“Fall down seven times, get up eight.”
– Tadashi Nakamura
In the course of life, we’re all going to fall down. You might find yourself wavering off of your workout or nutrition plan more than you planned, or you might get fired from a job. You might have one of those days at the gym where you’re constantly missing easy lifts. It could even be a physical fall, where all of a sudden you find yourself flat on your back, wondering what happened! In all of these situations, there are a couple universal truths. First, as the beginning sentence already laid out, it’s going to happen to everyone — sooner or later, we all fail at something. Secondly, it’s how you respond to it that counts.
Falls, or failures, whether self-imposed or brought on by things out of our control, can at times be devastating. But it is important to remember that sooner or later everyone is going to have to face some sort of failure. We all face them every day to one degree or another, and we usually show resilience by standing back up and pushing through again for success. When a significant failure occurs, it’s important to not just try to push it aside and move past it, as if somehow it didn’t happen. Use the failure and the following downtime to find the ingrained lesson. What can you learn from this and take on board so that it doesn’t happen again? Maybe you have learned about yourself – a new physical or mental “limit” that you can now use as a goal to push past!
Mark Divine is the founder of both SEALFIT and Unbeatable Mind, two organizations that I very much subscribe to (even when my own often spectacular failures might not show it!) His karate sensei was Tadashi Nakamura, the man quoted in the beginning of the article with that great quote on resilience. He has another quote that I stumbled across again recently, which boils down to “One Day, One Lifetime.” It was the subject of a speech that he gave to his students about simply living each day as if it was your entire life, not taking anything for granted, not wasting any precious energy on being negative, and certainly not dwelling on the past. That was very eye-opening when I first read it, and I am glad I came across it again.
I’ve started incorporating these two quotes into my daily routine, and I encourage you to do the same.
Each evening, I recount my day in my head and start thinking about the positive things that happened. Then I think about my failures, even those that were only apparent to myself, and think “Fall down seven times, get up eight.” I make sure that I “get up” again in my mind, taking the lesson from the failure and moving on positively.
Each morning, as part of my daily planning, I think “One Day, One Lifetime” as a way to remember to make this day count, be positive and stay in the present. And then I go get it!
Take some time to reflect on a recent failure of your own. How did you respond? Hopefully keeping these quotes or a similar mantra that has meaning to you will help you move forward positively!