Mark Twain's Top 9 Tips for a Great Life

Mark Twain's Top 9 Tips for a Great Life“It's no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction must have meaning.”

“Let us live in such a way that even the undertaker will regret it when we die.”

“If your friends start flattering you about how young you look, that's a sure sign that you're getting old.”

You may know Mark Twain from some of his very popular books, such as Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

He was a writer, but also a humorist, satirist and teacher.

Twain is known for his many – and often funny – quotes. Here are 9 of my favorite tips from him.

1. Approve of yourself.

“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”

If you don't approve of yourself, your behavior and actions, you probably spend most of the day feeling uneasy.

On the other hand, when you approve of yourself, you often become relaxed and gain inner freedom to do more of what you really want.

This, taken together, can be a major obstacle to personal growth.

You may have all the right tools to grow in some way, but you feel an inner resistance. You can't get there.

What you may be running into are barriers to success. You create barriers in your own mind about what you deserve or don't deserve. Or barriers that tell you what you are capable of.

They may tell you that you're not really the kind of person who could do this thing you're trying.

Or if you're making any progress in the direction you want to go, you may start to sabotage yourself. To keep yourself in a place that is familiar to you.

So you have to give yourself approval and allow yourself to be who you want to be. Don't look for the approval of others. But from yourself.

To dissolve that inner barrier or let go of that self-sabotaging tendency. This is not an easy task and it may take some time.

2. It could be that your limitations are just in your head.

“Age is a matter of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.”

So many limitations are mainly in our minds. For example, we think people will disapprove because we are too tall, too old or bald.

But these things only matter if you think they matter. Because you become self-conscious and worry about what people might think.

And people pick up on that and may react negatively.

Or you interpret everything they do as a negative reaction because you are so afraid of a bad reaction and are so focused inward on yourself.

On the other hand, if you don't mind, people usually don't mind either. And if you don't mind, don't let that part of you become a self-imposed roadblock in your life.

For example, it is rarely too late to do what you want to do.

3. Be cheerful and have fun.

“Humor is humanity's greatest blessing.”

“Nothing can stand against the onslaught of laughter.”

Humor and laughter are great tools. They can turn any serious situation into something to laugh about. They can lighten the mood just about anywhere.

And a lighter mood is often a better space to work in, because your body and mind are now not filled to the brim with negative emotions.

When you are more light-hearted and relaxed, the solution to a situation is often easier to think of and implement.

4. Let go of anger.

“Anger is an acid that can do more damage to the vessel in which it is kept than to anything on which it is poured.”

Anger is usually quite pointless. It can cause situations to get out of hand. And from a selfish perspective, it is often more painful for you than for the person you are angry with.

So even if you are angry at someone for days, realize that most of all you are hurting yourself. The other person may not even be aware that you are angry with him or her.

Talking to the person and resolving the conflict, or letting go of the anger as quickly as possible, are pretty good tips to make your life more enjoyable.

5. Free yourself from entitlement.

'Don't say that the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.”

When you are young, your father and mother can give you many things. As you get older, you may have some kind of entitlement. Maybe you feel like the world should just give you what you want, or that it owes you something.

This belief can cause a lot of anger and frustration in your life. Because the world may not give you what it expects.

On the other hand, this can also be liberating. You realize that it is up to you to shape your own life and up to you to work towards what you want. You are no longer a child waiting for your parents or the world to give you something.

You are now in the driver's seat. And you can pretty much go wherever you want.

6. If you choose a different path, prepare for backlash.

“Anyone with a new idea is an idiot until the idea succeeds.”

I think this has quite a bit of relevance to self-improvement.

When you start to change or do something different than you normally do, people may react in different ways.

Some may be happy for you. Some may be indifferent. Some may be surprised or react in a negative and discouraging way.

Many of these comments are probably not so much about you, but about the person who said it and their life. How they feel about themselves is reflected in the words they use and the judgments they make.

And that's okay. I think it's quite likely that they won't react as negatively as you might think. Or they will likely soon return to focusing on their own challenges.

So what other people say and think and let that hold you back is probably just a fantasy and a barrier you build in your mind.

You may find that when you finally cross that inner threshold you've created, the people around you may not shun you or come after you with pitchforks. Maybe they just say, “OK.”

7. Keep your focus steady on what you want.

“Pull your mind away from your problems… by the ears, by the heels, or any other way.”

Where you focus your attention largely determines how things turn out. You can focus on your problems and dwell in suffering and a victim mentality.

You can either focus on the positive in the situation, what you can learn from that situation, or you can simply focus your thoughts on something completely different.

It can be “normal” to dwell on problems and swim around in a sea of ​​negativity. But that's a choice. And a thinking habit.

You may start to reflexively dwell on problems instead of refocusing your thoughts on something useful. But you can also make it a habit to gain more and more control over what you focus on.

8. Don't focus so much on making yourself feel good.

“The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer someone else up.”

This may be a bit of a counterintuitive tip. But one of the best ways to feel good about yourself is to make someone else feel good or help them in some way.

This is a great way to look at things and create an upward spiral of positivity and value exchange between people.

You help someone and you both feel good.

The person who helped you will feel inclined to lend you a hand later, because people tend to reciprocate. And so you both feel good and you help each other.

Those positive feelings are also contagious to other people around you, so you may make them feel good too. And the help you received from your friend may inspire him or her to start helping another friend.

And so the upward spiral grows and continues.

9. Do what you want to do.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the things you did do. So throw away the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. To discover. Dream. To discover.”

Great quote. And I don't really have much to add to that.

Well, maybe to write it down and keep it as a daily reminder—on your refrigerator door or bathroom door—of what you can actually do with your life.

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