Knocked Down? Three Sayings to Help You Get Back Up

(This article uses affiliate links. If you order from the affiliate link, you pay the same amount, and our blog get s a little support. Thank you.) If you want to live a creative life, you’re going to have to face failure, rejection and hard times. With the Internet, you can have complete strangers review your work and describe it as terrible in the most graphic and demeaning ways known to man. The trolls are going to look to knock you down, especially as you become more successful. Don’t let them.

I Get Knocked Down

Chumbawumba’s anthem for the common man is a motivational song called “Tubthumping.” While the supporting lyrics are less clearly motivation: one man drinks a lot of alcohol, and people are “pissing the night away,” apparently in a local bar, according to the video. The group starts the song with “We’ll be singing when we’re winning…”and it’s these lyrics, they will be singing:

I get knocked down, but I get up again. You’re never going to keep me down.

With the amount of repetition in the song, you would be hard-pressed not to have the message beat into you, especially considering the catchy rhythm and strong drumbeat. In an article at The Guardian, guitarist Boff Whalley says “the song is about the resilience of ordinary people.” In the same article, Vocalist Dunstan Bruce says Tubthumping brough the band closer together and gave them a direction.

Knocking Down a Football Great

It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.

Vince Lombardi

Many people regard Lombardi as the greatest football coach of all time. The winner of the Super Bowl gets a trophy that was named after the legendary coach. In football, as in life, you’re going to get knocked down. The question is whether or not you’re going to stay knocked down, metaphorically, if you’re going to quit because of a problem. For Lombardi, the answer is a choice, but you should get up because that’s what matters.

What’s the Math?

Fall down seven times, get up eight.

A Japanese proverb that became a book title.

In his blog, Josh Bernoff had a problem with the math stating that if you fall down seven times, you only get up seven times. However, he was wrong. You have to get up the first time to fall down the first time. You can’t fall from a prone position. In the comments of his blog, he says that explanation is a stretch because “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’?” But it’s the first time you stand up that’s the most important and that act shouldn’t be discounted.

He also has a problem with someone falling so many times; part of the phrase is lost in the translation. In the Japanese, getting up again is about how well you get up again. When you fail (or fall), you should seek out the reasons for it, and try to improve your actions. Each time you fail, you learn from that failure. (Bernoff invites us to question everything; I hope he also meant his blog posts.)

For More on Creativity

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