爱学英语

www.aixyy.com
首页 | 如何学英语 | 练口语学英语 | 趣味阅读学英语 | 听歌学英语 | 读故事学英语 | 看小说学英语 | 看电影学英语 | 学英语网站

英语美文110:如何在失败中找到快乐

发布时间:2016-05-17 10:48:51 访问次数:607次

“只会发生在你冲击自身能力边界的时候。”这是一个令人激动的声明,因为这句话表明,在遭遇失败时,你的能力边界正在不断向外拓展。


The introduction to a self-help book is almost always aspoiler: In the chapters that follow, you, the reader, will learn how to get a promotion, make a better first impression, save your marriage, or lower yourcholesterol. This will lead to happiness.
一本自助类图书的序言几乎总会吐露出书中的讯息:在接下来的章节中,作为读者的你将学习如何获得晋升,给人留下更好的第一印象,挽救婚姻或降低胆固醇的技巧,本书将为你铺就一条通往幸福的康庄大道云云。


TheAntidote divergesfrom this theme. In the first chapter, author Oliver Burkeman explains that after years of reporting on the field of psychology, he has concluded that "the effort to try to feel happy is often precisely the thing that makes us miserable." Armed with this thesis, Burkeman sets out to explore various alternatives to this effort, which he calls the negative paths to happiness.
但《解毒剂:无法忍受积极思维的人如何获得幸福》( The Antidote: Happiness For People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking)一书与这类主题背道而驰。在第一章中,作者奥利弗•伯克曼解释称,在从事了多年心理学领域的报道之后,他得出了一项结论:“很多情况下,为获得幸福感而付出的努力恰恰使我们陷入痛苦之中。”秉持这个观点,伯克曼着手探索各种不同于这种努力的替代方案,他将其称为通往幸福的消极路径。


He asks questions. Are these negative paths too extreme for the average person toimplement? Can a successfulreorientationto a negative path be achieved gradually (I will try to accepthumiliationas inevitable), or does it have to be sudden anddrastic(I will activelyhumiliatemyself, over and over, in order todiminishmy ego)?
他问了一些问题。于普通人而言,这些消极路径是否太过极端,以至于难以付诸行动?成功地重新定位至一条消极路径能否逐步实施(被人羞辱估计是不可避免的,我已准备好了)?它是否肯定会是突然而剧烈的(我将积极且反复地羞辱我自己,以减少我的自我意识)?


The Antidote has been reviewed several times over the course of the past few months. In an effort to separate my review from the others, I'mtemptedto talk about myself. Like many recent college graduates working asunderpaid interns, I sometimes feelout-of-sorts. Reading this book on my morning commute convinced me that failure is both inevitable and beneficial. But to dwell on my personal circumstances would be to fall into a trap that this book manages, effortlessly, to avoid.
过去几个月以来,媒体上已经出现了多篇与《解毒剂》一书有关的书评。为了使我的这篇书评展现出不一样的特色,我想先谈谈我自己。一如许多刚刚走出校门,从事待遇微薄的实习生工作的大学生,我有时心情很差,总想发脾气。在早上上班途中读完这本书后,我确信,失败不仅是难以避免的,也是有益的。但过分沉溺于自身处境,将落入本书试图以毫不费力的方式设法避免的陷阱之中。


In a chapter titled "The Hidden Benefits of Insecurity, " Burkeman describes the human tendency to avoid insecurity and uncertainty at all costs. "But in chasing all that, " he adds, "we close down the veryfacultiesthat permit the happiness we crave." Here you might expect Burkeman to discuss the time he took an unfulfilling job that promised economic security, or the time he turned down a trip to Spain because he didn't speak Spanish. Instead he quotes the 20th century Catholic monk andmysticThomas Merton, author of The Seven Story Mountain: "The truth that many people never understand, is that the more you try to avoid suffering, the more you suffer, because smaller and more insignificant things begin to torture you." Burkeman speaks to his audience in a way that establishes trust. He is adutifulresearcher and a listener. He quotes experts.
在“不安全的潜在好处”(The Hidden Benefits of Insecurity)这个章节中,伯克曼描述了人类不惜一切代价,竭力避免不安全感和不确定性的倾向。“但在追逐所有这些目标的过程中,”他补充说。“我们恰恰关闭了那种使我们渴望的幸福成为可能的官能。”读到此处,你或许预期伯克曼将讨论他的过往经历:他从事过一份不称心、但应该会带来经济安全感的工作,也曾由于不会说西班牙语而放弃一个去西班牙旅行的机会。但他没有。他引用了20世纪天主教僧侣、《七层山》(The Seven Story Mountain)一书作者、神秘的托马斯•默顿的一段话:“一个许多人怎么也搞不明白的事实是,越竭力避免受苦,就会遭受越多的苦难,因为一些更加琐碎且微不足道的事情会开始折磨你。”伯克曼以一种能够建立信任感的方式与他的听众沟通。他是一位尽职的研究者,一位倾听者。他所引述的,是专家的意见。


This is how we get to know Burkeman -- as a curious journalist rooting around for an argument, not as a born-againguruwho uses his own story of suffering and healing to prove thevalidityof his personal brand of self-improvement. In each chapter he sits down with someone who has dedicated his or her professional life to exploring a particular negative path to happiness. Hepunctuateseach interview with clearproseabout human traits that make a negative path to happiness difficult to adopt. For example, in a chapter on methods for embracing failure, he writes bluntly that "perfectionism, at bottom, is fear-driven striving … [at] its extremes, it is an exhausting and permanently stressful way to live."
这正是我们了解伯克曼的方式:他是一位好奇心重、四处翻找论据的记者,而不是一位重生的大师——他讲述了自己陷入和摆脱痛苦的经历,以此证明他所宣扬的自我改善方式的确有效。他在每个章节中都讲述了一个人的故事,这些人毕其职业生涯,探求一条通往幸福的消极路径。每次访谈中,他总是以清晰的文笔凸显那些使得通往幸福的消极路径难以付诸行动的人性特点。比如,在一个论述如何坦然接受失败的章节中,他直言不讳地写道:“完美主义,究其根本而言,是一种受恐惧感驱动的抗争。往极端里说,它是一种使人筋疲力尽,时刻让人承受重压的生活方式。”


In the chapter on the danger of setting too many goals, Burkeman recounts meeting a man named Steve Shapiro in a bar in the West Village. Shapiro is a consultant who travels around the country hosting self-helpseminarsfor business audiences. Unlike most consultants, Shapiropreachesagainst goal setting. He found this calling at a time when hisobsessionwith career advancement had ruined his marriage. He argues that once you abandon the five-year-plan approach to life and business, you immediately have more focus and energy for the present moment. Pretty soon you are spending more time with your family and performing better at work.
在论述设定太多目标所导致的危险性的章节中,伯克曼讲述了一位咨询师的故事。这位名叫史蒂夫•夏皮罗的咨询师是他在西村(West Village,西村是具有反叛精神的各类先锋艺术家的汇聚之地——译注)一家酒吧中遇到的。夏皮罗经常在美国各地主持各类以商界人士为受众、探讨如何自助的研讨会。不同于大多数咨询师,夏皮罗建议职场人士不要为自己设定太多的目标。夏皮罗因为过于迷恋职务晋升、最终导致破裂之后悟出了这个道理。他声称,一旦放弃你为自己的人生和事业设定的5年规划,你就会马上把更多的注意力和精力放在当下的事务上。很快,你就可以花更多的时间与家人在一起,你的工作表现也将大有改观。


Like more typical self-help gurus, Shapiro's method is designed to make your life happier and more productive. Which is why Shapiro is a perfectmetaphorfor this book. The Antidote argues that pursuing happiness leads to exhaustion and disappointment. Still, just as Shapiro is at home in a success-hungry business environment with his boardroomseminars and PowerPoint presentations, The Antidote is at home in the self-help section at Barnes and Noble. After all, Burkeman is not above making suggestions. In his Epilogue he offers, "You can treat these ideas [presented in the previous chapters] as atoolkit."
与那些更典型的自助大师一样,夏皮罗的方式旨在让人们的生活更幸福,更充实。这也是夏皮罗之所以堪称本书一个完美隐喻的原因所在。《解毒剂》一书声称,追寻幸福将使人筋疲力尽,失望连连。然而,正如夏皮罗可以在渴望成功的商界氛围中,游刃有余地使用PowerPoint幻灯片向公司高管们展示其理论一样,《解毒剂》一书完全可以毫不唐突地摆放在巴诺连锁书店(Barnes and Noble)的自助类书架上。毕竟,伯克曼也并非不屑于为读者提出他的建议。正如他在本书后记中所言,“读者可以把(之前章节中提出的)这些建议视为一个可身体力行的工具包。”


Unlike many self-help authors, however, Burkeman doesn't offer neat, 12-stepprescriptionsfor health, wealth, or happiness. After painstakingly establishing the various negative paths to happiness -- Buddhist meditation, rejection of goals, acceptance of death's inevitability-- he winds up discouraged by his inability to wrap things up neatly. His language becomesclunky: "The negative path to happiness … [is] a path to a different kind of destination. Or maybe it makes more sense to say that the path is the destination? These things areexcruciatinglyhard to put into words, and the spirit of … [negative thinking] surely dictates that we do not struggle too hard to do so."
然而,与许多撰写自助类书籍的作者不同的是,伯克曼并没有就如何获得健康、财富和幸福提供一套简明扼要,可分为12步完成的处方。煞费苦心地铺设了各类通往幸福的替代路径(犹如佛教徒般的冥思,拒绝设定目标,接受死亡的必然性 )之后,他最终为自己无力整理出一套简单明了的操作指南而沮丧。他的语言开始变得有些笨拙:“通往幸福的消极路径,是一条通往一个不一样的目的地的路径。说这条路径就是目的地,或许更有道理吧?这些事情是非常难以用言语来表达的,(消极思维)的精神势必决定了我们不要太过努力地做这些事情。”


If it were up to me, the parting message of this exploration of negativity would be more positive. Specifically, "keep struggling." After all, in an earlier chapter, Burkeman convinced me that all failures areinvigorating. Failure, he writes, "is happening only because you are pushing at the limits of your capabilities." This is a thrilling statement, because it suggests that in failing, you are being productive.
要是换做我,这趟探寻消极性之旅的临别赠言或许会更积极一些。我尤其会忠告读者,“继续努力吧。”毕竟,在早前一个章节中,伯克曼让我相信,所有的失败都令人鼓舞。失败,他写道,“只会发生在你冲击自身能力边界的时候。”这是一个令人激动的声明,因为这句话表明,在遭遇失败时,你的能力边界正在不断向外拓展。


And that's what makes The Antidote so refreshing. Rather than offeringpat answers up front, Burkeman conducts a serious investigation into the various negative paths to happiness. In admitting that these paths don't lead to one logical,conclusivemethod, Burkeman invites us to choose our own.
这正是《解毒剂》一书给人耳目一新之感的原因所在。伯克曼并没有直截了当地提供了一套现成的解决方案,而是对各种通往幸福的替代路径进行了一番严肃的调研。当伯克曼承认这些路径无法引导出一个合乎逻辑的终极方法时,他其实是在邀请我们选择一条属于我们自己的幸福之路。

上一篇:英语美文106:去经历去体验 做最好最真实的自己   下一篇:英语美文 | 如果失去热情,灵魂也会起皱纹






Copyright (c) 2014 aixyy.com. All rights reserved.

请加本站微信获取更多分享

微信号: 4215022