Sometimes when I can’t sleep, I put my headphones on and I listen to poems that I have downloaded on my Audible app. I listen to Rumi, Donohue, Longfellow, Gibran and Whitman and they lull me to into a comfortable slumber. Most times, quite honestly, I don’t remember a damn thing about what they said, but they soothe my soul and calm me, so all is good in my world. I just like the gentleness of the voices and from time to time, I catch myself smiling and sometimes even giggling to myself at their words. Periodically, something that is written or said that moves me. The Psalm of Life is one of them. This is one of my faves for sure.
I love this because, well, it’s about life and how you should live it. Life is full of meaning and should be lived while you are still able. After all, we came from dust and one day we will return to dust. So while you are still alive, do something with your life. Leave a legacy. Our time on earth will have ups and downs. it is just part of it. With great joy also comes great sorrow. It is a balance. Don’t waste a single day!!
Follow the right path of life and don’t be like a stupid cow that is driven by others with no mind of your own. Have goals and direction in your life.
Ahhh, but the last four lines....those are the most important, my dear ones. They are recipe for victory in life...so read on and then at the end, I put my notes on how this applies to everyone that wants to be successful. I am not talking about just financial success...it is what YOU deem to be success. It doesn’t have to be monetary...it just has to be something that you strive for in life.
What The Heart Of The Young Man Said To The Psalmist.
Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.
Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.
Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.
In the world’s broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!
Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,— act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o’erhead!
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;
Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.
Let us, then, be up and doing, ----- Get off your lazy butt. Your dreams and goals and any victory in life aren’t going to magically appear. You have to work for them. You HAVE to put forth the effort into making things happen. It is the simple recipe for fulfillment. You have to do something about your dreams, you goals. In ANYTHING in life...anything, laziness gets you nowhere
With a heart for any fate; ----Yeah, you can fail...but you could also wildly succeed too. You have to be prepared to do either. If at first you don’t succeed, call it Version 1.0, right? It is really hard to surrender yourself to the possibilities of success or failure. You have got to be open to God’s plan for you. It is truly a concerted effort.
Still achieving, still pursuing, ---Even if you have to take baby steps, do SOMETHING each day to work towards your goals. You cannot sit idle, waiting for something magical to happen to you. Progress. Everyday progress regardless of the amount, will bring you one step closer to achieving what you want.
Learn to labor and to wait.-- Patience...ahhhh now that is the really difficult part of the process. Lord knows that having patience sometimes proves itself to be a daily dilemma that plagues us all. We live in a world of instant gratification (so much more than when this poem was written back in 1838!!) and waiting for something to come to fruition has become even more troublesome. What you have to remember is this: It is not on OUR time that things happen, it is on His. Our concept of time and God’s concept of time are quite diverse. So, work on your goals and dreams every day - even if it just a little - and when the time is right, it will happen.