Fall down seven times get up eight

Kris Lee Tattoo

Inspiring, no?

People keep using this quote (a Japanese proverb) to tell me to persevere no matter what. No matter how many times life knocks you down, you’re supposed to take it and get up again, right?

I have just a few problems with this.

First of all, who stays down? Short of suicide, of course you are going to go on. It’s a basic human drive to survive. So why do we need a saying to remind us?

Second, if you fall down seven times, there is something wrong. Maybe you have vertigo. Maybe your spouse is beating you. Maybe you’re just not paying attention to where you are going. Maybe you subconsciously like falling down. If you fall down seven times, you should really examine the cause of why you are falling down so much. Maybe you can fix the problem rather than just getting up only to fall down yet another time.

Finally, even if the message is that every time you fall down, you should get up again, somebody here has a math problem. If you get up after each fall, then after seven falls, you will have gotten up seven times. Now you’re up. So there is no way to get up an eighth time unless you fall down again.

Question everything. Especially cliches.

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  1. lmfaooooo you’re such a wonderful grump.

    the math actually does work because they’re counting that first time that you stood up, before your first fall. and i’m going to keep hanging onto this cliche because for me it’s not about whether or not you’re going to stay on the floor, it’s about whether or not you are going to keep pushing yourself to take risks, and the vast majority of folks don’t keep taking them. learned helplessness is a terrible, and pervasive, thing…

    1. Nobody in a normal frame of mind would count the first time you get up. Would you say “If you fall down, get up twice” ?

      I love your optimism and perseverance, Laura, you are a wonderful person. But I think you are stretching an explanation to fit this since it is a favorite saying.

      Learned helplessness is indeed awful. And I am flattered at your calling me a “wonderful grump” because I think that fits me so well . . . .

      1. well, actually, you couldn’t fall down unless you had stood up first?, you could fall asleep 7 times, awake 7, no, you would have had to be awake before you fell asleep the first time, hmmm, needs more deeper thought?

        1. Of course if you fall asleep 7 times you wake up from having been asleep 7 times. Just like you need to be standing up to begin with to fall down seven times!

      2. The proverb is “Nana korobi, ya oki” which means “Fall down seven times, stand up eight.” It means choosing to never give up hope, and to always strive for more. It means that your focus isn’t on the reality in front of you, but on a greater vision that may not be reality yet.

  2. Even the familiar “if at first you don’t succeed, try try again” has an extra “try” – maybe that’s just been extrapolated to the 8th “get up again”

  3. You are completely missing the point! But you get a pass for funny.
    Remember where this proverb comes from and moreover from, this has a martial tone to it to teach resilience and perseveration to better oneself.
    It can be translated to daily life but taking it literally won’t get you far!

  4. You are completely missing the point! But you get a pass for funny.
    Remember where this proverb comes from and moreover from when, this has a martial tone to it to teach resilience and perseveration to better oneself.
    It can be translated to daily life but taking it literally won’t get you far!

  5. Maybe your starting point could be down, so you choose to get up. That’s one point for up LMAO then you fall down seven times and get up seven more times. But in all seriousness, you are taking this saying way too literally. There’s nothing wrong with somebody just because they fall down several times and get up again. That is just life, life happens to us all and we all fall down numerous times throughout our lifetime. Now, I would agree with you if one never chose to get back up. It’s not a mathematical equation, it is a metaphor on how to deal with the twists and turns that we experience throughout our lifetime. If someone has this attitude about life, then surely they are demonstrating courage, not cowardice. Although it may not add up mathematically, the extra “get up” or “stand up” is just an additional emphasis to a positive attitude. Nobody’s perfect, and you can’t always control everything that happens in your life. You did make me laugh, though! LOL!!!

  6. ‘Fall 7 times, get up 8’, implies that we all start from a point of infancy (or infantile state), and from that sitting position, learn to stand. And if you read the book you’ll get the point! A fall (fail?) to a state of an infantile state or perceived infantile state and the continuing effort to be clearly heard (as someone with the his/her own authority). This is the poetry and the struggle in this book. A lesson in communication for those who presume that a lack of verbal expression means the inability or lack of desire to communicate..

  7. Because I can’t see a way to amend my comment, i’ll simply add: I happily acknowledge and gratefully nod towards Laura Fitton ‘s comment above, as someone who gets the accounting of the title of ‘Fall down seven times get up eight’. It is really a good book, whatever you have a designated label or not.

  8. You must be a hoot at parties. It’s a powerful saying because life can knock you down repeatedly, people might expect to get shat on once or twice every now and then but seven times? Keep getting back on your feet and move forward.

  9. If you don’t stay down when life pushes you down and you keep getting up. Eventually you don’t fall again.
    Not so literal in your thinking Samurai!

    It you look at my finger when I point to the moon youll miss all that heavenly glory!

  10. Absolutely shallow response! Someone was obviously never a competitor!! A true competitor whether in the ring, on the field or on the court gets back up every time. From injury, loss or failure!! It’s is the character of a winner

  11. Not everyone has the will to get up again. And it doesn’t have to be suicide that keeps a person down. A simple defeatist mindset is all it takes.
    If you look at it in a broader term. It makes perfect sense:
    For example: finding a job – say you don’t get the first job you apply for, are you going to stay down and think that you will never get a job so what’s the point trying? Or do you get up, and try again for a different job, Or the same job?
    You get rejected by the first person you ask out, do you give up and say you will never find love, or do you try again with someone new or the same people?

    For both many people are known to just give up. They fall and stay down.

    If you are learning something new, but you are terrible at it. Do you quit and say you will never be good enough at it, or do you keep at it and learn to get better?
    It’s common sense that we learn why we fell when we get back up so that we can figure out how not to fall.
    In the end it’s our choice that when we fall, be it literal or metaphorical, do we stay down and say it’s pointless to try again, or do we get up and try again