Recently, I celebrated my sixty seventh birthday. I find it hard to believe I am 67 years old (68 or 69 in Korean age) already and have realized that the old adage “time flies” is very true. Now that I am retired and sipping and ice café latte on the beach in Busan, I ‘ve come to appreciate not only all of the people in my life but the fact that things turned out better than I originally thought years ago when I started my legal career.
Looking back, like anyone else my life had ups and downs. But if you told me 40 years ago that I would work for the Samsung Group in Seoul and witness the “Miracle on the Han” or that I would end up as General Counsel for the US subsidiary of the world’s largest electronics company I would have laughed. Back then I never thought I would find and marry the love of my life in Korea nor become a father of fabulous children who are now amazing adults. Back then I never thought about grandchildren. Now I have four! I have to say things somehow conspired to make my dreams come true and then some. Of course I had to take chances. I had to act on the goals I set and when the doors opened up I had to walk through them. But once I was ready opportunities did present themselves.
Everyone (whether retired or not) should celebrate their lives and in fact be grateful for the people and things in their life. When I was traveling in Spain recently I noticed a slower pace of living. People were enjoying long dinners, meeting up with friends in the local plazas, or strolling along the tree lined streets or promenades. I see many people in the US or even in Korea who are too rushed to be bothered with such pastimes. But in the end, life is about family and friends. Sure, having a good job or working hard to start a company is important but now and then it pays to slow down. Stop and smell the roses. Take a deep breath.
I believe every person has things or people in their life to be grateful for. Whether it is friends, family, wealth, health, a job that puts bread on the table, a promising or potential career, the ability to fulfill your dreams or even the ability to dream at all…there are numerous things to be grateful for. Look around you. If you are reading this, you must be alive and cognizant of your surroundings. Congratulations! A large number of people are just floating through life without being aware of the people or things in their life. If you are not happy with where you are in your career, there are numerous tools (on-line and elsewhere) to help you achieve your goals once you set them. Remember you must set them and take action. Never before in the history of mankind has so much information been made available to the average person. You don’t even have to go to the local library if you don’t want to.
So I just want to remind everyone to stop and smell the roses. Take time out of your busy day to reflect upon the friends and family in your life. Be appreciate of the job you have or the career you have. Be grateful for the co-workers you have, the partners you have or the colleagues you have. Many of whom actually do have your back. Not happy? Take steps to accomplish your goals. Ask yourself the hard questions. What do you really want and why? Map out your goals and sub-goals and work towards your dream. Walk through the door when it opens. Or even crawl through a window.
Count your blessings.