Mark Twain on People and Getting Things Done

Mark Twain, actually, Samuel Clemens, was an American writer, philosopher, and humorist.  He wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  Today, we look at 5 of his quotes and how they relate to what we do both at home and at work.

  1. Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see – There is never a time or never a place when an act of kindness is out of place.  Because my kids are grown, individuals still with kids at home often ask what one attribute I would choose to instill in children.  You might think of industriousness, positive attitude, persistence, or any of many others.  However, kindness would certainly be one attribute near the top of my list.  Certainly, we have many priorities and concerns and issues confronting us during any day.  Despite this, we should never lose sight of the need to treat others with kindness.
  2. Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please” – Too many individuals like to make up their own facts to fit their specific needs for that moment.  Twain in this quote is essentially saying that facts are still important.  We might twist their meaning or attempt to make them fit our own agenda or hypothesis, but facts are important and should always be of utmost importance.  Making fact-based decisions is critical, especially for us in regulated functions.
  3. It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt” – This one is pretty clear.  Individuals often talk simply because they like to hear themselves talk.  We need to think first.  Before you feel the need to speak in a meeting, ask yourself if your comments will add to the value of the discussion.
  4. There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded” – We are nearing the end of 2015.  Consider this… If you were tasked to bring every item of work or value you have accomplished this year so far and place it on the table, what would you bring?  What have you accomplished this year that has enhanced the value of your company or made it a better company?  Would you pay yourself for the accomplishments you have made to your company?  Which group would you fit in?
  5. The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up” – Try this to see if it is true!  It is amazing that the feelings of encouragement you think you are passing along to someone else somehow bubble up in you when you do it.  It only takes 10 seconds to brighten up someone else’s day.

Mark Twain provides good wisdom for us today.  Thanks for everything you do and please, have a “top ten” day!

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