Honestly, I can’t believe it has been only three years.
The latest three years was most passionate period of my life. I traveled 23 countries in the latest year alone including first time visiting Europe. And I don’t have any intention to stop. The latest three years was exciting. The life filled with joy, tears, frustration, passion, inspiration and creativity; I had it all. I dreamt and chased the dreams everyday, made it happen and sometimes failed. I picked myself up, made a new list and started all over, and repeat.
If I have to pick one word to represent the latest year, I want to say: entrepreneur.
Entrepreneur, this is not a new word. But, it is becoming the trend. Without knowing, without planning, I’ve realized that I’m standing on the path of entrepreneur. I just didn’t know the perfect word to define myself. I defined myself as the first generation of Korean entrepreneurs.
It is extremely hard, living the life of a pioneer. Even going on a simple backpacking trip considered to be out of ordinary here. But I know it’s hard for everyone, no matter where they are. Nothing has been written, nothing has been made. There’s no example to follow. I have to justify my work and my value to people around me, and sometimes have to do the same to myself. I turned the life around because I wanted to live a life full of passion, creativity and inspiration, but the process has not been easy.
After countless times of panic attacks, I told myself every single time, ‘it’s better to feel something inside than living a gray scale life.’ And that is the cold fact.
“To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. And number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.”
– Jim Valvano
Jim Valvano wanted this quote to be on his gravestone, “Take time everyday to laugh, to think, to cry.” The last words from him questions,
If today is your last day, how do you want it to be?
Living a happy life is a lot harder than what we think. It’s oxymoron: it is your life but it’s not just entirely about you. Sometimes, it’s impossible to think only me, me, me. Sometimes, choosing the path to make yourself happy is borderline selfish. Because we are social animala, we think about the surrounding conditions; our friends and family, social responsibility, our pets and many other things. But, if this is your last day on earth, do you want to spend the day worrying about other people, or focusing on your happiness?
On one episode of ‘Go on’, the TV show about people who are dealing with their big loss, Ryan King asks the same question to his group. Anne, who lost her wife Patty, is starting everyday by visiting Patty’s grave and mourning ever since Patty died. One day Ryan convinced Anne to join him and his friends for a day trip instead of visiting Patty’s grave and said ‘today is the last day on earth, live this day for yourself for a change.’ And they did all three: laugh, think and cry.
In that sense, being an entrepreneur allows me to have a plenty of chances to think, cry and laugh every single day. Living a fulfilled life, in coach V’s standard. ‘Living life as I want’ sounds glamorous but it is not as sparkly as it looks. My answer of the question ‘what’s your first advise to the people who wants to support themselves on the road?’ is ‘to know it’s a hard job.’ Every single day is a struggle but the sweet fruit at the end of the day is sweeter than ever. Because we laugh, we think and we cry.
I want to send cheers to the entrepreneurs out in the world, making their life meaningful.
To celebrate three years of struggle and happiness to build something great, I will try to do the same: laugh, think and cry (with joy, I hope).