I recall having a talk with Julia. She had recently joined our business and looked forward to all the opportunities and growth her new career would provide. I asked Julia about her goals.
“John, I want to be a millionaire!” she said.
“Do you know what it takes to earn a high income like that?” I asked.
“I’d say hard work and focus,” she said.
“Sounds great. So how many hours did you put into your business this week?” I asked.
Julia stood silently for a moment. She then gave me a recap of her week: Her son was sick, so she had to take care of him; she had car problems; she was organizing a church picnic; and she attended her daughter’s piano recital.
“Anything else?” I asked?
“No … It’s been really busy these past few days,” she said.
“I see what you’re saying. But you still haven’t answered my question: How many hours did you put into your business this week?” I asked.
It was Friday afternoon. I could tell she was reflecting back and counting the hours in her head.
“Maybe 15 hours,” she said.
“So you spent, on average, three hours a day. And your goal’s to earn a high income. Within a 15 hour workweek, do you think you can cram meeting with your team, contacting referrals, preparing presentations, and doing everything else necessary to become a millionaire?” I asked.
“When you put it that way, I feel silly and embarrassed right now,” she said.
“My goal isn’t to embarrass you. It’s to help you understand yourself better,” I said.
Koraji: Self-Awareness Is Key
One of the key steps to improving your life and creating lasting change is to know yourself, which often requires you to identify your weaknesses and struggles. We use the Korean term koraji to describe this. Koraji, as we define it, is a lack of understanding and awareness of your weaknesses.
For Julia, her koraji was to say becoming a millionaire would require “hard work and focus.” And then, in the same conversation, she told me that she had worked 15 hours that week.
Julia was unclear of the difference between dreams and goals. After all, anyone can say, “I want to be a millionaire!” In fact, isn’t that a dream for many? But a goal takes the thought, “I want to be a millionaire” figures out the necessary steps to make it happen, and then works hard to complete those steps.
By shedding light on our koraji, we bridge the gap between what we say we want, and what we’re actually doing. Spending time with our koraji gives us the knowledge necessary to improve our lives.