Kookmin People

[Faculty]

My Aha! Moment

  • 09.06.03 / 이민아

Kim Mee-Sook  
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Forest Resources

I am a fan of Oprah ― Yes, that Oprah Winfrey. I rarely watched her show (The Oprah Winfrey Show) when I was living in America because it aired too early (usually 4pm), before I was home from work. I admire her personal triumph to overcome her adversities and respect her philanthropic works. Of course, like all human beings, she is not a perfect person in all aspects. But, it seems that she admits her mistakes (still!) and shares her experiences ― good or bad ― with people in her own way. In any event, theses are enough flowers for Oprah.
I was introduced to a book entitled “The Power of Now” through her magazine “O”. I read her interview with the author, Eckhart Tolle. It was an wakening moment for me when I read that particular interview. Right after reading the article, I purchased the book and read it. Overall, it was a very enlightening experience, so I could fully grasp the concepts. This book reminded me of the importance to stay in the NOW, instead of the past or the future. This seems to be a very simple concept because most of us seem to live our lives in the present. However, I am sometimes prone to worry and over think about so many aspects of my live. During these times, I worry that things may or may not happen in the future and regret about things in my past.
This book asks you to question yourself ― you could spend lots of time and energy worrying about an uncertain future or regret about things that happened in the past. Will time and energy spent on worry and regret positively affect your NOW? My answer is that worry and regret probably do not have a positive influence on my NOW. In the book, the author asks the reader a simple question. Before answering the question, the reader should focus on the present (especially at this very moment in time), not the future nor the past. Now, here is the question ― What are your concerns or regrets at the NOW point in time? What’s your answer? If you are truly focused on NOW, you will likely answer that you don’t have any concerns or regrets.
Please realize that focusing on NOW does not mean to completely ignore your past or future. Important lessons are learned from your past mistakes and planning for your future is a valuable use of time. For these reasons, I am not trying to underestimate or deny the importance of past history and future planning. However, I would like to emphasize a simple concept that many of us frequently forget during our daily lives. It is understandable that many students are consumed with concern about their uncertain futures, including jobs, health, financial situations, family matters, etc. At the same time, they are also consumed with regret about what they did in the past. If you belong to this kind of ‘worriers’ club (I am probably still a member, but getting better), please look outside of this club and try to live your life fully in the NOW
Enjoying your life NOW while preparing your best to plan for your future! By the way, my genetic predisposition for worrying is being expressed now because the sky is getting dark ― What  if we have rain this afternoon? My worry is that I didn’t bring an umbrella today…. At these times, I need to focus on overcoming my “worrying” gene! It is my hope that readers of this article will take time to think about your life ― Do you give your full attention to your lives at this moment? If not, give it a try, and maybe it will help.

mkim@kookmin.ac.kr

[Faculty]

My Aha! Moment

Kim Mee-Sook  
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Forest Resources

I am a fan of Oprah ― Yes, that Oprah Winfrey. I rarely watched her show (The Oprah Winfrey Show) when I was living in America because it aired too early (usually 4pm), before I was home from work. I admire her personal triumph to overcome her adversities and respect her philanthropic works. Of course, like all human beings, she is not a perfect person in all aspects. But, it seems that she admits her mistakes (still!) and shares her experiences ― good or bad ― with people in her own way. In any event, theses are enough flowers for Oprah.
I was introduced to a book entitled “The Power of Now” through her magazine “O”. I read her interview with the author, Eckhart Tolle. It was an wakening moment for me when I read that particular interview. Right after reading the article, I purchased the book and read it. Overall, it was a very enlightening experience, so I could fully grasp the concepts. This book reminded me of the importance to stay in the NOW, instead of the past or the future. This seems to be a very simple concept because most of us seem to live our lives in the present. However, I am sometimes prone to worry and over think about so many aspects of my live. During these times, I worry that things may or may not happen in the future and regret about things in my past.
This book asks you to question yourself ― you could spend lots of time and energy worrying about an uncertain future or regret about things that happened in the past. Will time and energy spent on worry and regret positively affect your NOW? My answer is that worry and regret probably do not have a positive influence on my NOW. In the book, the author asks the reader a simple question. Before answering the question, the reader should focus on the present (especially at this very moment in time), not the future nor the past. Now, here is the question ― What are your concerns or regrets at the NOW point in time? What’s your answer? If you are truly focused on NOW, you will likely answer that you don’t have any concerns or regrets.
Please realize that focusing on NOW does not mean to completely ignore your past or future. Important lessons are learned from your past mistakes and planning for your future is a valuable use of time. For these reasons, I am not trying to underestimate or deny the importance of past history and future planning. However, I would like to emphasize a simple concept that many of us frequently forget during our daily lives. It is understandable that many students are consumed with concern about their uncertain futures, including jobs, health, financial situations, family matters, etc. At the same time, they are also consumed with regret about what they did in the past. If you belong to this kind of ‘worriers’ club (I am probably still a member, but getting better), please look outside of this club and try to live your life fully in the NOW
Enjoying your life NOW while preparing your best to plan for your future! By the way, my genetic predisposition for worrying is being expressed now because the sky is getting dark ― What  if we have rain this afternoon? My worry is that I didn’t bring an umbrella today…. At these times, I need to focus on overcoming my “worrying” gene! It is my hope that readers of this article will take time to think about your life ― Do you give your full attention to your lives at this moment? If not, give it a try, and maybe it will help.

mkim@kookmin.ac.kr

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