• Tina Nguyen

My WHY no.1: A journey to one meaningful life

Updated: Dec 5, 2020

Something I wrote in 2019

Have you ever thought about living a meaningful life? Is it all about happiness or success? For me, living a meaningful life is a journey of creating beautiful stories with all spectrum of emotion. They are stories of the courage to stand up when I fall, the wisdom from lessons that I have learnt, and the love and gratitude for people who have been there, hold my hand when I struggle.


I was born in Vietnam, one of the Asian countries. Asia is well known for a lot of smart kids with high educational achievement. However, in my perspective, the majority still lacks or has misled understanding about life knowledge, which includes ethics and gender equality. And all of those are the consequent of stereotyped education.

Since I was a kid, I always thirst to learn and speak my opinion, everything from science, arts and literature. That took me into many troubles:

14 years old, I wrote the letter to my secondary school headmaster and asked him to change my Literature teacher since she just read everything from the Sample books which we can find a lot in every bookstore;

16 years old, I had to spend 2 months standing outside the Chemistry class, was not allowed to do any quizzes or tests because I skipped my homework once, and my mom had to bring her expensive gift so I could stay in class;

18 years old, I debated with my law professor to protect my international export terms presentation, that was my product after a long day talking with my mom - who has 30-years experience while my professor had a zero-year experience but a master’s degree.

In the end, all I got was more punishment and bad grades. Until now, I am very grateful to my mom after everything she has done for me even though my mind has never changed. A better life and better education are all I have desired.

My third life…

A lifelong learner is a word that I use to describe myself, and I believe that a meaningful life is the living moment of learning and nurturing yourself. I surround me with share values relationships. There is a quote: “If you want to know someone, just look at who they choose to spend their time with.”. It is true! My friends are people who are very thoughtful and intellectual that I always have to try my best to catch up with.

As a result, a good MBA becomes one of my goals to achieve in the next 4 years. What could be better for a Toronto newbie to learn and gain many shared values relationships than a good MBA?! Recently, I have 2 targets: Toronto University and New York University

My foxy plan…

Why “foxy”? A wild fox is smart and beautiful. In Asia, they have a tale of spirit fox which is a wild fox that lives and gets over through many challenges in a 1000 years to have its 9 tails so it can turn into human appearance to love and live a meaningful human life. That’s why a fox became my symbol.

Now, what I MUST have to achieve a good MBA:

1. Finance

2. Make up my transcripts

3. Have at least 2 more years experience in the industry that I love

4. Get a good GMAT grade

Let’s break the goals down:

The first challenge is “finance”, I can not even afford an easy MBA. That’s the reason why I stopped diving into GMAT and applied for a post-grad program. I have enough finance for 1-year studying and living in Canada, but to ensure having 2-3 years staying, I have myself a part-time job in a restaurant so I can survive and save more for my next program. My plan is getting a studying loan by becoming Canadian Permermant Resident.

Secondly, I chose 2 programs at Centennial College, which is helpful for my future career and making up my old transcript. I am so lucky to have thoughtful professors who I appreciate. But still, I have some challenges to overcome, such as, I did not use to study for grades, forcing myself to focus on every subject makes me stress out, and sometimes, learning by heart is the only solution.

Thirdly, I have a small project to create a portfolio which is applied all I have learnt into a Brand (me). This tool is to approach my target companies with storytelling, designs through a personal website, social media (LinkedIn and Youtube) and paper version.

And finally, after graduation and hopefully having a dream job, I must be better in writing and speaking English, I will get back to GMAT and raise my Verbal score to hit the target of 700.

The inspiration…

On my lifelong journey, there were some moments I lost faith and doubted myself. Somehow, I had taught a lesson: “Be optimistic, be noble-minded and have the courage to stand up and keep going no matter what, you will get the goal!”

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