An old martial arts proverb says, "Knocked down seven times, get up eight!" Easier said than done, right?

It's not always easy to stay positive, especially when circumstances knock you down. Here's where I'm going to part from many presenters in the "positive thinking" and "motivation" fields; it is usually simple to adjust attitude, but it is not always easy.

Have you ever started your day feeling great when your boots hit the boards only to step into a whirlpool of circumstances ready to suck you down the drain of life? Have you ever walked out the door ready to enjoy your day only to meet the one person whose very existence depends entirely on making your life miserable?

It happens!

No matter how disciplined you are in creating a positive mental attitude there are people and circumstances ready to ruin your best efforts. I also have a hard time believing that everything that happens to us is created by our thinking and our attitude. Optimists and pessimists alike suffered the wrath of Hurricane Katrina and the devastation of the World Trade Center attacks.
The fact is that bad things sometimes happen to good people. Good businesses sometimes fail. I don't believe that only the good die young, but sometimes they do.

Ultimately the difference between success and failure may be how you play the cards you've been dealt. A skillful player can win a fortune with a bad hand at the poker table and a successful person will generate success from adversity.

I'm not preaching the adoption of a naive attitude. Someone who is blind to the real challenges and obstacle in life is no better equipped for success than the pessimist. What’s needed is an appreciation for the choices you have.

As long as you’re breathing and moving you have choices. When a fighter is knocked down, unless he's unconscious, he decides whether to get up and keep fighting or to stay down. Your greatest victory may be waiting for you to snatch from the "jaws of defeat".

In order to face adversity, overcome circumstances and survive the enemy, you need power. The most dependable and readily available power is your own personal power. When every other resource is exhausted, when disaster strikes, you can draw on your own personal power. Your own personal power is what you'll use to pick yourself after that seventh knock-down.

Constantly practice the development of personal power, and then you’re always in the process of developing your greatest and most reliable resource: YOU! When you cultivate yourself as your greatest resource, you always have options.

Personal power ultimately produces choices. The ultimate reward for choosing a positive attitude and a positive vision is success!

By the way, if you're knocked down eight times, you'll get up nine!

Author's Bio: 

Jim is a motivational speaker and author of "Dynamic Components of Personal Power." His philosophy and technique for developing personal and professional power is a result of more than 20 years of practicing and teaching martial arts.

Through "Dynamic Components of Personal Power", Jim translates the principles of power he developed through martial arts to the art of developing power for personal and professional life.

Jim is available as a keynote and seminar speaker for corporate meetings, events and retreats. He is also available for media appearances and public events.

You can order his book and get more information at