William Shakespeare, in his enduring wisdom, proposed a novel approach to life: “Speak less than you know, have more than you show.” His words, a cue for discretion, for wisdom and modesty, remain as relevant as ever, particularly in our current era of constant sharing and ostentation.
Speak Less Than You Know
‘Speak less than you know’ does not espouse secrecy or deceit, but urges us to exercise caution and restraint in our verbal interactions. It underlines the power of active listening, mindful observation and the wisdom of measured silence. It’s not a call for ignorance or quietism, rather it’s a reminder of the potency of words when carefully chosen and sparingly used.
In an age of instant gratification, we often spill out incomplete thoughts, half-formed views or indiscreet revelations. Speaking less invites thoughtful engagement, it emphasises the gravity of our words, and offers a chance for empathy to thrive. Leaders who abide by this tenet foster an environment of respect and shared understanding, becoming inspiring exemplars of considerate communication.
Have More Than You Show
The other half of this wisdom, “have more than you show,” promotes modesty and humility. In a society where material wealth is flaunted as a badge of success, this mantra serves as a poignant reminder that our inherent worth is dictated by our inner richness, not by what we exhibit.
This is about cultivating an inner reservoir of knowledge, skills and virtues without the need for constant display. It’s about harbouring a quiet confidence that doesn’t seek perpetual recognition. It’s about marking personal achievements without turning them into public spectacle. True wealth, it proposes, lies in wisdom and experiences, rather than ostentatious possessions.
Leaders who embody this principle are often the ones who inspire the deepest. They may not be the most visible or boisterous, but their quiet confidence and solid virtues speak louder than words. They lead by example, proving that character trumps showmanship in determining genuine success.
The Power of Quiet Strength
“Speak less than you know, have more than you show.” Through these words, Shakespeare implores us to embrace the strength found in discretion, the worthiness of modesty, and the intrigue of mystery. Following this principle, we can inspire others, nurture healthier relationships, and lead with true grace.
So, let us all strive to tread this path as we navigate through life’s diverse stages. May we find power in silence, wisdom in listening, and confidence in our hidden depths. May we inspire others, not with the volume of our words or the display of our possessions, but with the profundity of our understanding and the values we steadfastly uphold.