Houston resident Jimmy Kim is a young, ambitious and distinctly energetic jack-of-all-trades. He currently works as a media personality and private financial consultant and has hugely impacted the city through his community and political involvement.
Jimmy Kim was recently awarded a “Jimmy Kim Korean-American Day Proclamation” from Harris County Commissioner Jack Cagle for excellence in media and for his positive impact on the community.
Kim sat down with Katy Christian Magazine to discuss the complex but actionable natures of self-improvement, personal and professional excellence, and being a strong man in modern America. His rare aptitude for transforming deeply complex societal issues into simple, action-oriented solutions will offer something of immense value to our readership.
Jimmy Kim at NASDAQ Stock Exchange at Times Square, New York
Bringing Tremendous Value to Society
“What inspires me is I’ve always wanted to make a difference. I’m big on adding value to the community or whatever you’re involved in. Nobody is pushing me, because [this] comes from within. It’s a matter of being passionate with what I’m doing and bringing value to society,” said Kim.
To bring value to society, according to many schools of thought, is one of the fundamental purposes of life. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs classifies our societal contribution as an esteem need. In essence, people must sense that they are valued by others and that they are making a difference in the world. Without these feelings of accomplishment, people are prone to low self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy.
How does one identify the unique value they can bring to society?
“Just focus on where your talents are and bring value in that way. It could be in the form of being a tremendous business guy. Everybody is different, and everybody is talented in different areas of life. Wherever they can bring that value and talent, they need to focus on that and do it to the best of their ability,” said Kim. “That’s also how people become very successful. By bringing that tremendous value to people.”
Alongside bringing immense value, success is attainable when you maintain personal and professional integrity and become the best version of yourself that you can be, and then present that to the world, Kim said. “Then, you will be successful. That is like the ultimate formula. Somebody will see you, and they will want your skills.”
Jimmy Kim at River Oaks Country Club in Houston, TX
Networking is Crucial
Kim, who has worked in many diverse fields, attributes his professional opportunities to his over 10 years of active networking, rather than passive submission of job applications. He expresses the importance of intentionally placing yourself in situations where you can meet people and shake hands.
“This has been a choice. [It takes] putting yourself out there to be in a position where you find opportunities that open doors,” said Kim.
Networking, which is essentially the process of interacting with others to exchange information and develop a professional or social network of contacts, can be done anywhere. People surround us; thus, so do potential opportunities. Conversely, networking can backfire when you aren’t intentional with your efforts or are underprepared.
“The number one [rule] is to be presentable,” Kim said. “Dress well. Whoever is networking, they have to be comfortable too. That’s important because not a lot of guys are comfortable in two or three-piece suits. An important part of networking is your appearance. That’s why I have to stress this. Make sure you’re comfortable and clean. Make sure your outfit fits well, and that it matches.”
A person’s discomfort is often visible to others, Kim points out. If you don’t feel confident in your physical appearance, you may come across as awkward when speaking to people. Yet body language may be the loudest nonverbal signal of confidence and status.
“People need to fix their posture. Bad posture is so prevalent right now, it’s because of the technology, because everybody is [hunched over],” said Kim. “People need to be aware that they’re doing that, and most people aren’t. If you walk around everywhere slouched, you’re not going to get respect.”
For instance, your hands should be open to engage people and let them in, said Kim. “It also helps with confidence. Having good posture everywhere you go, it’s a quick fix, and it radically changes your life.”
The second guideline to networking, said Kim, is consistency. “Let’s say you join a local CrossFit class, and they meet weekly. If you go once every two months, that’s no good. That’s not consistent, and you’re not going to create a great bond with anybody there. Go every week. Try to get there consistently, and actually talk to people.”
He continued, “That’s a common mistake I see when people are out there trying to network. They go to an event, and they don’t talk to anybody. They sit there in the corner. No, nobody is going to go up to you and hold your hand. Go up there and shake people’s hands and introduce yourself. Once again, it’s about being proactive in a situation.”
Rule number three? Share contacts. “If you can bring a business card, give it out, and ask people for their business card too. If you don’t do that, you’ll never be able to follow up with somebody who you’ve met,” said Kim. “You only have one chance at making and leaving a first impression. You want to make sure it’s favorable. You never know who you’re going to meet.”
As a final networking tip, Kim urges people to exercise caution and situational awareness when speaking to anybody. “Be careful with what you say around anybody. A lot of people aren’t. Be careful what comes out of this thing,” Kim said, gesturing toward his mouth. “This thing can make or break entire civilizations. People have conquered nations with this. Many don’t understand the power of dialogue and speech.”
Use similar tact and respect to speak with all, from the person serving the drinks to the highest-level executive in the room.
Jimmy Kim at The Houston Club Downtown in Houston, TX
Self-Improvement Through a Mind, Body and Soul Approach
According to a recent report by Mental Health America, nearly 20 percent of U.S. adults, or about 50 million people, are experiencing a mental illness.
This year, IBISWorld reported the U.S. adult obesity rate to be a staggering 33 percent, this number up 6 percent since 2012.
“Mental health, it’s a crisis in our country right now. It’s not being talked about. So is personal health – obesity is a massive problem. I see it everywhere,” said Kim.
A person’s mind, body and soul are incredibly interconnected; when one realm suffers, the entire person suffers. Improve any category, and the person will reap tremendous benefits.
Betterment of self through a mind, body and soul lens can provide a long-term solution to many prevalent societal issues, rather than relying on prescription medications, or any other form of “quick fixes,” said Kim. “These are things that everybody can do. It does take a little work, which is a choice, but it can be done.”
“[Improvement of] body is simple. Get some exercise,” said Kim. “Start with a few days a week. Take baby steps, and you’ll get to a point where you’re used to it. Try to eat a balanced diet. Everybody knows what they need to be eating. Again, if not used to doing that, start with baby steps. Eventually, you’ll get to a point where your diet is more balanced. You’ll feel better, and you’ll look better,” said Kim.
Enhancing the soul, said Kim, heavily involves being connected with the larger community. This process can include active involvement in a church or Bible study group, or even joining a fitness class. Communities host all sorts of social clubs for strong mental health.
Personal development should not be reserved for people who aren’t happy with their positioning in life. Perfection is an elusive ideal; a human can never reach this, but in order to become and remain happy, one must constantly strive toward it. Constant and consistent reinforcement, training and coaching breeds benefits for all, regardless of the person’s current level. Everybody can be better; everybody can improve.
“Self-improvement is lifelong. It should not be temporary. I believe that everybody on this planet should be doing it,” said Kim. “I choose to do that. It’s just a matter of presenting to the world the best version of myself that I can be. It’s not necessarily me competing with somebody else. It’s me competing with myself in every facet of life. Everything that we do, we should always be trying to do better.”
Jimmy Kim at Lakeside Country Club in Houston, TX
The Cure to Social Anxiety
Social skills are developed slowly and honed over time. When natural socialization processes are unsuccessful, or when a person is removed from social situations for too long, they may experience social awkwardness or anxiety.
“The solution for this is that people need to get out there and be in environments where they’re talking to people, and just keep practicing,” Kim said. “People need to get out of their comfort zones. This can be developed and worked upon. That’s the best solution for social anxiety, social awkwardness or lack of social skills. Just gotta get out there.”
This idea has been supported by various great minds since the early 1900s, when behaviorists Ivan Pavlov and John Watson introduced their early works of exposure therapy. Yet modern society treats social anxiety as a personality characteristic. “This is just how the person is, and we should accept and coddle this,” rather than “this is a temporary state, not indicative of personality, and we should reject this and push the person to grow.”
The result of treating temporary conditions as permanent is detrimental to the individual suffering from the anxiety, whose condition will worsen, and to societal health as a whole, with less high-functioning participants.
Jimmy Kim at Houston Racquet Club in Houston, TX
Reject the Victim Complex and Overcome Adversity
In line with his proactive, action-oriented solutions to handling physical and mental health, Kim critiques the widespread “victim complex,” where people allow their adversities, traumatic experiences and disadvantages to define them.
“Having a victim mentality… number one, it’s very dangerous, and number two, it doesn’t lead to any productivity or a better position in life for that individual. It’s better to get rid of that as soon as possible,” Kim said. “A much better approach to that is if you’re dealing with some issue or problem, identify it, and look for the solution, rather than being stuck in that state.”
Yet many people do feel stuck in their hardships, and their resistance to leaving this state isn’t decisional. “Remember that it’s temporary. Things will get better. Time heals everything, but you have to hang in there. Don’t give up,” Kim said.
Pain, loss and hardships are part of the natural pendulum of life; on the opposite side lies joy and prosperity.
Heraclitus of Ephesus (1. c. 500 BCE) famously claimed that “life is flux.” The Greek philosopher pointed out that everything is constantly shifting and becoming something other than what it was before.
However, to this day, people have continued to resist change. Heraclitus believed that this was the predominant cause of human suffering: people insist on “…permanence in a world of impermanence.” The key is in understanding that everything, both the good and bad, are fleeting. This is the natural order.
“It’s all just looking for solutions, and making the right choices, rather than being like ‘woe is me, I can’t do anything.’ You can,” Kim said. “If it’s coming from a rough childhood, let’s not blame that for failure, and rather use that as a motivation to work harder, and put yourself and your life in a better position.
“It all comes back to choices that an individual makes… Be happy. Life is too short to be miserable. And if you are, let’s change course. Let’s change direction. Position yourself where you’re happy.
“If you’re not happy with your job, go find something else. If it’s your relationship, go find a new relationship. If you’re not happy with your friends, go find some new friends. I know it sounds cold, but sometimes you have to be like that in life,” Kim said.
Jimmy Kim at The Houston Club Downtown in Houston, TX
The King Mindset: Being a Strong Man in Today’s World
The characteristics which encompass “traditional masculinity” are now widely criticized across the U.S. mainstream media outlets and new-school psychological institutions have rebranded masculinity as “toxic masculinity,” pushing instead for a passive, effeminate and meek male.
This ideology is viral and can be seen in all arenas of society. Kim, as a traditionally strong, masculine man, says that the erasure of the male is destructive. “We’re at a state in society where masculinity is under attack. I pride myself in being a strong man, because that’s what I’m supposed to be as a man. If we look back at history, that’s what has kept society moving forward, on the backs of strong men,” Kim said. “Obviously with the support of great women, but they were always working together hand-in-hand.
“The way that I see it now, the mainstream narrative, they have it completely wrong. Men need to be strong. Women can be strong too, but they need to support each other. Not attack each other. I think that’s really messed up.”
The mainstream narrative Kim refers to weaponizes women against men and entices onslaughts of “men are trash” and other similar comments. This is no new technique; large media conglomerates and the political sector incite hostility in the public in order to create division and secure control.
“There are plenty of great men out there, and to use that kind of blanket statement, it’s wrong. I would never do that to a woman. I think women are wonderful. It’s just a matter of finding the right ones,” Kim said.
“Masculinity is not talked about enough. It’s constantly under attack right now. If we have these conversations more, it may awaken some people. Because I know that naturally, innately, when a man is not being strong, it goes against the universe. The solar system. Nature.
“I’m a big advocate for nature. Nature will prevail. Nature always prevails. That’s why we’ve made it this far through humanity and civilization. If you go against that, it’s not going to work.”
To the women, and men, who have had trouble in the dating realm with the opposite sex, Kim suggests self-development in order to attract higher quality candidates. “If you are the best version of yourself, you will attract the right people in your life, whether it’s a man or a woman,” Kim said.
This relates directly to the mind, body and soul relationship. By practicing good hygiene, dressing well, maintaining a good physical appearance, developing your mind, and building a high-quality social life, you will naturally attract great companions, Kim said. “A lot of that goes back to individuals and individual choices, regardless of whether you’re a man or a woman,” Kim said. “I don’t think Brad Pitt has [dating] problems. I wonder why.”
“I recommend to younger guys, find men who you like and who are strong. Try to use those people as role models.”
As Kim suggests, role modeling is an incredibly powerful tool. Often, people are more inclined to subtly mimic the behaviors of people they look up to, rather than to heed overt advice. This phenomenon can be attributed to human pride: people prefer an opportunity to grow while saving face and without experiencing embarrassment.
The pivotal component is finding an excellent role model, and the search does not have to be limited to a person’s immediate reference groups (peers, family, etc.). “Most of my role models have been strong military generals and strong political leaders throughout civilizations. Those are the people who I look up to. Those have been the strongest men who have ever walked this planet,” Kim said. “I look back historically, not just right now, on the people who have been tremendously successful in politics, in the military, or even in business, and those are the people who I get my inspiration from.
“I see the problems that people are having, and that’s why I develop these easy practical solutions to what people are going through. And it’s more simple than people even think themselves, just tweak a little bit, here and there. It’s not as hard as people think it is,” Kim said.