The Self

In Hamlet Act I, Scene 3 (78-82), Polonius tells his son Laertes, “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.”

I have always loved the oft quoted line “To thine own self be true but it is only today that I discovered that Polonius was trying to tell his son to nurture his ‘self’ through actions that conveyed a right image. Whereas, like many others, I always thought that Shakespeare was advocating the opposite.

On Day 2 of my 3 Day Quote Challenge, I present Shakespeare’s famous line from Hamlet for discussion and food for thought. Shweta Dave, here you go, and thank you for inviting me to be part of this challenge.

Peer pressure.

How many of us give into it and end up doing things we are uncomfortable with?

I don’t know about you but I have always felt miserable each time that I tried to be somebody else’s idea of the person I should be.

Fortunately for me, I soon figured out that I would be far better off being true to myself.

And, you know what? I haven’t lost one thing in the bargain.

Au contraire! My Happiness Quotient (HQ) increased in spades from the time I decided that the world could take me or leave me but I would not try and be what I was not. I think what happened was that (a) I was happier because I was more comfortable in my own skin and (b) people accepted me because they responded to my true being. Well, a few didn’t but that’s okay. One can’t please everyone.

Stephen Joseph (Ph.D), professor of psychology, health and social care at the University of Nottingham, UK explains the benefits of being true to oneself beautifully in his article To Thine Own Self Be True.

I couldn’t match Stephen Joseph’s explanation. So, I won’t even try and simply suggest that you read his article to understand why you should try being true to ‘the self’.

To thine own self be true – my quote for Day 2 of my quote challenge (Day 1 was The Huddle). Hope you like it and will leave a comment telling me what your own experience has been in living up to yourself.

The rules for the 3 Day Quote Challenge are simple.

  1. Post a favorite quote of yours for 3 consecutive days,  obviously  a different quote each day from any book, any author of your choice. It could also be your own quote.
  2. Nominate 3 bloggers with each post to challenge them.
  3. Thank the person who nominated you.

My Nominations for day 2 are:


Vaishnavi Prasad

Purba Chakraborty

#quotes #life

Featured Image Credit: Reflections in the Waves of Life. Image copyright – Lata Subramanian.


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