Nana korobi, ya oki.
Fall seven times – rise eight.
Editorial: The first time I heard this proverb it was mangled in the mouth of a young man who had made a series of colossally poor decisions that confounded common sense. The last in the series was to lie ceaselessly even when he knew that everyone else was on to him. Because the truth seemed destined to go with him to the grave I was thoroughly surprised when he eventually opened up. I asked him why he came around and his reply was the mangled proverb. The gist, however, was straight and true, and profoundly simple: you get up from the place where you fall. Nana korobi, ya oki. Fall seven times – rise eight. The Chinese have a proverb that makes essentially the same point: Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up. Here’s the sentiment told another way: When you reach the point where you just can’t give any more of your time or effort, stand very still. Then take one more step. (thanks, elsah cort).