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May the world be kind to you, and may your own thoughts be gentle upon yourself. - Jonathan Lockwood Huie

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

This Above All, To Thine Own Self Be True - 5 Ways to Apply William Shakespeare's Advice Today



This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
- William Shakespeare
If Bill were around today, I think he would appreciate hearing the flight attendant say, "Put on your own oxygen mask first." Before any of us can be of service to others, or provide valuable council, we must empower our own lives. Only as happy, fully self-expressed individuals who set an example of living a great life, can we presume to suggest to others how they might improve the quality of their own lives. We are most powerful when we set an example.

Consider a parent who says, "Look at the sacrifices I'm making so you can have a better life." Contrast that with another parent who joyfully demonstrates living a great life every day. Parenthood requires many trade-offs, but parenthood should not be a time of suffering. Living a great life and sharing that life with others is the noble way to live.

Here are 5 ways to make a difference in the world by being true to yourself:

1. Set an example for your children and others. Live a life you hope your children will emulate.

2. Aspire to a successful career. You can't contribute money or material goods to any worthwhile cause if you don't have any. You best set an example by being successful AND generous.

3. Generate your own happiness and radiate that happiness into the world. People enjoy being around happy people, and they become happy themselves as a result.

4. Set boundaries. When you reach the limit of what you can contribute while still maintaining your inner peace and serenity, say NO to additional requests for your time and energy. Whenever you let urgency compromise your happiness, you lose your ability to set an example by leading a great life - as well as losing your own happiness.

5. Think for yourself - don't blindly follow tradition or the conventions of your family, community, or religion. Making your own choices gives you the opportunity to live a life you love, and to set an example of open-minded thinking and compassion.

10 comments:

  1. When we find Happiness within (God in us), then
    can we truly contribute to other people's
    Happiness. When we stop comparing ourselves to
    others and share the individual uniqueness God built into us, we will be a Benefit to Menkind, and in the process, free to be who God intended for us to be.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Brilliant stuff! LOVE no.3, 'cos it's so true: happiness is totally contagious! Yay! ;o) Thanks Jonathan, once again.

    ReplyDelete
  3. it is so true how can you help others if you don't have enough money to take care of your self. People say that money can't buy happiness,but it can pay the bills. People who have a lot of money doesn't know what it is like to struggle every month with the bills.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Being true to your self will make you boost your self-confidence. Indeed, William Shakespeare has a great legacy being left for us.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Well said! Thank you for being extraordinary. May we learn to apply all the knowledge we're gaining from your writing.

    ReplyDelete
  6. this all seems very well if you are just dealing with the normal vicissitudes of life but what if things are so bad you're in the middle of long term trauma? Estrangement from your child by an ex for example with all those fears and unmet responsibilities? how do you find yourself through the such heavy mists?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Being true to yourself is always the foundation of a life of joy and service, but there is more...

    Our lives begin to end the day we become silent
    about things that matter.
    - Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Faith is taking the first step,
    even when you don't see the whole staircase.
    - Martin Luther King, Jr.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Create activities. This is an amazing part but a challenging task to make children happy. I can't wait for my time to spend for them.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Being true to your self will make you boost your self-confidence. Indeed, William Shakespeare has a great legacy being left for us.

    ReplyDelete
  10. All of my life, I've been held to a standard of unrealistic expectations. The rules that I'm expected to follow are not the same rules that my family live by. I've often said, but have not been heard, that I'm not SuperWoman! Finally at 59, I am thinking and living as God wants and not as my family dictates. Its the only way to find peace.

    ReplyDelete

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