2009 Success Measurement Criteria #1: get out of here

Success in life should not be measured by grades, money, women/men, or even the number of offsprings you managed to pass your genetic material onto. But success in life should not go un-measured either, because without measurable goals, you can achieve nothing.

So, instead of making open-ended, unscientific New Year Resolutions, I will make my personalized 2009 Success Measurement Criteria. By next year this time, if this blog still exists, I shall disclose my Success Score for the year 2009. (And yes, I got this idea in one of my more inspirational showers.)

And here is number 1: get out of here.

I need to get out of this country this summer. Note the verb. It’s not want, it’s need. Since I moved to Canada in 2002, the longest time I’ve spent away from Vancouver was less than 30 days, at Shad Valley Waterloo. The longest time I’ve spent away from Canada was less than 9 days, in Taiwan. Other than that, I can almost feel my feet turning into roots, suckling dry the nutrition from UBC, Richmond, Vancouver.

Don’t get me wrong. Vancouver is a fantastic city, and Canada is a fabulous country. But spending 6 youthful years at the same place is just unhealthy. It’s too comfortable here, too figured-out. I need to feel disoriented, challenged, out-of-place. I need to explore, to make mistakes, to get uncomfortable.

So, here’s the criteria.

n * v * b

where n = the number of consecutive weeks spent away from Vancouver,

v = the value of coolness of the city I spend my time at,

v = 0.5 for a Canadian city outside lower mainland (Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton…)
v = 1 for an American city (New York, San Fran). Seattle gets v = 1 cuz it’s closer to Vancouver than Calgary.
v = 2 for living at a relative’s place in Taiwan.
v = 3 for living anywhere else in Taiwan.

Then things get interesting.
v = 5 for China, HK, Singapore, Australia
v = 7 for England
v = 10 for other tourist-frequent countries (huge language barrier). Some examples: Japan, Malaysia, India, Thailand, France, Spain…
v = 20 for any tourist-infrequent countries. These are, hm… Nepal? Ethiopia? I would be surprised if I ended up in this category.

In short, the cooler the destination, the higher the score.

b = budget, where

b = (money earned from 2008 to 2009) / (money spent from 2008 to 2009). In other words, b < 1 if I spend more money than I made. In more other words, doesn’t matter how much money I overspend, I’m still gonna get a positive number in my success sheet.

So, as a case study: if I saved $3000 before May, and I spend 2 weeks with relatives in Taiwan, during which I live off my relatives (spending nothing) and work (earning $1000), then spend 1 month learning Japanese at Japan (spending $4000), my score in this section will be:

n * v * b

(2 weeks in Taiwan * 2 + 4 weeks in Japan * 10) * ($4000/$4000) = 44.

Compare this to working at a 4-month job in Toronto, earning $5000 and spending $2000:

(16 weeks * 0.5) * ($8000/$2000) = 32.

And sure enough, the Success Criteria tells me that I had more success in plan A. Perhaps not precisely 31.25% more success, but you get the picture.

…More Success Measurement Criteria coming up…


7 thoughts on “2009 Success Measurement Criteria #1: get out of here

  1. 哇!!好厲害! 真不愧是比利!
    very systematic, very scientific
    and the equation seems to work pretty well in terms of evaluating the relative success of your summer plan : )

    剛開始有點不太懂你的budget part,不懂你為什麼用除的. 雖然你有解釋…也還是不太懂XD 後來動一動頭腦(好久沒有算數學了lol)再跟你說的印證就懂了啦^^

    我記得我之前的網誌也是有用數學公式來解釋一個concept,不過沒有這麼詳細的分析,而且也不一定work. 你這算出來的score真的可以用耶!!



  2. less than 9 days in taiwan?!!? D= how come??
    but wow that’s a great plan!
    之前co-op有同事也說過 他一直很後悔沒有趁年輕時好好旅行
    so i need to work hard to save up first..hehe


  3. 阿嬤>>
    過獎了啦~~! 其實這個算式掰的成分居多, 到時候我應該會不知羞恥地擅自調整吧 XD It’s more of a demonstration of concept: 出去越久, 去的地方越好玩, 花的錢越少, 越好.

    那年暑假超級忙… 考完final跑Sun Run, 隔天飛台灣, 9天以後飛回來, 隔天開始上課 (cs111, econ102)
    我今年不一定會畢業, 不過我一定要出去啊啊啊!!! 不要攔我~~~!!!

  4. 1. i had to stop reading the content of this blog cuz there was too much math for my head to handle. i pretty much stopped after i saw ur equation with variables. i’m sure it was very nice and useful though.
    2. ur new blog background reminds me of durian. good job on non-discrimination!

  5. lol it’s ok, you didn’t miss much if you skipped the last half of this entry. It could be summed up with the longer the travel, the cooler the destination, the less money spent, the better

  6. Comment on your Criteria #2 (i can’t make a comment under that post, dun know why…so i make it here lo)
    (阿嬤舉手)挖要報名比利exercise buddy #1 lol
    I remember last two years when I lived on campus, I went to the free gym located in Vanier commons block quite often. I tried to keep it up with at least 30 minutes a day and 3 days a week. During exam period since there was no classes that I needed to go to, I pretty much went to the gym everyday.

    During the past term, other than the 2 to 3 hours badminton with David and Pauline every Wednesday morning, I did nothing else.

    Therefore, as one of my 09′ resolutions, I would tried to work out more. Since it is awkward if I still go to Vanier gym without being a resident there, the one at the Pool is a good choice la : )
    Also, when the weather gets better (which will not happen anytime soon), i wanna go jogging too.

    What’s your schedule for next term? Maybe we could find a time when we can go together : )

  7. Pingback: Off to a great start « ZeroRatio

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