Living Life “My Way” Like Sinatra
One of legendary singer Frank Sinatra’s most well-known and most-loved songs is My Way. This epic tune reads like an instruction manual on how to live an exciting, masculine life. From start to finish, it describes a man on his death bed recounting all the experiences and mishaps that made his life worth living. The message of the song is this. A man doesn’t live his life according to what others tell him is best for him. He boldly makes his own decisions in life and lives with the consequences, good or bad.
He doesn’t ask permission, doesn’t supplicate, and doesn’t become the male equivalent of a handbag for an ungrateful woman. His will is his guide. Not a life script handed to him by a Marxist education system and peddlers of consumerism and feminists dominatrices.
Someday we will all be facing our “final curtain” in life, as life is fleeting. It is a short dance in the sun before we either move on to the next world or move on to eternal blackness, depending on if you are a religious person or someone like me who sees life as one big cosmic joke that people take entirely too seriously. Either way, every man should be able to look back when his final hours have arrived and rejoice in the experiences he once had.
Oswald Spengler, German philosopher and historian knew this wisdom well as he completed his epic study of civilizations entitled Decline of the West. He recommended men live a dangerous, epic life rather than a safe, boring one as he talked about the life of mythical Greek warrior and legend Achilles. Spengler similarly encouraged men to live their best lives by doing it “My Way.”
Faced with this destiny, there is only one worldview that is worthy of us, the aforementioned one of Achilles: better a short life, full of deeds and glory, than a long and empty one. The danger is so great, for every individual, every class, every people, that it is pathetic to delude oneself. Time cannot be stopped; there is absolutely no way back, no wise renunciation to be made. Only dreamers believe in ways out. Optimism is cowardice.
Indeed, as Sinatra belts out Paul Anka’s sage lyrics, both these pieces of wisdom can guide the young man or even the middle aged man hoping to mold his life in such a way he will live a great one when the sand runs out of the hourglass.
And now, the end is near
And so I face the final curtain
My friend, I’ll say it clear
I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain
I’ve lived a life that’s full
I traveled each and every highway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way
A life that’s full. This is important. Incidentally, the top five regrets of the dying are: I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me; I wish I hadn’t worked so hard; I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings; I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends; and I wish that I had let myself be happier.
Traveling each and every highway, literally and figuratively is also important. There is so much to know about this world and so much to experience. Not leaving one’s city is like never leaving the bedroom. Not leaving one’s country is like never leaving the house.
In other words, the life of a corporate Beta drone is no life for me. The life of an overworked corporate drone is no life for me. And living my life according to how others think I should live it and never saying what was on my mind is no life for me.
Regrets, I’ve had a few
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do and saw it through without exemption
I planned each charted course, each careful step along the byway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way
When all is said and done a man will look back at the chances he didn’t take and the challenges he didn’t put himself through rather than the ones he did. A full life is not a life of comfort, but a challenging and rewarding life in which a man is pushing the boundaries. A life of perseverance.
Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall and did it my way
Western culture has developed a terrible fear of losing, which stops most people from doing what they want to do before they start. This has to stop. Women watch what others do, taking the safe path and following prescribed ways of living. Men do not. We take changes. We push boundaries. We explore new lands. We conquer sexy women. We live dangerously. We don’t conform to groupthink.
Men should be willing to bite off more than they can chew and learn from both their successes and the undoubted failures they will have along the way. When this sense of adventure and passion about life was lost, nihilism and navel-watching misery set in.
Failure is a cruel mistress, but she is often life’s greatest teacher. Even the world’s greatest basketball star Michael Jordan knew failure well: I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.
Speaking of losing along the road to success, let’s get back to Sinatra. The next passage reveals a man crying tears of joy instead of tears of misery as his life comes to a close.
I’ve loved, I’ve laughed and cried
I’ve had my fill, my share of losing
And now, as tears subside, I find it all so amusing
To think I did all that
And may I say, not in a shy way
Oh, no, oh, no, not me, I did it my way
Won’t it be great to be able to say this at the end of life? Rather than having nothing but regrets for having lived a boring life as the equivalent of a slave rather than a free man?
Experiences. That’s where life is at. It took me 35 years to figure that out. But once I did it was like a rebirth for my soul, which was being crushed in a cushy but boring life as a media personality. Indeed, a man who doesn’t have himself for fear of losing what he already has in life doesn’t have much to begin with.
For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught
To say the things he truly feels and not the words of one who kneels
The record shows I took the blows and did it my way
The above passage is perhaps the most epic line in the entire piece. It commands self-ownership. It commands men to take a stand and speak their mind rather than becoming appeasers and weaklings. It commands men to stay off their knees and on their feet. Yes, a man will take blows when he lives this way, but as Emilio Zapata said: Better to die on your feet than live on your knees.
Yes, it was my way…
We should all be so lucky to deserve having this epic piece of music played at our funeral, and for it to mean something. My Way. Or the highway.
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