How Do You Measure Success?

No, it’s not going to be a boring career-themed writing. This blog post is inspired by what someone said to me when she knew I’d spent most money I earned to travel. She asked me why, I answered, then she gave me a short-annoying lecture about how a man should live his life. That a man has to save up for his future and family. For a piece of land with a building on it. For a car. For this and that, but not for travel. A man has to be successful.

The last part annoyed the shit out of me. I asked, “How does a successful gentleman look like?”

The answer didn’t satisfy me. She said a successful man is he who achieves greatly at work. Getting a master or even doctoral degree. Bright career. Shiny rides. Gigantic house, but not in the suburb. Travel the world with his bank interest, not with his main saving. I told her their measurement of success was debatable, but she said it was defined by the society. By most people in this world!

Next questions: should we follow what society has defined? Did they define it for us? And how if we define it for ourselves?

For me, success is something I earn with my own sweat, tears, and blood. No one knows what kind of shit I face to achieve it. It’s also something that can be felt and tasted by me, and me only. So I believe, no one has right and responsibility to define this word for me. I don’t have to follow any dictionary, because I’m the one who should put it there. Hence, my and your definition of success will be different. And nothing’s wrong with that!

Many people think, a flawless career makes them feel successful; that’s great. Some other believe success is sleeping with women from 88 different nationalities without getting any STDs; that’s also fantastic! And I have no right to judge their definition of success.

My definition of success: the accomplishment of something that makes me feel alive.

I have a list to check that can make me feel showered by that kind of success. Most of them are about me wandering the planet, and that does NOT make me better or worse than those who want to achieve perfect career or get laid with 88 women. Because I want to be successful for the sake of myself, not for anyone else. I’m living my own life, not other people’s standard.

And this is my list. Let’s just call it Fikar’s 100 List. Some of them have been checked, some other will follow.

1. Going to the biggest water fight at Songkran Festival in Thailand.

2. Going to Holy Festival in India.

3. Going to La Tomatina Festival in Spain.

4. Smoking cigarettes.

5. Smoking pots.

6. Going to a party until someone has to get you up from elevator’s floor.

7. Making out with a total stranger.

8. Making out with someone who can’t speak my languages.

9. Making out in a crowded public place.

10. Having sex on the beach.

11. Skinny dipping in the dark.

12. Writing an unpublished novel.

13. Writing a published novel.

14. Being a news anchor.

15. Giving speech in a black tie event.

16. Going to the Oscar.

17. Interviewing a world’s superstar.

18. Raising my middle finger and screaming “Fuck you!” to someone in public.

I did it to him, a shitty cart owner in Alexandria, after taking this
I did it to him, a shitty cart owner in Alexandria, after taking this “peace sign” picture

19. Crying alone in a public place.

20. Laughing alone a public place.

21. Getting married.

22. Punching someone in the face.

23. Working at a magazine.

24. Working at an airline company.

25. Being a full-time traveler.

26. Going up to world’s tallest building in Dubai.

Taking from down under
Taking from down under

27. Riding world’s fastest roller coaster in Abu Dhabi.

The very fast Formula Rossa
The very fast Formula Rossa

28. Riding world’s highest roller coaster.

29. Wandering the ancient Egypt.

Where they kept those mummies in Alexandria
Where they stored those mummies

30. Eating Japanese foods in Japan.

31. Eating Italian foods in Italy.

32. Eating Mexican foods in Mexico.

33. Eating French foods in France.

Croque monsieur near the Notre Dame
Croque monsieur near the Notre Dame

34. French kissing in France.

35. Drinking German beer in Germany.

50 cent for 0.5 litre!
50 cent for 500 ml!

36. Christmas market hopping in Europe.

Awesome experience!
Awesome experience!

37. Swimming in the sea.

One of my good memory in Indonesia
One of my good memory in Indonesia

38. Diving.

39. Writing a movie script.

40. Hanging out with a famous celebrity.

41. Having a very successful diet.

42. Having kids.

43. Being a best man for someone’s wedding.

44. Attending a mind-blowing wedding.

45. Sleeping in stranger’s house when traveling.

46. Traveling alone.

47. Booking a flight without thinking twice.

48. Booking a flight at the airport, two hours before it takes off.

49. Going to Disneyland Resort in California.

50. Going to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

51. Going to Tokyo Disney Resort

52. Going to Disneyland Paris.

Paris, checked!
Paris, checked!

53. Going to Hong Kong Disneyland Resort.

This is it!
This is it!

54. Going to Shanghai Disney Resort.

55. Watching Broadway.

56. Getting involved in a cause or social movement.

57. Volunteering in a disaster relief program or a conflicted country.

58. Taking Trans-Siberian railroad.

59. Going to Raja Ampat in Indonesia.

60. Climbing very high mountain.

61. Having a great American road trip.

62. Deactivating my social media accounts.

63. Driving a car.

64. Picking a travel destination by drawing it like a lottery.

65. Living outside Indonesia for at least a year – ON PROGRESS!

66. Celebrating New Year’s Eve in New York City.

67. Getting tattoos.

68. Learning archery.

69. Learning how to ride a horse.

Once upon a time in Giza
Once upon a time in Giza

70. Learning how to shoot with a gun.

71. Swimming with turtles.

My birthday in Bira
My birthday in Bira

72. Swimming with dolphins.

73. Swimming with sharks.

74. Going to South America.

75. Safari in Africa.

76. Cooking for a large group.

77. Baking.

78. Going alone to cinemas and eating alone at restaurants without feeling sad/pathetic/disgusting.

79. Experiencing a light S&M.

80. Working as a waiter or hotel’s lobby boy.

81. Working at a cheese factory in Europe.

82. Working at a chocolate factory in Europe.

83. Falling in love with a friend and being honest about it.

84. Leaving a comment to a friend’s Facebook photo, “Stop uploading your baby’s pics, he/she isn’t even cute!”

85. Walking alone in the middle of the night, in a strange city.

86. Adopting a dog.

87. Eating something really exotic.

88. Jumping from world’s highest bungee in Macau.

89. Speaking three languages fluently.

90. Speaking five languages fluently.

91. Going to a blind date.

92. Feeling upset after a blind date.

93. Seeing aurora borealis in a Scandinavian country.

94. Touching snow.

That cold morning in Berlin
That cold morning in Berlin

95. Cruising in Carribean Sea.

96. Going to Australian outback area.

97. Sleeping at the beach.

98. Living in a beach house.

99. Starting a blog.

100. Going to Komodo Island in Indonesia.

The famous Pink Beach
The famous Pink Beach

To sum up this list… for me, the very basic of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there’s no greater joy (for me) than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.

So this is my list. What’s yours?

12 thoughts on “How Do You Measure Success?

  1. Love this! Definitely a new way for me to look at “success” in my own life. Cheers to crossing more things off your list!


  2. A lot of people go through their whole lives living for other people. It’s great you have your own definition of what success is for you. For me it’s achieving things that you feel is fulfilling for yourself, and being happier whenever there’s an opportunity to be. I hope you achieve your list, Fikar! I’d rather cry sailing the nile than cry in a Ferrari! – Thea.


    1. Exactly, that’s the word: “living for other people”. I’ll add it to my writing, I hope you don’t mind. Thanks for reading my blog, Thea. And yes me too, I’d rather cry sailing the Nile as well haha. But I’m sure you prefer crying on your new BF’s shoulder :p


  3. true true true!!

    kadang kita sibuk mengejar kesuksesan yang di definisikan sama society yang bahkan ga relate ke diri sendiri.

    artikel ini, bikin gw jadi mikir. makasih ya kar dan semoga 100 list itu bisa lo coret semua segera! šŸ™‚


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