Skip links

10 Things to Do Before You’re 30 – Part 1

By CAL Founding President Samuel Kim

As I mulled over the accomplishments and challenges, I recalled a journey entry I made in 2006 titled ’10 Things to Do Before I am 30.’ I remember writing it as a late 20s young man stuck in a career crossroads. I was contemplating whether to enlist in the Korean Army, study MBA or accept a management consultant position. The list that I am about to share played a key role in my decision-making. I opted finally for the army, as I believed the high level of discipline and teamwork would contribute most to achieving long-term success and happiness. 

Even today, the list continues to drive me. I hope that my list will inspire you to continuously learn, chart a new course, and attempt greater things for our humanity. 

  1. Find One Thing You Can Do To Make Our World Better. Choose one thing that you can do to contribute, and commit to it for the next couple tens of years, regardless of whether you do full- or part-time. Keep your eye on the prize and you will achieve a positive outcome in the end. 
  2. Own a Healthy Image of Yourself. The quicker you realize how special you are, the happier your life will be. Develop the best version of yourself by listing down five things you do well. Start with something easy and small as giving a winning smile to the people around you, or conducting a random act of kindness.
  3. Start and Run your Own For-profit. Take risks at an earlier age to explore our limits. It provides a training ground for you to learn essential life skills to survive in today’s complex and fast-moving world. Being entrepreneurial teaches you how to engage with stakeholders effectively (customers, employees, and investors), manage your finances, strategize sensibly, and foster creativity in creating something new and different. Additionally, it offers job opportunities to the community and enhance the nation’s economic growth. Plan well, try and see what comes out of it. 
  4. Start and Run Your Own Non-profit. It is an inspiring way to give back to society. In today’s rat race, people are often busy, self-centered and blinded by their own personal goals. This effort gives us a different perspective on life and offers us a better understanding of the difficulties facing our society. 
  5. Adopt a Habit of Accomplishing 5 Thing before Going to Work. This helps set you up for a productive day and gives you a greater sense of accomplishments on a daily basis. Every morning, I will make it a point to read news to update myself with what is going on around the world; seek quiet time to reflect, play tennis or any form of exercise, have a healthy breakfast, and check in with people how they are doing.

Interested in bringing leadership programs to your organization? Visit our Adaptive Leadership Signature Program Page.