Vicissitudes of Life


Ups and Downs – our lives are full of vicissitudes.

Positive or Negative ups and downs, but usually the word “vicissitude” has a negative, unfavourable connotation. The sufferings and hardship are usually captured in this word.

There is no life, whether rich or poor, that has always got only a smooth, unperturbed ride through time. Everyone goes through life’s ups and downs.

But there are only a few who face life’s vicissitudes with a reaction which deals with the hardship in a positive manner. Life’s “downs” have a big impact, no doubt. But they also teach us on how to conduct our life further, so the learning from a “down” is usually stronger than the learning from a “up”.

How to face life’s challenges and come through as a winner – that is the subject matter of many a self-help book. In the past, I had not developed the skill to react in a positive manner, but my wife and a couple of friends helped me to find my feet in dealing with the vicissitudes of life. Now, I take an analytical view of the negative situation on hand, and analyze the outcomes and the manner in which those outcomes could be converted for a positive benefit.

Let me tell you, it is not an easy task. One has to take a very Buddhist view with a calm demeanour, and not have any impatience in dealing with the problem which has caused disturbance. One has to identify the causes, and the reasons why things went undetected in advance. Given that we do not have the ability to foresee what is going to happen in the future, the only thing we can do is to stay prepared at all times, with skills that are necessary to deal with the issues when they indeed arise.

The big advantage of having faced similar, or even worse challenges in the past life, is that it instills an ability not to always expect a smooth ride. The problem with the current generation of youngsters is that they always expect a smooth ride in life – they have to learn from their parents that life is not indeed a smooth ride all the time. One has to get prepared and get ready.

Such a skill is unfortunately not taught in schools or colleges. It is critical to first calm oneself, if you are agitated nothing can be accomplished. Once the mind is calm, you are able to see things that normally you would not see. Just try to first reach calmness. Do not get angry or agitated.

That is the way we can move ahead in dealing with the vicissitudes of life. Be calm, and be positive.

Things will start moving in the right direction in your life. You will see it soon.

Cheers,

Vijay Srinivasan
31st March 2012
Mumbai

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One comment

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