Fall seven times, stand up eight! – Japanese proverb

Fall seven times, stand up eight!

Japanese proverb

Resilience is one of the many qualities that set men apart from the other species that inhabit this planet. Man is the only creature with the innate fighting spirit that keeps him going even in the darkest of times.

Challenges are part and parcel of life. While we are able to overcome some of these challenges, failure becomes inevitable with most of them. Disappointment is a fairly natural outcome of these setbacks. However, what truly matters is if we are determined enough to get back up on our feet and keep at it. This is easier said than done, for even our own mind begins to play tricks on us when things are not going our way. Often times, it misleads us into believing that we were probably a bit overambitious with our goals, or worse, that we just aren’t good enough.

Nothing, however, could be farther from the truth. The fact that we failed at something means that we are going down the right path. Think about it: is a dream with no obstacles along the way even worth fighting for? If everything is going our way, then we are likely not aiming high enough. Besides, succeeding at something after failing at it makes success all the more savory. People who lack the perseverance to keep working toward their goals despite the failures never get to know how those hindrances could have made their achievements more astounding than they had imagined. And nothing could be more unfortunate than for a person to fail to realize their true potential out of the fear of failing.

Ancient Japan was the source of many a quote about the importance of being resilient. There are several Zen quotes that stress the need to be relentless in the pursuit of one’s goals. One such Japanese proverb drives home the importance of rising back up every time we fall: “Fall seven times, stand up eight!”