Success and failure

More and more, I am beginning to fear success more than failure.

Success is not always real. There may be images of success, but during those episodes it is more difficult to grasp the inadequacy of the accomplishment towards the end vision.

Neither success nor failure are the end goal, but they are merely a step to something much greater. Success gives us temporary satisfaction and contentment, but failure gives us discontent, which leads to change. This is the reason why I almost don’t want to be successful: I don’t want to be clouded by temporary contentment and lose sight of what is important.

I don’t like to fail either. The important thing is not about success and failure, it’s what happens after.

I think that’s why God allows us to fail sometimes and sometimes succeed.

When a person has success, it’s easier to be comfortable and not desire change. When a person sees failure, they are discontent and want change.

Either way, everyone needs change whether they are content or not. No one is perfect, therefore there is always room for improvement up to the day we die.

I’ll end with this:

Don’t trust what you already know, for it is limited in your own mind, but trust, ask, and hope for the greater things you do not know.

Economics and Theology (+Infinity)

It’s been a while since I blogged, I’m doing an interesting side project and will not be blogging a lot, but I have this on my mind for a while now.

Just for fun, I want to put invisible qualities of God into a more tangible form, I’m not sure if this will be an accurate representation of the Gospel, so please do point out flaws of this theory.

I looked up the definition of economics on dictionary.com and felt it was an inaccurate description, so I decided to go to Wikipedia.

Economics is the social science that studies the behavior of individuals, groups, and organizations (called economic actors, players, or agents), when they manage or use scarce resources, which have alternative uses, to achieve desired ends. Agents are assumed to act rationally, have multiple desirable ends in sight, limited resources to obtain these ends, a set of stable preferences, a definite overall guiding objective, and the capability of making a choice. There exists an economic problem, subject to study by economic science, when a decision (choice) has to be made by one or more resource-controlling players to attain the best possible outcome under bounded rational conditions. In other words, resource-controlling agents must maximize value subject to the constraints imposed by the information the agents have, their cognitive limitations, and the finite amount of time they have to make and execute a decision. Economic science centers on the activities of the economic agents that comprise society.

 

Economics is based on the natural world, where infinity does not exist except in an abstract form or in Math. In a natural economic model, everything has an opportunity cost. An opportunity cost is the value of the next best opportunity foregone, where an agent has to choose between desirable yet mutually exclusive actions, or  “the basic relationship between scarcity and choice.”

An example would be if an apple costs 2 dollars, and a pizza slice cost 5 dollars. I only have 20 dollars. At most I can get 10 apples or 4 pizza slice.

I am also able to have bundles such as 7 apples and 1 pizza slice, or 3 pizza slice and 2 apples, etc… Choosing one option would mean foregoing the other.

But what if the merchant doesn’t accept dollars? I can’t get anything even if I insist on paying.

 

Now sin is an intangible. Sin, by its very definition, means debt. According to the Scriptures in the Old Testament, sin is often paid by the currency of blood and life, not by the currency of good works.

 

For “We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.” Isaiah 64:6, with polluted garment an euphemism for women’s menstrual cloth.

 

How much does sin cost?

Life: he state of being alive, in other words, priceless.

 

Sin corrupted everything that was good and perfect, and eventually people even stop paying for the debt and put more credit to sin

Debit: Sin  \infty or |x|

Credit: Life  \infty or |x|

The only way out of this is to pay “Life \infty” , but there is no way, because even if people live out their entire life doing good deeds – Life 80, or Life 58, or even Life 122, it doesn’t cover Sin \infty .

Who then have Life \infty?

Only God himself is \infty.  God the Father, God the Son, God the Spirit – Holy, Holy, Holy

 Thus God the Father sends God the Son, Jesus, to pay Life \infty for \infty of people because He is \infty.

 

So now whoever trust Jesus as their Lord and Savior (Debt-Payer) is redeemed from sin. Whoever does not is still in sin.

Neither Christians nor Non-Christians deserve heaven, but it is by the gift of God: Grace, through faith, that brings us into Jesus’s body and household, so through Him we are saved.

I would say Economics is an interesting invisible quality that God reveals himself in – His Love and Justice – how he paid our debts no matter the cost while we are still disgusting enemies when he had an opportunity to start over and make a new world.

That is akin to playing SimCity and having those pesky Sims protest against you (the mayor), instead of you deciding to have fun with the disasters tab, leave, and create a new city, you actually take the time to fix everything up while foregoing something most important to you whatever that maybe: dinner, hanging out with friends, spend money on faster internet, etc…

I like to see invisible things. Fun fact of the day: God is the creator of humor, irony, sarcasm, sadness, and all other human pathos ethos and logos. It’s not God is like human but human made in God’s image.

 

 

 

 

Chinese, or not Chinese

I just watched this movie called Grandmaster, thankfully it’s actually in Chinese, both Cantonese and Mandarin, with English subs. 

I feel so Chinese

and so unChinese because of all the northern + southern Chinese tradition things I don’t dig. 

I’m just a Hong Kongese that happens to have a mix of American, Thai, Korean, British, French, Japanese culture in me. My body is definitely Chinese but I clearly can’t purely identify myself as homogenous Chinese, but I’m more like a mashup nowadays.

Feels funky.

I wished I took kung-fu lessons.

“But you’re too wild” -said to me by my parentals.

If only I had those lessons, maybe I would have an habit of working out and staying fit and be like Bruce Lee.

I’m definitely making my kids grow up to learn those secret arts.

A story

This story is completely fictional, any resemblance to real life people is mere coincidence.

This is a synopsis I dreamed about.

This story is about a person has a power to steal anything and everything from anyone just by thinking about it, but the one thing he can’t steal is the heart. He is caught because he had his heart stolen and is locked in a keyless cage. Without his heart, he lost his memories, and he slowly become a living corpse.

But one day in what he thought was a dream, he was carried back out into the world by a group of outcasts who wants to overthrow the tyrannical ruler. To get his heart back, he needs to steal the heart of the emperor’s daughter and make it his own. 

 

Does this sound like a good movie?

I didn’t put any names because I really suck at names.

Limits?

Today I had a real funky dream. I was in a classroom building, I’m assuming I was in class for something. As I’m exiting the building, someone’s face from my high school appeared and asked me, “Hey are you going to Stanford?” As I’m dreaming, I thought “What? Stanford? Do people really think I’m that smart? I know it’s a dream, I’ll go along with the story.”  So I replied, “Nah I’m going to the community college to take some more classes, save some money.” So I exited out, it was raining. I remember someone and wanted to offer her a ride because I remembered her as a baby so I want to be the good sunbae, but decided against it because it’s too easy for me to lead her on, and I remembered she had a purple umbrella earlier on the day. Then I went to the parking lot, trying to look for my car. I remember it was at the side, but I don’t know how far I parked it. I kept looking for it, but there are lots of red cars, and they’re all Honda, so I got really confused. They all look like my car, especially the ghetto car with a missing rear bumper. But my car was not there.

So I walked in the rain without an umbrella, It became dark, and I walked down the alleyway and then I heard bang and some flash. I thought it was like some kind of electric saw but then I realized, someone was shooting at me. I think I got shot somewhere, but I didn’t feel it because it was a dream. I ran and I kept looking for my car. Then I woke up.

 

Maybe this blog will become my dream diary one day. As my life ends I will come back and read upon the many things I dreamed about.

One thought of the day, I think I was never pushed to my limits, because if I was pushed to my limits, I would be able to see it by now. There are some ways why this can be: one is I have no limits, two is as I am growing, the limits keep growing, and I haven’t been nearing it, three is I’ve already been to my limit and I didn’t realize it, but I kept growing and I see more free space for me to grow.

It makes sense because it is shown IQ and EQ and whatever quotient used to measure a person’s ability or inability can be improved upon and changed throughout a person’s lifetime.

How do I know I am right though? This is all a figment of my imagination. I am merely hypothesizing based on what I have learned and observed. I would want to do research on this but I am not exactly a psychology major nor have any one curiously enough to find out these types of things. Utility and function are what people who want to make money seek, not random speculations from a random blogger.

Dear reader, what are your limits? How do you know they are real limits and not yourself constraining yourself? How can you trust yourself? How do you know what is right and what is wrong? (I know my own answer to these questions. These are for people to ponder and be creative with)

 

My dream today

I had some kind of dream with a vampire family that’s auspiciously similar to the one in Twilight. I notice a connection between that story and the Gu Family Book. In both stories, the characters are mythical creatures and supposedly live forever, therefore they are able to amass a grand amount of wealth. 

This leads to the thought of the day: Do people want to live longer to gain wealth or do people want to gain wealth to live longer? Why do people want longevity? 

Some things I thought of is because people have an innate fear of losing everything, although it doesn’t really make sense because babies were born with nothing: even if there is nothing, it would still “break even”; you can’t go less than nothing. 

Something less than nothing, can it be possible? Its existence would make sense if people are afraid of something less than nothing. 

Arithmetically speaking, If we observe a number line, there are positive numbers, and then 0, and then there are negatives, and everything in between is infinite. The possibility exists. It’s just “something less than nothing” is not something clearly tangible while we are still living. 

So I’ll stop there before I stop living, as a favor to those who read this to continue to write random ideas.

It’s about time

Today marks the midpoint of the year, the end of a quarter and the beginning of another one. It’s also the first time I’ve posted since May. I’ve encountered many impressive events in my life. I do not know if any of them are life changing yet, only time will tell.

Nevertheless, a new phase in my life is coming. I don’t know what to expect yet, right now I’m doing what I can to prepare what is to come. It’s a weird phase. I am anxious to see what is to come, but there is little I can do.

I do not remember why I write. I think it was primarily to improve my writing and for fun. Eventually I had no time, but now I have, so I am back. Everything has a price tag. If I work I would have less time,  if I don’t I have no money. This is the predicament of our time. In order to gain something, there is always something to lose.

So what will I lose? I don’t know yet. What will you lose? Is it worth losing to gain? Opportunity costs…

Opportunity Cost

Today my econ brain is more active than usual. As such, I see much clearer the results of people’s choices, including my own, and the opportunity costs it took to get those results.

Knowing about the results, I wonder if people are rational? Economics assume people are rational for the purpose of providing empirical results, given everyone has the same amount of information and knowledge to process problems.

This assumption is far from reality. We live in a very unfair world; life isn’t fair. Some people are born more gifted, some people have less resources, while others are born with closer knit community. Everyone has different backgrounds and perception of the world around them. 

One thing remain constant: everyone still have opportunity costs no matter where they are. There are always choices. Often you pick one choice, you forego the other. There is always a price, an opportunity cost, whether it is time, money, emotions, energy, potentials. 

So now I ponder, where is the limit? What are people willing to trade to get what they want?

Now one thing to consider: opportunity costs only apply to business/conditional relationships. Opportunity costs does not apply on family relations.

First I need to define the relationship I’m referring to (because English language is limited): it is the state of being related, not the state of interaction. Just like how the parable of the lost son, even though the son squandered his father’s money and left, it does not change the fact he is still his son. Another example is even though if a parent has Alzheimer’s and forgets you, it does not change the relationship status. There is no cost; the relationship is unconditional; it exists because it is.

This is what Jesus offers, it is this status of unconditional relationship. It is not a business deal: “here is something for this of yours”. It is an invitation, “come and be adopted”. 

Is this too good to be true? How? Why?

Because God is love; it is His character and does not change ever. He made the world perfect.

Humans are a different story though.

The opportunity cost to make humans able to love is allowing them able to choose not to love; humans were capable of choosing between good and the absence of good, which we now know as the word evil, both moral evil and natural evil.

Moral evil is what people do and the choices they make, that is what makes people hungry, that is what causes wars, that is what causes heartbreaks, that is what causes people to get shot.

Natural evil is when the earth became cursed, like wildfires, earthquakes, tornadoes, tsunamis. When we humans told God to shove off, He partially honored our request. Nature began to revolt. The earth was cursed. Genetic breakdown and disease began. Pain and death became part of the human experience. 

Here is a less-than-perfect analogy for this opportunity cost God took: even before parents had children, couldn’t they foresee that there was the very real possibility they may suffer disappointment or pain or heartache in life, or that they might even hurt the parents and walk away? Of course — but parents still had kids. Why? Because they knew there was also the potential for tremendous joy and deep love and great meaning.

“God took the very worst thing that has ever happened in the history of the universe — the death of God on the cross — and turned it into the very best thing that has happened in history of universe: the opening up of heaven to all who follow Him.” http://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2012/07/why-does-god-allow-tragedy-and-suffering/

I got lazy and decided to use someone else’s blog, but it’s pretty filling.

Anyways, the opportunity cost of following Jesus is your fleshly body. It seems to be a big price, but it’s actually not, considering what people’s flesh is. It’s mortgages, bankruptcy, or in accounting terms: “accounts unpayable”. What you need to give up is your values and exchange it for Jesus’s values, in essence, allow Jesus give you a new heart.

So many people asked me, what are you doing with your degree in economics? This is a part of the answer.

This is what studying economics do for me, more than learning equations and strategies and policies, economics allow me see things in a bigger perspective rationally.

What looks bad in the short term may be good for the long term, and what looks good in the short term may be bad for the long term. 

I’m reading this book called Good to Great by Jim Collins. It’s a book analyzing how companies turn from good to great. One of the commonalities between them is they didn’t do more, but they focused on what to stop doing and give up for the greater good. 

Totally makes sense: in order to be greater than what you are now, you need to shed away the crap and hinders your goals. 

Then the question quickly becomes: What is your values and goal in life? If the “crap” you need to get rid of to achieve that goal is actually good, you should reevaluate your goal and your values. Don’t let your opportunity cost be higher than your result.

When I decide to follow Jesus, I know my opportunity cost is nothing compared to the result. Even now when I decided to go on missions to Thailand, I know the opportunity cost (my career/family approval/personal comfort)is nothing compared to the result of people’s lives saved and changed eternally. 

Yes, if anyone sees this and wants to support whether by prayer or financially for this trip, please message me. I’ll be leaving June 19th and I need the funds sent in by 15th. When you allow God to use your resources, you will not regret it, in fact, you’ll be more at peace because you know someone’s life will be changed and you are part of the reason why.

This was supposed to be a short rant about opportunity costs, but stuff popped up in my mind and I just had to keep writing.

So this is an example of what I think about when I lie down on my bed.

 

 

 

 

 

The feeling of dying

Have you wonder what it felt like dying?

Even though I think I am ready to die, when dying actually happens, while my mind is calm, my body reacts in panic. It feels unsettling, but it feels as though I’m watching myself from a tv.

I think I’m more prepared now after getting a little taste. But the little taste I have is really nothing compare to the real thing. Even now, I don’t know how my body will react, but I already have the muscle memory for it now so it shouldn’t be much worse.

Being able to use yourself as a shield from bullets require a little bit luck. I mean bullets are pretty fast. It’s like defending a penalty kick, you need to commit to blocking one side or another.

I wish I meet someone that’s my type of crazy.

Yeah, I’m kinda crazy.

Why Mak is Mak

I’m writing this so one day I can look back and see how I got to to the point where I will be, if I lose my memories one day, this is where it’ll be.

Depending on how well people know me, inevitably, they’ll see something strange about me

Something not regular, abnormal, different from others.

Maybe it’s just this part of my personality that makes the entirety of me.

Ever since I was conscious, there is this strange feeling that I don’t belong. When I was first exposed to people aka family, aka kindergarten, there was a time when I fought that feeling, and I wanted to conform to people and their patterns, because that was all I knew, I can’t do what I don’t know. There was this feeling to be like everyone else because that’s what I thought growing up is as a child: being a part of my family, being in my friend’s group, being in my class, etc… different groups of community basically.

I can say I’m comfortable in those groups, I can say I have fun in those groups, I can say I work well (from others perspective) in those groups. Although I’ve never really felt I belong in any of those groups: family, friends, classmates, any type of human relation. I’ve never felt like I’m attached to anyone, although people probably feel attached to me. 

That is not to say I don’t trust people, I enjoy my friends and family and I would easily give my life for them, perhaps even for strangers because I’m about as attached to my friends and family as much as the random dog walker, it’s just a matter of how much others are attached to me.

Then there’s a whole new tangent of how I value my life, but that’s another story.

When I moved to America, I couldn’t speak to anyone at school. I think it’s part of the reason why my talking/speaking process is really slow; it never really took off. My command of language (talking-wise) seems to be at the level of an advanced fourth grader. My mind is a different story though, my mind is an everlasting storm cloud in my brain. Why are people satisfied with normality? Why are people satisfied with comfort and stability? They are nice things, but nice is not good enough for me. There is good, and there is great, and there is the greatest. Until I’m the greatest, there’s no reason to stay in the level of “good”.

But there’s probably no way I can be the greatest, so there’s always new ways, new thinking. 

That’s why I don’t ever feel like I belong with people. I don’t want to follow after limited people, I want to be limitless. 

That’s where Jesus comes in. He is limitless, and by knowing Him, I am limitless too. Obviously there is so much more I need to work on, because I was born limited, constrained, chained, enslaved by sin: the world, the flesh, and Satan. With Jesus, I am free to be limitless as all people should be. 

Without Jesus, I don’t think I would have any morality at all. Remember I don’t feel any attachment to anyone and anything. If I give in to my desires, I would conquer the world. 

My ambition is world domination. The reason I use the word “is” because even after knowing Jesus, it is still my ambition, but it’s a different way of conquering than conventional thinking.

Quoting Napoleon on Jesus, “I know men and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between Him and every other person in the world there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I have founded empires. But on what did we rest the creation of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded His empire upon love; and at this hour millions of men would die for Him.”

This is how I want to conquer the world.

I love Jesus, so I want to expand His Kingdom, by His ways, by His rules. His ways are limitless compare to the ways of man. 

So following Jesus makes me limitless.

Now where does the attachmentless me come in?

I’ve figured it out.  

Because I don’t belong to anyone, I can be with anyone.

My AP US History teacher once said, “As you grow older, you’ll see the ceiling will get closer and closer to you,”

It is true, when I was alone.

But when I knew God, I have overcame those limits and those barriers. My mind is free when I focus on God.

The only time when I get influenced by other things is when I look away from God. Those are the times when I screw up.

But God always draws me back to him because he is faithful when I am not.

So yup, my Makness, my freedom, my reason and vision began when Jesus came to me.

I am still me, but merely a limitless version of me, because I let someone limitless influence me. 

I want people to see Jesus when they see me, because I’m just a fragment of the whole, and they like what they see in me, I hope they’ll find the whole.