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.
- William Shakespeare

If Bill were around today, I think he would appreciate hearing the flight attendant say, "Put on your own oxygen mask first." Before any of us can be of service to others, or provide valuable council, we must empower our own lives. Only as happy, fully self-expressed individuals who set an example of living a great life, can we presume to suggest to others how they might improve the quality of their own lives. We are most powerful when we set an example.

Consider a parent who says, "Look at the sacrifices I'm making so you can have a better life." Contrast that with another parent who demonstrates living a great life every day. Self-sacrifice is not a virtue. Living a great life and sharing that life with others is the noble way to live.

Here are 5 ways to make a difference in the world by being true to yourself:

1. Set an example for your children and others. Live a life you hope your children will emulate.

2. Aspire to a successful career. You can't contribute money or material goods to any worthwhile cause if you don't have any. You best set an example by being successful AND generous.

3. Generate your own happiness and radiate that happiness into the world. People enjoy being around happy people, and they become happy themselves as a result.

4. Set boundaries. When you reach the limit of what you can contribute while still maintaining your inner peace and serenity, say NO to additional requests for your time and energy. Whenever you let urgency compromise your happiness, you lose your ability to set an example by leading a great life - as well as losing your own happiness.

5. Think for yourself - don't blindly follow tradition or the conventions of your family, community, or religion. Making your own choices gives you the opportunity to live a life you love, and to set an example of open-minded thinking and compassion.

Author's Bio: 

Visit Jonathan's Daily Inspiration - Daily Quote blog, and sign-up for his daily email.

Jonathan Lockwood Huie is an author of self-awareness books, and has been dubbed "The Philosopher of Happiness" by those closest to him, in recognition of his on-going commitment to seeing Joy in all of life.

** Today is your day to dance lightly with life. It really is. - jonathan lockwood huie **