Lesson 5: The Spark That Ignites Your Flame

In the last lesson, we discussed how negative influences can create personal obstacles that prevent you from achieving your dreams and the value of persevering against all odds.

When you find something you are truly passionate about, being determined to pursue it despite criticism and negative feedback is crucial to reaching your highest potential.

In lesson 5, we will be looking now at positive influences, how to recognize them, and how to seize the opportunity to learn and grow from them.

Key Concepts

Positive influences


We know that circumstances, whether they be people or events, can have a profound influence on our lives. Things like strict traditional cultures or rooted societal perceptions may act against your desires and negatively shape the way you see and interact with the world.

And yet, in some cases, these influences may actually be a positive development that can help bring you closer to your goals. 

For example, you may meet an expert in the field or skill you are interested in or someone who has already attained the goals you seek. It is good to learn to recognize these positive influences, but more importantly, it is crucial to determine if they can really add value to your life.

In my case, it was meeting my first master in martial arts. He was a Buddhist monk who not only defied South Korean society’s values by supporting my dream to become a teacher but even took me on as his student despite it being forbidden for girls to learn.

He taught me martial arts, inspired me to take the path that brought me here today, and helped positively shape my values even beyond martial arts.

You cannot and do not want to be liked by everyone


There are over seven billion different combinations of life experiences, perceptions, cultures, and behaviors. With humanity being so vastly diverse, it is next to impossible to find things that we can all agree on.

Wanting everyone to like you is not a good investment of your energy. Do you think Jesus or Buddha or the saints of East and West were welcomed and accepted by everyone? Are famous performers liked by everyone?

We’re not all attracted to the same preferences and values, and we simply don’t need to be. You do not have to waste your time trying to convince every person you meet to like you. If you can connect heart to heart with those you are drawn to and with those who are drawn to you, that’s what will lead you to your own brand of success.