It was modeled after Bodhidharma, the founder of the zen tradition of the Buddhism, who lived during the 5th/6th century AD. He is the one, legend says, that tried his hand at the wall-gazing meditation for over 9 years, without moving and causing himself to loose the use of both arms and legs towards his determination.
The Daruma doll emerged as a symbol of good luck, it is in fact the celebration of an attitude of sacrifices towards an objective that can be reached. It is a hollow doll, traditionally red, used for obtaining goals.
The Daruma is eyeless, reminding about a punishment Bodhidharma gave to himself to having lost the focus on the meditation once, falling asleep. The story is actually sad, but turned into something positive for the philosophy behind. It tells you that is difficult to reach a goal, but as long as you fixed an achievable step to be reached in a certain time and you stayed focus, you will find yourself eventually reaching your aim. No need to say the doll becomes in this way a strong source of self-motivation pushing yourself to really reach a goal, without distractions.
The doll is in fact projected in a way that can't never fall and gets up again when pushed down.That's because the doll reminds you that a failure can occur in the attempt to reach something, but when is true that you can fall seven times, you will surely get up eight.
So, never stop trying, which is the only way to start something and give yourself the chance to really get it.
Finally, how does the Daruma doll works.
The recipient fills in the first eye when setting their goal. Once the goal is obtained, the second eye is filled in and the doll is brought to the temple (or in the place you got it) and burned.
The doll stands for a personal object reminding you about the power of trying, with a spiritual and deep cultural meaning, too.
I set my personal goal at the beginning of the New Year, and will be a year lasting project, but this can be done in every moment of your life, for the period you prefer. And will be like having a friend reminding you that you can do it.
A special thank goes to Serena, the person that told me this wonderful story.