I Get Knocked Down, But I Get Up Again

Japanese Proverb

I was in a ska band in college and we covered Tubthumping, a song by Chumbawumba (remember them?) with the following lyric:

I get knocked down
But I get up again
You’re never gonna keep me down (repeat)

I didn’t realize the wisdom of those words until I came across this Japanese proverb: Fall down seven times, stand up eight.

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The Myth of Perfection



There is a constant struggle between getting stuff done and getting stuff perfect.

You may have some grand visions of your book, your business plan, your invention idea being the picture of perfection.

The trouble with this plan is it’s a myth.

There is no such thing as perfect.

Even after you’ve worked, edited, re-written, revised, and made it “mistake-free” – there is no true perfection.

As you grow and develop your ideas of perfection grow and develop as well.

Here’s the secret: Perfection is impossible because it’s a moving target.

So forget being perfect.

Work to get done.

The constant advice I heard in graduate school: A good dissertation is a done dissertation.

What is it that you’re working on right now that you’ve avoided finishing?

You won’t reach perfect.  You can’t reach it.

So don’t worry about getting everything right.  Your best work is ahead of you, but you have to get it done first.


The Power of Grit

The difference between high and low performers is not the level of intelligence, IQ scores, health, background, or income level.

According to Angela Lee Duckworth’s TED talk, the key difference is grit.

Grit is the ability to stick it out.  To have the resolve and solid work ethic.  And to work hard for long periods of time.   Think in terms of years rather than hours.

Her study found that “grittier” kids were able to graduate high school at a higher rate, get better jobs, and complete their tasks more consistently.

Grit also means you follow through on your commitments, regardless of whether you think you’ll do a good job or not.

One of the keys is to have a “growth mindset.”

You can persevere through failure when you believe that you are not a static being.

The ability to learn is not fixed.

You must continually learn, adapt, and grow.