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New Art Of War: Stop Bad Habits To Succeed

New Art Of War: Stop Bad Habits To Succeed

PARK Jae-Hee

Mar. 7, 2008


Hello, I am Jae-Hee Park on The New Art of War.

During the Joseon Dynasty, prominent scholar Yi I produced a classic called “The Essentials of Enlightenment.” This essay lists the eight bad habits that prevent someone from being successful.

“In reaching your goal, old habits may be a huge cause for failure.” Such unproductive old habits can drag you down unless you get rid of them. This was the lesson emphasized by Yi, otherwise known by his penname Yulgok, in his Gyeokmong-yogyul.

The first habit is idleness. A person with this habit pays no thought to his personal development and simply wastes time loafing. Such people find rules and principles to be a mere nuisance.

The second habit is lack of focus. An unfocused person may spend most of her time walking around and talking in the workplace.

The third type of bad habit is narrow mindedness. Narrow minded people only like people who are similar and fear people who are different. People with this habit discourage self improvement by forcing everybody to be the same.

Impracticality is the fourth bad habit. Such people dream of fame in the secular world, but never cultivate the discipline required to attain such success.

Hedonism is the fifth bad habit. Those who believe they are leading an elegant and refined life while only focusing on drinking and enjoyment will be an obstacle those around them.

The sixth bad habit is vain competitiveness. Such people squabble over who has more money and race to outspend each other.

Jealousy is the seventh bad habit. Jealous people are ashamed about the clothes they wear and the food they eat. Instead of working to better themselves, they resent other people’s good fortune.

Lack of self discipline is the eighth habit. Such people cannot control their impulses and wantonly pursue their desires.

Yulgok stressed putting a quick end to such practices by saying, “With one strike, slay the root of your old habits!” He believed that unhealthy habits can only be eliminated by complete stoppage and that prolonged attempts to quit usually result in failure.

Recently Korean professional golfer K. J. Choi noted during an interview that, “I don’t really care if I end up in 100th place in the global rankings. All I am focused on is becoming a better golfer than I was last year.” Such an attitude exemplifies the discipline recommended by Yulgok. In an era of stiff competition, the most successful will always try to rid themselves of bad habits and be better at what they do. Bad habits can threaten your organization, and deny you the future you deserve.

This has been a lecture on The New Art of War by Jae-Hee Park.

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