The World is Your Oyster
Did anyone ever say this to you, “The world is your oyster”?
My dad used to say it to me a lot! He likes his catchphrases. I like them too. I always took it to mean something similar to, “The fruit is ripe for the picking.” Like you have so many opportunities available to you, you can choose to be or do whatever you want, all the doors are open to you. Very inspiring.
I actually found it a bit overwhelming. How do you choose when you can be or do anything? Well, you go for what’s fun and what lights you up! But that’s another topic for another article.
Now, first, I acknowledge that this is a very privileged perspective. I am very lucky and very grateful for my upbringing. Second, I think that this is the way my dad used this phrase. But if you’ve read my “Why I’m No Longer in Business” blog article, you know I geek out on words. This includes phrases and their origins and original meaning.
Before researching this, I woke up this morning with a whole new interpretation. My perspective on this saying completely shifted… and I think it makes so much more sense, especially for entrepreneurs.
So rather than this invoking large platters of oysters and decadent seafood platters… á la the world is your oyster, my new sense of this saying is … drumroll, please!
The world is your oyster because it is here to mold you and grow you. Just as a diamond is created under pressure, a pearl starts out as a little grain of sand in an oyster. Rather than this saying being about the many gifts of the universe, it indicates that all your experiences, no matter where you go or what you do will give you insight and lessons. Who you become through that process is the real treasure.
Mistakes and failures happen. We can either allow them to stop us and defeat us. Or we can allow them to teach us and grow us into who we are required to be to fulfill our goals and make our dreams a reality.
This is a perspective that has taken me some time to embrace as you may have read in last week’s blog, Procrastination & Perfectionism. But waking up with this new interpretation of an old saying, made me feel like I’ve taken this lesson in. I am I’m owning it and embodying it on a whole new level!
As it turns out, my interpretation may not be correct. At least it’s not according to this article by linguaholic.com or Miriam-Webster.com. It originally comes from Shakespeare, no surprises there, many of our sayings come from his writing. This saying is first found in the play The Merry Wives of Windsor, one of his plays which I’m not familiar with.
According to linguaholic, the character, Falstaff declares, “Why, then, the world’s mine oyster, which I with sword will open.” He says this when others refuse to give him what he’s asking for. Meaning he’ll have to go out and get it on his own. That he must seek his treasure out in the world and he is confident he will find it! So, maybe it’s not a very privileged perspective after all.
Now, I still think my interpretation may be equally valid. It’s an interpretation after all. But whether it’s inspirational because it means the world is full of treasures for you or that the world will turn you into the treasure you seek, it applies to everyone!
This is true no matter who you are, where you live, or what you do. However, I think this is an especially important mindset for entrepreneurs because building sometime from nothing, especially a dream that you care deeply about will test you, will challenge you, and will certainly stretch you to grow. I even say that entrepreneurship is like the gauntlet for personal development. So you could say…
Entrepreneurship is your oyster!
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P.S. I know seafood is not everyone’s jam, but as a foodie, I have to throw this in! If you don’t like oysters, sorry for all the oyster pics. If you do, however, enjoy eating oysters… I used to date this guy who introduced me to Kumamoto Oysters and they are truly the best! They’re small and delicious and if you haven’t tried them yet and you get the chance, I highly recommend them!
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1. Iseli, Marcel. “‘The World Is Your Oyster’ – Meaning, Origin & Context.” Linguablog, 5 May 2022, https://linguaholic.com/linguablog/the-world-is-your-oyster/.
2.“The world is someone’s oyster.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/the%20world%20is%20someone%27s%20oyster. Accessed 26 Aug. 2022.
Author, Adelle King
Adelle King is a business coach working with female entrepreneurs to help them shine their light and turn their brilliance into a thriving, profitable business they love!
She has 10 years of experience working on the backend of online businesses. You name it, she’s probably done it! And 10 years of facilitating deep, transformational healing work, leading workshops in Access Consciousness®, personal growth, spiritual and intuitive development, and deep healing. She now integrates it all into her coaching. She holds a Master’s Degree in Education and has been Certified as a Rapid Results Coach, Instant Miracle Master, Access Bars & Body Process Facilitator, CFMW, and more.
She loves guiding women to develop their vision of their dream life and then inspiring and empowering them to go make it their reality! Her guiding principle is, “Whatever you desire for your business and your life, whatever that looks like for you… you can have that!”
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