It’s funny. When I was in school, I didn’t think I was smart.  I didn’t think I could learn new things. That’s how low my self-esteem was.  It didn’t matter that I got straight A’s for every year in elementary school…or that I was Summa Cum Laude for 4 years in high school and was the class valedictorian…or that I was Magna Cum Laude at Dartmouth when I graduated… I didn’t think I was smart.  We all have our fears and weaknesses.  We all have our self-doubt. How do we “learn” to be self-confident? How do we gain self-esteem?

It probably didn’t help that my parents, especially my mom, was never satisfied with anything I did.  If I got a 96, I was asked, why wasn’t it 100?  When my classmates were getting praised for C’s and celebrated any B’s or A’s, I was only expected to ever get A’s.

All through college, I was terrified of getting a C.  The near misses nearly caused nervous breakdowns.

So, I always had a fear that I wouldn’t understand something new, so I just wouldn’t try.  Isn’t that terrible?

Training at Jung SuWon helped me to overcome that fear because now, I was trying all sorts of new things.  The fear was there, but I learned to not let it control me. I learned that it was okay to make a mistake. I learned that moving forward in my life, I had to learn to let go of that fear so that I could try new things.

In my first engineering job when I was a software tester, I had a fear of system configuration and I didn’t touch it for maybe a year and a half.  I would always ask the other engineers to help me out in that area, and they did.

Then, one day, they weren’t available.  I had to configure a system on my own.  I had to go into DOS and tweak the configuration text file. I had to figure out which cables go where and how to plug everything in.

This is one of those lessons that I learned from Great Grandmaster Kim that I will always, always remember.  The liberating and joyous feeling of … “I did it”…. “I got it”… “It worked!”

Great Grandmaster Kim has a way of teaching us through life examples how we can overcome our weaknesses and fears.  This was a very powerful life example for me.  After this experience, I was the resident expert of configuration.  Pretty soon, I was teaching other people how to “do it”.  When there were issues in the field at customer sites, I was the tech support that could talk people through troubleshooting the issues…or I would get online through a modem and remotely fix the issues.  It took me a year and a half to even touch that section in the software…and then overnight (lol) I was the expert.

It is an amazing feeling from having no self-confidence to feeling on top of the world.  It is even more amazing because I choose to remember the before time and the after time.  For some people, it is so easy to forget.  I don’t ever want to forget.  Forgetting would mean forgetting who I am and what I am all about.

Back to the concept of “loyalty”…

When I first started training at Jung SuWon, I would say the Code of Ethics before every class,

As a Jung SuWon Warrior, I will strive to merge my Body and Mind as One

so that I may discover the Truth about my strengths and weaknesses,

and work to attain Purity of Body, Mind and Spirit.

I will learn to Love myself,

and maintain Loyalty to my goals and purpose.

I will learn to Sacrifice in order to achieve these goals,

and seek Patience in my ways so that I may ultimately become the Master of my Life.

At first, these were just words.  I didn’t really understand the meaning of each of the sentences.

What does it mean to be “Loyal to your goals and purpose”?

I have been training at Jung SuWon for 17 years.

Loyalty is recognizing all the lessons I have learned over those years and acknowledging how I learned them and honoring the teacher who taught me.

Loyalty to my goals and purpose is remembering why I started training 17 years ago…and sticking to the original reason why I started training.

Loyalty, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is having “unswerving allegiance”…and being “faithful to a cause, ideal, custom, institution, or product”.

Unswerving.  Powerful word.

Through thick and thin. Through the roughest of storms.  If you have gotten married or seen a marriage ceremony, the priest (for Catholics) says the words, “”til death do you part”.  Now that’s loyalty.

It’s a pretty cool concept.  We say it in the Code of Ethics at Jung SuWon.  When you are loyal to your goals and purpose, it means that even if you are having a rough time, you are going through an emotional hurricane, you feel like you are facing the biggest challenge of your life…even though you are going through all of that, you still remain loyal to your original goals and purpose.

Great Grandmaster Kim said something to me once that I remember every day and I share with others when I can:  Focus on yourself, focus on your purpose and all good things will come.

That’s a pretty good deal in my opinion.

All good things will come…

And it was true…All good things have come and are still coming!

I have a very positive outlook on life.  My nature is to be positive.  (note my blog title… the *smile* is my personal logo)

So whenever you are feeling miserable…negative…spiteful…hateful…angry…

Stop what you’re doing, sit back, close your eyes and think about the 3 happiest times in your life…and SMILE.

check it out… I dare you.  😉


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