Short, concise lessons and concepts helpful to students and teachers
Fall Down Seven Times, Get Up Eight
By Terry Bryan
There is an old saying in Japanese used by many martial artists to represent Tamashii, or indomitable spirit.
The saying is “Nana-Korobi, Ya-Oki” which translates as “Fall Seven Times, Get Up Eight”. This goes a long way towards explaining a couple of things.
First of all, successful people don’t always win. They face set backs just like everyone else does. The key is that they don’t give up, they keep on, keeping on. They see challenges as opportunities not as problems designed to set them back.
Of course in combat there is the one encounter, one chance theory which basically states that in a life and death scenario there is only one chance of error and therefore do the best you can every time. However, even the best have set backs; just make sure the losses don’t get you killed.
The true warrior tests on a smaller scale and then implements new strategies and tactics before launching a serious campaign. It doesn’t matter if you are talking about warfare, business or investing; the actions are all the same.
A boxer fakes movements and throws jabs to study the reaction of his opponent before launching a campaign to inflict maximum damage. The business owner tests his marketing on a smaller scale before investing thousands of dollars on a huge marketing campaign. The investor diversifies his portfolio to minimize risk and to insure any losses are not crippling, and anticipates acceptable losses in an overall plan.
I think what most people don’t recognize is the effort successful people spend to develop the attitude and specialized knowledge needed to endure set backs and to indeed get up and go forward one more time.
They surround themselves with other successful people through networking and mastermind sessions and avoid hanging out with negative people, knowing that their attitudes tend to rub off on those around them. They read, listen to educational tapes and attend seminars on the specific topics they need in order to move them to the next level, knowing that if they study an hour a day, they will quickly move into the top 10% of their chosen field.
They also learn to see the difference between trinkets and treasures, those that are mouth warriors from those that walk the walk, and learn to choose their teachers well. Once they have the right teachers, mentors and mastermind members around them, they learn the power of asking the right questions.
We encourage all our students to look carefully at their endurance to challenges and their past ability in overcoming these obstacles. Pat yourself on the back every time you get back up and encourage those around you to do the same. This will allow you to walk the walk and lead from example, the way a true warrior should behave ... in my humble opinion.
About the Author:
Terry Bryan is the former General Secretary for the USA-NKF (National Karate Federation), the official governing body for the sport of karate with the US Olympic Committee. He currently is the Executive Director for the American Black Belt Academy, a 501c3 non-profit organization located in Colorado Springs. His column, Simple Lessons, regularly appears on FightingArts.com.
Long time since I last wrote a post. Lots of activities can occur within a tiny second. People die and babies are born. And I’ve been lost for nearly a month.
I just fell. I fell short on my blogging goal.
Looking back, January has been my worst month blogging, I’ve always blogged at least once a week, which amounts to 4 blogs per month on average. But I let it go this month.
For the excuse, I was sick, I was distracted and I was focused entirely on something else.
Even if I was focused on something else, I used to write blog posts, but I couldn’t this time. Or I didn’t.
The good news is that I’m back. And I’m posting on a regular schedule.
However, even though I didn’t write a blog post or send you e-mail newsletters, I didn’t stop writing altogether. I always wrote private journals (I can’t imagine not writing that).
It took lots of time for me to come back to this writing position. I don’t know what happened. Why I stopped writing blog posts.
You’ve probably been in this type of situation where you can’t explain yourself what happened. You might have some project you’ve wanted to do, but you fell short on your goal.
The same happened to me and I’m conscious about it.
I fell down and now I’m making sure that I’ll stand up.
It’s not bad to fall. Just make sure that if you fall seven times, you stand up eight times. It’s a Japanese proverb which reminds me to stand up every time I fall.
Fall seven times, stand up eight is all about the ‘never say die’ attitude. It means getting back up every time you get knocked down, fall down, or otherwise end up feeling down. Even if you start feeling like one of those inflatable punching bags the little kids use, you have to get back up.
It also infers that the only way you can lose is to not get back up. If you go down and stay there, that is the only path to a sure defeat. While you are still able to get back up, there is still hope, however slim it might seem.
And that’s what it’s about. Getting back up, no matter what. Over and over and over again. Until you win. Until the procrastination side of you gets tired of swinging, or loses interest and wanders off. You just don’t stop until you have what you set out to achieve.