Friday, August 10, 2007

Advice from a Master

"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."

Mark Twain


Ian Lidster said...

Oh, you hit me where I live at so many levels with this little Twain quote. I worship at the man's shrine in any case. Can I offer you a 'Twain' back? I'm going to, anyway:
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So, throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, dream, discover."



heartinsanfrancisco said...

Hi Ian,

He's one of my enduring favorites, too.

Thank you for sending another great quote from someone who walked his talk.


EsLocura said...

more of us should heed that great advice.

Lex said...

So inspiring.

I used to be somewhat of a nay-sayer. But I can admit now that it was because I was miserable with my own life. I aspire to be among the really great! With you.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

I LOVE Mark Twain!
He really is superb. There were so many things about him that make him that way.

Like a multi-faceted wonderous treasure box with secret compartments and a bottomless depth.

Thank you.

Scarlett & V.

liv said...

Thanks for this. I've never been a big Twain fan, but this might make me a believer!

Open Grove Claudia said...

YAY!! I'd only add beware of the people who get close by seeming to support your dream - then tear you down.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


It's true. There are always people who would break us down when building someone up elevates everybody.


I do aspire to that, perhaps unrealistically, but you never know how close you can come if you don't try.

You're already great, by the way.


You're so right. He stands up to more modern writers and thinkers and never goes out of fashion.

Such a great mind, and a brilliant talent!


If nothing else, check out a book of his quotations. He was marvelously witty and sharp.


Yes, I've known such people and they are convincing at first. Until you know better.

Good call there.

la cubana gringa said...

That's a good one! And so very, very true!

Sienna said...

...and I loved to read his books as a kid.

I was interstate yesterday, by our mighty Murray River system and when I am ever at this big old river I always think of Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn and Mark Twain, for some reason.....for me such a powerful legacy for someone's literary works to carry forth over a hundred plus years.

I am a little reminded of Billy Connolly in your picture posted of Mark Twain! That and a little bit of Henry Lawson (Oz writer/poet)..:-) Something.


Anonymous said...

Why does it take forever for that little tid bit to sink in????

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Cubana Gringa,

He also said, "Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone, you may still exist, but you have ceased to live."


There is some resemblance to Billy Connolly. I looked up Henry Lawson as I didn't know what he looked like and I see a bit there, too. Probably the mustache.


I think it's 'cause we're um, human?

Anonymous said...

You are Groucho and Twain and Rogers and Earhart all in one, with a touch of Hepburn and Tracy and Loren.

Thank you, oh wise one.

Anonymous said...

All you need in life is confidence and ignorance, then success is sure.

Another great from Twain.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Do you mean Richard Rogers or Roy? If the latter, can I ride Trigger?

I don't think I want to ride with Earhart, though, at least not the last one.

I'm changing my name to Katharine Sophia Spencer. You may call me "Dollface," Humphrey.


Woody Allen said that 90% of success is showing up.

Thanks for your visit.

Liz said...

Totally needed to read that just now. I recently got my first paid writing thing and someone I know tried to tell me today that it only happened because of a hookup...not because of talent or anything like that.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Jealousy makes people say terrible things. The implications are really offensive.

Congratulations on your new gig! You deserve it. You can write with the best of them.

Jocelyn said...

YES, YES, YES! Old Samuel Clemens never goes wrong...he's like Oscar Wilde that way.

And Dorothy Parker.

Okay, I'll stop now.

Oh, and Heartsinsanfrancisco.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


You made me giggle with that punch line.

You have a great sense of the absurd.

riseoutofme said...

Nice, affirming quote to start the day. Just what I needed.

The pundits say that "we are a nation of begrudgers" and theres strong evidence everyday confirming this.

Think I'll move to Twain country my head anyway.

MsLittlePea said...

Oh so true! So true!

Don't you just love a man in a white suit? I do. Not everyone can pull it off but Mark Twain wore it well.

Josie said...

What a great post! When my daughter was growing up, I was a single mother, and I wanted to encourage her to reach for the stars. I always told her she could be anything she wanted to be. I used to say, "If you can be a nurse, you can be a doctor; if you can be a stewardess, you can be a pilot. Go for the top job." She now has a Master's Degree and is very successful. (Of course, she no longer speaks to me, but that's another matter, sadly...)

I love Mark Twain.

urban-urchin said...

I love Twain. And this quote and the one from Ian are ones I needed to hear today.... Thanks

heartinsanfrancisco said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
heartinsanfrancisco said...


A nation of begrudgers... that is excellent, and sadly, quite true. Too many people spend their energy envying others instead of creating their own success.

Sweet Pea,

It does take a certain grace and confidence to wear one well, which he had.


I hope that your daughter has an epiphany and realizes that you were and are a marvelous mother.

I also told my children that they could do anything, and they have all more than proved me right. I wish somebody had believed in me when I was young so that I could have, too.


Explore, dream, discover is a great philosophy that is too easily set aside in the throes of responsibility.

thailandchani said...

Susan, I tagged you. :) Hope you'll end up liking it.



eastcoastdweller said...

Every child should read Tom Sawyer as soon as he or She is capable of doing so.

And then the rest of Twain over a lifetime.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


All done. Can I go out and play now?


You're right. His children's books are timeless, and his other works are amazingly well written and delightful, too.

CS said...

You can't go wrong with Twain. I'd say, though, that the one valuable thng about people who belittle your ambitions is that you can use that as a motivator to go farther. But they sure aren't people you need next to your heart.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


So true. As they say, success is the best revenge.

The CEO said...

For reasons I can't explain, the sign of a really great blog is when the people commenting make the comments section almost as interesting as the blog to read. Sometimes better. I really look forward to reading your comment section for this reason. Really, it's lovely, and you attract such a lovely group. Just another way to note the obvious quality you bring to your blog.

velvet said...

Fantastic quote! Mark Twain was such an absolutely amazing original.

It's generally true that people will always try to pull you to their own level, whether it's up or down.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I agree. The people who come here are the best. I love them all.


I think they are more apt to try to pull you down, which is a waste. They could, instead, use someone else's perceived excellence as a beacon to work toward themselves.

thethinker said...

That quote was something I really needed to read, especially right now.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I have learned also that the greatest people in every field are usually the most humble. Those who boast about their own brilliance while putting down others are afraid of being surpassed by someone with real talent.

Don't let them eat away at your self confidence because you are the one with real talent whom they fear.

Girl on the Run... said...

A perfect dose of medice is what that is!


heartinsanfrancisco said...


Mark Twain was good medicine for whatever ails you.