7 Shakespeare Musings For Your Career

I once did a family tree project at school, and I was surprised to find out that I was related to Anne Hathaway. Anne was Shakespeare’s wife whom he abandoned in Stratford-Upon-Avon while he was writing his plays down in London town. I have always been a fan of the Bard, and every now and again I will settle down in a comfy chair with one of his immortal works. It never fails to strike me how much of his wisdom is utterly relevant for modern business and I wish to share seven of my favourite quotes to inspire you to greater heights.

“Brevity is the soul of wit” (Hamlet) I love to talk. Correction, I love the sound of my own voice…. I have learnt over time to tone myself down, to value silence and appreciate the direction of a conversation rather than my direction. When I keep communication simple, the message is clearer and the outcome more predictable.

“Strong reasons make strong actions” (King John) When I was younger, I wanted to conquer the world and then wondered about whether I could do it or not. As I have grown more experienced, I have always tried to base any big decisions on solid reasoning rather than flights of fancy. When you have certainty in your ability to accomplish something, it is easier to make the goalposts gradually wider as you go along.

“Wisely and slow. They stumble that run fast” (Romeo & Juliet) This is me all over. I have sprinted through my career, worked in three different industries in 15 years and had a few too many falls along the way. I have made mistakes, people close to me have suffered, and I am only now recognising the benefits of “slow and steady wins the race.”

“We know what we are, but know not what we may be” (Hamlet) I am, hopefully, fairly self-aware, but I am always open to becoming a better version of me. Every new experience, every new person in my life, every conversation – everything is so full of opportunity, full of possibility. If you are open to “what may be”, then wonders can happen.

“I like not fair terms and a villain’s mind” (The Merchant Of Venice) If it seems too good to be true, it usually is. I’ve come across a few people in life who have promised the earth but delivered nothing like it. I have even done that myself a few times without thinking things through. Be aware of what you can give people and don’t overpromise (intentionally or unintentionally).

“It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing” (Macbeth) Don’t bullshit or boast. Your claims will often come back and bite you on the arse. If I am enthused by something, it is sometimes easy for me to over-exaggerate, and I almost have to rein myself in. Be honest with people, call a spade a spade and your opinion will always be respected.

“It is silliness to live when to live is torment” (Othello) If it isn’t working, if your life is a misery, make a change. You have two simple choices. Change your circumstances or change your attitude. Staying the same isn’t a choice. It is the easy way out, and the longer you hesitate, the further you will sink into the mire. It will become harder and harder to get out.

Do you have favourite quotes from literature that you live by?


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