Self-Responsibility and Resilience

Self-Responsibility &


After a several month hiatus owing to my somewhat hectic lifestyle in Korea and demanding work schedule, as well as a temporary lull in website service (I changed hosting provider — hopefully for the better), I have returned to write.

While I am at work, I’m essentially able/free to do whatever I like. While I lead my personal life, it’s rather possible for me to do as I please as well. I commence the post with such blanket statements so as to demonstrate that adult life (read: autonomous living) is composed of a multitude of decisions and a limited number of resources (in the way of time, energy, attention, willpower, etc.). For those fortunate enough, we can choose the food we eat, the people with whom we surround ourselves, the major of study which we will pursue, the geographic area where we will live… the list goes on and on. As I’ve previously written, there aren’t always those around you who can instruct you what to do. There is no “assignment” to complete by a certain date or exam to study for per se, as would be the case during one’s years in elementary school through to university education. And this is definitely something for which I have had to adapt and will continually have to manage in the future.

You have to decide what you want from life on your own for yourself. 

This is something that I am discovering on my own and attempting to answer each and everyday. But I believe that what we want from life is a continually evolving and more complex process than what we may realize — as opposed to the mainstream thinking that college graduation, stable job, marriage, and family in progressive order are the fixed course to follow. Perhaps I am exceedingly sensitive to such bounded thinking as I live in Korea, a society where norms are especially important to adhere to and where social pressures often times guide people toward decisions.  Interestingly enough, many times in my life — and I am undoubtedly in a privileged position to benefit from such a luxury — there seem to be polar opposite selections as to what to I should do.

Despite the conditions that surround me, what I try to keep in mind is the following:

One must strike a balance between health, geography, lifestyle, career development, opportunity, self-enablement, and most importantly happiness. 

The bottom line in the end is satisfaction with one’s life and happiness in living it. Not an ambiguous sought after outcome, but rather in the present. Here and now. Patience is needed when change is desired, but rather than taking action at a later date, I advocate for doing so today.

Life inherently involves risk, whether it’s approaching the person who you find attractive or vying for a coveted position in a sought after firm. There is no question that success necessitates a certain level of pre-meditated planning, yet flexibility in addition for circumstances that may arise unexpectedly and often without notice. Entrenching oneself too sternly in the “pre-planned” or “improvised” camps brings about the danger of either missing an ephemeral window of opportunity or of refusing to relinquish a lost cause.

Resilience to outside forces for a robust framework of internal values and self-responsibility in accepting the final product (read: your life*) are what I judge to be strong determinants of life fulfillment.

In short: find opportunities where others make excuses and take ownership for the end result.

I will conclude with this video:

*I am referring to those individuals with a degree of control over their direct circumstances. There are many millions of impoverished people in the world who do not have access to such privileges and who are dependent on external factors outside of their control, which is all the more reason to honor the fortune bestowed upon those lucky few with fulfilling commitments that are presented to us.

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