Mark Twain’s Top 9 Tips for Living a Positive Life

24 Jan 2014 by Aditi Galande, No Comments »

Start the year right with 9 of the most inspirational tips from the one and only, Mark Twain. You may know Mark Twain for some of his very popular books like Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. He was a writer, a humorist, satirist and lecturer.

1. Approve of yourself

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

If you don’t approve of yourself, of your behavior and actions then you’ll probably walk around most of the day with a sort of uncomfortable feeling. If you, however, approve of yourself then you tend to become relaxed and gain inner freedom to do more of what you really want. Society now days has an image of the perfect human, which is wrong. Everyone is perfect in their own way and the first step for a good life is accepting yourself. If you don’t, you may develop negative thoughts, which leads to depression. So you need give yourself approval and allow yourself to be who you want to be. Not look for the approval from others. But from yourself. To dissolve that inner barrier or let go of that self-sabotaging tendency. This is no easy task and it can take time.

2. Your limitations may just be in your mind

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

“So many limitations are mostly in our minds. We may for instance think that people will disapprove because we are too tall, too old or balding. But these things mostly matter when you think they matter. Because you become self-conscious and worried about what people may think. And people pick up on that and may react in negative ways. Or you may interpret anything they do as a negative reaction because you are so fearful of a bad reaction and so focused in on yourself. If you, however, don’t mind then people tend to not mind that much either. And if you don’t mind then you won’t let that part of yourself become a self-imposed roadblock in your life.”

3. Lighten up and have some fun

“Humor is mankind’s greatest blessing.”

“Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.”

Humor can turn any serious situation into something to laugh about. It can lighten the mood just about anywhere. And a lighter mood is often a better space to work in because now your body and mind isn’t filled to the brim with negative emotions. When you are more light-hearted and relaxed then the solution to a situation is often easier to both come up with and carry out.

4. Let go of anger and negative thoughts

“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.”

Anger is most of the time pretty pointless. It can cause situations to get out of hand. And from a selfish perspective it often more hurtful for the one being angry then the person s/he’s angry at. So even if you feel angry at someone for days recognize that you are mostly just hurting yourself. The other person may not even be aware that you are angry at him or her. So either talking to the person and resolving the conflict or letting go of anger as quickly as possible are pretty good tips to make your life more enjoyable.

5. Release yourself from entitlement

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

“When you are young your mom and dad may give a lot of things. As you grow older you may have a sort of entitlement. You may 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 expect it to. On the other hand, this can be liberating too. You realize that it is up to you to shape your own life and for you to work towards what you want. You are not a kid anymore, waiting for your parents or the world to give you something.”

6. If you’re taking a different path, prepare for reactions

“A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.”

“If you start to change or do something different from what you usually do then people may react in different ways. Some may be happy for you. Some may be indifferent. Some may be puzzled or react in negative and discouraging ways. Much of these reactions are probably not so much about you but about the person who said it and his/her life.

How they feel about themselves is coming through in the words they use and judgments they make. And that’s okay! I think it’s pretty likely that they won’t react as negatively as you may imagine. Or they will probably at least go back to focusing on their own challenges pretty soon.So what other people may say and think and letting that hold you back is probably just fantasy and barrier you build in your mind.”

7. Focus on what you want

“Drag your thoughts away from your troubles… by the ears, by the heels, or any other way you can manage it.”

What you focus your mind on greatly determines how things play out. You can focus on your problems and dwell in suffering and a victim mentality. Or you can focus on the positive in situation, what you can learn from that situation or just focus your mind on something entirely else.

8. Don’t focus too much on yourself

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

One of the best ways to feel good about yourself is to make someone else feel good or help them out in some way. Positive feelings are contagious and the person you helped feels inclined to give you a hand later on.

9. Do what you want to do

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did so. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Now I don’t have much to add to this one since the quote pretty much sums everything up.

Now, I want you to ask yourself, “What am I going to do to lead a good life?”

"To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence," Mark Twain.

“To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence,” Mark Twain.

You can check out more inspirational quotes at http://www.brainyquote.com/

Photo credits: http://www.biography.com/people/mark-twain-9512564

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