"Hookers and Jim Beam it is!"
The Real Meaning:
The source of this quote is the character Polonius. Polonius is the chief counselor to the villainous king, and a complete and utter nincompoop. He is reviled for his gasbaggery by all other members of the court, the queen can barely endure his speeches, and Hamlet openly calls him a damn fool before ultimately stabbing him to death by accident.
You wouldn't expect a character like that to sprout out hippie mantras about following your dreams, largely because he never did. Back in the Elizabethan days, the phrase wasn't the New Age wisdom it is today. Shakespeare's use of "self" would better be translated here as "your interests," and "true" should be taken to mean "loyal." So "This above all: To thine own self be true" actually means "Be loyal to your own interests above everything else" -- aka "Cover your ass at all costs."
Hamlet clearly didn't.
Which, to be fair, isn't a bad motto, provided you're a 1980s investment banker. Still, we can't help but feel that at least one of our more free-spirited readers is now frantically googling "laser tattoo removal."
And while we're on misused Shakespeare ...