Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none. – William Shakespeare
What does that mean?
This line is from the Bard’s play “All’s Well That Ends Well“, Act 1 Scene 1, where the line is spoken by the mother to the son. This quote is truly worthy life advice for one who is being sent to court some distance away after the passing of his father.
- By loving all, you are opening your heart to all people, even (some might say especially) to those who don’t love you, or who don’t have your best interests uppermost in their minds.
- Which leads us to the next part of the quote. By trusting but a few, you are protecting yourself from those who are not worthy of your trust, who might wish to harm you or gain from your loss.
- Finally, by refusing to do wrong to anyone, you help generate good-will and may even help win over some. It is also is the moral, ethical, and legally responsible way to live your life.
Taken together, these three things make an excellent road-map for a just, happy, and prosperous life. At least in my mind. What do you think?
Why is following wise advice important?
As I tell my kids, they can spend their time making their own mistakes, or they can learn from mine, and do so in much less time. I try to limit my claims of wisdom to things I’ve done myself, and not just make stuff up that sounds good.
By learning from the mistakes of others, whether by direct observation, by reading, or by contemplation, you can be miles ahead of those stumbling around in the dark. Of course, you don’t have to follow wise advice, but life can be a whole lot less painful if you do.
Advice is simply leverage for life. It allows you, with little effort, to achieve great things, because of insight gleaned from the advice. Like all things great, the best advice will have a pedigree, and a rich and storied history. These traits can help you separate wise advice from just another tweet that sounds interesting.
Where can I apply this in my life?
Hopefully you realize that I’m not in the advice business, other than to provide myself as an example. You will have to determine whether I was wise or not based on how appropriate the example is to your life. Instead, I try to get people to think more deeply about themselves and how they are living their lives.
So how do you recognise wise advice, besides a solid track record (endorsements by people you trust, or who appear to have done well by following it) or a good pedigree (from someone who is known to have good and worthy advice)?
I tend to use my gut and my head when evaluating advice. Sometimes you just know it’s not the right thing for you. Other times you can see quickly that what worked for the other person won’t get you the results you are seeking. Sometimes the advice just doesn’t sit well with you, or even turns your stomach a bit. At least I have these reactions. What reactions do you have to less-than-stellar advice?
Once you have decided that the advice is wise, all that is left is to figure out how to integrate it into your life. That will depend on what the advice was and how seriously you are going to take it. As usual, the details will be too personal for me to discuss in any but the broadest terms. That said, here we go!
Taking advice means changing something in your life. It’s going to mean breaking and re-establishing habits. It’s going to mean growing pains. It’s going to have moments when you wonder if it’s really worth the trouble. That’s when you need to have a reason that is more powerful than any of these negatives that may come at you.
When you get to this point, I would recommend that you grab some paper and write down why you absolutely must do whatever it takes to make this advice part of your life. Think of all the good things that will happen if you do it. Think of all the bad things that will happen if you don’t. Think about the ‘learning experiences’ you had in the past where the change would have helped. Write all these things down.
Now all that is left is to make the change. Figure out what the steps are and write them down. Then break the first one into chunks small enough that you know exactly what to do. Select the first one, and get busy!
If you don’t have any wise advice in mind, might I suggest today’s quote as a place to start?
From: Twitter, @thequote
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/w/williamsha106076.html
Photo by Ben Fredericson (xjrlokix)
Today we remember William Shakespeare, who was baptised 26 April 1564 (his actual birth date is unknown, although 3 days is often subtracted from this date and used as his birth date).