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…