Title: What We Learn From “Being Bitten By A Snake”—Failure Teaches Success


There is a Chinese proverb “Yī zhāo bèi shé yǎo, shí nián pà jǐng shéng” in Chinese. It means that once we are bitten by a snake, we would be afraid of seeing it again for the next 10 years to the point that we would feel petrified from just the sight of a plain rope in a well.



It implies that the bad experiences of being bitten by a snake would create a traumatic memory that would cause us to fear anything that looks like a snake for eternity. This trauma brings about both physical and mental fear.



With regards to this proverb, I think it is crucial to analyze how and why we got bitten by the snake in the first place. Then it assists us to be much more vigilant almost ensuring we will not endure the same painful experience again, and obtain wisdom instantaneously.



This might eventually help us to avoid far worse things such as coming face to face with venomous snakes that would lead to certain death.



Aside from acquiring caution, we might also widen our wisdom enough to be able to distinguish the real snakes from the fake ones. Figuratively speaking, this will make us mentally stronger, less vulnerable to dangers, and traumatic fears providing us success in more ways than one.



Here is an example. Nowadays, “dating apps” are popular in the world. Some people may be unfortunate to meet deceiving and unfaithful individuals, such as those having ulterior motives for sexual intercourse, money, etc., or meeting con men.



If we experience the dark side of these dating apps, we might experience deep depression and become afraid of getting involved in any kind of relationship in the future, basically mentally scaring us, and possibly losing money because of them…Nobody will help us. No one can retrieve the money back to us, no one can erase our black history in our brains.



In our lives, there are many things that we can’t or won’t achieve no matter how hard we try or how much effort we put into it. Sometimes, unexpected things happen. This is Life and the sad world we live in. We just have to learn from these experiences and understand that once bitten twice shy. Life is like a box of chocolates, and we learn our lessons in the most unexpected ways.



Failures and struggles are not all bad.

But whenever we repeat the same mistakes, blame others or bury ourselves with regret, then, that’s when it will end in vain, and lead to failures.




What’s worse, it only becomes our lifelong traumas which bring about a huge deal of pain and suffering. Things that have just happened are happening for a reason and more than likely a new lesson to be learned. All of these experiences are lessons to help protect ourselves and pave the way for a pain-free regretful and miserable future.




Gaining knowledge, challenging ourselves, and learning from our mistakes can protect our future!



By the way, have you ever thought about why snakes bite? Well…this is because these snakes are also cowards, so in order to protect themselves, they will intimidate, or bite! Another thing to learn from this Chinese proverb might be, “To defend ourselves”, isn’t it?











On a strictly literal level, a saying is anything that is said or, if you prefer, spoken. A proverb is a set of words that contain a lesson or meaning which holds up over the years.






・once bitten, twice shy:慎重になる、用心するなど


・Life is like a box of chocolates: 

《人生はチョコレートの箱のようなもの》1994年公開の映画「フォレスト・ガンプ」のセリフ。人生は驚きがいっぱいで何が起こるかわからないという意味 (参考:Weblio辞書)




英語にもafraid, scared, frightened, horrified, terrified このようにいろいろな単語が使われます。


◆afraid = scared: 不安から来る怯え、恐怖から来る怯え

◆frightened = terrified:突然驚かされることから来る怯え・怖さ




◆I’m afraid / scared of bugs.(私は虫が怖いです)


◆I was frightened/ terrified when I saw a bug on my lap.(PCに虫がいるのを見た時、怖かった)

※「わっ 虫がいる!」の感じです


◆I was horrified when the bug jumped to my face.


※いきなり飛んできて怖くてドキドキしてる感じ=緊迫感、ショッキング です。


ところで、”be scared”(怖い)ですが、具体的にも抽象的にも使えます。

【抽象的】 I’m scared of being scolded by my immediate superior.



【具体的】 I’m scared of spiders no matter how small it is.










1. I want to increase my knowledge. (知識を増やしたい)

2. I want to obtain more knowledge in the Chemistry field.(化学の分野の知識をもっと得たい)

3. I want to get more knowledge about history. (歴史の知識をもっと得たい)

4. I want to widen my limited knowledge in Financial Management.(私の財務管理知識は狭いので広げたい)