Some of you may wonder what a viral song by Henry the VII from 16th Century, Early Modern England can teach us in the realm of personal finance.
Well, for starters the author was filthy rich and became the most powerful man in his realm, as well as one of the most powerful men on earth. Wait! Wasn’t Henry VIII a huge tyrant? All that happened a long time ago, how can this be relevant today? Some things were different to be sure; however, the age a person lived in is not indicative of his or her intelligence.
Following each line will not by itself grant the listener a set of magic keys to wealth and power, but they could actually help make that a reality if dissected and examined it at face value. If nothing else, the lyrics are inspirational and could be just the motivation a person needs to follow their dreams.
Let’s look at the lines.
Pastime with good company. Author Jim Rohn stated, “[w]e are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.” If you want to be successful, but are not surrounded by success you are likely to face each day surrounded by compatriots who are satisfied with the status quo or worse, disgruntled harbingers of doom.
Author Ryan Holiday just released a new stoic classic Ego is the Enemy, and indeed, here it shows to be true. The best place to learn is amongst superiors, yet it is much easier to remain the big fish in a small pond. Certainly, no longer being the top performer is a difficult lump to swallow, but it is necessary to grow.
I love and shall until I die. This is a reminder to remain positive no matter what circumstances may befall us. There is always something to love. This could be a family, a job, a hobby, a pet or even a hope for brighter days to come.
Grudge who lust but none deny. This refrain clearly instructs us to hold vice in distain yet accept mankind as it is. Show your neighbor kindness even if she is of opposing opinions to yours.
So God be pleased… thus live will I. Your positive, kind karma will return to you and magnify your charisma more each day giving you a reputation for mirthful joy and generosity.
For my pastance… hunt sing and dance. Further exaltation to rejoice and engage in fun activities. I will take my leisure in physical activity to give myself balance and well being.
All goodly sport… for my comfort… who shall me let: Take care of your body, engage in physical training and learn to enjoy the thrill of competition. Who will come with me on a journey to better themselves?
Youth must have some dalliance… of good or ill some pastance. Not only should you enjoy your life, but also you should forgive youthful indiscretions and teach the youth wisdom.
Company methinks then best… all thoughts and fancies to digest. Another cry to hearken around the masters of your craft, those who can teach and will follow the selfless leader concept.
Leaders and friends who will hear your thoughts and accept your contributions to the team are far better to serve and make superior friends. Reversal, you must absorb the expertise of these masters, even the slightest pearl of wisdom will make you stronger.
For Idleness… is chief mistress… of vices all. Take action every day, never let a day go by without some contribution towards your life-goals. Rest, recharging and play all fit within your strategy, but beware sloth, the killer of beggar and king.
Then who can say… but mirth and play… is best of all. The rewards for your toil will taste all the sweeter for your hard labor now.
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Company with honesty… is virtue vices to flee. As you surround yourself with virtuous successful people, negativity, pessimism and bad luck will seek greener pastures.
Company is good and ill… but every man hath his free will. The choice of your surroundings is firmly yours, if you do not like a situation, a group or a lifestyle, you alone can choose to escape it. This is your life and your one chance to do something amazing.
The best ensue… the worst eschew… my mind shall be. As for me, my personal philosophy bars me from participating in evil, prohibits me from serving as a crutch for the unlucky and those who refuse to control their emotions and lives. In his 48 Laws of Power, author Robert Green advises us to avoid infection by eschewing the unhappy and unlucky.
This is not a person who has had a few setbacks; these are the people who can never catch a break because they themselves are unwilling to make a change in their lives. These leeches seek to drag you and your dreams down to the river Styx with them. “You can die from someone else’s misery.”
Virtue to use… Vice to refuse… thus shall I use me. A resounding crescendo: All that is good you will use and participate in, all that is worthy you will uphold. All that is bad, you will refuse. I shall use myself because the mind is superior to the physical matter that is I. Where there is a will to change, there is a way.
Vince Lombardi, Champion Coach of the Green Bay Packers stated, “Improvements in moral character are our own responsibility. Bad habits are eliminated not by others, but by ourselves.” What bad habits do we follow on a daily basis? Forget to shut the lights off? Throw a few extra items in the cart at the super market? Get hooked on breakfast burritos on our way to work? We are all guilty.
The good news is that we can shut the lights off, skip the burrito van, etc. Small changes will not change our outcome; however the small changes can lead to bigger changes if we simply take the first step. Let’s focus on virtue together and try to craft a better person.
Had the modern entrepreneur found him or herself in the Renaissance as it unfolded in Europe, their success would happen as likely then, as today, barring external factors. Thus, it is that we are responsible for our happiness and our success in life.
One method we can all use to improve our chances is to pastime with good company. Henry VIII will forever be remembered for his descent into madness, his licentious behavior and the fate his many wives met, however to look at the man before the unfortunate jousting accident cost him his youthful vigor, his optimism and his sanity we can find many admirable qualities.
Here are a couple of versions of the song for your listening pleasure. Enjoy!