Relax, Cope Better – Recognise Unlucky Days

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You wake up late having slept poorly, the hot water’s gone cold, the kids are moody and so are you. Life is struggle and everything’s turning out just great thank you very much!

We all have them. Nothing we do seems to hide the fact; it’s not our day. We play just as hard and just as fair as any other day — or at least it feels that way — but it won’t make any difference. We must plainly recognise unlucky days and deal with them best by being gentle with ourselves.

This below is several hundred-year-old advice of Balthasar Gracian, the Jesuit priest and philosopher:

Recognise Unlucky Days – “They exist: nothing goes well on them; even though the game may be changed the ill-luck remains. Two tries should be enough to tell if one is in luck to-day or not. Everything is in process of change, even the mind, and no one is always wise: chance has something to say, even how to write a good letter. All perfection turns on the time; even beauty has its hours. Even wisdom fails at times by doing too much or too little. To turn out well a thing must be done on its own day. This is why with some everything turns out ill, with others all goes well, even with less trouble. They find everything ready, their wit prompt, their presiding genius favourable, their lucky star in the ascendant. At such times one must seize the occasion and not throw away the slightest chance. But a shrewd person will not decide on the day’s luck by a single piece of good or bad fortune, for the one may be only a lucky chance and the other only a slight annoyance.”[1]

It is truly an indescribable and unconquerable life; one that we cannot master completely. We find gaining balance, at all times, basically impossible. Every dog has his or her day. Herein lies the knack of choosing the time to employ the strategies of success. And in knowing that a day may not be ours, we delay our astonishing acts for when they may readily find ground and traction. A shrewd person may see some evidence that today is not going well and then avoid any big moves they’d planned to make; they might similarly decide to risk all on a better day.

“Mama always said life is like a box of chocolates — you never know what you’re gonna get.” -Tom Hanks (1994) in Forrest Gump.

At the end of the day, from this angle, life is a game of chance. There are so many variables to consider; we know it not to be fate as there’s no such thing. The permeations of these variables alone mark the trillions. We can’t possibly hope to know if we’ll succeed or if we’ll fail. It’s all about how well we manage our risks, consider our environments, and control our minds. This is where deep prayerful thought is a boon. What we can conjure cognitively with our minds helps us prepare for success and failure outcomes, and the vast range in between — most outcomes are ‘so-so,’ having both attributes, positive and negative. This is the wisdom we need: to consider any possible outcome that we can perceive and prepare for it the best we can.

Copyright © 2008, S.J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

ENDNOTE:
[1] Balthasar Gracian, The Art of Worldly Wisdom, Available Online at: http://www.balthasargracian.com/?id=139

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