Mark Twain’s Bad Habit

None of us are free from bad habits, and many folks are unfortunately caught in addictions. Both of these destructive behavior patterns bring discomfort and pain into our lives. Is there actually any difference between a bad habit and an addiction? That’s a very good question.

Wikipedia defines addiction as as a “biopsychosocial disorder characterized by compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli despite adverse consequences.” In other words people find it extremely difficult, or practically impossible to stop performing a destructive pattern. Addictions may include: Alcohol, Tobacco, Opioids, Cocaine, Amphetamines, and Inhalants. It is reported that addiction exacts an “astoundingly high financial and human toll” on individuals and society as a whole. 70,630 drug overdose deaths occurred in the USA during the year of 2019.

The definition of a bad habit is simply a negative behavior pattern. The Pavlok Shock Clock system lists 176 bad habits that it claims to correct with its digital wristband. Supposedly the best time to stop a bad habit is before it becomes established. And it’s a good idea to always look ahead as to where our personal choices could lead us. Back 2019 ABC News reported that the leading causes of death were smoking, poor diet and a lack of exercise, all bad habits!

So bad habits can be managed by the individual but overcoming addictions requires some assistance, but they are both dangerous. The next question is WHY would people endanger their health with repetitive actions and dangerous substances? Shouldn’t they know better? Actually the causes of habitual behavior are more or less emotional. James Clear names stress and boredom as reasons that we turn to consoling although destructive behaviors. The Smokefree site approaches recovery from the “nicotine addiction” from a medical perspective.

So let’s take a look at Samuel Clemens, a gifted individual whose smoking habits made life uncomfortable for himself and everyone around him. Using his pen name, Mark Twain, Clemens wrote 28 books including the widely enjoyed Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. As a popular speaker, he is remembered for his witty quotes regarding cigar smoking : “Giving up smoking is easy… I’ve done it hundreds of times”; “I never smoke to excess – that is, I smoke in moderation, only one cigar at a time;” “Eating and sleeping are the only activities that should be allowed to interrupt a man’s enjoyment of his cigar;” and last but not least “If smoking is not allowed in heaven, I shall not go.” Amen!

As the biographer of Clemens, William Dean Howell, spoke to the seriousness of his subject’s cigar smoking habit “… Whenever he (Clemons) had been a few days with us, the whole house had to be aired, for he smoked all over it from breakfast to bedtime. He always went to bed with a cigar in his mouth, and sometimes, mindful of my fire insurance, I went up and took it away, still burning, after he had fallen asleep. I do not know how much a man may smoke and live, but apparently he smoked as much as a man could, for he smoked incessantly.”


Samuel Clemens was born on a Monday in the zodiac sign of Sagittarius. His INNER SELF is ruled by the Moon, with Jupiter governing his OUTER SELF. Individuals born with the #21 MON SAG Dayology Signature often have a large circle of friends and enjoy traveling from place to place. Usually they are liked for their humorous manner of relating their adventures. They are welcomed into all levels of society and usually judge people by their intentions rather than status.

Clemen’s addictive inclinations may well have originated from being born on Monday. It is the nature of Monday’s ruler, the Moon, to be highly reflective of other’s. Astrological sources from East and West ascribe an excess of emotionality to this day of the week.

“… Born on Monday You are a highly impressionable individual and this makes you highly sensitive to all the experiences you face in live. Both positive and negative experiences can affect so much leading to heartbreaks from time to time. ..” The Times of India.

“The Moon represents our sensitivity and feeling nature. Monday-born individuals are intuitive, responsive, adaptive, attentive, and emotionally awakened. The energies of Monday can create some confusion, moodiness, and changeability.” Cafe Astrology

Mark Twain passed away at the age of 74 of heart trouble. It was reported that he had cut his smoking from twenty cigars a day to a meager four. To quote from the OKLAHOMAN “No deprivation was a greater sorrow to him. He tried to smoke on the steamer while returning from Bermuda, and only gave it up because he was too feeble to draw on his pipe. Even on his deathbed, when he had passed the point of speech and it was no longer certain that his ideas were lucid, he would make the motion of waving a cigar, and, smiling, would expel empty air from under the mustache still stained with smoke.”

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