Very Happy Person: Inhyuk Song

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Paper airplanes fly at TedxSamsung

DH: Share a bit about yourself and where you're from.
Inhyuk Song: I'm Inhyuk Song from South Korea, writer of "What Happened to the Angry Monkey?" a book about inner motivations, and a columnist who analyzes future trends. I am also a culturist of my new FutureDesigners company that helps people make a good atmosphere and connects different people [through] passions and ideas. I worked for Samsung Electronics for 7 years as an engineer and quit 6 months ago to spread happiness.

Inhyuk Song, Very Happy Person

DH: Tell us about your business or the company where you work.
IS: You know Samsung is a very innovative and huge company. It took the position of the world’s biggest IT maker by surpassing various competitors, but survival is difficult if you stay stuck in the old way of doing things. So its culture is very strict and hierarchical. Like any other big firm, employees were usually unhappy, unmotivated and largely alienated from themselves. No doubt it's hard for creativeness to evolve.

I wanted to overcome this situation.  About one year ago, me and some of my colleagues at Samsung took the initiative to change this atmosphere and evoke people's inner motivation in their jobs. DH is a good role model. 

It [our effort] began as a small group of people for various internal events but it soon grew as a community with more than 2,000 inspired employees. Nothing like this happened in the company's history and it is a cultural impact in the company that nobody would have thought possible. (Watch Samsung's Lipdub.)

I believed this [mattered] not only for Samsung but also for every company who wants to connect people with happiness. It is the most urgent issue nowdays. So I quit Samsung and wrote a book named, "What Happened to the Angry Monkey?" It treats the importance of inner motivations and where they come from. It says passion and creativity are not from inside of me, but between us. 

It is lucky that the book became a bestseller in the section of management/economy. I realized people need a movement with happiness, so I started a new journey as a culturist to spread the happiness virus into the companies and connect people.

DH: How do you deliver happiness to your employees, customers, colleagues, or others around you?
IS: Now I'm writing lots of articles revealing values of "between" and posting them to my blog and Facebook. But there's a more important thing. Following the DH movement, I made several Facebook groups such as 'VHP@korea' and a page called Happiness Box to share good ideas and stories such as TEDTalks, good company cases like VHP, funny activities, and facilitation methods that bring up energy.

Now almost thousands of people in various companies have gathered, such as the big companies like Samsung, LG, KT (Korea Telecom), and SKT as well as many small but good companies trying to help each other.

An interesting thing is we made a VHP business card as an independently organized community, like a new company. No boss, no hierarchy. Anyone can use their own position on the card like Culturist, Chief of Dream Officer, and so on. But whoever gets it, whenever they capture the QR code on the card, they will find the VHP Facebook group, and eventually they are also gonna be with us.

People are really enjoying getting together through the group. It's a good idea isn't it? We're making a good energy bus.

A Very Happy Person "business" card.

DH: What about DH, the book and/or the movement, inspires you the most?
IS: When I'd read the DH book, I really was impressed by how important a good atmosphere in the company is, especially, "Focus on the company culture as the #1 priority!"

I realized "mindpower" is the most beautiful value rather than "manpower." We always heard, "You should get passion, improve creativity. You are the hero of your life." But it is for the individual. We need to focus on an atmosphere with now.

DH let me know the importance of "atmosphere." I decided to spread DH to Samsung, so I bought lots of DH books and sent lots of suggestions to colleagues. Moreover, VHP gives me another dimension of movement. I recognized the need to connect different companies . . . and I believe "more is different." 

If more companies [try this], it can be movement. So, I organized the VHP Korea Facebook community to connect lots of people in different atmospheres to spread happiness.

DH: Did DH nudge you towards making any changes in your life? If so, tell us more.
IS: Yes, it really changed my life. DH got rid of my fear. Now when I ask people, "Which is a better choice for you--'stable' or 'unstable'?" most people answer 'stable.' But if I ask 'static' or 'dynamic,' most answer "dynamic." The two questions are actually similar, aren't they? I think we wanna live dynamically, but we're afraid of doing the unexpected.

DH let me change. Now I can say with confidence, "I wanna live in an unstable and dynamic [atmosphere]." I know I'm not alone, and DH changed me as a writer and Culturist!

DH: Why is happiness important to you?
IS: I think happiness is the same as health. Health is a kind of energy. When it is high, we are healthy and feel good in whatever we do. But when we are low, we feel sick and have no interest in whatever we do. Therefore, happiness is fundamental to pursue health. Most Koreans live in a very hurried and competitive situation so as not to trail others and become lethargic. I want to give people their health back.

DH: What's your advice to someone who wants to start making happiness a priority but doesn't know where to begin?
IS: You need to start from R&D. It does not mean "Research and Development," but "Relax and Dancing." (Watch Samsung's Dance Project.)

Seriousness is the evil for anything. It's important to make a new atmosphere to enjoy first, not to try to change first, because we are usually overwhelmed by a conservative and negatively organized atmosphere. It cannot be changed easily. And you cannot do it alone. Find a tribe with at least 3 or more people. Start anything with them.

Finally start with a small thing, sharing funny or inspirational stories to colleagues and spreading good ideas such as TEDtalks for the colleagues. And make various events to enjoy. But the important thing is keep doing it. New atmospheres need iterations. Iterations become culture.

DH: What’s your favorite happy and/or inspirational quote?
IS: "Everything is between us," by me. =)  Steve Jobs also said "Creativity is just connecting things." I believe creativity and passion is not inside of us, but between us. I believe when we are connected, we feel stimulation, inspiration, attraction, and a heart beat! That's why we focus on a platform to connect people.

DH: What's something weird that makes you happy?
IS: I enjoy expecting the unexpected because the opposite of Happiness is monotony or boredom. When I hear people talking "no way, we can never do It," I don't know why, but I feel comfortable because that's when we need to re-think It. VHP@Korea suggested [that we] make VHP businesscards; I thought that's the thing that I wanna do!

I wanna help make DH a worldwide movement. How about making the book Delivering Happiness Worldwide? How about making DH@Company or DH@City like TEDx independently organized DH movements? Now it's time to gather our power!

DH: Thanks for delivering WOW and happiness to the global community, Inhyuk!

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