Wednesday, May 5, 2021

You Can Do What You Want

I grew up going to church, where I learned a lot about the Bible. One of the lines from the Bible that has stayed with me is Psalms 37:4:  

"Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart."

I'm quoting it here not as authority, but because it came to mind as I thought about what it means to live a successful life. It's pretty much a tiny little success formula, isn't it? One that might make a lot of sense once we break it down. 

But what does it actually mean? And how does Sammy Hagar, the Red Rocker (pictured left, courtesy of Cigar Aficionado), figure into the equation? Let's take a look.

Couple of questions come to mind. How does one go about delighting oneself in the Lord? What does that mean? Where is the Lord? And how does one find the Lord in order to delight in the Lord?

As with all writings of this kind (Tao te Ching is also one of my favorites), you have to consult your own soul (or spirit) to fully grasp it. You have to feel it, in other words. Which may help us answer our questions above. Find out where your soul is, and perhaps you've located the Lord too. (Go back and click that link you just passed up to find out where your soul is). Maybe delighting yourself in your own soul (or inner-body) is delighting yourself in the Lord.

Delighting yourself in you own soul? As opposed to what? Delighting yourself in your own mind. One is real (soul) one is a virtual space (mind) and thus, not real.

Now we can try to figure out the second line of the stanza, the part about giving you the desires of your heart. This phraseology indicates a double-edged sword, does it not? It could mean that the Lord gives you whatever you want. But it could also mean that the Lord is the one who put those desires there.

So let's experiment then. If the former is the case, there's nothing for you to do but delight yourself in your own soul and see what happens. If the latter is the case, you'll have to figure out how to delight yourself in your own soul, then actually go for what you want most in life without fear or compromise.

You will have proven your hypothesis in this latter case if, when you've gone for exactly what you want, the Lord (the Positive Universe might be another name to use) lays out a straight path for you, removes obstacles, provides connections and opportunities. Conversely, you might also lend credence to your hypothesis if you DON'T go for what you want most and you experience obstruction, struggle and dissatisfaction. This may not be proof exactly or your hypothesis, but it might be more encouragement to actually give the experiment a conscientious attempt.

I watched an interview of John Mellencamp by Sammy Hagar a few years back and something that Sammy said has stuck with me. Sammy said (@ 8:40 on the below video): "I'm like you. Man, I went around dirt poor, on food stamps, welfare, with a baby, playing music and thinking I was--I'm okay. It was like, hey, this is fine, you know?"


It sounds like Sammy just did what he wanted regardless of his circumstances and it seems to have worked out pretty well for him. He never took his eye off the desires in his heart.

I'm also reminded of Larry David, one of my heroes. In an interview for GQ magazine, he seems to contradict the premise of this post. Larry says of his early days in comedy, “This whole ‘happiness from the inside’ thing…where's it coming from? What am I feeling good about? You have to have some sense of accomplishment.” 

But in reading the article and following Larry's career, I've noticed that he never did anything except exactly what he wanted to do in the world of show business, and doors have always opened for him. The biggest of those doors, of course, was when Jarry Seinfeld invited him to work on a sitcom pilot.

My own experience is that I've spent many years NOT doing what I really wanted to do. Finally, I've retired from government service and moved to Florida, something I've wanted to do for a long, long time. 

My own personal experiment with doing exactly what I want to do continues. I'll keep you posted on how it works out. I gotta say, so far, so good.

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