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Your mind determines success or failure

Young Bum Kwon, CEO & Founder of YoungLimWon Soft-Lab

<永-Way : CEO’s 45th Remarks at YoungLimWon Soft-Lab>

“Your mind determines success or failure”

4th October 2023

“The mind is the best friend of one who has conquered it. But to one who has failed to do so, his mind is his greatest enemy.”
-Bhagavad Gita

The six-day holiday was a blessing for me. It was a time to relax both physically and mentally, and I found some free time to do things I couldn’t usually do. I drank until past midnight with my eldest son, managed to hike Namsan for over two hours at dawn, and even enjoyed a movie and dinner at Cine de Chef with my wife. On the last day of the holiday, I rarely watch TV, but when I turned it on, they were broadcasting the semifinals of the Asian Games archery for men and women.

Normally, I would watch mainly for the outcome, but with the newfound peace of mind, I paid attention to the archers’ expressions, movements of their eyes, and subtle changes in their breathing before each shot. It was much more enjoyable this way. Maybe it was my bias, but it seemed that when the archers got even slightly emotionally shaken by their opponent’s score, their shots invariably missed the perfect ten points. Fortunately, the finals were between two South Korean players, Lim Si-Hyun and An San, both of whom had played against Chinese players in the semifinals.

On the other hand, in the men’s semifinals, Lee Woo-Seok, after having an advantage against China’s Qi Xiangshou with a set score of 5 to 3, sadly lost the fifth set with a score of 28 to 29. In the shoot-off, after shooting 9 points, he was defeated by Qi’s perfect ten. To me, the Chinese archer seemed to have a sharper, colder gaze, almost unshakable, whereas Lee Woo-Seok, with his warm eyes, seemed to be more shaken emotionally rather than in skill.

Becoming a national representative in archery is incredibly challenging, requiring years of rigorous training. One needs at least a decade of daily practice from elementary school, along with intensive concentration training through meditation and noise training. Even such players can get emotionally disturbed in actual matches. So it’s obvious how easily ordinary people’s minds can waver. A slight disturbance can affect even the top player’s shots, let alone the quality of work performed by average individuals who are naturally more vulnerable to distractions. Hence, ordinary people need training to focus and not be easily shaken.

To concentrate, you first need to reduce distractions and manage your emotions. Naturally, the more things you pay attention to, the more diluted your concentration becomes. Excessive desires make you want to do everything at once. Also, when you like or dislike something, your mind is bound to react, so you must regularly manage and tame your emotions. Training to halt the continuous flow of thoughts is essential. Ideally, you should only engage your thoughts when needed and immerse yourself fully in the present moment.

It’s truly unfortunate that skilled archer Lee Woo-Seok, at a critical juncture where a good performance might have earned him military exemption, lost that opportunity due to a slight disturbance in his mindset. In truth, many people often fail to focus on essential tasks in their long life due to mental disturbances, resulting in a life of mediocre achievements and eventual retirement. This is precisely why it’s vital to build inner strength to ensure our minds remain unshaken.


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