Nunchi helps Koreans live their best lives: Book

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New Delhi: Nunchi is Korea's secret to happiness and success and helps its citizens to live the best of their lives, says a new book on the art which is considered the sixth sense for winning friends and influencing people.


In "The Power of Nunchi: The Korean Secret to Happiness and Success", author-journalist Euny Hong aims to showcase how the trust and connection nunchi fosters can lead to success in all areas of life - from business to love.

She says that nunchi, used by Koreans for more than 5,000 years, is the reason for the popularity of K-pop and for the success of individuals like Sherlock Holmes, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos among many others.

She says in Korea, nunchi is interwoven with life from childhood till death and in the West, the time to adopt nunchi principles has not only arrived but is long overdue.


Hong is a self-described "nunchi ninja" who at the age of 12 moved with her family from suburban Chicago to South Korea, not knowing Korean, and within a year was at the top of her class - thanks to her nunchi.

"Nunchi is the Korean superpower. Some people even go so far as to say it's how Korean people can read minds - though there's nothing supernatural about it. Nunchi is the art of instantly understanding what people are thinking and feeling, in order to improve your relationships in life," she writes.

According to the author, having great nunchi means continuously recalibrating one's assumptions based on any new word, gesture or facial expression, so that one is always present and aware.


"Speed is paramount to nunchi; in fact, if someone is highly skilled at nunchi, Koreans don't say they have 'good' nunchi, they say they have 'quick' nunchi," she writes.

"In the short term, nunchi will save you from social embarrassment - you can't make a faux pas if you've read the room correctly. In the long term, nunchi will make the waters part for you. People will open doors that you never even knew existed. Nunchi will help you live your best life," the book, published by Penguin Random House, says.

Hong says everyone can improve their lot by honing their nunchi.

"It's your secret weapon, even if you've got nothing else. As for those who were born with a silver spoon in their mouth, well, there is no faster way to lose your advantages in life than a lack of nunchi," she asserts.

"A well-honed and quick nunchi can help you choose the right partner in life or business, it can help you shine at work, it can protect you against those who mean you harm, and it can even reduce social anxiety. It can make people take your side even when they aren't sure why. Conversely, a lack of nunchi can make people dislike you in a way that is as mysterious to them as it is to you," she claims.