In my previous blog, I discussed the ideological nature of embracing chance (On being a diceman #1). While this is one starting point, It was not the point I began at. The idea of following the “chances” decision as a means of interpreting my essence is a pretty passive one, and one that does not create a worthwhile sense of “self”
Today I wish to discuss the active elements of embracing chance in your life. This will be dealt with at two levels; The practical level and the personal level.
To embrace chance in your life in a practical sense there is a couple of ideological standpoints that need to be a core component of your way of thinking. Luckily, these are pretty good general sets of advice anyway and something I have strived towards for some time… these are;
- Accepting that any or all experience can be a positive one
- Understanding that I am capable of anything I put serious effort into (apart from physically defying the current physics of this universe)
- Embracing chance and in a state of constant reflection/observation
To further delve into these, I provide the following examples:
1. On the whim of a dice roll, on one late evening I asked it “should I walk home from perth train station (the local city centre) or wait 45 minutes for the next train (it was super late, like at 2am, and I was somewhat inebriated). The dice said to walk, and during this walk I was put into a scenario of being chased by two unwholesome individuals who wanted my wallet. I managed to run away, but my god did it hurt afterwards. Most people would consider this a negative experience, I considered this experience to be a valuable lesson in “its time to get fit Ed”
2. On another whim of a dice roll, I asked it “Should I start to write poetry”. Prior to this experience, I had very little practical knowledge of it, and the learning curve was very steep. After some time I feel my poetic abilities have improved, and this mostly derived from practice, and reading A LOT of poetry online and in books (thank-you fellow bloggers by the way). I still have a ways to go, but I certainly feel like I have progressed in this.
3. On yet another whim of a dice roll, I asked it “should I be anger or tired today”. I subsequently spent the next 6 hours being angry at all manner of things. Upon reflection, this allowed me to vent out some much needed stress, and also got me to see many things in a new perspective. It was a valuable experience.
So that is the ideological standpoints I adapt in my dicing. In a practical sense, the only thing you need to do is…
Identify something that requires a decision (or a choice in how to act/behave etc)
In some way list some possible choices/solutions to that decision
In some way allocate a way of producing a random result that can determine different items on that list (for example, in a list of 2 you could flip a coin. In a list of 6 you could roll a 6-sided die etc)
Follow-thru with that choice wholeheartedly and fully adapt that decision as if it was your natural choice. (this step is the hardest!)
This last step links in with the personal level of embracing chance.
and this one is slightly more complicated, and hopefully my capacity to articulate this into meaningful explanation is sufficient.
Typically, and according to certain Greek Philosophers, everyone has a dominant personality (not dominant in that way master). These can be split up in a variety of ways, some suggesting there are 4 “types” of people (these being the Sanguine, Choleric, Melancholic and Phlegmatic*) -check out Hippocrates writings for more there.
However you identify things, there are characteristics in people that one would consider to be their “main” characteristics. Ask someone to describe themselves and you will probably get some of this from them.
So when an individual encounters a problem that requires a decision to be made, this decision would normally be made in such a way that complements how that individual would normally act. For example, my ‘way of thinking’ is typically a logical and observational one, so if I encounter a problem I will seek data and try to understand that problem completely before I tackle it. You could say I am Melancholic.
However, a part of me, a recessive personality, would see the problem in a empathetic way, or an impulsive way, or so on.
This is where the dice/chance come in.
Upon deciding on a course of action to take, I can identify different ways of dealing with the problem that I typically would not normally consider.
Allowing me to experience viewpoints and outcomes of problems in a way that I would not normally experience. Often this leads to negative scenarios, but this is all just a learning process (everything can be, after all positive right?)
The last thing to discuss if to incorporate both the practical and personal into an example that can explain both, and here it is.
Lets say I go to a Pub. When ordering a pub meal, my dominant self would typically order the parmigiana (its a pretty safe meal, delicious and cover with cheese, whats not to love!). However, some part of me might want the steak, another part of me wishes I was vegetarian and wants the tomato salad, another part of my thinks I should fast and have nothing. I choose the following list for my 6-sided die to decide on:
1-2: Order the Parmy
3: Get the steak
4: Get the tomato salad
5: Get nothing, you felt fat today
6: Ask the staff what they would like to eat
You may notice that I gave more chances to the Parmy, this is my list after all and I choose the odds, either way it gives your recessive personality a chance to experience what it wants (so don’t do 1-6 parmy, a waste of time)
Now apply this practice to any to all decisions.
On that note, this has turned into an essay into itself, so I’ll leave it at that.
If you have any questions, want to know more or feel this requires more clarification let me know via a comment or an email
Or if you just plain think I’m loony, let me know too
Thanks for reading all this way 🙂
*Sanguine: Typically the extrovert. Active, vibrant and socially charismatic.
Choleric: Extrovert as well, but more goal orientated, independent and tend to enjoy being in charge
Melancholic: The introverted analyst. Meticulous and more observative
Phlegmatic: The empath. Typically more serene and quiet natured, they are more of the supporting encouraging type