OWL Magazine Korea

“The Longest Distance from Head to Heart” by Kim Iryul

Just judging by the title, it might seem like a light, emotionally stimulating read, but the content covered in this book leans more towards self-improvement.

Initially, I picked up the book intending to casually refresh my mind, but after delving into its contents, I felt like my mind became a bit heavier. However, it’s a helpful book for moving towards a better life.

“The Longest Distance from Head to Heart” primarily emphasizes the message of “persevere and continue to pursue what truly matters.” The book is divided into chapters covering:

  1. Determination
  2. Goals and Principles of Life
  3. Attitude and Habits
  4. Human Relationships
  5. Passion, Experience, and Venturing Beyond the Familiar
  6. The Importance of Skills

The book starts with the story of Frank Joseph’s Parallel Life Theory and delves into it further. This theory suggests that the destinies of two individuals living in different eras can unfold in similar patterns.

Examples like Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy are cited as prime examples of the Parallel Life Theory. Although sometimes introduced when discussing the corruption and downfall of politicians, it’s more of a speculative theory than scientifically supported.

However, the book uses this “Parallel Life Theory” as a basis to suggest that one can change their destiny by preparing in advance. The concept of “Parallel Life” is used to convey the message that one can change their fate.

“Be Patient Rather Than Hasty…”

In pursuing something, being patient rather than hasty increases the likelihood of success. The author mentions examples like Napoleon’s failures and Jane Goodall’s and McDonald’s successes to support this assertion.

“Bernard Shaw’s Epitaph: I Knew If I Stayed around Long Enough, Something like This Would Happen.”

Bernard Shaw’s epitaph is witty yet meaningful, conveying the message that determination is a crucial element of a successful life. Before determination, it’s important to set personal life goals and the process of achieving them.

It’s necessary to contemplate why a goal is desired. Only after setting a goal can one think about whether it’s achievable or not and establish their own philosophy.

The book also introduces anecdotes from “Walden” by Henry David Thoreau, emphasizing that living by one’s own philosophy leads to a successful life.

“Dream is No Where. VS Dream is Now Here.”

There’s a famous anecdote about perception: “Dream is no where.” Two brothers raised with this phrase diverge into completely different lives as adults. One becomes successful while the other leads a failed life. The difference lies in how they perceive situations.

“Failure is Not as Important as How You Handle Failure.”

Handling failure positively is more important than experiencing failure itself. Throughout life, one is bound to experience failure, but approaching it positively can lead to greater growth.

Even Steve Jobs experienced many failures, including being ousted from the company he founded, Apple. However, he turned these failures into learning opportunities, leading Pixar to success and making a glorious comeback as Apple’s CEO.

“Rather Than Comparing with Others, Think of Your Own Advantages.”

Instead of comparing oneself with others, it’s wiser to compare oneself with one’s past self. It’s also important to focus on one’s strengths rather than finding faults. While balance is crucial, loving and caring for oneself is necessary.

“Carnegie’s Definition of Passion.”

The book contains many other insightful messages. Napoleon Hill, the author who covered Andrew Carnegie’s leadership, once asked Carnegie about passion. Carnegie responded with various aspects of passion, highlighting its importance in life.

“Be as Gentle as Spring Breeze with Others, and as Cold as Autumn Frost with Yourself.”

This quote suggests that while being gentle with others, it’s necessary to be objective and firm with oneself, especially when honing one’s skills.

“The One Who Conquers Others is a Victor, But the One Who Conquers Oneself is Great.”

Instead of trying to defeat others, it’s wiser to compete with one’s past self. Comparing oneself with others is futile. Growth requires comparing one’s past and present self to strive for improvement.

While the distance from head to heart may seem long, striving to become closer rather than distant is essential.