I’m Mike.

Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better

Émile Coué

Self Development nut writing about real examples from my life not only for myself but also for your benefit.

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picture of mike self development

The Short(er) Story

I had a profound experience at the end of my high school years that jumpstarted me to become the best version of myself.

I was 18, curious, and motivated… but no direction. A few of the thousands of questions I had were:

  • What even is self development?
  • How do you do this thing?
  • Am I doing it right?

Sure the internet has come a long way with masters of their craft teaching people online.

But this stuff was hard to come by when I got started.

Since then, I’ve been treating my mind, body, and life as one big experiment. Diet, Exercise, Mindset, you name it, I worked on it all.

Though I’m far from perfect, speaking with my peers in their 30’s made me realize something: A lot of what I took for granted wasn’t common knowledge.

  • Some of my friends had friction with their co-workers.
  • Some of my friends never seemed to be up for a promotion (despite working at the same place for 10 years!)
  • Some of my friends were extremely successful at their work but had the hardest time finding their true love.

Curious, I started talking with my friends, exchanging insights, and ultimately helping them out.

This is when I realized, maybe I should document what I know. Not only for myself but also for the benefit of anyone who needs help.

Trust me, nobody’s perfect, myself included. But that’s the best part about self development.

It’s a lifelong endeavor.

The goal of this website and blog is to take parts of my life, and skills that I’ve learned, to talk about my journey, one piece at a time.

I hope to bring clarity on why I chose certain skills and how they changed my life so you can benefit from a roadmap.

But what I want to leave you with is this:

You are a powerful being with un.limited. potential.

That’s a lot of potential, eh?

There’s only one reason why we settle. We don’t know how to develop that area of our lives.

And let’s be honest and kind to ourselves; it’s not your fault.

We’re never taught in school how to learn, and most of what we did learn was… impractical at best.

The good news is, you don’t have to keep that potential, a potential.

You can tap into it and bring growth, life, abundance, and excellence into any area you choose.

You don’t have to be a passive bystander anymore.

You can be an active creator of your own life now.

You’re the one in the driver’s seat.

You have the power.

Do you like the sound of that? Would you like to know how I became this way?

The Long(er) Story

Who am I?

I was born and raised in South Korea and moved to the US in the second grade. I went back and forth a couple of times and found myself living in Japan for middle school. Finally, starting high school, I was back in the US, good ol’ California.

I appreciated all the cultures I experienced. But the downside of all that moving really messed me up in terms of school. Reading, Writing, hell, even Math!

By the time I started high school in California, I was ‘below average’… that’s a nice way of saying, ‘you don’t have a bright future, kid!’

At the time, I was told the only way to succeed in life was to get a good score on the SAT – the standardized test for college admissions in the US.

Why? So I could get a good job of course.

Why? So I could make a lot of money of course.

Why? ‘Never mind thinking that far ahead, you gotta get there first.’

So I gave up everything for the last 2 years of my high school and enrolled in a high school run 100% by Koreans.

What does that even mean? Hell. But I’ll do my best to paint you a picture.

One of the darkest periods of my life

This decision was probably both the best and worst decision I had ever made in my life.

Sleepless nights not playing video games but memorizing vocabulary definitions, synonyms, and antonyms.

Over those 2 years, I had memorized thousands of vocabulary words verbatim, 300 words a week.

Verbatim? Yeah, ok, what does that even mean, Mike?

You see, we took a written test for those 300 words. Every. Single. Week. New week? New 300 words.

The tests themselves took over an hour because we were writing everything out by hand!

The tests were manually graded by a sadistic ‘teacher’ and he was more than happy to let us know anytime we missed even a single letter.

So what’s the big deal? Well, see, that’s the best part!

For every single word I couldn’t recall perfectly, I had to write out the whole definition, synonyms and antonyms 7 times. Again, manually graded to make sure there was no funny business..

Had any weekend plans? Not anymore! Most of my weekends — most of every day, really — were me filling out entire notebooks of these vocabulary words.

And mind you, that’s just one part of one subject.

talent is overrated

So round and round it went for two full years. Eventually, my scores improved enough to the point where I was actually accepted into all the UC’s in California. Pretty incredible achievement considering where I started from.

All of my blood, sweat, and tears — and yes, I mean them literally, had finally paid off!

Was my school’s methods a little rote… barbaric… borderline abusive at times? Probably. But seeing those acceptance letters come in taught me the greatest lesson of my life.

You don’t have to start off being great at something. You can always get better.

It was hell on earth, but I learned that even if you’re not great at something, to begin with, you can always improve.

The trick is of course, with the right kind of focus, effort, and dedication.

I knew this kind of ‘improvement’ didn’t just have to end with my vocabulary. And that’s how I began my journey in self development as a whole.

No thing is beyond you

Now, I’m not suggesting that self-improvement has to be that hard or intense… although, depending on the level of mastery you want to achieve, it won’t be an easy road.

But what i AM saying is that No Thing is beyond you.

Anything you want to learn how to do, you can!

Have you ever written off a certain skill or thing as something you’ll never get good at? Have you ever settled for something because ‘that’s just who I am’?

I still do in many areas of my life. But that’s the best part. We have a lifetime to work on it.

And the earlier, the more intense our dedication in life, the more and greater we’ll be able to experience the benefits.

speed is also overrated

The thing is, you don’t have to be an overnight success.

With all the advancements in technology, everyone wants to learn how to get X quick.

I’m all for speed but in a lot of ways this ‘quickness’ is overrated.

It gets your hopes too high and it’s definitely hard to sustain, if not impossible.

What is self development, for me?

Now imagine, what if you practiced something whether it’s meditating, reading, making money… so much so that you didn’t even remember how to do it poorly anymore?

What if you practiced a skill so much over such a long period of time you knew all the pitfalls that could hinder performance?

What if you practiced a skill so much over such a long period of time you knew all the tricks to execute at the highest level?

This is when you become the thing you practice.

Becoming a meditator, a reader, a writer, a successful business person, a kind person, a loving person.

I truly believe that moment is not only the moment you unlock all the benefits you’ve been going after. It’s also the moment you evolve.

You become something more. You become someone more.

I believe this journey is what self development really is.

Becoming a new person, a better person. Becoming someone that’s greater than who I was before.

live outside time and space

The thing is, changing and evolving as a person can take a while.

The way i see it, the best thing you can do is commit to a lifetime of continued learning and growth if that’s what it’s going to take.

But the magical part of making this commitment is that if you start to think beyond time (how long it’s going to take) and space (how it’s going to look)… you’re suddenly operating out of time and space and you’ll find incredible things happening for you at speeds you never thought was even possible.

why I started this website and blog

Ever since my experience in high school, I wanted to improve and develop myself in every way possible.

But in the age of Facebook just starting to get traction, there weren’t too many ways to learn how.

Of course, we’ve come a long way since then and there are many gurus and mentors out there now. All online, helping millions, myself included.

But I always wished someone could break it all down. What is self development? How do you go about it? How do you know you’re getting better?

We all start with thousands of these questions but here’s the fact:

Self development doesn’t have to be complicated.

What I learned from my high school experience is that anything can be learned and improved upon.

You just need the right vision, structure, process, and perspective to help you get through it.

  1. See and understand what doing it right looks like
  2. Break the entire skill down into smaller skills you can practice
  3. Start integrating each skill with each other
  4. Have patience with yourself while you’re figuring it out

I can probably talk about each of these steps and sub steps for all the skills i’ve learned for hours and that’s exactly what I want to do for this website/blog.

And instead of writing about things generally, I want to start with skills and developments I made personally.

Even today, social media is filled with experts giving unrelatable advice to beginners.

If you’re looking for someone who has everything figured out and tell you how to be the best human being ever, this probably isn’t the right place for you.

But whether it’s skills that I have acquired or new habits I want to pick up, I’ll do my best to give you my perspective, a personal perspective that will hopefully help you on your journey as well.

So yes, this website and blog is a way for me to process my own thoughts. But I also hope that it would give some of you the clarity the younger me craved and desperately needed.

You are an infinitely powerful person

My hope is that processing and laying out my thoughts will not only benefit me when i look back. I also hope that you realize that you are powerful.

You are a powerful, unlimited being with untapped potential. Nothing has to stay average anymore and nothing has to be beyond your reach.

Will it take time? Sure.

Over night? Yeah right.

1 month? Probably not.

Over a year? Maybe?

Horrible motivational speaker I know. But motivation, like talent and speed, is also overrated.

But for the willing: if you can get a clear picture of what you want to learn and how to get there, I believe with time you can learn and accomplish anything.

After all, it was the same with walking, wasn’t it?

The more focus and intentionality we bring to whatever it is we want to learn, we’ll eventually figure it out.

I want to help you see this by talking about topics and skills that are closest to my heart. I’ll break down the skills and principles that enriched my life the most so that you too can benefit.

And after a while, you’ll see that it’s all the same.

The ‘how’ might look different. But there is a way we can start as beginners and achieve proficiency in any topic/field/skill.

Blogging is one of those new skills for me. I’ll do my best to organize the content as best as I can, and maybe I’ll even write about it one day too.

If you want to follow me on this journey feel free to follow me on Twitter/X as I’ll also be writing there as well.

And if you want to get these articles and thoughts delivered straight to your inbox, you can sign up for my newsletter here as well.

SO. What do you say?

Feel free to look around.

Get curious. Stay hungry.

Most importantly, let’s be kind to ourselves.

Take everything I’ve learned and tap into the limitless potential inside of you!