Josh在the art of learning里说:

Two questions arise. First, what is the difference that allows some to fit into that narrow window at the top? And second, what’s the point? If ambition spells probable disappointment, why pursue excellence?

In my opinion, the answer to both questions lies in a well-thought-out approach that inspires resilience, the ability to make connections between diverse pursuits, and day-to-day enjoyment of the process.

In my experience, successful people shoot for the stars, put their hearts on the line in every battle, and ultimately discover that the lessons learned from the pursuit of excellence mean more than the immediate trophies and glory.

In the long run, painful losses may prove much more valuable than wins–those who are armed with a healthy attitude and are able to draw wisdom from every experience, “good” or “bad”, are the ones who make it down the way. They are also the ones who are happier along the way.

Of course the real challenge is to stay in range of this long-term perspective when you are under fire and hurting in the middle of the war. This, maybe our biggest hurdle, is at the core of the art of learning.

但是school of life的a job to love里也提到说,有时候good enough就够了。大部分人总是看到别人镁光灯下的样子,朋友也好明星也好,愿意展现出来的时候总是最好的状态,所以以为除了自己是loser,其他人都是人生赢家。其实现实就是现实,每个人都有少数快乐的时候,低谷的时候,大部分也只是平平淡淡:

Good enough work

It sounds a bit awful to tell others (or ourselves) not to aim too high. It can come across as sour and defeatist. Sometimes, of course, it is just that. But at other points, it can be deeply wise and generous advice, because it combats the strange and powerful way we have of unfairly attacking ourselves for not living up to imagined ideals.

This move of undercutting our reckless perfectionism was first developed by the British psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott in the 1950s. Winnicott specialised in relationships between parents and children. In his clinical practice, he often met with parents who were trying their best to be everything to their children and yet were in despair. The parents were angry and frustrated at how far from their ideals their family lives were turning out to be: the children might be withdrawn or naughty, the parents might be tired and irritable. Hopes had often curdled into desperate frustration.

Winnicott’s crucial insight was that the parents’ agony was coming from a particular place: they were trying too hard. To help them, he developed a charming and highly practical concept of what he called ‘the good enough parent’. Children, he insisted, don’t need an ideal parent. They very much need an OK, pretty decent, usually well-intentioned and generally, but not always, warm and reasonable father or mother. This wasn’t because Winnicott liked to settle for second best, but rather because he realised that, in order to become well-balanced, robust and enduring souls (a very big ambition in reality), we need to cope with imperfection and resist torturing ourselves trying to be what no ordinary human can be.

The concept of ‘good enough’ was invented to give dignity to a failure to live up to a punishing, counter-productive ideal. It pointed out that much that is really important goes on at a much lower level than the flawless and problem-free. Winnicott was trying to tell parents that ‘good enough’ is a saner and therefore more honourable goal.

With Winnicott’s advice to parents in mind, we could usefully develop the notion of a good enough job. A good enough job has the normal, full range of defects: it’s a bit boring at some points, it has fiddly, frustrating aspects; it involves times of anxiety; you have to put up with occasionally being judged by people you don’t especially respect; it doesn’t perfectly utilise all your merits; you are never going to make a fortune; sometimes you have to cut corners when you’d rather not; you have to be polite to some rather irritating people; your best ideas won’t always get taken up; certain rivals will in all probability surpass you; and there will be days when you wonder how you could have been such an idiot as to get involved in this in the first place.

But, in a good enough job, along the way there will be plenty of positive aspects. You’ll make some close friends; you’ll have times of real excitement; you’ll quite often see that your best efforts are recognised and rewarded; you’ll appreciate the overall worthwhile direction of what you and the rest of the team are doing; you’ll finish many days tired but with a sense of accomplishment.

The public probably won’t be singing your praises; you won’t get to the very top; you won’t single-handedly change the world; many of the early fantasies of what a career might be will gently drop aside. But you will know that you work with honour and dignity and that, in a quiet, mature, non-starry-eyed but very real way, you love your job enough. And that is, in itself, a very grand achievement.


  • 到底什么时候高要求才是合理的呢?
    • 比如,要求自己刚入新公司就事事上手顺风如意,的确很高,也很不现实
    • 要求自己每次做新尝试都成功,就不现实。尝试之所以是尝试,就是因为不确定性很高,大部分概率上应该失败才对
    • 要求自己画画,每次都做到最好,很高,但就现实。但是做到最好是什么意思呢?是说每次全心全力,不留任何余地,不必过后安慰自己说:哎,没做好是因为我没有真的努力啦!
    • 像k大说的一样,每次画画要八九成熟悉,一两成创新,这样才有快乐的感觉,也能不断学到新的东西
    • 大概应该是这样:在要求符合现实的基础上高一点点,但是尽力又有八成可能做到的程度,这样才是有意思且有意义的目标。比如现在能跳1米的,别指望下一跳能10米,但是1.1米还是可以努力争取一下的,这种『高要求』
  • 怎么才能愉快地做一些需要做的事情呢?比如,工作做不想做的部分?比如,想要学习的东西?
    • 专心下来任何事情都可以快乐,所以,之所以有的事情不快乐,要么是心沉不下来,要么就是我对自己的要求太高或者太低了
    • 要求太高了,明显达不到的,连尝试的勇气都鼓不起来
    • 要求太低了,一点挑战性都无,也无聊到毫无动力开始
    • 只有那种跳一跳能够得到的目标,才有趣有劲
  • 所以需要问自己的问题大概是这样:
    • 这是我跳一跳能够得到的目标嘛?
    • 这是我跳一跳能够得到的目标嘛?
    • 我有沉下心,慢下来嘛?

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