Fall seven times, stand up eight
Years ago I was told a powerful Japanese proverb, Nanakorobi yaoki (七転び八起き), which literally means “fall seven times, stand up eight”, or that life will knock you down several times, but all you need to do to win is to stand up one time more.
I was thinking about this on my flight from San Francisco to Chicago this morning.
I was very tired: I cleaned up the house and went to bed alone last night (my wife is away), I slept only a few hours, then woke up quite early to catch the flight.
I wasn’t in a great mood.
After some reading on a newly bought Kindle (Walk away wealthy, of which 90% is useless and verbose garbage, but 10% is quite interesting — I wish the author simply published a 1/10th version of it and saved me some time), I tried to sleep a bit but I couldn’t. United is a terrible airline, and its economy seats are very uncomfortable. Mine had a broken recliner, too.
At some point, I then focused on my business. You probably don’t have the faintest idea of what I’m doing. To keep it short, I think that part of world is fucked, and it needs some serious unfuck.
Cities and our infrastructure, in particular, need it more than anything else.
To be of help, I am launching a company to improve the way in which people live in houses and buildings. I hope that this will reduce our ecological footprint, and allow people to make better investments in their real estate properties, and enjoy a better quality of life through better urban/housing design.
Wow, that’s a mouthful!
(if you don’t see a link to my company, there isn’t any yet. I am still operating a bit under the radar for another few weeks).
Anyway, the thing is: on the plane, in a bad mood, a bit crammed in a small seat, a bit unsure about what to do next… I wanted to quit.
“Wow” — you might say — “You barely got started, and you already want to quit?”
Truth is, every honest entrepreneur (and I guess many other people too) would admit to have thought about quitting every day. Multiple times a day.
It’s normal, but it’s also scary.
In a way, one of the things you need, or you have to quickly build, is resilience against the “negative”. It could be a bad moment, it could be an upsetting comment you overheard, it might be a very bad day, it might be anything. Life will keep throwing challenges and issues at you.
If you want to succeed, no matter how many times you’re on the ground, you need to stand up.
I didn’t quit today. I hope I will not quit tomorrow. And not the day after tomorrow. And so on. And so on.
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