I have been managing successfully to deliver a few speeches at GM Korea Toastmasters Club. at least once a month. Not all of them are very satisfactory but still they are my babies. Thought, might be better to be shared.
2013/06/30 CC#1 Ice Breaker
We don’t really have super powers that shoot the spider web (shooting gesture) , teleport to New York in no time or have a chitchat with Jarvis. But deep down in our hearts, we sometimes think;
“Well, I’m really good at THIS.” or “I know THAT better than anybody else in my class!”
Even though that thing is just ordinary and very trivial and no one in the world cares as much as they do for a depressed teenage boy in a red and blue spandex or an immature multi-billionaire in his middle-age crisis, that means something to us. That means something to ME. Let me tell you what kinds of “ordinary superpower” I have.
The first superpower (bicep pose?) that I have is my great sense of direction. The common myth that women have a bad sense of direction doesn’t apply to me. I’m always the one to tell someone in the driver’s seat that he is in the wrong direction. I’m also pretty confident I’ll be recognizing any neighborhood and a way to get there after the first or the second visit. This is one reason that I’m not really a big fan of the navigation system, which is making people numb while driving.
This superpower is not an innate talent. My family used to move every couple of years when our housing contract was over. We were not as poor as we should worry about getting by, but poor enough that we had to leave the house every time. Thanks to my another superpower, positiveness with no grounds, I kind of enjoyed new experiences, new adventures, and new routes. I often spent a great deal of time to find the fastest shortcut between my house and my school or any other place that I’d like to pay a visit. We all know that hardships are the main ingredient to be superheroes.
The second superpower that I’m secretly hiding from you is my ability of smiling non-stop at a very awkward situation. I smile, a lot. I smile at my friends and colleagues. I smile at cleaning ladies and security guards at work. I smile at strangers. I don’t even know where this comes from in an aspect of psychology. I just don’t like conflicts. I hate being in those situations involving argument, yelling or even just a snarky look. I just can’t stand it. That’s probably why I have cultivated this kind of power. And the biggest show case of this power in my life was my wedding ceremony.
The last power that I have been keeping in secret is my brain, working in a very unique way. I don’t think I have particularly amazing memory, but I’m good enough to get in one of those good universities in Seoul. (AKARAKA!) I remember quite many things in life, but oddly, I completely forget as many. My husband has studied me quite a while now, and concluded that my brain capacity is just as normal as ordinary people, however, I allocate almost all space to the things that I care, where almost no space at all to other things that I don’t.
One case that affected his study happened last year. We wanted to watch the movie ‘Iron man 3,’ so I, not my husband, I bought the tickets for Saturday on probably around Monday or Tuesday. What happened on that Friday was just surprising to me as well. On that Friday, I sent him a kakaotalk message to go watch the movie without realizing that we already had a plan. Well, at least, I didn’t send the message to someone else.
Superpowers had been something hidden, not publicly known for a long time. These days, the trend is changing. Superheroes doesn’t hide behind the closet anymore. Maybe the spandex guy and the black rich old man are still caught up with the old-fashion, but new heroes are now coming out and sharing their powers with the world. Today, I came out. Not much to be shared for the sake of the world, though. Hopefully, my ordinary superpowers that I still keep in secret can contribute something, anything to the GM Korea toastmasters’ bright future.
2014/07/28 CC#2 Organize Your Speech
Re-think your retirement plan.
Do you remember the commercial that says “We’ve got 1 billion won.” with the scene of a, apparently-not-so-grieving-widow and her clueless child celebrating their new life under the shiny daylight. As bad as it sounds, it clearly made a big impact on so many people until now. Ever since, many people started to think 1 billion won as kind of a lifetime goal to have a good life without much financial problem after retirement.
And if you go to an expert for a financial advice, they would give you this big number considering your future income, your spouse’s future income, family events such as births, deaths, graduations, buying house, selling house, moving in and out… and the last, not least, THE monstrous name; inflation. While saying, “This is how much money you will need when you retire!” followed by “So you will need this saving for your private pension and this insurance for your family and so on.” In a nutshell, give me your damn money!
In the result of everything aforementioned, we get to fear of retirement, which is natural, because we fear of everything that we don’t know. But, I’d like to talk about why we should not.
First, you are saving quite a lot of money without realizing it, probably more than you would think. Let’s talk about National Pension Service, NPS. I know, many arguments as well as the skepticism are prevalent among most Korean people, but I’m not talking about it today. That would need a whole separate speech. Every month, automatically, a certain amount of money goes to the national pension fund. What you sometimes forget is the company pays as much as you do. If you save 100,000won, then it’s 200,000won in your account. And NPS is THE only pension system in Korea being adjusted to the inflation rate.
And of course, you have your severance pay when you leave. If you are not so desperate for that many at that point, you can transfer that money to the IRP account, which stands for Individual Retirement Pension, without any taxes or additional fees.
Also if you are currently saving for the tax deduction into ‘Pension Saving Account’, which is deductible up to 4million won per year, that can be your another income stream.
Here is the second reason why we shouldn’t fear. Our retirement in general is just quite far away which makes it almost impossible to predict. We don’t know how much longer we can work, but let say, I have 15 years left until my retirement. I’m 34 so I guess that’s a fair assumption. Now let’s think about what the world was like 15 years ago. Oh, it was 1999. Some people believed that the world was going to end. There were no smartphones. No iPads. No Google glasses. No mobile industry. No worldwide connection that we have now. So what’s going to happen in 10, 15, 20, or 30 years? We have ABSOLUTELY NO idea. We think we need to save a big chunk of money for our kids’ tuition. But who knows? In 20 years, going to college can be not a cool thing, that only losers go only to waste their money.
I strongly believe that the change over the next 15 years will be much more dramatic than the change over the past 15 years. Which is scary! But let’s try to embrace it.
The last one is the most important fact that we need to keep in mind. There is really no difference you one day before the retirement and you one day after the retirement. You are the same person. Only difference is, after the retirement, you are allowed to do whatever you want whenever you want and of course, wherever you want. I know it can be uneasy that there is no monthly paycheck and no sense of belonging to somewhere, especially if you have family to support.
But retiring doesn’t mean you suddenly become incompetent. You have skills and experiences. If you don’t think you have those, start looking right now. You must have something you enjoy for a hobby. Tackle it as hard as you can. Have fun with it as often as possible. Sometimes, those are the ones to open another door when your door at work was closed, or even when the first door is still open.
I’m not saying that all the pensions are enough and we should be fear-free. Not at all. However, we definitely need to think about whether or not all the worries about after-retirement-life are affecting our life in the present. Aren’t we sacrificing our ‘present’ more than we absolutely have to be, just because we are too afraid of unpredictable future?
We also need to admit that there are too many things we just can’t control. Who can even guarantee that we will survive through this dangerous world with crashing planes and sinking ships? Let’s not too obsessed with. Our life after retirement won’t be so bad once we realize that is just a part of our lives and might introduce new possibilities to us.
2014/09/01 CC#3 Get to the point
3 tips to beat the Monday Morning Blues
Yesterday, when the ending credit of the gag concert was rolling up, I suddenly became sad and sick. And I always fight the urge to watch the SBS special because if I choose to watch, I will end up going to sleep around 1 o’clock, which is definitely not good for my condition on Monday. I also became anxious and worried. What do we call this phenomenon? Yes. Monday Morning Blues.
A research says, on Monday, almost a half of people are late at work and most of people complain about coming to work on Monday for about 12 minutes. And surprisingly on Monday, people are able to focus on their works only for 3 and a half hours.
A couple weeks ago, I’ve read an ingenious news article about how to avoid Monday Morning Blues. To come to work on Sunday. Wow. Really? Seriously? Isn’t this ridiculous? I got upset after reading this article and thought; I can do much better than this! Here are x better tips than working on Sunday to beat Monday Morning Blues.
First. Don’t be too generous on yourself. To be honest, I become pretty lazy during the weekends. Most time, I wake up at 11 to 12 o’clock and spend quite a lot of time watching re-runs on TV. And almost always I keep thinking all day long, “Oh, I should be doing this or that during this weekend!” And it never happens.
But if you have similar experiences, you’d also know that over-sleeping till noon does NOT always give me a fresh mind and body. Rather, I’d feel pain in the back or even end up having a headache. Looking at myself in the mirror with my swollen face isn’t helpful either.
Therefore, my first suggestion is to wake up little earlier than that, start your day in the morning and stick to it. You might want to have one or two more hours compared to weekdays, and usually that’s all you need. For example, I usually wake up at 6:30 am during weekdays. So if I wake up at 8:30am on Saturday, that’s already 2 more hours of sleeping, which is a fair amount to give me a nice feeling when waking up.
If you are already a morning person during weekends, well, good for you!
Second. Many people feel anxious when they are watching the ending credit of the gag concert rolling up. And many of them think that passing every second is so precious that they don’t want to waste any of it. They might start watching another TV program, doing some internet surfing or opening another can of beer with a long sigh.
Here comes my second suggestion. Don’t do any of these. Just go to bed right away. It will be already around 11 o’clock by the time the show is over. And considering the time people spend lying on the bed with their smartphones before actually falling to sleep, that’s a right thing to do.
I know that we all want to grab and enjoy the last minutes of the weekend, but life must go on. And Monday will come. And this is a smart move to help ourselves in the very near future.
The last tip. Think about why we love weekends where we hate Monday. Because during those weekends, we get to do things that we love. Oversleeping, seeing our loved ones, watching TVs and movies, travelling and all those exciting things. On the other hand, what does Monday have? Works, meetings, reports, issues and endless to do list for the week.
My third tip is to turn this over. Why don’t we have something exciting on Monday? Why don’t we look forward to coming to GM Korea TM Club meeting? It can totally change how you think of Monday. Even though our working hours from 8 to 5 can be tired and dreadful, we can be hopeful for the day because we know that we are going to have fun time during GMKTM Club meeting from 5:30 to 7 and sometimes more.
Ladies and Gentlemen. Today, did you experience Monday Morning Blues? If you did and if you usually do every week, I hope my 3 tips to beat the Monday Morning Blues are useful to you. Waking up early and sticking to it, going to bed right after the gad concert, and making Monday a delightful and awaited event of the week with GMK Toastmasters.
Starting Monday right is very important for all of us since it’s a starting point of the whole thing. I’m, Hmm, 80% sure that you guys are having a good time here and it’s going to help you go through your day-to-day life.
2014/09/29 CC#4 How to say it
My Skydiving experience
Ever since my first ice breaking speech, I realized I’m not that interesting person. In fact, I have very limited experience that I can share with you. I thought I need more adventures in my life. That’s for the future, but today, I’m going to talk about my skydiving experience AGAIN.
I guess because that’s THE craziest thing I’ve ever done, so I have to bring this up so many times.
We were in Australia, Cairns, the first city that we had just landed. Me and my 3 friends, all girls, were excited about the new adventure opening our 20s. I had never been abroad until that time so the whole experience was just surreal and full of surprises. It was sweating hot on December. What an unnatural thing we can experience?
In the morning of one day, we went to the reception of the hostel to get some information in bungee jumping. That’s what we wanted to do. As I can recall, we didn’t even consider other alternatives. Bungee jumping was the most extreme and unrealistic thing we could think of. Jumping off a 50 meter high tower, which is as high as a 20 story building. That’s pretty bold, isn’t it?
But the girl at the reception completely turned this over with only a few words, “Bungee jumping is lame. How about Skydiving?” At the age of 20, I was neither too brave nor too daring. Jumping off a standing tower with the string attached was somewhat imaginable, however, jumping out of a plane into the air was just utterly unthinkable. How can human be so suicidal and reckless?
Did I say that I was with other 3 girls? Not like me being so coward, they were instantly caught up with this suicidal idea. They started saying like “Right, bungee jumping is lame!” Oh, did I also mention that none of us had even done bungee jumping before?
Despite of my strong objection, they, those 3 girls, was able to easily outnumber me, so I didn’t have a choice.
Looking back, the scariest part was not what I expected it to be. Of course, everyone would assume that jumping out of a plane should be the most terrifying moment. Actually, for me, signing a waiver form was. I was signing that I understood that I can be dead because of this. It could be an equipment malfunction, an unexpected heart attack or anything. While I was signing the dreadful document, I could feel my sweaty palms and pounding heartbeat. I even thought I might not be able to touch the ground again.
After we all signed the waivers, the professionals had us ready for the flight. When we headed out, the first thing I noticed was a plane. A small plane without a door attached. With us and the professional skydivers who were going to piggy back us, well it’s not really piggybacking because we were on their front, anyway. The tiny plane got full. It didn’t seem very safe either. The plane seemed pretty old and shabby. I was quite doubtful if this plane was capable of flying up to 8000 feet which is about 2400 meters high.
But still a technology is a technology. That little shabby airplane brought all of us in the air very shortly. We all were attached to those divers, and I glanced at my altimeter at my wrist, and it read 8000 feet. Oh, shoot! Now you might think this must be a scary part and we might have argued to jump as many people do in bungee jumping. Oddly, that’s not the case in skydiving. We don’t get to argue. Your professional diver in your back jumps without any warning. And you are already falling when you realize it.
Once I got out of the plane, it was phenomenal. I was freefalling surrounded by blue, and I didn’t even feel that I was falling. It felt like I was floating. I almost got a heart attack that I was worried. My breath was taken away with the adrenaline overdose because the sensation of falling was so intense and the scenery around me was so beautiful. That 30-secound-freefall was eventually ended, but I felt like I could do it all day long.
After freefalling, now with the parachute open, the adrenalin pumping had settled down, and I finally got to appreciate the pure nature under my feet and the cool wind on my chick. Australia was a big country, I realized it. I was a natural born city girl, so that was my first experience to get to actually know the beauty of mother nature.
The story after that moment was quite ordinary and even boring. We got so excited when we touched the ground and never stopped talking we should come back again and try this at an even higher altitude, but it never happened up until now.
The purpose of my speech today was to intrigue you and make you want to do skydiving. Do you think it was successful? Anyone who now wants to go skydiving in your next vacation? My only advice is this. You’d be a fool not to try this in your life and if you have a chance, fly up as high as possible.