Nana Korobi Ya Oki – 7 Times Fall Down Get Up 8

Often Candidates attending the Doctoral seminars have heard me speak of the factors of success in completing a PhD. I liken them to tools that we need in our toolbox. I repeat often that the most intelligent person is not necessarily the one who completes the PhD in the best fashion, or even completes the PhD at all. There are other factors that are more important to the successful completion of the dissertation and program.

In the short article found at the link below, by Jeff Haden, the author speaks on how innate intelligence accounts for a small percentage of the reason for success experienced by people in work and life: a much smaller percentage than we would expect. Similar to the reasons that I speak about as to why people are or are not a success in their PhD the Nobel winning economist James Heckman identifies the key factors of success as being correlated with conscientiousness, meaning: Self-discipline, perseverance, and diligence.

In the Doctoral workshops I discuss the basic lesson taught in most Judo schools: “Nana korobi ya oki”. In English it translates to “Fall down 7 times, get up 8”. The thought is that we will fall down in life. Moreover, we will fall down many times, not just 2 or 3 times but many more times. In order to be a success one must not be discouraged by falling down and must learn that it is part of the practice of life and that one must get up and continue on our way. Think about how it would be ridiculous to think that one could study Judo without falling down and then wonder why we would expect life to be any different. The reality is that we will fall down, many times. But with perseverance, diligence and self-discipline we can manage to get up and work towards success. Within the PhD process one can as well expect to fall-down. That might be from external forces: divorce, illness, finances, etc.; or, it could be from internal forces: incorrect attitude, laziness, arrogance, etc. Or, it could simply be from not knowing where to turn next.

In the Judo practice hall, known as the “dojo”, there are other students and naturally the teachers to help and inspire. The teachers provide an example as to what can be achieved through discipline and determination. At Monarch, the teachers provide the same example. We are here to assist you to be the best you can be. Of course, that process must start with you as the student. Taking personal responsibility for your own success is key. Doctoral studies is a difficult road. One must develop the discipline to address that reality head on. By taking a mature attitude and facing the true nature of PhD studies and of life and committing yourself to a road of self-discipline we can all become successful in our own way, both in and out of Monarch.

Dr. Henderson holds the position of Dean of the School and is responsible for the academic programs. Dr. Henderson holds a D.Phil. in Business Research from Monarch Business School, a Doctor of Political Economy from SMC University, a Doctorandus (Drs.) and MBA from Nijenrode Unversiteit in The Netherlands. He also holds a Bachelor of Commerce with distinction from McGill University in Montreal. He is a chartered member of the Canadian Institute of Management, a member of The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors in the United Kingdom and a member of ACUNS-Academic Council of the United Nations System. Dr. Henderson returned to the academic field after a 20 year professional career in real estate development having held Vice-President and managerial positions at: Bentall Capital, Brookfield Properties, Kolter Properties and KPMG Canada LLP. Dr. Henderson also holds the title of Kyoshi, 7th dan, in Shorinjiryu Karatedo awarded in Okinawa, July 2019.