This 5,000-year-old Korean secret to success and happiness can make you richer—here’s how

This 5,000-year-old Korean secret to success and happiness can make you richer—here’s how

While I was born in the United States and raised in an English-speaking household, some Korean words were impossible to escape.

One of the first words I learned as a child was “nunchi” (pronounced noon-chee), which literally translates as “eye-measure.” The 5,000-year-old art of nunchi involves sensing what other people are thinking and feeling.

A person with “quick” nunchi can rapidly assess the overall mood and nature of relationships and hierarchies within any given social setting — and know how to respond appropriately.

Using nunchi to earn more money

In Korea, nunchi is a superpower. Not only is it the secret to living a happier life, but it can also help you perform better at your jobenjoy it morekeep it longer and continue getting the pay raises you deserve.

The wonderful thing about nunchi is that you don’t have to be born with it. It can be honed by following a set of rules — such dropping your preconceptions (in order to observe your environment with discernment) and reading between the lines (because people don’t always say what they’re thinking out loud).

But there’s one rule that’s especially important if you want to make more money: Never miss a good opportunity to shut up. Why? Because if you wait long enough, most of your questions will be answered — without your having to say a word.

If what one has to say is not better than silence, then one should keep silent.
– Confucius
This may sound odd to many people, given that loudness is valorized in modern society, particularly in the West. I find this funny, since we also celebrate the stereotype of the “strong, silent” type, like cowboys or steely military leaders. But any skilled negotiator will tell you that being silent can put you in a highly advantageous position.

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