A Precious Person

George Lucas, Akira Kurosawa and Steven Spielberg in 1990(from left), www.oscar.org
In 1853, 18-year-old telegraph messenger boy Andrew Carnegie met the man who would change his life. That man was Thomas A. Scott of the Pennsylvania Railway Company. After Scott happened to meet Carnegie, he gave Carnegie a job with his company right away. As a result, Carnegie was able to take up employment in America’s most promising railway industry, working in the largest company in the US. And that wasn’t all. Scott promoted him to management and personally taught him what he needed to develop as a businessman, such as cost-cutting. Scott helped introduce Carnegie to investing, and thanks to that, Carnegie was able to collect the capital needed to start a business, founding his own steel company.

George Lucas wrote the script for a film called The Journal of the Whills in 1973 and then became disheartened as the story he’d written was deemed too difficult. Shortly thereafter, the memory of a movie he’d seen in university came to him like a bolt of lightning. That movie was Japanese director Akira Kurosawa’s Hidden Fortress. Powerfully impressed by Kurosawa, Lucas wrote a 13-page script with thematic parallels to Kurosawa’s film, reworking the title: The Star Wars. Lucas became very successful thanks to this movie and personally awarded Kurosawa an honorary Oscar in 1990, expressing his gratitude.


These two famous success stories have one thing in common: just at the right time, someone showed up to bring the men good fortune. This kind of person who helps with good fortune is called a gui-in (貴人, “gui” meaning “valuable” and “in” meaning “person”) in the East. Anyone who meets a gui-in can quickly and easily get what they want. It was no different for Carnegie and Lucas. They met gui-in and took advantage of decisive opportunities to achieve almost unimaginable levels of success.

Meeting a gui-in is like getting a shortcut to good fortune, because whatever you want can only be realized through people. Nothing is as crucial to propelling and achieving things as your relationships with people. As Mencius said on the subject, “Heaven’s favorable weather is less important than earth’s advantageous terrain, and earth’s advantageous terrain is less important than human unity.” Or as Hong Kong’s wealthiest man, Li Ka-Shing, said, “The greatest opportunity in life is the chance to meet a gui-in.”

Of course, a gui-in may be a new person you meet, but he or she may also be person you’ve known for some time. The form of personal relationships changes with time. Unfortunately, a considerable number of people can’t recognize a gui-in even if that person is standing right next to them. During one consultation with the president of an IT company, he asked, “I want my company to grow, but none of my workers have any talent. I need someone who understands sales, but where can I find such a person?” However, a closer examination of his employees revealed one with excellent sales skills working on the HR team. The man wasn’t making any use of gui-in right in front of his nose.

Furthermore, it’s often a person you don’t know at all or who you only know from a book or a newspaper who brings you good fortune. George Lucas had never met Akira Kurosawa before producing Star Wars; however, he had met Kurosawa through the latter’s films and got his help as a gui-in to finish Star Wars. The result was incredible good fortune that changed Lucas’ life.

What must you do to meet a gui-in? Reflect on yourself and prepare your mind. Anyone who develops the ability to notice good people and is ready to repay them is certain to encounter good relationships. But what happens if your mind isn’t ready? Even if you meet your gui-in, you will not recognize him or her or will be unable to manage the relationship and you will thus miss out on knowing a good person. It’s like taking the good fortune you are holding to your chest and sending it away.

Suh Yoon's Quotes

“Meeting a gui-in (a person who helps with good fortune) is like getting a shortcut to good luck, because whatever you want can only be realized through people.”
“If you want to meet your own gui-in (a person who helps with good fortune), you need to first accept that nobody is perfect. You can form good relationships only when you are aware of yourself and others as they are.”