Once, the Baal Shem Tov (the Besht) told his students to harness the horses for a journey together. Shortly after they set off, the Besht instructed the driver to stop the horses, whereupon he and his students descended from the wagon. They met an old person carrying two buckets of water, and when the Besht inquired as to his well-being, the person responded with a broken heart: “I am old, yet I must continue my laborious work. Sometimes, while carrying heavy loads of water, I stumble on a stone and the water comes pouring out of the buckets, which forces me to return and refill them. I have children, thank G‑d, but they just don’t have the time to spend with me.” He concluded with a sigh, the Besht blessed him, and they returned home.

Several weeks later the Besht instructed that the horses be harnessed once again for an outing to that same place. He and his students descended and again met this same person. When the Besht greeted him and inquired as to his welfare, the person responded with great jubilance: “I earn a livelihood as a water carrier, thank G‑d. Although I am old and stumble at times, causing the water to spill out of the buckets, thank G‑d I am able to return and refill them. I have children, thank G‑d, and although they are busy, I am grateful for even the small amount of time that they are able to help me.”

The Besht explained to his students:

Our Sages teach that “Man is judged from Above each and every day,” and elsewhere it is stated that “Man is judged on Rosh HaShanah for the entire year.” How do we reconcile the two statements?

There is a verdict that is established on Rosh HaShanah regarding how much one will earn for the year. In addition there is a verdict as to how and in what fashion one will receive his portion, whether sadly and out of anger, or with a cheerful countenance. This verdict is established each and every day [and is dependent on our merits]. Thus we found the man responding in two different ways.1

Otzar Sippurei Chabad, vol. 14, p. 139