ― Mark Twain

22. “A sound heart is a surer guide than an ill-trained conscience.” ― Mark Twain

23. “Never regret anything that made you smile” ― Mark Twain

24. “When in doubt, tell the truth.” ― Mark Twain

25. “A man has no business to be depressed by a disappointment, anyway; he ought to make up his mind to get even.” ― Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes To Provoke Your Mind

1. “The man who is a pessimist before 48 knows too much; if he is an optimist after it he knows too little.” ― Mark Twain

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

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

4. “It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either.” ― Mark Twain

5. “April 1. This is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three hundred and sixty-four.” ― Mark Twain

6. “If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re misinformed.” ― Mark Twain

7. “Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them, the rest of us could not succeed.” — Mark Twain

8. “Don’t wake up a woman in love. Let her dream so that she does not weep when she returns to her bitter reality.” ― Mark Twain

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

10. “Its name is Public Opinion. It is held in reverence. It settles everything. Some think it is the voice of God.” ― Mark Twain

11. “Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.” ― Mark Twain

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

13. “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” ― Mark Twain

14. “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.” ― Mark Twain

15. “The holy passion of Friendship is of so sweet and steady and loyal and enduring a nature that it will last through a whole lifetime, if not asked to lend money.” ― Mark Twain

16. “It’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all doubt.” ― Mark Twain

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

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

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

20. “The older I get, the more clearly I remember things that never happened.” ― Mark Twain

21. “When ill luck begins, it does not come in sprinkles, but in showers.” ― Mark Twain

22. “Nothing exists but you. And you are but a thought.” ― Mark Twain

23. “The trouble ain’t that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain’t distributed right.” ― Mark Twain

24. “The trouble with the world is not that people know too little; it’s that they know so many things that just aren’t so.” ― Mark Twain

25. “Nothing exists; all is a dream. God — man — the world — the sun, the moon, the wilderness of stars — a dream, all a dream; they have no existence. Nothing exists save empty space — and you!” ― Mark Twain

Wrapping It Up

I hope these Mark Twain quotes have provided you with a good source of inspiration and maybe a new way to think about life!

170 Brilliant Mark Twain Quotes For Everyday Wisdom