技能加点, 读书笔记

追求卓越的意义

结束旅游开始新工作已经大半年多了,今天周日,早上起来思考过去半年生活的各个方面都发生了什么,下面又走向何方,还有朋友问我我也问自己的问题:我到底为什么要画画?为什么要学法语?这种问题就是,想得不够了没动力、想得太多想歪了又容易怀疑值不值得。

所以想着想着把以前特喜欢的一本the art of learning找出来翻了一下,摘抄点反复思考的部分:

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 exellence? 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. 两个问题。第一,那些攀爬到最高点的人和其他人,区别何在?还有第二,这一切又有什么意义?如果有目标有抱负带来的一准儿是失望,那追求卓越到底有什么意思呢?在我看来,两个问题的答案殊途同归,关键都在于能否找到一种鼓励以下三种品格的好方法:面对艰难险阻时不易折断的韧性、在不同领域举一反三融会贯通的视角、以及在平凡的每一天中能够对于这过程沉浸享受的能力。 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. 那些心态平稳、无论是福是祸是喜是悲都能从经历中汲取智慧的人,才会走得更远。

所以,努力究竟有什么意义呢?大概就是无论自己是什么境况,在平凡的每一天里,专心进去的时候,沉浸到脱离现实那一小时的放松;是从对一件事情的追求能够延展到生活中,得以锻炼自己遇到大风大浪,无论狂喜还是痛苦都以诚心相待的能力。

过程vs结果

关于过程和结果的关系,想了很多很多年,到现在还在反复想,因为下意识为了自保而不尽全力,然后告诉自己『我只不过没有认真而已』,实在太容易:

I have seem many people in diverse fields take some version of the process-first philosophy and transform it into an excuse for never putting themselves on the line or pretending not to care about results. They claim to be egoless, to care only about learning, but really this is an excuse to avoid confronting themselves. This issue of process vs. goal is very delicate, and I want to carefully define how I feel the question should be navigated.

It would be easy to read about the studies on entity vs. incremental theories of intelligence and come to the conclusion that a child should never win or lose. I don’t believe this is the case. If that child discovers any ambition to pursue excellence in any given field later in life, he or she may lack the toughness to handle inevitable obstacles. While a fixation on results is certainly unhealthy, short-term goals can be useful developmental tools if they are balanced within a nurturing long-term philosophy. Too much sheltering from results can be stunting. The road to success is not easy or else everyone would be the greatest at what they do–we need to be psychologically prepared to face the unavoidable challenges along our way, and when it comes down to it, the only way to learn how to swim is by getting in the water. 永远只注重结果,心态肯定是不大健康的;但是只要在宏观上维持一种注重成长的长远心态,短期上用结果来设定目标对于进步反倒是很有效的工具。

How can we balance long-term process with short-term goals and inevitable setbacks? Let’s dive in. Danny is an intelligent boy who has decided to dedicate himself for the time being to chess. He loves the challenge of facing off with other young minds and stretching himself to think a little further and more accurately than he could the day before. There is nothing like a worthy opponent to show us our weekness and push us to our limit. It is good for Danny to compete, but it is essential that he do so in a healthy manner. 究竟如何平衡长期过程、短期结果,还有过程中无可避免的挫败呢?举个例子,一个叫丹尼的孩子决定开始好好学习国际象棋。

First of all, Danny’s mom can help him internalize a process-first approach by making her everyday feedback respond to effort over results. She should praise good concentration, a good day’s work, a lesson learned. When he wins a tournament game, the spotlight should be on the road to that moment and beyond as opposed to the glory. On the other hand, it is okay for a child (or an adult for that matter) to enjoy a win. A parent shouldn’t be an automation, denying the obvious emotional moment to spout platitudes about the long-term learning process when her child is jumping up and down with excitement. When we have worked hard and succeed at something, we should be allowed to smell the roses. The key, in my opinion, is to recognize that the beauty of those roses lies in their transience. It is drifting away even as we inhale. We enjoy the win fully while taking a deep breath, then we exhale, note the lesson learned, and move on to the next adventure. 首先,丹尼的妈妈可以通过每天与他的反馈交流,帮助他形成一种以过程为重的心态。她应当表扬的事情包括,丹尼今天的学习很专心、很用功,或者表扬他学到了什么。当他赢得比赛时,她的关注点应当是昨日的努力,而不是今日的荣光。另一方面,父母对此也不能执行得太机械,在孩子还激动得上蹿下跳的时候还使劲儿叨叨过程重要论。当我们经过努力,终于获得我们心心念念的成果的时候,我们应当被允许呼吸胜利的芬芳。关键在于能否意识到胜利的果实之所以可贵,就是因为这一刻是转瞬即逝的。我们完全可以全身心地享受胜利,深深吸气,然后吐出,总结一下自己都学到了些什么,然后继续上路,去开启下一段冒险。

When Danny loses, the stakes will feel a bit higher. Now he comes out of the tournament room a little teary. He put his heart on the line and lost. How should his mom handle this moment? First of all, she shouldn’t say it doesn’t matter, because Danny knows better than that and lying about the situation isolates Danny in his pain. If it didn’t matter, then why should he try to win? Why should he study chess and waste their weekend at tournaments? It matters and Danny knows that. So empathy is a good place to start. 当丹尼输掉比赛,眼泪汪汪走出来的时候,事情就没那么简单了。他为此倾注全部努力,结果还是输了,这时候他的妈妈应当如何安慰他呢?首先,她不应当说『没关系』,因为丹尼心里清楚这明明是有关系的。如果这一切都没关系,那他到底为什么这么努力争取胜利呢?为什么他要浪费自己大好的周末时间,跑来参加象棋比赛?所以,这时候妈妈应当以同感开头。

I think this mother should give her son a hug. If he is crying, let him cry on her shoulder. She should tell him how proud of him she is. She can tell Danny that it is okay to be sad, that she understands and that she loves him. Disappointment is a part of the road to greatness. When a few moments pass, in a quiet voice, she can ask Danny if he knows what happened in the game. Hopefully the language between parent and child will already be established so Danny knows his mom is asking about psychology, not chess moves (almost all mistakes have both technical and mental components–the chess lesson should be left for after the tournament, when Danny and his teacher study the games). Did he lose his concentration? Did he fall into a downward spiral and make a bunch of mistakes in a row? Was he overconfident? Impatient? Did he get psyched out by a trash talker? Was he tired? Danny will have an idea about his psychological slip, and taking on that issue will be a short-term goal in the continuing process–introspective thinking of this nature can be a very healthy coping mechanism. Through these dialogues, Danny will learn that every loss is an opportunity for growth. He will become increasingly astute psychologically and sensitive to bad habits. 妈妈应当给儿子一个拥抱,让他在她的肩膀上哭泣。她应告诉他,她有多么为他感到骄傲。她可以告诉丹尼,悲伤没有错,她能理解他的痛苦,而妈妈爱他。等丹尼稍微平静一点,她可以开始安静地询问丹尼,知道刚才比赛的时候发生了什么吗?最好的情况是,这时父母与孩子之间已经建立了共识,而丹尼知道妈妈问的不是哪一步走错了棋,而是问他心理状况上发生了什么(几乎所有的错误都由两部分组成,一部分是心理上的,另一部分是技术上的;而丹尼技术上犯的错误应当在巡回赛完全结束之后,留给丹尼和他的象棋老师去探讨)。他是半途开始没法集中精力了吗?或者犯了一个小错以后心理滑坡,连续走错了好几步?他是太过自信轻敌了?不耐烦了?被对手的言语挑衅给戳中了?还是累了?讨论过后,丹尼会意识到自己方才心理上在哪里失足了,而下一阶段针对这种心理问题的解决就是他进步的重点;而这种反思对于直面失败非常有效。经过一次次这样的讨论,丹尼才会慢慢意识到,每一次失败都是成长的绝佳机会,而他也会对发现自己的『心理坏习惯』越来越敏锐。

A heartfelt, empathetically present, incrementally inspiring mom or dad or coach can liberate an ambitious child to take the world by the horns. As adults, we have to take responsibility for ourselves and nurture a healthy, liberated mind-set. We need to put ourselves out there, give it our all, and reap the season, win or lose. The fact of the matter is that there will be nothing learned from any challenge in which we don’t try our hardest. Growth comes at the point of resistence. We learn by pushing ourselves and finding what really lies at the outer reaches of our abilities. 一位真诚、富有同理心,且懂得激励孩子的家长,能够让一个有抱负的孩子直面整个世界。而我们作为成年人,就必须成为自己的父母,为自己负责,自己培养自己健康、自由的心态。我们需要敢于承担风险,有勇气倾尽全力,这样无论输赢,我们都可以丰收而归。因为事实是,如果我们面对挑战都没有尽力,我们永远也不会知道自己的边界在哪里,因而也无法总结经验,无法突破边界,获得成长的机会。没有挣扎就没有成长;而若想有所进步,我们必须逼迫自己去试探自己能力的边界,真正去探索边界外的宇宙。

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