Motivating with Mark Twain

Sometimes after a relatively quiet weekend spent reading and writing and puttering, I feel recharged and full of ideas I’m hot to share. And sometimes Sunday evening rolls around and I realize that I got nothin’ whatsoever, and find myself casting around wildly for some kind of motivation. Not inspiration, particularly—the inspiration will come if I just find something worth thinking about and start plugging away. But on a Sunday night, without the adrenaline of the workweek or the need to prove anything to anyone, getting started can be an issue.

Which is why I wish Sloshsplot, “the online home of offline nightlife,” would sell their Mark Twain Motivational Posters. I’m of the generation raised on those things, from “Hang in there baby, Friday’s coming” inside my grade-school locker onward. And who’s more quotable on matters of the mundane than Mr. Clemens?

Character: “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.” So far, so good. My favorite, I think, is Free Will: “I have a higher and grander standard of principle than George Washington. He could not lie; I can, but I won’t.”

And of particular value to people on the internet everywhere, Twain on Attributes: “All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.”

(via Hayden’s Ferry Review Blog.)


4 Comments to Motivating with Mark Twain

  1. Kat Warren's Gravatar Kat Warren
    October 26, 2009 at 12:38 am | Permalink

    Hmmm, motivational … just the word usually gives me hives. Nevertheless I CAN say what motivated me this weekend: the SF Opera’s production of Ric
    hard Straus’ (via Osca Wilde) Salome. Finest kind. But, I have to say that much vaunted Dance of the Seven Veils, didn’t live up to my (perhas too erotic) expectations.

  2. PatD's Gravatar PatD
    October 26, 2009 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    When I was younger, I had no interest in opera, and now that I’m older and do have an interest, I’d have to travel hundreds of miles to see one. I wonder if there’s an Opera on DVD series? Hmmm…
    I have the Monday Morning Blahs today, but that’s mostly due to a football weekend that saw the Hurricanes lose in overtime and the Dolphins blow a spectacular lead over New Orleans.
    I’ll shake it off by starting a new book today. I have a ginormous TBR stack that’s just got to have something distracting in it.

  3. October 26, 2009 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    That procrastination poster is *perfect.*

  4. Sean Long's Gravatar Sean Long
    October 26, 2009 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Those are great. You know, Twain was a match for H.L. Mencken when he had up a full head of steam.
    One of my favorite Twain quotes is “eschew surplusage.”

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>