Have you ever made big decisions that have changed your life’s direction? Or have you considered such decisions? As I reflect my life, I found out that big decisions in my life have shaped who I am and guided me to discover my talents and purpose. I want to introduce you to my two big decisions that have changed my life’s direction.
My story goes back to when I was 19…
The day I saw my parents happiest
The day I made my parents happiest was when I was granted admission to Seoul National University at the age of nineteen. Most Korean students sacrificed their youth to enter prominent universities. This was the most assured way to succeed in Korean society. I started my young adult life with the excellent achievement. As I moved to Seoul, the boy who grew up in the country became an arrogant college student whose future, he believed, was guaranteed.
However, seven years later …
My college life didn’t end as it was supposed to. When I finished my mandatory army service, I started to feel an emptiness in life and knew that if I continued this typical life, I would deeply regret when I die. I used to imagine myself standing in front of the final gate at the end of my life’s journey, and I always hesitated to enter the gate because of regret and remorse about life. In order to forget the images, I searched answers for what a true meaning of life is. Finally, when I graduated, I made an uncommon decision. I was very passionate about my decision but it frustrated my parents so much. I’m sure even to this day it was the biggest disappointment for them. I chose to join a spiritual organization and became a yoga & meditation instructor for the great cause to save the world. I don’t mean to say that becoming a yoga or meditation instructor is wrong but that wasn’t the path my parents expected me to take and none of my family members or friends understood me at all.
My big decisions that changed “Who I AM”
I turned away from my family’s expectations and chased my dream. For 19 years, I worked as a full-time instructor, dedicating my life to achieve the organization’s vision without any regrets. While I was living in the spiritual community, I met amazing people and learned a lot from them. My biggest learning was listening to my true voice and following it without giving up my sovereignty to social conditioning. The photo of me you see above was taken in 2003.
Can you guess what happened in 19 years? I started getting confused with the new goal of the organization and could not clearly understand the revised plans to achieve it. I brought up all my strength to realize my value but all I could do was to survive day by day. One morning when I woke up, I found myself who could not contribute to the organization’s goal anymore. I had to make another decision in my life.
Adjusting my life path once again
It was much harder to make the second decision at the age of 44. Leaving a spiritual community means starting my life over from scratch without many material possessions. The process was painful, harsh and scary sometimes. But I made a decisive and unwavering decision. The toughest part was fighting with my old beliefs and building a new belief system. I went through the process of turning over and voiding previous spiritual beliefs which I had adhered to for 19 years. I examined, discerned old value system and re-designed new beliefs. Also re-defined who I am and re-wrote my life story.
A new chapter of my life story
I am now writing a new chapter of my story. I made a new plan, studied to become an entrepreneur, and started my own business. If I say that the community worked as a greenhouse to protect me previously, now I’m blazing my new life path and exploring what I can create beyond my old limitations. Ironically, I could not realize my true talents until I made my big decisions and broke through the boundaries. Now I learned that it’s the way our life teaches us lessons.
How’s your story? Whether your story is similar to mine or not, if you’re seeking to discover your talent and life purpose, I hope my story inspires your journey. Please, don’t be afraid to make wrong decisions. You will find your best path when you experience what’s not working for you. Make insightful decisions, take unwavering actions and don’t stop them. That’s the best shortcut to find your talents and purpose.
Thank you for reading my story. Please share your story with me when you’re ready. I’ll love to read it.