Mark Twain is considered one of the most influential and remarkable writers of American literature. He’s best known for his books The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and is considered the Father of American Literature.
In total, Twain wrote 28 books and numerous short stories. Additionally, he’s known as one of the first American celebrities as he was great at influencing the public through his work.
“It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”
In various areas such as politics, we can often observe how not the smartest but the loudest people get most of the attention. This leads especially young people into thinking that they need to say more to be heard.
During my time at high-school, I was one of those annoying, loud girls who talked all the time, even if I had nothing to say.
Looking back, I know that was a defense mechanism because I was afraid of not being heard at all.
But here’s the truth: Sometimes, it’s better to be quiet and think your thoughts in silence instead of sharing them with the world.
How to apply it:
Of course, you shouldn’t try to keep your mouth closed when you’re having a casual cup of coffee with your best friend or chatting with your partner.
But in conversations with new acquaintances or with people you don’t know well yet, you might want to ask yourself the following five questions before saying something:
Is it true?
Is it helpful?
Is it inspiring?
Is it necessary?
Is it kind?
If you’re going to say something that isn’t true, helpful, inspiring, necessary, or kind, you might want to keep it to yourself.
By doing so, you’ll avoid embarrassing yourself and you’ll likely save someone from being offended or even hurt.
“All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.”
When I first came across this quote, I didn’t understand its meaning. Two years later, I couldn’t agree more with it.
For me, success equals freedom. That’s why I started my entrepreneurial journey at the age of 19. I knew that if I wanted to be free, I needed to run my own business.
And even though I didn’t know how I’d make money, I was ready to do anything it takes to figure it out.
Looking back, ignorance and confidence are the two skills that helped me build a 6-figure online business at the age of 23.
How to apply it:
When I started my business, I had to ignore the negative voices around me.
Back then, I’ve been completing a full-time internship while also finishing my business studies. When I told the other interns what I was doing in my spare time and what I was dreaming about, many of them told me being self-employed isn’t worth it because you have to work all the time.
Today, all of them are spending 40+ hours per week in a concrete cube for a job that isn’t fulfilling them. What I do is traveling the world and running a multiple 6-figure businesses with my partner. Not to mention that I love what I’m doing every single day.
Sometimes, achieving your goals really is about ignoring others’ opinions and being confident enough to start, even if you’re unsure about the final destination.
For the first three years of my entrepreneurial journey, I didn’t really know how to turn my dreams into reality. In the fourth year, I figured it out because I had tried so many things that didn’t work.
“All generalizations are false, including this one.”
This is one of my all-time favorite quotes and summarizes one of the key rules of my life.
Whenever someone tries to convince me that his way of doing something is better or the only correct one, that’s a sign to be careful about his advice.
We’re all different, our lives are different, we face different struggles, and we want to achieve different goals.
It’s ridiculous to believe that one person might have all the answers to your problems unless he’s living the exact same life, which I doubt.
How to apply it:
Whenever someone’s trying to convince you about their opinion without fully understanding your situation, be careful.
Be skeptical about coaches who want to sell you programs that will help you scale your business without even knowing what your business is about.
Be skeptical about friends who judge your relationship without ever understanding it.
And be skeptical about those who generalize hate or praise.
You can’t say Instragam is the best marketing platform or men are unfaithful.
These statements don’t make sense and we all know that. Yet, we often fall for that trap of generalization in our daily lives.
Next time you come across one, stop for a second and question whether that generalization makes sense or if it’s an obvious exaggeration.
“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.”
Most people delay working on their dreams because they’re waiting to feel ready. However, the truth is that you’ll never feel ready to start great things.
If you wait until you’re comfortable, you’ll likely be too late.
Courageous people start working on their goals even if they’re feeling uncomfortable.
Today, things are changing so quickly that waiting for the perfect time will likely lead to frustration rather than safety.
How to apply it:
Sometimes, you need to get started even though you’re insecure.
If I would’ve waited until I feel ready to start a business, I’d still be waiting.
Did it feel comfortable starting a business at the age of 19, not knowing how I’d turn my passion into a paycheck? Nope.
Was it worth it? You bet!
Next time you feel fearful about taking a big step, be aware that you have two choices: Holding yourself back and accepting your current reality or being courageous despite your fears.
Whenever I’m feeling fearful and procrastinating instead of taking action on a new project, I remind myself of the following quote by Jeff Bezos:
“Most decisions should probably be made with somewhere around 70 percent of the information you wish you had. If you wait for 90 percent, in most cases, you’re probably being slow.”
In today's world, you don’t want to be too slow. You want to move fast, learn quickly, and adapt on the go. That’s not only how you experience more, but also how you figure out what works and what doesn’t.
“The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.”
Our social circle influences how we feel and behave. If all your friends complain about the weather or politics, it’s hard to talk about something else.
Similarly, if you’re surrounded by negativity, it’s hard to stay cheerful.
However, what you can always try is to help others to see the bright side as well.
I’m running my business with my boyfriend and whenever we experienced a failure in the past, we’ve both been in a bad mood. This didn’t only affect our productivity but also our relationship.
At some point, we decided to break out of that circle and promised ourselves to give our bests to stay cheerful, even when difficulties arise.
Now, when one of us is angry or annoyed, the other one tries to focus on the bright side. That way, we make sure that we can eliminate negative vibes as soon as possible and focus on the things that truly matter.
How to apply it:
Next time you find yourself being sad or angry in a group of friends, with your partner, or in your family, try to be the one cheering up yourself and others.
There’s no better feeling than knowing that you are the one causing positivity and kindness in your social circle.