Founder's remarks

  • Korean is the people that can overcome any difficult situations with strong willpower once they make up their minds.
    (At the groundbreaking ceremony for Hyundai Heavy Industries in March 1972)
  • One that believes in oneself to be able to do anything wins anything. You cannot achieve more than what you are suspicious of and you cannot do anything if you don't believe yourself in doing it.
    (At the construction site of Jubayl Industrial Port in 1976)
  • There is nothing you can't achieve if you never give up in the middle of something and keep making effort.
    (While doing manual labor in his mid-20s)
  • The more people say no to my goal, the more my resolution to achieve such goal becomes firm and the more it drives me to work hard and intensely to achieve the goal.
    (While planning Hyundai Shipbuilding in 1970)
  • The most lethal mistake above all is to give up.
    (When constructing No.1 Unit in 1973)
  • I have a goal to make Hyundai into the most transparent company rather than the biggest company. If we create the most transparent company, it will be able to grow into the most efficient company with the greatest public confidence in the whole world, including Korea.
    (During a special lecture for executives at Hyundai Group in 1983)
  • People that always think are able to do 10 times or 100 times more works than what normal people can do. This is the reason why I always berate people that make me confused if they have fun in a place that they should have fun, if they work hard during their working hours, or if they sleep when everyone is sleeping.
    (At an interview in the company newsletter for December 1980)
  • I may be evaluated as a Korean entrepreneur that runs a large global company but I'm nothing more than a rich worker.
    (At a banquet for celebrating the acquisition of an honorary doctor's degree in business administration at George Washington University in the U.S. in 1982)
  • I get up early in the morning all my life because I get thrilled and excited about what I have to do that day.
    (At a training camp for new employees in July 1983)
  • I am happy with my life because I see this world beautifully, brightly, hopefully, and positively.
    (At a special lecture during a summer training camp for new employees in July 1983)
  • Workplace must be a place for your own development, not for earning money.
    (At a training camp for new employees in August 1986)
  • Every person has good luck and bad luck at the same time. If you can work happily, that's your good luck. Hard workers hardly experience bad luck and people who are blaming on their back luck are normally lazy.
    (At the Liberal Arts Lecture for Citizens at Gwangju MBC in July 1991)
  • You have to engrave your failures upon your mind deeply. Those who forget their failures experience another failure.
    (At the construction site of an expressway in Thailand in 1966)
  • Making ship is nothing difficult. The only difference is that we do construction works on the waters instead of doing them on the land.
    (While examining the construction of a shipbuilding yard in 1971)
  • Our improvement is our country's improvement and our country's improvement is our improvement.
  • Ialways start with preparing land for plants until today and I drive stakes into the ground and make roads myself to build every single plant on the ground.
  • For a success of a company, all venturesome information, effort, and courage are essential.
  • National competitiveness depends on which country or company seeks for alternative policies to respond to new changes quicker and more properly.
  • We've gotten stronger by withstanding and overcoming intense ordeal.
  • There is so much to do if you look on the bright and clear side of the world and want to make yourself useful in this society.
  • A country that can honestly respect and praise people who fulfill their duties in each part of the society diligently and excellently can develop rightly.
  • We have to foresee the future with a great dream and a positive blueprint.
  • All development of humanity has been achieved under the initiative of people with positive thinking.
  • Although people say 'time is money' in general, I want to change that to 'time is life'.
  • Real knowledge is obtained through direct experience and that is the way to learn true values.
  • If there is no way, you can find a way and, if you can't find a way, you can always pave the way.
  • Ordeal is something to jump over, not a thing to stumble over.
  • There is no 'miracle' in the 'Miracle of Han River'. There is only earnest and wise labor.
  • There is nothing more worthless than wasting precious time allowed for each individual based on an adequate mind to 'do anything adequately' without knowing how precious the time can be for them.
  • Credit is something that grows like a tree. And credit is an honorable thing.
  • Positive thinking brings happiness.
  • If you can gain trust for being earnest and honest, you can expand or develop your whole life as much as you like by using such trust as your own capital.
  • One day of being diligent gives you one relaxing night off and one month of being diligent improves your life and living your entire life diligently can give you a great development in your life that everyone can recognize.
  • Everything can be realized by those who believe in the possibility.
  • Whatever I do, I fill 100% of myself by adding 10% confidence to 90% conviction of "it must work" but I never add even 1% of doubt or anxiety about a failure.
  • Not everyone can succeed only with an indomitable will for challenge and adventurous spirit. Thorough examination and firm conviction are critical on the other side of success.
    (In Hyundai newsletter for May, 1990)
  • Always keep yourself calm. Calm mind will make you straight, firm, and bright.
  • The feelings I get from waking up in the morning are exactly like heart flutters I got from waking up in the morning on a picnic day in my primary school. And I also get myself ready for a deep sleep at night. All these are possible because I see this world beautifully, brightly, hopefully, and positively.
    (At a summer training camp for new employees in July 1983)
  • Foreign scholars describe the Korea's economic growth as the Miracle of Han River but I am certain that there is no such thing as miracle in economy. Korea's economic growth could have been achieved from the whole nation's adventurous pioneer spirit and passionate effort. The key to the miracle is right in that virtue.
    (At a special in-house lecture at Hyundai in October 1983)
  • Workplace is a base for self-development. Workplace must be a place for your own development, not for money.
    (At a training camp for new employees in August 1986)
  • Young people who first enter the society must be filled with enthusiasm in their heart and must have their brain working flexibly and must be able to adjust themselves to and overcome any climates or unfavorable conditions.
    (At a special in-house lecture at Hyundai in October 1983)
  • The source of wealth is diligence and frugality.
    (At a special lecture for executives at Hyundai Group in 1984)
  • Even if the situations that we are in seem to be difficult and complicated to handle, we still have confidence and courage to go through the situations with safety without hesitance or fear.
    (In the first publication of company newsletter in 1974)
  • Happiness in our lives depends on our thought. The way of finding happiness depends on how we can make other people around us happy.
    (At a training camp for new employees in August 1981)
  • Every day must be fresh. Living today like yesterday and tomorrow like today is just like death not a life.
    (At Wonhyoro Jungki Plant)
  • When the times are difficult, I make ceaseless effort to overcome the difficult times with a go-ahead spirit, an adventurous attitude, and fiery passion and learn from the experiences. If anyone asked me the greatest necessity for a foundation, I'd say optimistic thinking and confidence.
    (At Wonhyoro Jungki Plant)
  • Apersons that is negligent in small businesses cannot achieve a great work. But a person that does his utmost even to small businesses also does his best to great works.
    (While attending the Gwanhun Forum)
  • Tonic cannot enhance your health conditions but your mind does the job.
    (Commuting on foot in the early morning in 1990)
  • Passive people only focus on pains from working under the scorching sun but cannot think of the happiness they can enjoy during a break after work, getting fresh wind under the shade of trees.
  • Success or failure in every business depends on your thinking and attitude. Adventurous spirit is the key to a miracle.
  • This is just an ordeal that passes by, not a failure. You cannot fail until you give up on your dream.
  • The two biggest anguishes in humanity are diseases and poverty. Diseases and poverty are the sequence of a vicious circle. Diseases make people poor and poverty makes diseases. Helping people in need with the asset of Hyundai created by numerous healthy, capable people is my long-cherished wish.
    (At the foundation ceremony of the Asan Foundation in 1977)
  • Production leads to action, action leads to habit, habit leads to disposition, and disposition determines a person's destiny.
    (At the Hyundai branch in Saudi Arabia in 1986)
  • I don't believe in failure until a life goes on. There may be ordeal to pull through but I don't believe in failure while I'm breathing and healthy.
    (From the autobiography "Ordeal Not Failure")