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Define Success

The progress of humanity has been possible due to those who dared to challenge established social norms that were the cause of discrimination. No one is absolutely free from social rules and customs. Thus, our behaviors are largely fettered by forces not of our own making and our own dreams. It is the result of social circumstances and the respected value system of the society that highly regulate our behaviors. We have to define ourselves and remind ourselves who we want to be. We are all taught from childhood that we should grow up to be individuals who can overcome social and economic barriers if we want to be successful and contribute to the society. However, there are society imposed limitations. For example, not allowing young men to pursue their own interests or talents in their early 20s, which can be the most productive ages in their life. Economic status, social circumstances of a country and family reasons are strong influential factors determining young men’s decision making.

There is an old saying that “the same flocks gather together,” meaning that one’s social identification can be easily discovered by viewing his or her surroundings. We define ourselves through association because we prefer associating with those with similar ideas or values. It is certainly easy to get along and be influenced by someone who shares similar traits and beliefs than with someone who have different opinions as that can be a recipe for conflicts. Of course, in terms of personality or character, the membership to a social group such as the university press cannot define or generalize all members’ social identifications.  Personality or taste can be different from one another according to their life styles or personal dreams.

In addition, people’s actions and attitudes are greatly influenced by the immediate situation or surroundings because the impacts are more often personal and apparent. It is of human nature to value self-preservation and that motivates individuals to take certain actions when deemed necessary. For instance, university undergraduates tend to focus intensely only on academic events like taking mid-term examinations or handing in the papers at the right time and they often end up having nothing to do during summer holidays at the end of semester. We should look at things from a larger angle. However, there are some factors in our daily lives that limit us from focusing on our goals as most of us are pre-occupied with our busy life structures consisting of daily jobs, chores, family and friendships. The status of each factor has significant impact on well-being and has an effect on personal lives. This would certainly determine our attitude and our course of action as a change in one or the other requires proper adaptation to ensure personal well-being. For example, if a person is laid-off from his or her workplace, acquiring the source of income becomes a priority. Such a situation prompts an immediate action since it is difficult to live without the ability to purchase necessities. Like this implied example, we should remind ourselves to focus on the overall goal and maintain a bigger picture.

Our daily attitudes are determined by what is happening immediately, but certain simple ideas can create collective actions when promoted in specific manners. The simple idea could be defined as finding what we truly want and who we want to be. Build your own special stories. If you put efforts to find your own story, you will end up building your own individual competency. As a result, you will find the answer. You will face the problem of cramming if you put efforts only on what is happening immediately in front of your face. Preparation and completing the workloads in advance would always result in success and improve your daily living standards as a university undergraduate.         

Ji-Hae Yoon                                                      
Associate Editor

jhyoon0701@kookmin.ac.kr

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