Fall seven times, stand up eight.

Fall seven times, stand up eight. – Japanese Proverb

Do you get back up and shake it off, or do you fall down and stay there?

Do you get back up and shake it off, or do you fall down and stay there?

What does that mean?
I like this quote, as it is 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.

This quote 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 the quote is about, in my opinion. Getting back up, no matter what. Over and over and over again. Until you win. Until the other guy gets tired of swinging, or loses interest and wanders off. You just don’t stop until you have what you set out to achieve.

Why is getting back up and back into the fight important?  
Note that the previous section isn’t saying to keep doing the exact same thing. You are unlikely to get a different result until you use a different method or approach. Adjust what you are doing based on the results you get, and you’re half way there.

The important part of getting back up is to get back into the fight. To me, it’s important to get back to doing what you have been doing, and to never stop. If you get up, but don’t get back to what you were doing, you’re not going to get all that much done, are you?

And if you aren’t going to get back into the fight, why bother to get back up? You can quit on your back much more easily, and more convincingly, from your back than from your feet. Yes, you’ll probably want to try a different way, so as not to end up back on the ground. But always be ready to get back up. Again.

Where can I apply this in my life?
You did all the time, when you were younger. You learned to talk, to walk, to eat, and do all the basics in this manner. You tried something and it didn’t work. You might have thrown a brief fit, but then you got back to it, and kept after it.

Eventually, you got the hang of it, and some time after that, you actually started to get good at it, right? I bet you can walk and even feed yourself without thinking about it, although doing both at the same time might take a little concentration, unless you do it all the time.

But at some point, we grew out of it. When was the last time you kept after something with the same determination the quote talks about? With the same determination of a very young child learning to crawl, walk, talk, or any of the other basic skills?

As adults, we have so many excuses. One is that we can’t do it. Well, obviously, or we would have done it, and not be discussing the excuses for the failure. The real point is that we don’t have the skill, the strength, the knowledge or the endurance to do it *now*.

As an example, I’m still struggling to start running. Cold weather has set in, and I’ve managed to irritate my big toe. Right now I have neither the strength nor the endurance to do a 5K. It would be a great excuse, but it isn’t a reason, right?

I’m going to keep at it, running during the day or indoors when possible, and take better care of my feet. Eventually, I will get there. I have another 4 weeks of the Couch to 5K program to go, and that will take at least 6 weeks, perhaps longer.

But I will finish. No matter how many setbacks, no matter how long it takes, no matter how many times I’m knocked down, I will get back up each time and get back at it. To me, that’s the whole point of life, and of this quote. Never say die, never give up, keep after it, until you get it.

Of course there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. There is such a thing as an obsession. When does healthy pursuit of a goal cross the line? That will depend wholly on you. Only you can make that determination. But be sure to consider the feedback you get from your friends.

On what have you given up? What projects, plans, skills, activities, or other things in your life have you allowed yourself to go down, and decided not to get back up? Some may be beyond your grasp, having been overcome by events (like my NFL career).

But there are probably a few things there which you might want to get back up and try again. What would you have to do to get from where you are now to where you want to be? What training, practice, or learning would help you get there? What are the other things which need to happen to get you back up on your feet and in the fight?

I never thought I would be a runner, but I am enjoying it more than I had ever imagined. Blogging is the same. What are you going to do? And how many times are you willing to get back up? Get started, take the first step, however small, and get it going!

Life will knock you down. You have to answer the question “Will you get back up?” Well, will you?

From: Twitter, @iheartquotes
confirmed at : http://www.positivelypositive.com/quotes/fall-seven-times-stand-up-eight/
Photo by trodas

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14 Responses to Fall seven times, stand up eight.

  1. Daniel 26 April 2014 at 4:22 pm #

    I think the intention is that if you start on any new endeavor, your start is the initial stand. One may not be getting up from a position of failure, but moving from stationary to action is a stand within itself.

    • philosiblog 27 April 2014 at 5:11 am #

      An interesting thought. Stand the first time to get started, then once after each time you are knocked down. Wish I’d thought of it.

      Thanks for stopping by and for leaving such a good comment.

  2. Bob LaMonta 6 February 2014 at 12:03 am #

    I won’t dispute the good intent behind this proverb, but I will say it makes zero sense. If I fall down seven times and get up six, I have given up. If I fall down seven times and get up seven I am back on my feet. I cannot possibly get up eight times if I fall down seven.

    Let’s try this variation: fall down, get up twice. That is, in essence, exactly the same, and exactly as impossible.

    • philosiblog 7 February 2014 at 3:17 am #

      I agree, the math doesn’t work. But if something is worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.

      In my mind, not knowing the original intent, the idea is that you aren’t going to get up just once more, and if I fall again, well that’s it. The idea is you are committed to getting up this time, and the next. Nothing will keep you down. You’re already planning to get up the next time, as there is always a next time.

      Using your example, if you fall down, you vow not just to get up this time, but preemptively tell the world to quit wasting its time trying to knock you down, because you’re going to get up next time too.

      Don’t know if that works for you, but I like the ‘Never-Say-Die’ attitude.

      Thanks for the comment, and for getting me thinking about it again. Hope to hear from you again.

      • dave brown 17 May 2015 at 4:25 am #

        That bugged me for a while because I like the proverb’s intent but the math bothered me. But I realized that it should be put into the context of rising to a challenge. If you’re thinking of going along day to day avoiding any challenge, and you get knocked down, and then have to struggle to get back to the usual routine, yes, the math makes no sense. But if you think of it as setting a challenge for yourself, rising to meet it, failing, and then rising again, then the math works out, and I like the proverb even more.

      • philosiblog 21 May 2015 at 7:11 am #

        Thanks for the comment and for your thoughts about it. It’s always interesting to here the views of another person.

        Even though I believe the Samurai were probably good at math (this saying seems to be associated with their training), the basic premise is to never give up, and rising to a challenge, whether with another warrior in battle or a tough math problem, you just keep on going at it.

      • gkim15 22 March 2016 at 5:22 pm #

        It’s actually common in Asian culture to start at 1.
        For example, in Korea, when you’re born, you start at age 1. So, even though I’m 30 in the U.S., in Korea they believe I’m 31.

        Applied to this quote, when you’re starting standing up, you start at 1, so the math works out.

      • philosiblog 24 March 2016 at 4:29 am #

        Thanks for stopping by, and for mentioning the difference in counting styles.

        Yes, I had heard of that difference. I believe it’s just the difference of giving the number at the start of the year, as opposed to at the end of the year. Beginning compared to completed.

        But I would think that in any one reference system, the counting method would be the same going down as well as standing back up, wouldn’t it?

  3. Thom 6 May 2013 at 11:01 am #

    That’s so inspiring! Thank you for posting it 🙂

    • philosiblog 6 May 2013 at 1:32 pm #

      Thanks for the kind words. I am glad you liked it and found it to be of some use.

    • upallnight 3 May 2016 at 2:02 pm #

      The math can and does work. Before you have ever fallen you would have had to get up. As a baby you stood up your first time before you fell. You fell six more times or 100, you will always stand up one more time that you have fallen.

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