Rediscovering The True Essence of Success With Trung Vu
What does success mean to you? Success can be defined in many different ways, but it’s your choice which one to choose.
Get to know Trung K Vu, a very successful Vietnamese financial advisor in America. Throughout his life, he struggled to make money and be happy. He always wanted more and to be more. Even though he was successful, he was still unhappy. He listened to renowned successful motivational speakers but he felt it wasn’t enough so he took a more spiritual view of the world through Eckhart Tolle and other spiritual leaders.
He realized that life is a balance between the physical world and the spiritual world. Life is not black or white; there has to be a balance. We are here to contribute to the world and live life to the fullest.
Trung wrote the international best-selling book “How to Set Your Sail and Let God Provide the Wind: How to Work with God to Create a Life of Success and Happiness and to Reach Your Goals with Ease” to guide us through our journey of life and Beyond. To help us find our purpose, reach our goals, and live a happy and fulfilled life that we only dreamt of.
He wants us to rediscover the true essence of success and realize that there is a force in the universe that controls everything, and that force is God.
Read more below as we interviewed with Trung about his upbringing, inspiration behind his best-selling book, finding purpose and much more!
Where are you from originally?
I was born in Vietnam in 1968. My family and I escaped to the U.S. during the Vietnam War in 1975. We were refugees by boat. We were sponsored by an American family and we settled in Maryland, where I still reside to this day.
What was the inspiration behind your book?
My entire life was a struggle. I struggled to become successful and to be happy. I finally realized that success and money doesn’t bring you happiness. I became more spiritual and realized that life is more than what the eye can see. Things like purpose and love are more important than money and success. The purpose of life is to discover the gift you were given and to return it to the world. Only then will you find true happiness and success.
What good is it having a lot of money and not liking what you do or not having someone to share it with? What inspired me to write this book is this realization that we all want to be successful and have money, but most of us chase after the wrong thing. Find your gifts, do what you love and give back to the world. The money will come once you are on purpose.
How do you think the world will benefit from the book?
My book will awaken people to their endless race of trying to make money and to be happy. Happiness is from within and when you are aligned with your purpose, wealth will follow. People work 9 hours a day to make a living instead of making a life. People only look forward to the weekend after an exhausting work week; this routine goes on and on for 60 some years, then we retire to try to enjoy what’s left of their lives. I want to give people insights and ideas of how to discover their gifts and the tools they need to be successful in this world of form.
What do you mean by “we are a spiritual being and that we’ll never die”?
You need to realize that you are a spiritual being experiencing in a human form, not the other way around. You are not of your physical body; you are a spiritual being experiencing a human form. What does it mean when you say I? What makes you, you? Is it your physical body, or is it your memory? It cannot be your physical body. Let us say that you are in an accident, are disfigured, and you lose your memory.
People would say that it is still you. So if it is not the physical or mental aspect of a person, then what makes a person who he or she is? You are the soul that lives in your body, but the soul does not need the body to survive. When your body dies, your soul will live on forever. How do we know the soul exists? We know the soul exists because there are proofs of the afterlife.
Can you tell us about the best ways to rediscover your success?
The definition of success is – The accomplishment of an aim or purpose. If you breakdown the reason why we try to achieve success, the reason is because we want to feel good. You can be a successful parent, teacher or whatever. Thus, success doesn’t have to be monetary, but monetary is what we all relate to. With money, we can buy the things that we want to make us feel good, but if you have a job that doesn’t give you satisfaction and you don’t like what you’re doing, then you are not accomplishing your purpose, which is to feel good. Of course we all have to pay the bills, but find your purpose and have a career that gives you joy. It’s not wrong to have lots of money, but don’t make money your master. Find your purpose and the money will come.
How do you find your purpose?
The first thing you need to do to find your purpose is to believe and know that you have a purpose.
Some of us have to be teachers, doctors and some of us serve best serving others. Some of you already know what your purpose is but are afraid to act on it and feel stuck where you are. If you have not found your purpose yet, don’t worry; you are not alone. Your purpose will find you, if you are open to it. Most of us live mundane lives with a job that does not satisfy us. I believe that everyone has a purpose in life. You do not have to win the Nobel Prize or achieve great success to have a purpose.
If you are happy where you are in life and feel that what you are doing gives you meaning and joy, then that is your purpose, and that’s where you belong. You need to find out what gives you joy and inspires you to wake up every morning. Start living your life instead of just making a living. Only you know what your purpose is. Go after your heart and follow your dream, it doesn’t matter how big or small. You are here to give.
How do you let go of your worries?
You let go of your worries by trusting in God and know what you can and cannot control. I like to recite the serenity prayer, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” We all have problems, that’s part of life. Every problem could be an opportunity to learn or to grow. We need to identify the problem, come up with a solution and a plan to deal with it. Then try your best to solve it and then you let go and let God. For example, if you are worrying about not having a job to pay the rent, then go get one.
Find out the steps you need to solve that problem. In this case, type up a resume, send them out to prospective employers, follow up with them, prepare and go on interviews. These things are under your control. You cannot control if the person is going to hire you or not. There is no sense in worrying and playing the ‘what if game.” So why do we worry? If you are doing everything in your power to solve the problem, what else is there to worry about? You cannot control the outcome, so stop worrying and let God handle it.
Why is living in the present moment important?
The present moment is important because the present moment is the only thing that is real! The past is gone and the future is not yet here; they are illusions in our heads. We should learn from the past, plan for the future but LIVE in the present moment. Most of us don’t live in the present moment. How many times have you past your exit because you were thinking about something else? This is a small example of not focusing on the present moment. Most people live like this all the time; they worry about the future and let the past dominate their present moment. Anxieties are negative thoughts that we think might happen in the future, which is not real. It’s all in your head. What is real is the present moment.
Remember, you need to focus on the present moment to change your future. You cannot change your future by living in the future. You have to do it in the present moment. Try this exercise, when you worry about the future, just focus on the present moment. Look at what’s in front of you and focus 100% on that object. Look at the color, the shape and the entire object. For those 20 seconds, your worries are gone, because your worries cannot live in the present moment. This is why the present moment is the most important thing; it is the only thing that is real and now.
What is a current challenge for you and how would you approach it?
My mother passed away in 2016 and I am still grieving. I missed her so much and would give up everything for her. When she was sick, I asked God to take 5 years away from my life and give it to her, but that did not happen. I still cry now and then, missing my mom. I know she is in a better place and that someday I will see her again. I don’t keep the hurt in, I cry when I need to. Through my grief, I realized it’s normal to miss her and I need to suffer the hurt appropriately. Your emotions are not like fine wine, you can’t bottle it up.
The Fox Magazine is all about inspiration, what/who inspires you the most?
My mother was the most influential person in my life. She was very strong-willed and taught me never to quit and to always know that God is with me. She supported the family by sewing clothes, making $2.35 a shirt. She stayed up till 2:00 AM sewing to put food on the table for us. Mom always had a positive outlook on life. Mom had been through a lot. From losing everything we had in Vietnam and living in poverty.
In Vietnam, my father was a very successful and influential man, a self-made millionaire. I am sure he never thought in his wildest dreams that one day, he would be blind and living in poverty with his family in a country halfway around the world. Given my dad’s disability, my mom became the breadwinner. She held the family together with her strong will and conviction. She was very religious and a devoted Catholic. She goes to church every day and taught me to put God first in everything that I do. She suffered mentally and physically. I am sure she had post-traumatic stress from the war and had to work so hard for the family. She suffered excruciating pains at the later part of her life. She had bowel surgery which led to many other medical problems. She had kidney failure and a slew of other medical complications. She was on a ventilator twice and made it through.
The doctor gave her one month to live, but she ended up living for four years. She didn’t want to let me go but her body gave up on her, but she did not give up. She is everything to me, I use the word “is” because she is still around me and I will see her again.
What’s something people would be surprised to learn about you?
I am a wealth advisor so people think I am all about money. They see me as a Wall street guy. My job is to manage money and I am very good at it but money is not the most important thing to me. Money gave me the freedom to explore other avenues in my life and to give back, but I am not all about money.
What is your favorite motto, quote or words to live by?
This is my own quote.
The purpose of life is to find the gift you were given and to return it to the world.
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