Chiefest among the ranks of my many bad habits is this; my utter failure to finish things. Oh, perhaps I do finish some of them. Eventually. But most things sit abandoned, dead or dying on a bed of dust. I am a great starter. I won't even try to recount to you the number of projects I've conceived and started and even some which I've taken beyond the great hurdle of the heinous middle. But then I nurse them for years, either spooked by the resistance that met my early attempts at the door or or shy of the unknown; what will happen when I complete this?
And do you know what happens when you're not a finisher? You begin to disbelieve yourself. Your relationship with yourself is like any other. Any friend of yours who promised 7 times to show up and 7 times they bailed, well, come the 8th promise, how likely are you to believe they'll actually come? And then you know what happens? You stop starting. Because the moment an idea pops into your head, you snort sarcastically, roll your eyes and mumble "why waste the effort, nothing will ever come of this."
And then do you know what happens?
Well if that doesn't scare the crap out of me, I don't know what does. God knows, that's not the life I want. I don't want a life where nothing happens. I really want a life where something happens.
So, recently, I was reading an article about the resilience of Japanese culture. One of the things it said was that the Japanese have a phrase;
"Nana korobi ya oki".
It literally means "Seven falls. Eight getting up." It means no matter how many times you have failed in the past, you must get back up. No matter how hard the blow that knocked you down, you must get back up. You must never stay down. There must always be one more 'get up'. And in so doing, you will finish standing. You will be successful.
The characteristic, the spirit of this sentiment is called Gambaru. The article says; " The literal meaning of gambaru expresses the idea of sticking with a task with tenacity until it is completed—of making a persistent effort until success is achieved."
Okay. Then I will have a gambaru attitude. I will eight get up.