Knocked on Your Tush (Part 4 of 4)

Darren Hardy blog_Ski fall

Finishing up our series on what you do when you take one to the kisser, knocking you on your rump… (Read part 1,  234)

Here is Point No. 3: Turn obstacles into opportunities. Ask any great achiever who has achieved despite great obstacles, if they could go back and avoid the obstacle, would they, and the answer invariably is “no.” Even our friend Roger (born handicapped with only three fingers, one foot and three toes), if given the opportunity to have perfectly formed arms, legs, hands and feet, would chose to be born the same way he was.

This is true for Lance Armstrong and his battle with cancer. It wasn’t until after he fought and beat cancer that he developed the strength to beat everyone in the world, seven times, in one of the most grueling and punishing sport contests there is—The Tour de France.

Ask the woman heralded as the “fastest women on earth” in the 1960 Olympics, Wilma Rudolph, if she would go back and wish not to have suffered measles, scarlet fever, whooping cough and be born with polio, twisting her left leg so bad that it required a brace. It was BECAUSE of those obstacles that she had to dig up her deeper and greater potential and drive. It required her to work harder, longer and with more determination than any would-be competitor. That character, forged through difficulty, is what created the extraordinary achievements and opportunities she realized. As Albert Mensah said so eloquently to me in a recent interview, “Opportunities are cloaked in obstacles.”

In fact, to take this one step further, I have learned to see obstacles, failure and pain as positive and necessary for growth. I learned this early on from my dad, whose mantra in life was painted in big black block letters

on our garage wall, “No Pain, No Gain.”

One of my earliest recollections on this lesson was on the ski slopes. My dad taught me to snow ski when I was 6 years old. By the time I was 8, I was skiing on my own. One time, at the end of a full ski day, I eagerly and proudly announced to my dad, “Dad, I didn’t fall once all day!” My dad replied, “If you didn’t fall, you didn’t get any better.” What? This was the opposite response I was expecting and hoping for. The bewildered look on my face compelled my dad to elaborate, “If you are going to get better, you have to push yourself. If you push yourself, you are going to fall. Falling is part of getting better.”

I owe much of the success I have been able to achieve to my dad and this philosophy. My dad taught me it was not only OK to fail, but it was proof you were improving. I never saw setbacks, obstacles, rejection or even pain as things to avoid; rather, they were improvement markers on the journey toward greatness and should be appreciated, even celebrated. I challenge you to adopt such a philosophy.

Here is point No. 4: It’s not whether you get knocked down (everyone will get knocked down), it’s how fast you get up. We all experience failure, setbacks, disappointments and obstacles. And yes it hurts, and that is okay. We are human. Rejection, failure and letdowns hurt humans. It’s part of the deal.

Now the difference is how long you let it keep you down. Confucius has this to say, “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do.” Here is the evolution I have gone through and recommend for you. What used to bum me out for 2 weeks I eventually whittled down to 2 days. Then I got it down to 2 hours and then 20 minutes. Now when I am knocked down, I give myself about 2 minutes (up to 20 if it’s a doozy) to sulk and then I brush myself off and get ‘back on the horse.’ I also look to replace the experience with something positive. I never allow myself to end the session or day with a defeat. I will keep working until I can gain some kind of victory.

Keep the prize in mind. When faced with a temporary setback, take your eyes off the setback and affix them on the reward, the end zone—the pot of gold at the end of the tumultuous rainbow trail.

So it’s okay to get knocked down; its even good for you—it’s the beginning of growth. And it’s okay that it smarts a bit. And it’s okay to give yourself some recovery time. Now just try and reduce the time it knocks you out.

And get over the idea that life sucks only for you. Everyone goes through both sides of the pendulum swing. We all go through our winters in life. Maybe the best motto you can adopt in overcoming obstacles or temporary setbacks is this, “This too shall pass.” And it will. How fast and how grand life is for you when springtime comes around is entirely up to you and the choice you make when faced with obstacles. To overcome or not to overcome—that’s up to you.

Share with us in the comments below what you do to recover from rejection, failure or setbacks. How long does it take? What do you do to shift gears or dust yourself off to ‘get back on the horse’?



77 responses to “Knocked on Your Tush (Part 4 of 4)”

  1. Its like you learn my mind! You seem to know a lot approximately this, like you wrote the ebook in it or something. I believe that you just can do with some % to power the message house a little bit, however instead of that, this is fantastic blog. A great read. I will certainly be back.

  2. is working on a higher level of…

    projects. as a business owner, your time is best spent on tasks that will bring higher returns and are less menial and time-intensive.• better quality writingthe second reason why you should outsource blog writing is that you can publish better qu…

  3. You have opened my eyes to a different perspective on difficulties and obstacles. Thank you, I know this will help me to build my businesses even faster.

  4. Sarah, Talk about gem…Your words are inspiring (no doubt spirit inspired…). Thank you for pick me up. I consider myself a” glass is have full” kinda guy and try daily to be positive seeking God’s will,committing to prayer and striving in today’s challenged business climate . Working as ordained sale’s rep for 28 years I have never seen things so down. Even in last years economy. I know God reign’s and has one the war..It’s the daily battles that we are in that fight gets intense. As business day ends, I appreciate your words. God Bless you,Mike

  5. Thanks for the article Darren,

    “This too shall pass” has helped me through many hard times. Actually they are no longer hard times. Though, like every other human, I feel painful emotions, but by being more of an observer than a victim they strenghten me now.

    Yes, I would not remove the setbacks I’ve had–but I don’t want to go through them again!

    ’till next time.


  6. Hey Darren…

    I was homeless and living out of a car 5 years ago… I do a lot speaking at prisons, drug rehabs, to student groups and convicted drunk drivers about the “black hole” that is addiction…. I got, started over and am graduating from college in May. My dad died alone in a horrible little room over a bar… Had to stand-up and break the chain!

    My dream is to buy the bar and building where he died, gut it, and start a fully-funded program where others can start over as well… Redemption

    Thanks, Scott

  7. Hi Darren!!!

    Thank you for the encouraging words. We will surely do our best and always remember “NO PAIN NO GAIN.” To succeed we must go through pain and see how fast we can get back on our feet with a HUGE SMILE…LOL

    Thank you once again for the encouragement, it has surely put a smile on our faces. We are ready for another day in the Battlefield…LOL

  8. I know all too well the huge curve balls that can get thrown at you.
    Pregnant at 14 & in poverty: worked hard to take care of my child & graduated in the top of my class while working a part time job.
    Married at 16 & divorced at 19 (still poor): Had to rid myself of the bad influences in my life to grow & prosper.
    Family tragedy at 29: Discovered life is short & decided to start my own business before it was too late.
    I am now a successful salon owner & a mentor to others with struggles. I have two great children & a wonderful supportive husband. If I can do it anyone can. My dad taught me that if you work hard you can overcome almost anything & I did.

  9. Thank you Darren for these motivational notes, books and all the materials you create for us. You are a huge inspirational force for us to grow, become emotionally strong and succeed. I find that taking responsibility, giving back and even shaking it off has become easier for me. Last year I grew a lot due to the cources I took (Landmark Education), seminars I have attended through our ACN business, where I had a priviledge of hearing you speak. The pendulum part was very powerful. Now I am thinking how to fail hard so that it can swing BIG towards the Success! This year I am planning to grow even more, as I have amazing friends who gave me a gift: Living Your Best Year Ever workbook! Right now staying in the game and working consistently – in an organized manner with good time management – is the challenge for me. I will overcome that by the end of the year! Thanks to you and your book!!! The impact you have on our lives and the value you give to our everyday life – cannot be measure and put in words! GOD BLESS YOU!!!

  10. Thanks for this enlightenment. Indeed, for us to succeed in life there is a lot of things we must know and without knowing them we cann’t move ahead. Life is made up of different obstacles & in them lies opportunities to move ahead. Seeing obstacles as opportunities is what really matters to move forward in life. Thanks, i need to read more of this.

  11. Unfortunately, I didn’t grow up with the philosophy you had Darren. It took me longer on my journey to fully realize the importance of facing failure as something positive and it was part of the process of gaining the additional step to fully succeeding at something. I avoided failure much of my life until I started to experience some major setbacks. It was only then I was driven towards personal development that taught me the philosophy you talk about in this article. Thanks for the important points you mentioned!!!

  12. Darren….it always seems to me that your posts are specifically directed at me. I find myself quoting you more and more and want to say thank you for the inspiration and positive messages. If you find yourself in the sulking after getting knocked down, look that doozy in the face and ask for seconds…it will only make you stronger.

    Thank you.

  13. Thanks for that, your letters make me stronger and more confidence to,and I will do it success’ oh’ I miss my Dad too.’

  14. When I start to feel that negative,bad depressed feeling, I stop myself, recognize the negative impact I’m feeling physically and say STOP. Nothing good is happening here, it’s up to me to choose how I feel , how I react, and move on.
    I can’t believe how empowering it is to move forward towards something that is beneficial for myself and others which I come into contact with.

  15. Thank you Darren! Feeling luckier listening to Compound Effect & journaling here in Santa Monica beach after a good walk. I’m still challenged to awaken at 5am on days I’m off work which is about 3 days off a week due to 12-hours work days. But I’m keeping my reading, listening and studying new skills for business even when I don’t get up at 5am on days off.

    Thank you and have a beautiful day:-)

  16. Hi Darren,

    I sat at the table with you during the dinner and discussion in Costa Mesa, CA. I have to share with you that your story below happened to me at about the same age, with my father on the ski slopes! Probably different ski areas! It was a powerful moment in my life that I reflect on with fondness often .

    …I was skiing on my own. One time, at the end of a full ski day, I eagerly and proudly announced to my dad, “Dad, I didn’t fall once all day!” My dad replied, “If you didn’t fall, you didn’t get any better.”

    Todd C

  17. I STOP, yes STOP…anytime I have experienced a failure/setback I take a “time out”. Depending on the size of the setback and circumstances determines the “Stop Time”. I use this ‘Stop Time” to reflectively think (which was a skill I had to learn!!) about what happened, why, how I felt and what positive actions I am going to take before I push the GO button again!


  18. Beautiful Dawn :):):)

    And the more you give.. the more you will receive :):)

    Thinking you just found yourself a very fulfilling side job, Kudos

    Smiles, Hugs and many well wishes to you both :)

  19. Oh Boo,
    Nicely worded :):)
    “If we are wallowing in “victim” mode, He moves everyone else until we start moving.”

    Everyone has moments of “Victim Mode” Just remember that.. It Is Human
    But the faster you start moving… The faster You Move.. :)
    don’t beat yourself up for what was done.. Praise Yourself that you got Past IT!! :):)

  20. Twenty eight years in the military has taught me to take 100% responsibility for my actions. Something we have to teach our young troops coming in the military today. They where raised and taught every one is a winner and receives a trophy. Parents being their friend and not a disciplinary. They have a hard time when they face adversity and look to play the blame game. Once they learn the life lesson of taking full responsible for ones actions then they can grow from getting “Knocked on Your Tush”. A lesson I had to learn and the sooner in life we learn the easer it is to recover from set backs. When you get “Knocked on Your Tush” I ask you to think of our military members who are recovering from combat related injuries. Learning to walk again, speak, see and function with missing body parts. If they can recover from that kind of “Knocked on Your Tush” we can to. One thing that is missing from all the lessons of recovering from being “Knocked on Your Tush”, is our family’s. They may not be the one that got “Knocked on Your Tush” but they are right along side us suffering the same.

  21. I too agree whole-heartedly with you Sarah. Our success is int he Lord’s hands. We just have to ask him what his will is for each of us and to keep moving forward. The Lord can move you into a direction of His choice only if we are moving. If we are wallowing in “victim” mode, He moves everyone else until we start moving.

  22. Dear Mr. Darren,

    I really enjoyed this article. Thank you!
    A good reminder for me was not to see set backs, obstacles, pain and rejection as things to be avoided. I think the nature of human beings is to want to avoid pain and rejection. I know it is natural for me to be scared of getting rejected and hurt, or to lose. This fear causes to drawback, to not be so brave and to not want to get too exposed. But that´s the real obstacle to success in life.

    I´ve been inspired and uplifted many a time through your articles. When I´ve been feeling down, an inspiring post would arrive to my inbox. When I needed a little “pull on the ears” a convicting article would come in. It is a timely, God-given direction for my life at this specific time.

    God bless you and keep you inspiring many lives through your posts.



  23. I work overnite at Walmart as a cashier. However, often managers place me at the door as a people greeter. So that the regular people greeter can sort and restock cartloads of stuff. Initially I view this with anger and I am not good enough. After reading this article I see my response is what can I do. And I begin the task of picking up the trash at the registers. This gives me a tremendous sense of accomplishment.

  24. I had just postponed my final exams in chartered accountancy to next semester because of fear of failure.Now I am more than ready to study extra hard to make it this semester.Thanks Darren for the words of encouragement.

  25. Great ideas about giving yourself time to get up Darren.

    What I do is, just focus harder on my goal(s) and Know that I am unstoppable (due to my own work ethic, knowledge, drive, determination, social skills and the ability to reach out to others if I have to).

    I’ll always keep my eyes on the prize and 1 thing I firmly believe is, the only guarantee of success is in my own mind.



  26. Hi Mike,

    I have a good friend who told me that too. That’s a real friend whom we must keep until we die 😉


  27. When I come to a terrible cross road, I often reflect on other “cross roads” of the past. It allows me to remember how I overcame the obstacles. That nudge gives me the impetus, strength and courage to dust myself off, like Darren says, and continue on. It is so important to be reminded. Thanks, Darren.

  28. It is so inspiring! Thanks a lot Darren. I needed this today. I will read it regularly to stay motivated and have a mindset to push harder to overcome the obstacles that I have been facing.

  29. Great article. What a way to end. Just what I needed to hear. I been going through something lately, but compare to what? It’s nothing. It’s part of the process. No baby crawl and walk without failing. It’s part of the process. In my opinion adversity has to be accepted, learned from and move-on. In life everything is a process “Compound Effect” and it takes time. I have learned to keep praying, work hard and consistent and have patience. The results will yield as long as you keep the faith. Thank you Darren. I made a promise to myself that I will meet you one day as a successful businessman. God Bless.

  30. Good Evening Mr. Hardy,
    You know this is one of the most well written pieces that I have ever seen in the personal development arena. I really appreciate this effort. You should be proud. As for myself and setbacks, my mantra is: “If it seems popular then I am not growing”. If it scares me then I know that I must go for it. As Jim Rohn said: “We must walk away from the 90%”. Staying down is what they are all about, but not us! Congratulations on this piece and thanks so much for sharing!!
    Have a magical week!

  31. Darren,

    You are so right on, reading your words before I go to bed give me time to ponder and let them sink in, our days are so filled with unnecessary rushing that sometimes when we do fall we don’t give ourselves the necessary time to think beyond the moment, that’s when the mole hill starts to turn into the mountain. We all just need to chill out and remember God created the world in six days not six minutes. Thanks

  32. What you do to recover from rejection, failure or setbacks? I don’t take it personally, look for the lesson in the failure, learn, get up, & get better.

    How long does it take? As long as I’m breathing, it’s all good and within a few minutes go forward with determination & hard work.

    What do you do to shift gears or dust yourself off to ‘get back on the horse’? First I kiss my wife & it’s all good. I also really focus on providing value added service and helping others improve their lives. There is usually always someone that has it worse off than I do.

    Excellent questions Darren. Thanks so much, Barry

  33. Hi Darren,
    Having also graduated from UHK (University of Hard Knocks) I have had many opportunities to start over! Will Rodgers said… and I paraphrase… It isn’t how hard you fall, its how well you bounce. Well personally I have a rubber butt so I just keep moving forward with a fresh start. The best way I know how is to turn my phone to off and go someplace for the day. I go someplace quiet and peaceful where I can be alone with my thoughts with no distractions. It is then and only then that I can really dream. When I am there, I figure out what I really want and then set a plan on getting it. My strategy is what I have learned from greats like Darren Hardy is:
    1. Figure out what I want
    2. Figure out why I want it.
    3. Think about what my life would be like if I don’t achieve it.
    4. Think about what my life will be like when I do achieve it.
    5. Put a plan in motion of how I am going to accomplish this, step by step.

    Then, and this is the most important part, I visit these plans daily. Otherwise I lose focus and forget what I am trying to accomplish with my busy life.

    thanks for such a great article BTW… it is awesome!

  34. As an assistant principal, and former hs basketball coach, I peach the message of defeating adversity, on a daily basis. It is so vital for kids to grasp this concept, and learn to not only bounce back, but to let these trials and tribulations make you stronger.

  35. Thank you for your words of encouragement, Darren. I look forward to your blogs every week I see people in my life who are struggling with one thing or another and I will pass on these words of advice to them. When I get knocked down, I am fortunate to have a loving and supporting husband who makes my struggles seem unimportant to the overall scheme of things. That helps me to brush it off and move on.

  36. Thank you Darren for this amazing message. I’m getting better at taking 100% full responsibility of my thoughts, feelings, actions and results including the eye-opening WRR and Monthly Achievement System from LYBYE! I used to dwell on my mistakes and beat myself up and talk about it for weeks, now it’s down to 30 minutes to one hour. I do whatever it takes to cleanse myself from the negatives emotions & release energy using CBT, EFT, steam room, and working out.

    After doing one month of WRR, I’m practicing my daily Morning routine and making sure they are same effective behaviors every day. My level of energy, happiness, investment & savings, romance with my spouse have all increased within a month of using Living Your Best Year Ever.
    I am more aware and alert more than ever! No other planner, health supplement or meditations has given me these tangible results so fast! Thank you!

    Love and abundance to all!

  37. Sarah, I agree whole-heartedly with you. Our success is in the Lord’s hands and we will succeed in His purposes for each of us. I appreciate this blog and the encouragement that is shared. Keep your eye on the goal. Stay focused!

  38. Thank you, Darren, for your encouraging message.

    “Opportunities are cloaked in obstacles…” Instead of running our organic farm, my boyfriend and I ended up battling (his) cancer last summer. We had temp jobs with the Census at the time, and had to quit those to attend 22 sessions of radiation, and the farm, even the birth of a very special filly, all went by the wayside.

    He was consumed with the physical and emotional battle of cancer, while I was consumed with filling out one application after another for financial help (no health insurance) and caregiving as he suffered severe side effects. It was one of those scary times in life when it feels like all you can do is react; I admit, I still haven’t completely bounced back, and I wasn’t even the one with cancer.

    This experience has inspired us, though. We are going to get back on our feet financially, and then we are going to start giving back. Now that we know personally what it was like to face a fast-growing cancer without medical insurance, we are determined to make a difference for other people like us. We are young and healthy (usually), and had never been ground through the medical system before. If nothing else, it will be an honor to help someone else navigate it.

    We filled out and mailed our (we think) last financial hardship application just last week. My boyfriend is thankfully now cancer-free. This experience honed our relationship and gave us an education that will allow us to help others.

  39. This is huge! Failures and adversities and defeats and setbacks are opportunities in disguise! Brings to mind the great Napoleon Hill quote – “Every adversity carries with it the seed of an equivalent benefit.”

    Oh how I wish I had learned this nugget of truth as a younger man. But consider this – I will in fact benefit from this principle even more now because of the fact that I didn’t learn this truth as a younger man. All I can say is thank you for that adversity.

    How cool is that?

    Thanks Darren.

  40. Kudos! As always, great nuggets of gold! Having recently endured some setbacks, one of my really good friends (a real friend is one that tells you what you need to hear and not what you want to hear) said the following to me….”Quit feeling sorry for yourself. Others have gone through the same trials you are enduring…and worse…and not only survived but thrived!”

    Wow! That wasn’t what I was expecting – but it was exactly what I needed to hear at that moment. He then went on to say…”and since you are a Christian, make sure that your response is one that will glorify God in the process.”

    Words well spoken!

    Carpe diem!


  41. Darren,

    Thanks for this series. It has helped me to refocus, especially Part 3. Today’s Part 4 helps even more as far as setting harder goals for myself.

    I appreciate your thoughts on this very important subject.

    Polly Scott

  42. The most precious of gems are forged under extreme heat and pressure. So essentially, the question becomes, are we content to be just another ordinary lump of coal or have we decided that our Creator has called us to be crown jewels in the world? It’s a certainty that we will experience trials and tribulations however, we have already been given victory because we know that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us, so with our victory assured-it’s up to us to bring our actions in line with our beliefs and refuse to quit until our goals have been achieved.

    Darren, thank you for these post-I take their messages to heart and I have been blessed by them:)

  43. There have been some hurdles recently that I really am struggling with. I need to keep remembering that “This too shall pass.” Sometimes it is difficult to look ahead when you are stuck in the mire. Thank you for the reminder. I will be better on the other side. That is the end goal correct?

  44. Thank You Darren! ! At a office party recently, a Doctor asked me if I had seen Rocky III,
    which I hadn’t, and he said one of the best lines was ….” life will beat you to your knees and keep you there, if you let it……but it ain’t about how hard you hit;it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving’s how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done.”

  45. Mr. Hardy,

    You were our Guest Speakers (an an Incredible one) at our ACN Convention. I TEXTed twice and have not received your slides.

    Would you kindly aid in this request?
    Thank you in Advance,
    Diana Perez

  46. Great post Darren! Getting knocked down on your keaster and springing back up is a necessary evil to growing and getting better.

  47. I love your ending… “Get over the idea that life sucks only for you”

    Far too often I see people going on and on about how miserable their life is and it’s only their life… If I only had a nickle for every time I heard someone complain that their life sucks worse than everyone else…

  48. Thank you Darren for this reminder. For me, when there are hurdles along the way, I welcome them. I ask myself: What am I learning? What is this experience teaching me and how am I growing emotionally because of it? I also use a worse case scenario: what if instead of breaking my foot I had lost my leg? This helps shift my mood pretty quickly!
    I get inspired by your blog. Keep up this awesome work you do!

  49. I have to remind myself not to get caught up with the bumps/setbacks whatever you want to call them. These are temporary. I then focus on the fact that I’m in charge of my life, I take 100% responsibly. This helps me realize that I can wallow in the mud of a situation …and do nothing but keep getting dirty.

    Or I can stand up and say “not me, I will not get handicapped by any situation”. Then I chose to adapt and overcome. It’s not easy …but it does get easier. As you have pointed out, make a decision to change for the better, then do little/big things to get there.

Leave a Reply