If you can get a message across to a large group of people, what would you say?

That was a question thrown to me by a friend about a week ago. I actually had a hard time answering the question. I reflected on my life and tried to think of something worth-sharing. My mind zeroed-in at the time when I broke to my Mom that I was about to become a young father.

That year was really hard for my family. I was about two years shy from graduating in college. My father died several months before that. As the eldest, I was expected to help my Mom raise my six younger siblings. I was also expected to help pay the debts incurred by my family when the city government implemented some projects affecting my Mom’s business (where the promises failed to materialize). My Mom also got hospitalized and operated on from the stress of providing to a brood of seven alone (where we lost almost all of our properties).

I didn’t know how to break the news to her. The burden that I was about to give to her was really heavy — not to mention that what she was carrying was more than enough to put her down. It dawned on me, however, that it would not be fair to her if I kept what happened a secret. More so if I let her discover this from others. So I mustered what I could and broke the news to her.

I was expecting hurtful words from her. She, however, just smiled at me, kissed me and hugged me tightly. She looked at my eyes and said,

“Jake, you know that I love you and your siblings so much. We have to be thankful for what happened. Your father just died, and God provided us with this angel to ease our pain.

This is what I want you to do. Never forget that you are really brilliant. You have a lot of potential in you. I want you to bounce back. People will be talking about what happened. But don’t mind them. What is important is that you bounce back. Prove them wrong.”

Those words made a lot of difference. It was etched in my mind and my heart. I took my Mom’s advice seriously. I fought against all life challenges thrown at me — financially, emotionally and mentally. My Mom’s words was my inspiration and it served as a constant reminder every time I wanted to give up on something — I have to bounce back and prove them wrong.

Where am I now?

I cannot say that I lead a lavish life. But I am leading a life with reasonable comfort.

I was able to help my Mom pay for the college education of my siblings — including their allowances and miscellaneous expenses. Helping my mom now pay our debts. I have not only finished my undergraduate degree but I was able to pursue my Masters. Residing now in a resort-type condominium. Driving my own car. Holding management position in my employer company. I also thrive and hold respectable positions in various professional and volunteer organizations. Conducting training and seminars. I trotted the globe.

And, a lot more…

Now, if I can get a message across a large group of people, I will share my story and this lesson with them…

We often times will be confronted with challenges as we try to pursue our life goals. Some of these challenges can hurt us physically, emotionally and mentally. What is important is that we bounce back, and constantly hold on to your inspiration. Go back to your DEEPEST WHY every time you hit a wall. Constantly remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing.

Believe me! You will soon be able to pickup all pieces of the puzzle, and create a wonderful picture of life. These challenges are just part of God’s way of getting the best out of you.

And to our parents, LEARN FROM MY SUPERMOM. Your kids will encounter challenges that could hurt them. Yes, they sometimes need scolding. Don’t forget, however, to share to them that at the end of their life journey what is important is that they able to bounce back. Don’t add to their injuries. Show them your love and support. Lovingly remind them that life doors are not closing on them with every challenge they face. Remind and inspire them to gather the broken pieces and just bounce back. 


PS1: I learned when my daughter turned four-years old that my Mom actually went to my father’s grave after I broke the news to her. She shared that she broke down in front of my father’s grave and asked him why my Dad left her with so much burden. But she never showed this to me. She is always the positive, motivating and loving Mom to my brood.

PS2: I am encouraging you to read this self-help book on bouncing back. This may help you gather the broken pieces and start your life anew.

The Bounce Back Book: How to Thrive in the Face of Adversity, Setbacks, and Losses

“Salmansohn’s writing is bold, playful, insightful—with powerful metaphors that provoke and inspire. Her kinetic images amplify her message and take the book to a new level of literary experience.” – Deepak Chopra, author of Seven Laws of Spiritual Success

A bad breakup. A serious illness. The loss of a job. Life has a habit of throwing people curveballs. To which Karen Salmansohn says: “When life throws you curveballs, hit them out of the park.”

In The Bounce Back Book the dynamic author whose quirky self-help books—including How to Make Your Man Behave . . . and How to Be Happy, Dammit—mixes from-the-gut wisdom, humor, feistiness, and sophistication to create a hip, inspiring resource that will brighten the darkest mood. The book is grounded in happiness research, psychological studies, Greek philosophy. And it delivers: Here are 70 easily digestible, potentially life-changing tips on how to bounce back from adversity, each on a spread that’s as punchy in look as it is powerful in message.

“Shrink negativity into nuggetivity.” “Think of yourself as the type of person the world says yes to.” With its attitude, techniques, and advice on everything from exercise to staying connected, it is a full-on guide to moving forward with great positive energy.