Maps of Life

Nov 12, 2023

What kind of person are you?

This question is often asked in interviews, blind dates, or when meeting new people. We can answer it from various perspectives and levels. I choose to approach it from the perspective of ”Early Memories.”

Early Memories

In modern psychology, “memory” is considered crucial. The psychologist Alfred Adler used the term “early memory,” referring to selected memories from the age of 6 months to 8 years. He believed these memories provide meaningful clues about a person’s lifestyle, erroneous beliefs, social interactions, and behavioral goals.

One of my vivid childhood memories is from when I was 6-7 years old. We went to a large park on a family trip, where I walked an incredible distance. Despite being young enough to complain and ask to be carried, I steadfastly walked alongside my parents. Eventually, my legs gave way, and that’s where my memory ends. According to my parents, it was during a visit to Malaysia’s Kinabalu National Park, and we had a tough time due to a guide’s mistake.

Every time I recall this memory, an indomitable spirit seems to arise within me.
It feels like the spirit of “not giving up easily and enduring persistently” has deeply ingrained itself in my mind.
Thus, I have grown to be a person of perseverance.

My Tenacity

Many experiences seem to connect to this quality:

  • As a primary school student, I would cry over unfinished homework at night but still complete it.
  • I stubbornly ran long distances, always being chosen as the long-distance runner for my class in school athletic meets.
  • In middle school, I accidentally cut my index finger while using a sickle in the countryside. It was painful to get 7 stitches under partial anesthesia, but I gritted my teeth and endured, earning praise from the doctor.
  • In high school, I prepared for the GED and spent a year studying for college entrance exams alone in the library.
  • As a university student, I pulled all-nighters to complete notoriously challenging assignments in my major.
  • While working in a startup, I attended job-seeking studies after work for three months and got employed.

These experiences are important pieces that constitute my life.
They have become the driving force of my growth and the milestones on the map of my life.

Perseverance in the Workplace

Continuously pursuing work goals in difficult situations without getting discouraged is defined as the competence of perseverance in the Barun Recruitment Promotion Institute’s Competency Dictionary.

The professional world is like a wild jungle. It’s hard to know the right answers or how to handle tasks. Sometimes, we even forget the real problems we need to solve. In such a jungle, the ability to persevere plays a vital role.

One of my favorite aspects of Kakao’s culture states:

We think back to basics in everything we do. Back to Basic.

This culture helps me think clearly about the team’s goals and my tasks. By focusing on the essence even in complex situations, I can continuously move towards the goals.

The environment at my career starting point, Brunch, was challenging. Spring, Velocity, jQuery, Grunt, Handlebars, ES3… were all unfamiliar technologies, and development history was poorly preserved. Along with a new FE colleague, we had to gradually organize the chaotic system. Every task felt like starting from scratch.

There were times I questioned if I was accumulating ‘water experience’, but I decided to trust my colleague, focus on the problems to be solved, and take on the challenge. We established new conventions, organized resources, automated bundling, and plastered the system with test codes. Not all attempts were successful, but over time, we transitioned to a modern tech stack environment with Webpack, ES6, Cypress, Vite, Svelte… My experience in improving the legacy environment was shared at 2022 if-kakao, and Brunch became a service that proactively used Svelte in the FE team.

I also reflected on my realizations about growth. I look forward to seeing how this “perseverance” will pave new paths on my life’s map (Maps of Life) in the future.


The connection between “perseverance” and constitutional traits is also interesting.
I am a Renotonia, with strong kidneys (bladder). I rarely needed to leave my seat at reading rooms, PC cafes, or drinking parties. I found it hard to understand why my friends frequently went to the restroom. Naturally, I could sit in one place for a long time, and it seems I was able to persistently cling to whatever task I undertook.