Young People: Set Your Purpose and Change Your Lives

When we meet a stranger, we ask them, "Who are you?" God asks this same question to us. The answer that gives him the most joy is when we say, "I am a young person." Why is this? It is because our youth is the most important and most beautiful period of our lives. This period should be a time of rest in preparation for the future, and a building block that opens the way to a new era.

It's becoming more difficult these days to find young people who are passionate about their lives. We see more and more pitiable young people who, unable to find a goal in life, keep looking here and there without result. All great leaders in history had a definite sense of purpose in life from the time they were children. They nurtured the purpose that they held within their hearts from childhood and lived their lives with great energy in order to achieve that purpose. Whether they were sleeping or playing with their friends, every action in their lives was geared to prepare for the stage that they would stand on in the future. Is that how you are living your lives?

We were all created as great men and women. God did not send you into the world without purpose. When God created each of us, He poured out all the love that He had. So we are great. Because God exists, we can accomplish anything.

I became a completely different person when I began to love God. I became a person who loved humanity for than myself, and concerned myself first with the problems facing humanity, as opposed to the problems of my family. I also did my best to love everything that God created. I developed a heart that loved the trees in the hills and the fish in the waters. I developed my spiritual senses so that I could feel God's handiwork in all things in the world.

At the same time that I was changing my heart to conform to God's love, I also worked to prepare my body to be strong enough to fulfill my mission. I wanted to be ready to go anywhere, anytime that God called on me. I played football, did boxing, some traditional Korean martial arts and " Wonhwado," a form of martial art that I developed myself. In Wonhwado, the athlete moves his body in smooth circular motion, almost as in a dance. It applies the principle that greater power can be exerted in circular motion than in straight line motion.

Even now, I begin each day with stretching exercises on my muscles and joints and a breathing exercise that I developed. Sometimes when I am touring the world giving speeches, I may not have time for these exercises in the morning. Even then, I will use the time that lam sitting on the toilet, if necessary, to exercise, but I never miss a day of exercise. When I was young, 30 minutes a day was plenty, but now that I am older I have increased it to an hour a day.

Last year, I was involved in a helicopter crash. The helicopter was suddenly surrounded by black rain clouds, and in an instant crashed onto a mountain. The helicopter rolled over, and I was left hanging upside down by my seatbelt.Instinctively, I tightly grabbed the arm rests on both side of my seat If I had not been so diligent in my exercises, I think I would have broken my hip in the instant that I was hung upside down. The body is the container to hold a healthy spirit. It is important for us to be diligent about training our bodies.

Few students go to school because they like to study. They go because their parents told them to go, not because they enjoying studying. This is true for most people in the beginning. As the student continues to study, however, he gradually learns to enjoy it From that point, he will start to study on his own, and find his own means that he matures.

Parents cannot wait until the child matures enough to study on their own. They tell the child, "You have to study. Please make up your mind to study," and put pressure on the child. Parents do this, because they know that the child needs to study in order to prepare for the future. The worry that if the child doesn't study at the proper age level, he will come face to face with the future having made no preparations.

There is something more important than studying to prepare for the future, however. Before a child unconditionally focuses on studying, he needs to decide what he is going to do in life, and come to a realization of how much of a contribution he wants to make in the world. Most young people these days seem only to study without having set their own purpose in life.

One day, I came across a Korean student working hard on his English schoolwork. I asked him, "Why are you working so hard to learn English?"

He answered, "To get into university."

What could be more foolish? University is not a purpose. University is a place to go to study particular subjects in the course of pursuing a particular objective. It cannot be the objective itself.

Also, don't define your life goal in terms of how much money you want to make. I have never received a salary. But I manage to eat and stay alive. Money is a means to do something, it is not the goal. Before you make money, have a place to spend it. Money gained when there is no objective to accomplish will soon be wasted.

Your choice of occupations should be based on your talents and interests. Whether you become a fire fighter, a farmer or a football player, that is up to you. What I am referring to transcends your occupation. What kind of life will you lead as a football player? How will you live as a former? This is what I am asking.

To set your objective is to establish the meaning of the life you will lead. If you are going to be a farmer, then you should set your objective to test new agricultural methods, develop better species of crops and help eradicate world hunger. If you are going to be a football player, then set for yourself a meaningful objective, such as to heighten your country's image in the world and establish football camps to help nurture the dreams of children who would like to play but whose economic situation will not allow it.

To become a world class football player takes incredible work. If you do not have a definite purpose in your heart, you will not be able to endure the difficult training required to reach the top. Only if you have an objective will you have the power to maintain your course and life a life that is a cut above those around you.