As I am studying Korean at university, we usually study and talk about their personalities. So in this one I would like to emphasize one of their characteristic that impressed me. This is not to judge them, but I want to take them as an example to express how hard work can pay off and the importance of being flexible.
Effect of being hardworking
Koreans are hardworking. When I say hardworking, I mean VERY hardworking. If we look at their history it is understandable why. After the 2nd World War, South-Korea was in a terrible state. The President, Park Chong Hee that time drew up a plan to build up the country in a very short time. People worked hard even though they were against the system. As the result, in 50 years South-Korea became one of the most successful country in the world. From an agriculture country through a leading industrial to a modern technological country. All this happened thanks to the diligent, hardworking citizens.
It still has its effect. People are hardworking. Up to the point they put their work before their family. They think for the community first and then about themselves. Before any projects, they draw up a concret plan and they follow it no matter what happens. They know how to work with people, so their companies are worldwide.
If I just take an example of the Korean singers. It takes them years of training to debut on the stage. One of the exemplary singer is Bi Rain. He wasn’t accepted at first because he didn’t have double eyelids. However, with his persistance and continuos training, the company finally accepted him. With years of hard work he became one of the most successful singer, then actor. He even acted in Hollywood film. He is one of the reason that Korean entertainment industry was recognized worldwide. With a dedication of more than 15 years he made his name and country well-known worldwide.
The Koreans’ working mindset convinced me how to be successful. Make a plan and follow it no matter what. I would say they are one of the most inflexible nation. But probably this is the reason they are where they are. However is it achievable for everybody?
Nowadays Koreans are seen almost everywhere in the world. There is a reason for that as well. They don’t want to live in a stressful country where you always have to put others first and have no private life. Which means it’s good to keep working hard but we also need to be aware of the consequence.
Flexibility brings result
I accept that if we have a goal in mind, we should make a plan, stick to it and work hard until we reach it. I have seen young entrepreneurs who have their own company at same age as me. They put in many hours to build it up. No doubt it is a secret to a success. But at the same time, we also need to be flexible enough to change our plan that suit our lifestyle. Or find another way to make our work easier but still reach the same result.
Let’s take an example. Let’s say I want to speak in Korean fluently in 6 months. Beside work and other school subject, I have to spend at least 3 hours a day to learn grammars, make sentences, read articles, blogs in Korean and speak until I achieve that level. But what if I arrive home at 7pm after the whole day at school and work and by tomorrow I still have homework. I get home, take a shower, eat dinner, by the time I get to my desk is 8pm. I still have homework which I finish at 9. After that I have no energy to spend 3 hours on Korean language. This happens for a week and at the weekend I just want to do something leisure. If this continues it leads to procrastination, then even after 6 months I’m still a beginner.
The plan needs to change. For example I will only spend 2 hours on Korean at the weekends when I study grammars, reading, speaking etc. During the week I will write 1 page in Korean about what happened during the day. I read some easy text in Korean. That way it is constant and I don’t overwork myself to the death.
When a task is too big, divide it into small ones.
In my opinion this is how we should look at achieving goals. You have it, make plan how you will achieve it. Keep yourself to the schedule. Even if you are tired, do something relating to it. However, when you realize you can’t keep the schedule or something is going wrong, change the methods. Change it the way it fit into your life.
The problem is not about change, but about sticking to a plan that doesn’t work.
Only when we are flexible enough, we can achieve our goal in easier way. Don’t get me wrong. We still need to work hard. But don’t just work hard, work smart.