How Did I Bounce Back From Failures Over and Over Again in the Last 3 Years

My life really got started in the year of 2003. Before that, I was just bumping around, living life as if life happened to me. But since 2003, I live life exactly the way I want it. That is the year that I discover what I would love to do for a living. That is the year that I found my purpose in life.

And on this journey of purpose, failures arise over and over again. But each time, I managed to get back up. Some friends asked what kept me motivated to bounce back from so many failures. And here are my response.


Before I get into the details, I discover five fuel points to kept me going. I called it fuel points because they are the points that supply me the energy and drive to move forward despite all odds.

The first fuel point is my LOVE for what I do. My passion of empowering others provides me the fuel to burn during tough times.

Those times when I was left all alone, those times when I was betrayed, those times when I was extremely tired with pushing the quota, this LOVE channels the last burst of fuel to drive me through.

The thought of being able to empower another fellow human being, seeing their eyes sparkle gives me a feeling of satisfaction.

Whenever I feel tired, I’ll get all my energy by recalling the values that my past clients got. On top of that, I’ll imagine the values that my new clients is going to get.

Writing a blog post can be a tedious task for me. At times, I wanted to skip posting for a couple of weeks. However, when I thought of how the post can empower readers, even just one reader, I will sit down quietly to do finish up a post.

It is very important to do what you love most. Some asked, “but what I love to do can’t make me rich, what can I do?” This is the part where you have to choose, Passion vs Money. I have three questions for you.

How much is enough?
Do you choose to struggle to be rich or satisfied to be poor?
How do you create both satisfaction and richness?

The second fuel point that has me bounced back from failure is to FOCUS on the big picture.

A big picture is when you know why are you doing what you are doing.

I get to jump out of my bed every morning by reflecting on my ‘why’. Reminding myself of my purpose is my fuel to work on weekends, late nights and public holidays. You won’t see me complaining working more than 44 hours a week.

In 2008, I had a crazy schedule. In weekday, I was in Singapore running my business. On Friday nights, I would take a 6-hour bus ride to Kuala Lumpur to conduct training over the weekends. On Sunday nights, I would take the 6-hour bus ride back to Singapore. My only rest time is during the bus ride.

Crazy and tiring, but I kept going back to my ‘why’. Why am I embarking on this journey in the same place? What values do I want to create for humanity? What satisfaction am I getting?

Reflecting on my “whys” is the best motivating factors. Whenever I reflect on my reasons, I will see that there are so much more than I can do to help people.

The third fuel point that is WHO I hang out with. I choose whom I hang out with carefully. I keep negative people out of my life. Those who always give themselves excuses will never get close to me.

In my darkest hour, these positive and energetic friends came around with a helping hand. They pulled me out from the dark pit and provided me with inspiration to continue my journey many times.

In 2011 I was walking in the dark valley of my life, a supportive friend hunted me down in the fourth largest shopping mall in the world. All she wanted to do was to support me emotionally. This is the kind of friends you like to have by your side.

Look at your friend list. Who are an inspiration, who drain your energy?

READING inspirational books is my fourth fuel point. Reading inspirational books during those darkest hours brought hope and light to my life.

Reading these inspirational books helps bring my challenges into perspective. Reading the unfortunate stories in the world made mine seems so small. My engine starts running again when my challenges are being put into perspective. Chicken Soup for the Soul is good place to find these inspiring stories.

But when bad things happen, I would still get into a reaction. No amount of inspirational books are enough to salvage the situation at that moment. Just that I get to recover much faster, I am able to get out of the situation much faster.

When things are cooled down, I will reflect on all the lessons from these inspirational books. This is when I start to climb out of any situation.

If reading a whole book is too tedious for you, choose to read 1 or 2 pages of the book. At times I’ll read 1 or 2 pages of a random book which would be enough to re-start my engine. Keep this inspirational source going, you will never know when will be the time that a certain book struck a chord with you at certain time of your life.

Here are my top 10 inspirational book list. These are the books that I’ve read more than once, and find great values in them.

The Alchemist
The One Minute Millionaire
Way of the Peaceful Warrior
Conversations with God
The Law of Success
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
The Four Agreements
A New Earth
Leadership and Self-Deception
A Return to Love

Pick anyone from my list. Any of these books can get you out of the slump that you are trapped in.

My fifth and last fuel point is that I BELIEVE that I can make it big in life. I truly BELIEVE that opportunities are given to those who are prepared. Even when I’m down, I would want to quickly pull myself out in case opportunities arrive.

I do not believe in pure luck, that’s why I don’t buy lottery. I believe in creating luck with my own hands.

In 2012, after trying to grow the business for six months, my business partner left. I was angry that I was left to deal with it alone. Instead of giving up and leaving it to chance, I placed my focus on the vision and my believe.

Despite facing a uphill task, I continue to believe. Very soon, I close a corporate deal, and subsequent close a couple more deals. Procrastination Buster Workshop was created right after my partner left.

Two years since she left, we are going to launch our very own conference – Singapore Coaching Conference 2014. Prominent coaches will be featured in the conference. This is all achieved because of a believe.

Honestly, bouncing back from failures is not as easy as writing this post. I too, struggled to bounce back from failures. The key is to reduce the time of feeling emotionally down. We are human after all, it’s alright to be emotionally down. Learning to bounce back quickly becomes crucial in creating the life that we desire.

These five fuel points provide me the energy to keep going when the odds are against me. They may work for you too.

2 thoughts on “How Did I Bounce Back From Failures Over and Over Again in the Last 3 Years

  1. Bernard Tan

    Bro Joe, this is a timeless & inspiring piece of work that again has the ability to whisper directly into an individual soul unassuming ku and non intrusively. The pursuit of Happiness is but a state of the mind. The sustainability of Happiness is an arts, drawn from the wisdom of an individual’s soul, nourished from one’s tenacity to live above one’s greater self, away from mediocrity. This is a clear example of human revolution. A humble display of gratitude to Time and Life. A true and life work. Keep the light on, Champion : )

    1. skyjoe76 Post author

      Hi Bernard, you and me are on the same purpose. Just using different method. Thank you for an inspiration to the world.


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