The Mark Twain School of Motivation

What gets you up in the morning and keeps you going? How do you stay motivated to do the things that matter even when you don’t feel like it? What motivates you to stay engaged when the pressures on to slow down to a crawl?

motivation n [moh-tuhvey-shuhn]

  • desire to do
  • interest or drive
  • the process that stimulates, sustains and regulates behaviour

Mark Twain gives us several wisdom bites to fuel our “desire to do” and keep our “interest” and “drive” throughout the journey of life. For each motivation tip, there is a Mark Twain wisdom bite to help you keep growing in your own process of stimulating and sustaining personal motivation.

14 tips to help fuel your motivation

1. Just start.

The secret of getting ahead is getting started.MT

2. Follow other worthy examples.

Few things are harder to put
up with than a good example.

3. Take a few steps every day towards your goal.

Habit is habit and not to be flung out of the window by any man,
but coaxed downstairs a step at a time.

4. Make what you do fun.

Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand. MT

The human race has one really effective
weapon, and that is laughter.

5. Turn your experience into focused action.

A person who has had a bull by the tail once has
learned sixty to seventy times as much as a person who hasn’t.

A man who carries a cat by the tail learns
something he can learn in no other way. MT


6. Focus on action not talk.

Thunder is good, thunder is impressive;
but it is lightning that does the work.

7. Stop whining and get to work.

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

8. Stay motivated by serving others.

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

9. Don`t wait for no fear – be courageous in spite of fear.

Courage is resistance to fear,
mastery of fear, not absence of fear. MT


10. Focus on what you can control – not what might happen.

I have spent most of my life worrying about
things that have never happened. MT

11. Choose your commitments carefully.

It is easier to stay out than get out. MT

12. Hang out with encouraging ambitious people.

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. MT

13. Live with the end in mind.

Let us so live that when we come to die
even the undertaker will be sorry. MT

14. Don`t let the urgent crowd out the important.

Never put off until tomorrow what
you can do the day after tomorrow. MT

Which of these wisdom bites resonate with you the most?
What will you do differently now that you’ve been to school?

About Cam Taylor

I'm help people live inspired, focused and tenacious lives. I work as a coach, facilitator, author, and speaker.
This entry was posted in Abundance, anxiety, Attitude, Character, choice, Endurance, gratitude, Growth, Laughter, learning, motivation, Opportunity, Perspective, Preparation, self-awareness, Twain, urgency and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Mark Twain School of Motivation

  1. Shirlene Henning. says:

    Great words, and thoughts. Now that I have accomplished two small projects…motivation has taken over, (after procrastinating for some time), I started, and I’m excited, that I’m going ahead. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.
    Great words from Mark Twain. Thankyou Cam, for your blogs. So encouraging.

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