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The Best Advice for You to Follow

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Would you be surprised if I told you that some of the best advice for you comes from William Shakespeare? Yes, that William Shakespeare, the English language’s most famous playwright. Considering that his poetry and prose is 400 years old, I don’t blame anyone for being skeptical; however, it’s true. And this best advice, with one piece in particular, is outstanding. It is a golden rule in how to live your life.

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Where can you find this best advice?

That part is easy. It’s available online for free, since Shakespeare’s work is now in the public domain.

There is a gem of a speech in Shakespeare’s Hamlet that is all about this best advice. Specifically, the passage I’m referring to is when Polonius, a Machiavellian-type, who gives his son, Laertes advice, before his planned return to college (Hamlet I, iii, 55-81).

10 Best Advice Tips for Life from Shakespeare

This is Polonius speaking, of course from the quill of Shakespeare.

  1. Do not speak whatever comes into your mind out loud.
  2. Do not act unless you have weighed the consequences, and also, don’t over-react.
  3. Be friendly, but don’t ever become too familiar and risk being seen as too common.
  4. Careful beginning an argument, since once in, your opponent loses their trust in you.
  5. Listen to everyone, but don’t speak to everyone (about important matters).
  6. Keep an open mind and reserve your judgment.
  7. Dress according to what you can afford and in good taste.
  8. Remember that a person’s clothing tells us a lot about them.
  9. Don’t borrow or lend money from a friend since you will often lose both (the money and the friend).
  10. And the most important one: Be true to yourself – “To thine own self be true.”

If Shakespeare added, “This above all,” then this is the most important advice of a series of very important advice.

“To Thine own self be true.”

Such a simple sentence that is packed with incredible best advice for us.

white flowers

“To Thine Own Self Be True”

So, how would this most important piece of life advice from a father to a son, written so long ago, apply to us today?

Simply put, it’s a message about authenticity.

It is thoughtful advice, especially because it takes into account two important things: knowing yourself well enough to then act accordingly, to who you are. When broken down, you can see that it is a reminder for you to live in truth and integrity.

What does knowing yourself entail?

  • Be honest with yourself and really get to know yourself well.
  • Remember, you won’t do yourself any favours by lying to yourself.
  • Ask yourself, what do you value? What is it that you don’t?
  • Listen to your inner voice.

How would this manifest itself in your behaviour?

  • By being “true,” you need to be loyal to yourself. This means keeping promises to yourself. It also means adhering to your values.
  • Be consistent with yourself.
  • Examine your actions. Do they align with who you are? Your values?
  • What sits right with you and what doesn’t?
  • Your actions need to reflect who you are and what you want your place in the world to be. Do they?

hat in a field

Dos and Donts to Help You Follow this Best Advice

Do maintain your truth and behave in a way that is authentic to you.

Do live your life according to who you really are.

Do spend time getting to know yourself.

Don’t go against who you are to please someone.

Don’t do something that will make you think less of yourself.

Don’t forget your place in the world.

Be authentic to who you are. There’s only one of you.

“To Thine Own Self Be True.”

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post. Comment below!

-Isabel

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  1. Tess says:

    such a good reminder to always be true to yourself! thanks for sharing this 🙂

  2. Susye says:

    Thank you for sharing these insightful tips, they provide valuable guidance for living authentically and with integrity.

  3. Sara Meyer says:

    What an inspiring and positive reading:)

  4. Chloe says:

    The best advice <3

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