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[Opinion] How to Succeed in 2007

Posted December. 25, 2006 07:37,   


Recently, “Business 2.0,” an economy magazine from CNN, published tips for success from the brightest minds in business. “Succeed with simplicity,” said Sergey Brin. “Obsess about solutions, not problems,” said Donald Trump. “Turn a setback into a comeback,” said Carlie Fiorina. In short, it is important to have insight, think positively, and change crisis into an opportunity with passion.

This is familiar to most people. However, why are there people who succeed and people who don’t? Phillip MacGraw, also known as Dr. Phill from the Oprah Winfrey show, says, “You are the problem” Usually, most people know how to lead a winning life. However, they never try hard enough. Instead, people only blame others.

Some might say that those tips only work in the U.S. The “American Dream”, which means that one can succeed as long as he/she tries hard enough, is a promise that the society will give chances limitlessly until you catch one. In the U.S., students are allowed to take SATs many times until they get the score they want. Also, getting into and coming out of business society is not that complicated. This eases the fear of failure.

There are many passionate people in Korea, too. However, Korea is not such a forgiving society to the losers. It is not strange that some people think others’ success as a “vested right of the vicars.”

The Cato Institute posted an essay that said, “The problem is culture” This is the conclusion they came up with after studying 25 different countries including Korea. It is certain that competition is better than equalization, talent more important than strings to pull, and an easily compatible culture breeds success. It is not easy to change a nation’s culture. However, the institute stressed that politics can change culture through incentives. The conclusion is not very comforting as complaining that all this mess is the politics’ fault sounds little different from blaming others. I think that in order to succeed in 2007, not only politics but I should change too.

Kim Sun-deok, Editorial Writer, yuri@donga.com