argumentThe captivating news feature , Fighting With Your Spouse Is Good For Your Health caught my eye. But hold your horses, war freak spouses. Listen, it has to be a good fight . Not the cat-dog fight. Preliminary results from a University of Michigan study found couples that suppress anger die earlier than couples in which one or both partners express their anger and resolve the conflict..

Researchers looked at 192 couples in Tecumseh, Mich. during a 17-year period placing them into one of four categories. The first category included couples in which both partners communicated their anger.

The second and third groups included one spouse that expresses while the other suppresses anger and the forth group involved couples where both the husband and wife suppress their anger and brood, lead author Ernest Harburg said in a press release.

“Comparison between couples in which both people suppress their anger, and the three other types of couples, are very intriguing,” said Harburg, professor emeritus of the U-M School of Public Health and the psychology department.

When both spouses suppress their anger at the other when unfairly attacked, earlier death was twice as likely than in all other types.

Ernest Harburg clarified that “If you bury your anger, and you brood on it, you resent the other person or the attacker, and you don’t try to resolve the problem, then you’re in trouble.”

The key factor is communication. Filipinos are not too hot on a confrontational talk including my husband but with practice we found ways to argue and resolve amicably. How?

1. Avoid “You should or you should not”
At the heat of any argument, I don’t butt in and say “You shouldn’t feel that way” or “You should be calm”. When I am disappointed or impatient with his attitude, I just say “I feel sad that you are feeling that way”. By owning my feelings, I am not accusing him or making him responsible for my of sadness. Even if he seeks advice, I still say “I feel this is the right approach” . I never say ““you’re wrong.” I often try hard to look for areas of agreement and work on them.

2. Don’t beat around the bush in our conversations to control the reactions of your spouse. Guilt producing comments only produce guilt.
Hinting at what we need doesn’t work. Our spouse can’t read our mind and they are more likely to resent our indirectedness. The best way to take responsibility for what we want is to ask for it directly. And, we can insist on directness too. If I need to say no to a particular request, I make it known. If my spouse tries to control me through a conversation, I refuse to participate.

3. When I’m wrong, I admit it.
I make mistakes now and then, so I say ““You’re absolutely right, dear, I know it’s my fault and here is what I’ll do to make amends.” Even if I am NOT wrong, at least I give him the benefit of the doubt, ““I may be wrong, let’s examine at the facts together.” It’s hard to argue with that.

4. Communicate with your husband when he is out of his cave
Some husbands like mine hibernate to their cave for solitude when he is thinking about a problem. Many men withdraw until they find a solution to the problem. I don’t know if women hibernate in a cave. I know I don’t. One thing I learned is Never disturb your man while he is growling in his cave.

It pays to have a good fight when both are willing to resolve like two mature invidividuals.

Any ideas to add on how to resolve your problems?

What an incredible journey!

Today, I celebrate 10 years of blogging but 10 years ago there was nothing to celebrate. I was wallowing in a pit of unspeakable grief .

I lost my precious son 16 years ago. I don’t know how I survived , but I managed somehow because here I am, blogging about the resolution of my grief journey. Before I started blogging,  I was literally drowning in sorrow.  Reading blog posts about parents who lost a child helped me cope but they were mainly based in the US. I could not find anyone who wrote about grief in the Philippines. I wanted to share my story and possibly offer hope that there is a new normal after the loss of a child.  Losing a child is the ultimate tragedy that can ever happen to a parent. My whole world collapsed on the day my son died. To even describe the pain is not possible. The pain is gut-wrenching and indescribable.

luijoe my angel

Losing a son felt like the end of the world to me . I wanted to die along with him but I had to remember that I still had two children and a husband to look after. I knew I had to transform my pain to something that will help not only myself but everyone around me. One night as I sat down on my couch (yes that is the same couch below), I found out there was no use making sense of my son’s death but there is hope in making sense of my life. I pondered “What can I do about it now?”  “How can I help?” or “How do I pick up the pieces and go on living as meaningful as possible?” The answer was getting out of my comfort zone by helping others like myself.


On February 24, 2006, I launched and wrote my first post “I chose joy over sadness. It is said that grief is inevitable but misery is optional. I realized that it did no good to sit in my misery pit. It did no good for the loss of my son to lead to the loss of two. What does do good is doing good. I decided to lead the second part of my life differently and better than I would have imagined …in the name of my son, Luijoe. I know that as I reach out to bereaved parents , the world is changed in some small way for the better, and then the actions taken become my living tribute to my son.  And then Luijoe is never entirely gone.”

touched by an Angel

I am bringing back the original logo of this blog to celebrate 10 years of blogging. Speaking of celebration, I don’t have a blog giveaway but instead I want to share 10 things I learned in the past 10 years of blogging.

1. When you write about yourself, it’s never just yourself.

socially conscious mom bloggerWriting is a work in progress. I am still learning. I used to ask myself , “who would ever read my depressing posts?”.  I found out the story is not really about my pain. It was what my readers could relate to.  Each of us have lost someone in our lives. My blog was just a vehicle. Who am I  anyway? Why should my life be so interesting to readers? It could be interesting only up to a certain point. There’s got to be a point when it is no longer talking about myself. Or even when I am there are points others can relate to .

2. A new normal after losing a loved one is possible. Being a blogger is my new normal.

Touched by an Angel in e-book format

When I look back at my grief journey, the turning point came when I became a blogger. It must have been my angel that touched me that one night.

That is why I chose to call my blog, “Touched by an Angel”.

Looking at my first post in 2006, I merely wanted to give hope to parents, siblings and grandparents that there is a new normal after a loss of a child. I did not realize that I  would be touched by my own blog. Being a blogger is my new normal.  Sharing the changes in my new normal after the death of a child is one way of reaching out to others. I offer hope that life can still continue on despite the pain and that pain is a wonderful teacher. Never in my wildest dream did it occur to me that this new life without my son would open doors to an even more meaningful life.

3.  Develop a thick skin and stay focused on my blog goals.

criticisms-quoteI am into blogging for many reasons like all bloggers have their own reasons. I am in it for the long haul. Yes, I can be opinionated but it’s all part of being a blogger. I make a stand whether it is popular or not. My entries may have hurt a few bloggers and readers. I apologize (when given the opportunity) when feelings are hurt but it doesn’t mean I don’t stand by my entries.  Bloggers should not just know the technical side of blogging. One must be able to stay on track, stay committed and hopefully stay sane. Reality is, not everyone will like you. The more high profile you are, the more the criticisms. The more successful you are, the more some people will want to see you fail. One tip I learned from my favorite blogger is to  develop a thick skin.

4. Criticisms helped me become a better blogger.

criticismsIt was the year 2007 when I received a lot of criticisms . I guess it was because I was so new in blogging and made mistakes. Oh those hurtful comments inspired me to prove that I will be better. Instead of focusing on the mean comments, I worked doubly hard to improve on my blogging style.  I often tell myself, “you have experienced the worst pain. You will get through this.” As a blogger mentor said, “Don’t let them beat you down. Stay focused and clear headed. If you purposely inspire negative reactions, then run with it. Enjoy getting what you asked for. If you don’t and get smacked, think it through, respond with care, and keep on blogging.”

In my early days of blogging, I received a comment that I was a “trying hard blogger”.

My reply:

Yes, you are right. I am trying hard to be a better blogger. Thanks for reminding me.

5. You are essentially what you write and will be judged accordingly by your readers.


Many years ago, a blogger once opined that I don’t have credibility but do I care? No, because that blogger is not in my community. The blogger’s perception on my questionable credibility is real for that blogger. I may not be credible to that blogger but my community of readers think I am. Why do you think they want to read my blog? Why do they subscribe to my feed? Why do they follow me?

The basic equation is really:

Perceived Trustworthiness + Perceived Expertise = Perceived Credibility

6. Embrace change . 

mom-blogger-Blogging has changed a lot in the last 10 years. Social media networks started to evolve in 2007.  I am known as @momblogger in twitter. As one of the early adopters of any new thing that explodes online, I got hold of my monicker when twitter became popular in 2007.  My readers are more likely to follow my blog  posts on social media – clicking through to my links when I post them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. From this original blog (, I have three other blogs : (recipes),, (lifestyle) and a lot of social networks often known as “momblogger”.

7. “Personal branding is very powerful because it sends a clear, consistent message about who you are and what you have to offer.”

mom_blogger-1I had no idea about personal branding nor did I want to dominate a niche on mom bloggers. I simply wanted to be called “mom blogger” as an alternative name so the younger bloggers will stop calling me “ma’am”. @momblogger was simply more acceptable.  I discovered that my life as  “momblogger” encompassed not just being a mom and a blogger. I nurture both my family and community.    My focus as a citizen advocate allows me to bring out underplayed stories, fight for women and family issues which are close to my heart. That is who I am. It makes me happy to be of help to others and at the same time it allows me to leave my digital footprints behind.

8. Popularity is not the same as influence.


One commands attention ; the other inspires action. Brands dictate too much on their own agenda but do they really care about mothers’ needs? Have they been communicating with moms effectively? The Social Mom is well connected and influential in her community. Moms like myself who transitioned from active parenting to being involved parents must not be underestimated. Advertisers and brands seem to forget or underestimate a growing circle of Mom influencers and advocates who no longer have young kids. This group of Moms are my generation , older women, social media savvy, still involved with our families, wiser (we would like to think) after many successes and failures during our parenting years.

9. “Live to love and love to live! Relationship is everything in the Social Media world”.


This is actually a quote which reminds me about my early months in blogging. I wanted to share my blog to have a wider reach.  I went to my first blog event, iBlog 2 in April 2006  and introduced myself to popular bloggers. That was my first break.  From 10 readers a day, blog traffic grew to 100. Today , this blog gets a minimum of 2,000 unique hits. Followers on my twitter account, @momblogger has now reached over 20,000. My biggest facebook community is my pinoy food blog with over 569,000 followers.

The lesson is : “Focus on how to be social, not on how to do social.”

10. Content is king. Sharing is queen.

Will blogging one day be a thing of the past? Blogging is here to stay but it is changing…a lot!   I use my social media networks to deliver the snippets of long form content from this blog. I want to believe  blogging will continue to evolve in exciting new ways. Ten years ago, I started blogging without a clue about what was about to happen to my life. I remember my humble beginnings before Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest came. I continue to rediscover technology and see ways to improve my life and others, as well.


Ten years of blogging.

Do I miss my beloved Luijoe?

Of course , I do. Is there sadness or a tear now and then? Yes. But there is a big difference. The sadness no longer steals the joy away. The awful pain and emptiness diminished over time,  as I persisted in enjoying the memories of the moments spent together, not dwelling on the times which will never happen. That pain is giving me courage to focus on my purpose in life. To live a meaningful life as a mom blogger, a citizen advocate.

To be touched by my angel.


I am known as @momblogger in twitter. As one of the early adopters of any new thing that explodes online, I got hold of my monicker when twitter became popular in 2007.

twitter birthday today

Really, I had no idea about personal branding nor did I want to dominate a niche on mom bloggers. I simply wanted to be called “mom blogger” because I wanted the younger bloggers to stop calling me “ma’am”. @momblogger was simply more acceptable .

Well , I am a momblogger because I am a mom and a blogger at the same time. I am proud to be both. While this blog focused partly on parenting, more than half of my topics are about life in general or completely unrelated-to-parenting topics.

10 years have passed since I started this blog.  I blogged about my unspeakable grief because I lost my precious son on May 27, 2000. I wanted to offer hope. Through the years,  I evolved from writing on parenting , family life and grief recovery issues to being active and blogging for social good. That is aside from my tech , and food blogs.

Together with other bloggers, Blog Watch was born in 2009 in answer to a clamor in my mommy community that they wanted to know more about electoral issues. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever want to pursue the political scene. Just like any social media experiment, you never know what clicks or not in the internet.

Truly it is love of country that makes me passionate towards citizen media ( and .) The thought entered me “What better way to leave a legacy to my children by making a difference in my own small way through blogging for social good” . It cannot be helped when feisty old me questions the laws, the public servants and even the issues that affect the community that I live in. I nurture both my family and community. I cannot isolate myself from the larger society. Dealing with politics is incidental. Sometimes when you want change, the best way to attain is to through political means. But politics is not an end in itself but merely a means to an end.

My feisty actions and strong opinions make me now controversial.

Am I really a mom blogger?

Boom…I am not really viewed as a mom blogger but as a political blogger. I look at myself as a citizen advocate NOT as a political blogger.

I guess I am in denial. Or not? A few years ago, I talked to a few influential blogger-friends over lunch who bluntly told me that when they think of me (momblogger), they think “political”. Some brands do not want to be associated with me (the personality behind the blog) because well, companies are capitalists in the first place. My controversial self might not be compatible to their corporate mission-vision.

It is quite disappointing to be told I am “controversial” but at the same time what good is it if I keep blogging mindlessly about brands day in and day out? or hold contests or give out freebies?

What value is in it for me? This blog will die . I will die one day. But in the meantime, I want to make my mark and impact for social good . I want to make a difference in the lives of my children, one blog post at a time…one tweet at a time.  I want to do something other than blog about brands or being a brand advocate.

I do admit writing about shallow or lighter articles on my new blog “A Woman on Prime Time” which deals on taking care of myself using spa services, anti-aging products and services. Loving myself is important because when love overflows I am able to help others.

Let us look at the mom bloggers in the United States:

The average mommy blogger is 37 years old and 89% of mommy bloggers have kids between the ages of 2 and 11. They’re also socially conscious and are 85% more likely to have supported a politician based on an environmental issue, 88% more likely to buy eco-friendly products and 38% more likely to volunteer than the average mom.

And Candace Lindemann of Mamanista suggests

It is important to remember that before a lot of  “mom bloggers”  were moms and bloggers, they wore other hats, too. They have expertise in marketing, journalism, education, medicine, law, science, etc¦ labels have the power to empower and build community.

By that definition, I am a mom blogger.

mom bloggers —socially conscious

Indeed I may not be the average mom blogger in terms of age. I am 58 years old with two adult children. But see, I have earned wisdom through the years as a mother to three beautiful children. I am socially conscious and speak up on it.

But are the average mom bloggers in the USA considered “political bloggers”?

I am not the only mom blogger in the Philippines who is socially conscious or most likely to volunteer in charity work. Moms react differently on specific issues but we all have a common concern : our children’s futures unite us. There are the breast-feeding advocates and mothers concerned with the environment or Reproductive Health.

Is “being controversial” the price I will pay in making a stand on issues that may give positive gains on the future of my children’s children and the Philippines?

My focus as a citizen advocate allows me to bring out underplayed stories, fight for women and family issues which are close to my heart. That is who I am. It makes me happy to be of help to others and at the same time it allows me to leave my digital footprints behind.

Controversial or not, I choose to lead a purposeful and vibrant life as this blog turns 10 years old, tomorrow, February 24, 2016.

You have always heard me say over and over again that we cannot control people’s actions, attitudes and even events. The only thing we can control is our attitude. But it isn’t that easy. One of the choices in recovery is choosing what we want to think and using our mental energy in a positive way. Positive thinking can be extremely difficult in stressful situations. Positive thinking does not mean thinking in an unrealistic matter or reverting to denial. If I don’t like something, I respect my own opinion. If a problem hits me, I am honest about it. If something isn’t working out, I accept reality. I don’t have to dwell on the negative portions of my experience.

One way to empower the good is through affirmations which are just simple positive statements.

1. I’m glad I have a loving husband

26thanniversary1I am blessed with a loving husband who thinks the world of me, who showers me with hugs, a massage, kisses in the most random of situations. Every day without fail, he affirms his love for me. Despite his quirks, his goodness glows more. We are in a loving and healthy relationship as we continue to rediscover each other every day. It’s like falling in love over and over again. And as Lauren takes this photo of us, I note the twinkle in our eyes that show the depth of our undying love. What more can I ask?

2. My life is good.

me and daughters1I am a cool mom to two lovely and independent-minded girls (and a son who is forever 6 years old in my heart). My life is not perfect but it is good enough because others have it worse. Other families I know lost their spouse and all their children. Even if I know my life is good, I try to help others cope with their loss in any way I can.

3. I love myself.

me at hotelI love myself enough NOT to allow people (even my own family) to control me or keep me from caring for myself. I take time to take care of myself. I pamper myself weekly at the beauty salon, take daily workouts at the gym, chill with friends, shop for trendy clothes , meditate in my Zen room or just zone out in front of the TV.

4. What I want and need is coming to me…

me10I don’t need all the material wealth in the world yet I seek financial independence in my old age. I am blessed with an online and offline business that is fun, profitable and not too stressful. I help others in my own quiet, anonymous way without having to toot my horns. God will be the judge of that.

5. I’m glad I ‘m alive today.

me thumbnail at IMMAPFive deaths in my immediate family have struck me the past years. Whatever words or insults have been hurled at me is nothing compared to the pain of losing my loved ones. I have had it worse so I know I can hurdle current challenges. Think about it. Life is short. This place we live in is only a temporary place. I look forward to eternal life in heaven and be reunited with my son, my mom, my dad, and my 2 brothers (Reuben and Oscar) Meanwhile, I will continue working on my online and offline advocacies to make life worth living in this temporary place.

So when you think the world is against you, just say this:

Today, I will empower the good in myself, others and life. I’m willing to release, or let go of, negative thought patterns and replace them with positve ones. I will choose what I want to affirm, and I will make it good

If you still have difficulty, contact me and maybe we can meet up for coffee.

The rules of parents are all but three. Love, Limit and Let them be. – Elaine M. Ward


“For the hand that rocks the cradle, is the hand that rules the world” is such a memorable quote that I took to heart the day I cradled my beautiful baby in my arms. The concept that your child becomes in their life starts with what they learn from their moms bore quite a big responsibility. As much as I want to give them the best in life, things are never perfect, you see.

Right after Luijoe, my beloved son, died in 2000, I survived many days in auto-pilot mode, moving about our lovely home like a zombie. My child was not supposed to die before me. Nothing could ever have prepared me for the devastating loss of my son. Looking at my two lovely daughters, I knew that I had to go through this pain and be strong enough for them to be there as their mother. The two girls seemed to go through their life with school and their friends, but I can never tell for sure. Their grades improved significantly right after my son’s death, perhaps trying to make us happy.

Showing my pain as a normal process of grief and isolation is not the healthy way to grieve. Marital strain and stress in the family became more evident. I could not reach out to my husband in pain because there were days when I was my own ball of pain. I became borderline obese, with high blood pressure, clogged arteries and diabetes. With our family life in shambles, an idea dawned on me one day in November 2004. Was it Luijoe showing me the light? I felt the urge to bring our life in order. I started fixing my personal issues, exercised and lost significant weight. With a healthier body, the fog that clouded my mind cleared up. I reached out to my husband and family and became more open with my feelings. My children witnessed my transformation to a new, positive person and loving mother because of the actions I took to save myself.

My daughters learned of the language of resiliency from the actions I embarked on this new life. Resiliency begins with how parents personally handle adversity. Examples of adversity is not limited to just death. It can be about losing a job, being diagnosed with a serious illness, recovering from a failed relationship, maintaining balance between work and family life, and dealing with difficult people.

Let’s face it. As much as we want to protect our children from difficulty, we simply cannot. Resiliency is the number one skill they need to learn. What can we do to help prepare our children for the road ahead? In the book, ““Raising Resilient Children,” Robert Brooks and Sam Goldstein define resilience as ““embracing the ability of a child to deal more effectively with stress and pressure, to cope with everyday challenges, to bounce back from disappointments, adversity, and trauma, to develop clear and realistic goals, to solve problems, to relate comfortably with others, and to treat oneself and others with respect..”

The fact that they saw their mother hurdle a crisis is a valuable lesson learned. Aside from being a positive role model to my children, I taught them other powerful thinking tools to equip them to face adversity:

1.Tell them there is always a choice

I often tell my children that there is a choice about what to do, how to respond and how to feel. It is alright to feel sadness and be honest about one’s feelings.

2. Teach gratitude

I allow my children to express their fears and disappointment but at the end of the day, I ask them ““can you count your blessings?” Teach them to find the good in every situation. I tell them to appreciate what they have and focus on it rather than obsess on what they do not have.

3. Teach them to master a skill

I allowed my kids to develop their talent in music and writing. Mastering a skill generates positive feedback for their achievements and hard work. These motivate them to keep moving forward despite the challenges.

Blessed is the child who learns to respond instead of react, to choose positivity instead of misery, and to solve problems instead of remaining stuck when faced with life’s most important decisions. Parents play a significant role in the development of resilience in their children. The hand that rocks the cradle may not rule the world, but it certainly makes it a better place, at least for our children.

Photo credit

We were once a family of seven siblings. With the death of my mom in 1976, my brother in 1990, another brother in 1999 and my father in 2003, only five siblings are left. Four sisters and one brother. Three of them are now living outside the Philippines while my younger sister lives in Manila. Before 2010, reunions centered upon the burying of the dead or visiting a dying family member. The pain of losing yet another family member was just difficult to take photos of ourselves. The sisters had more time to be together compared to my brother who was still in medical school. We did try to make the best of these rare times by doing something together.

Taken in 1972 by Robles Studio. Our one and only formal family picture.

Taken in 1972 by Robles Studio. Our one and only formal family picture.

It started in 1996. My sisters went home for a visit but had only less than two days. Hmm, why not a photo shoot to make use of our time? We trooped to Headshots in Robinsons’ Galleria. The studio had its own makeup artist. With four sisters, it took us nearly a day to finish. All of us were in our forties, with me being the heaviest of the sisters. We had this brilliant idea to document ourselves every six to eight years.

1996 photo shoot by Headshots

1996 photo shoot by Headshots (in our 30’s)

The next photo shoot was in 2004, a year after our beloved dad passed away after a long illness. We are now in our forties. Headshots studio moved to Greenhills Shopping Center. As you can see, I am still overweight , eight years after our first photo shoot in 1996. Once again, we visited a beauty salon to glamorize ourselves.

2004 photo by Headshots

2004 photo by Headshots (in our 40s)

In 2010, all of us decided to meet up up in San Francisco in support of Myrna, running for a council seat in a city in California. What better time to reunite during happier times. This time, our brother joined us. For our sibling reunion, we did our own make-up and hair and trooped to Sears Studio in Concord. Alicia, our photographer, was so good with us. This is just one of the shots she took. This time around, I lost 40 pounds.

2010 Photo by Sears studio in CA. Three girls in their 50s except for the youngest

2010 Photo by Sears studio in Concord, CA. Three girls in their 50s except for the youngest

This is the first formal shot we have as five siblings. Alicia commented that, perhaps, the four sisters had tormented David in his childhood — and all the sisters replied, “It was David torturing us!” Hahaha!

2010 photo by Sears studio. Our brother , David joined us for the first time.

2010 photo by Sears studio. Our brother , David joined us for the first time.

Reunions are never planned. It just so happened there was a wedding in the family, the first in the family. It was a reason to come home. Oh my, I will never forget this day. After the wedding reception, we frolicked in the garden as our photographer encouraged us to do some whacky poses.

2016 photo by Widengrens Creative Media .

2016 photo by Widengrens Creative Media . We are now all in our 50s.

We are having a blast! All of us are in our fifties , grinning like our dad . I know my dad lives in each one of us because of our wide smiles which we got from him.

Yes, our next photo shoot will be when most of us are in our 60s. Maybe in Cebu, our hometown.

2016 Photo by Widengrens Creative Media

2016 Photo by Widengrens Creative Media. We are now all in our 50s.

It doesn’t seem to matter how much time has elapsed or how far we’ve traveled…we are still the same. Even though our parents and two brothers are not with us, I am sure they are laughing along with us everytime we are together, laughing and just having fun.

Watch the Photo slideshow:

By: Joseph Romana as originally posted at Philippine Online Chronicles

“Winners never quit and quitters never win.” – Vince Lombardi

“Age wrinkles the body, quitting wrinkles the soul.” – General Douglas MacArthur

“Pain is temporary.  Quitting lasts forever.” – Lance Armstrong


These and many other similar-minded quotes have brainwashed our generation, and probably the next ones, into a mentality of unnecessary stubbornness.  It’s like, stubbornness = wisdom.

I beg to disagree.  So does Seth Godin who wrote:  “Winners quit all the time.  They just quit the right stuff at the right time.”


“One day, I promised God that if He would give me my voice back, I would never smoke again.  I got 3 octaves back after quitting.” – Mariah Carey

This is one example of why quitters also win and stubborn people can also lose.  True winners are neither exclusive quitters nor exclusive non-quitters.  Winners make wise decisions, whether quitting or persisting.  They know when to quit and when not to quit.


In the quintessential book on the art of quitting successfully called The Dip, Seth Godin identifies the conditions where quitting is beneficial for winning.  He calls these situations, well, dips.

Dips are that parts of our journeys that is a long slog between starting and mastery.  It can actually be a shortcut according to Godin because it can get us where we want to go at a faster clip than any other path.  What do we mean by this?  Let’s look at an example.

Personal finance management may be defined as ensuring all our current and future needs are met.  A big chunk of this includes saving money for investing.  Now, many people are excited when they first save money or take on an insurance policy.  It’s exciting because it’s probably their first major financial decision and it makes them feel like they’re already independent from their parents and they can strike it out on their own.  Ah, yes.  The initial euphoria.

But then after a year or two into the insurance policy payments, they start spending more for gimmicks, travel and gadgets.  Factor inflation into the mix and you have a situation where the monthly premium payments start to become burdens or hindrances to “good times”.  The euphoria has obviously faded and before you know it, what was once considered a joy has become a drudgery.  It is at this stage many young people quit.  This is the dip.

The dip is that temporary plateau that results in a breakthrough afterwards.  After the drudgery, the policy has accumulated so much that the dividends alone start paying for the rest of the premiums due.  Because the young person persisted, he achieved a breakthrough.  In this case, not quitting was the wise thing to do for success.


Quitting is the required course of action when we are in a situation that is obviously going nowhere and is a waste of time, especially if there are potentially more productive or rewarding alternatives.  Staying and persisting in a hopeless situation is not wisdom.  Take for example, health.

I know someone who was, to say it in a more politically correct term, very obese.   He ate everything he wanted, as much as he wanted and when he wanted.  His exercise routine consisted purely of alternating biceps curls where he puts food on his mouth with the right hand and drinks from a glass using the left.  He was diagnosed with a serious health condition that required him to lose serious pounds.

Prior to this, he tried to lose weight but failed.  He couldn’t quit his lifestyle.  He persisted.  But after hearing that it posed a threat to his life and knowing it meant leaving his family soon, he got his act together and lost weight.  He quit early enough to win back his health.

Or how about a friend of mine who quit her job as a high-ranking executive even without a replacement job.  Why?  Because she knew that staying on the job was a dead end.  It was hopeless and no amount of persisting and hard work will make things better.  So she quit despite having no backup plan.  And because she quit, she was free to take on a better job offer that came along shortly thereafter.  My friend knew that persisting in her situation was futile and a losing strategy.  She won and got a much better paying job because she knew when to quit.


I’m not saying we should always quit to win.  I’m just saying we have to be very careful stereotyping people who quit as losers and stubborn people as winners.  It might rub off on us and cause us to stay around longer than we should in situations that are obviously not working out well and miss out on jumping on opportunities for success for fear of being labeled as “losers”.  Quitting in dead end situations is wise and staying and persisting in “dips” or temporarily challenging situations that have potential for great success is wise too.  The key really is to know which is a dead end and which is a dip.


Photo: “I HOPE THIS DOESN’T MEAN THERE ARE NO MIRACLES LEFT…” by JOPHIELsmiles, c/o Flickr. Some Rights Reserved.