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冲破自我阻碍,努力做到更好

财富中文网 2016年07月03日

不要让自我意识将一次暂时的失败变成永久的失败。

 
 

“未来裹携着未知的所有危险向我们袭来。”——普鲁塔克(罗马帝国时代的希腊作家、哲学家、历史学家)

每个人的人生都难免遇到困难和挫折。或迟或早,我们人人都会体验到失败的感觉。本杰明·富兰克林曾经说过:“喝酒喝到杯底,就难免会喝到渣滓。”旧金山49人队的教练比尔·沃什也曾说过:“你的成功之路几乎总是要路过一个叫做‘失败’的地方。”

所有伟大之人,无论男女,在达到其伟大成就之间,无不饱尝艰辛。他们人人都曾犯过错误,但他们却也从中获益匪浅——哪怕这些错误和挫折只是让他们意识到,自己并非是永远正确的,事情也并非会永远朝着青睐他们的方向发展。他们发现,对自我的认识,才是冲出泥沼的出路。如果不是靠着强烈的自我认知,他们就不可能越挫越勇,再次崛起。

对于我们来说,要想学习这些伟人的例子,在逆境中脱困而出,那么有一件事是我们必须要避免的——过分的自我意识。除非我们此刻就来深入审视一下自我,更好地了解自己的本性,否则过分的自我意识将把你带入的唯一方向就是失败——除非我们能够立即就地从失败中汲取教训。

在身处逆境时,我们必须牢牢记住下面四个原则,从而使我们重新站起来,同时又不受自我意识的负面影响。而负面的自我情绪一旦被引发出来,只会将事情变得更糟。

“死时间”还是“活时间”?

畅销书作家罗伯特·格林曾经指出,人生的时间可以分为两种:一种是“死时间”,即处于被动和等待中的时间;另一种是“活时间”,即人们在积极学习、行动并且有效地利用了每一秒钟的时间。我们每次遭遇失败,每次到了我们没有故意选择却也无法控制的时刻和情境,你都要做这样一道选择题:是把时间过成“死时间”还是“活时间”?

在遭遇失败时,我们每个人的自我意识都会跳出来,抱怨当前的局面有多糟糕,抱怨事情是如此的不公平,抱怨我们当初还不如干另一件事好了。而这种态度将使我们把日子过成“死时间”,再也活转不回来。因此,可以说自我意识是“活时间”的死敌。

愤怒、委屈、抑郁、心碎,都是再容易不过的事。你的自我意识可能会说:“我不想这样,我想要某某某,我想让事情朝着我希望的方向发展。”但这是成就不了任何事的!

所以,下一次我们发现自己处于困境时,我们要说:这对我是一次机会,我要利用它实现我的目标。我不会让时间变成“死时间”。而“死时间”正是我们被自我所束缚的时候。

将时间过成“死时间”还是“活时间”,你选择哪个?

关注你能控制的事

失败和挫折当然会令人感到痛苦。那么,你打算怎样承受?你怎样重拾对你自己和对你的工作的自信?

知名棒球教练约翰·伍登曾给队员们这样一个建议;修改你对成功的定义。“成功是一种内心的平和,是当你知道自己已经尽了最大努力,成为了你能成为的最好的人之后的一种自我满足。”

这就是了。你的努力和尽力付出才是你能控制的,也是你真正需要关注的。

所以,你只需尽力工作,将它做好,“尽人事而听天命”,如此足矣。至于别人的认可与回报,那都是身外之物。如果这样也被拒绝了,那是对方的问题,而不是我们的问题。

换句话说,我们对结果看得越淡越好。实现我们自己的标准的过程,就是令我们建立自信和自尊的过程。只要付出了努力便已足矣,结果无论好坏,都不足萦怀。而如果任由自我意识掌控了我们的心智,那么这些还远远不够——它需要的是别人的批准和认可。

股神巴菲特也曾说过同样的一番道理,他指出了人们的“内部成绩单”和“外部成绩单”之间是存在明显差别的。要衡量你是否成功,就要用你自己的标准,要看你是否充分发挥了你的潜能,尽力做到了最好。光以胜败论英雄是不够的。有人可能因为一时走运而获胜,也可能自身毫无可取之处,却依然莫名其妙地胜了。人人都可以逞胜一时,却并非人人都能做到最好的自己。

不要让自我意识支配了你,也不要纠结于是否能得到别人的认可。把你的工作做好就已经足够了。

不要让事情恶化

是人就会犯错。犯猎并没什么大不了,尤其是作为一名企业家、一个创新型人才或是一名企业高管,丝毫不犯错更是不可能的。我们都要承担风险,自然就都有把事情搞砸的时候。问题是,如果我们将工作与自我联系在了一起,我们就会担心工作的失败会影响我们做人的名声。实际上,这是害怕承担责任的一种表现,同时也承认了我们可能会把事情搞砸。

在遇到失败时,你的自我意识可能会发问:这件事为什么会发生在我身上?我该如何挽回局面,向人们证明,我依然像他们想象的一样优秀?这其实是一种动物性的恐惧,生怕自己露出一点点虚弱的迹象。

亚历山大·汉密尔顿曾给一位因为犯了错而导致自己身陷严重的财务和法律问题的朋友写信道:“做事要刚毅和自尊。如果你不能合情合理地从此事中解脱出来,也不要陷得更深。要有勇气为整件事划一个句号。”

什么叫为整件事划一个句号?并不是说你就此什么都不管了。而是说,如果你是一名拳手,如果你在力战不支时不及时拍地认输,或者如果你意识不到自己已经到了激流永退的年纪,那么等待着你的将只有伤痛。所以你必须要能看到事情的大势。接着撑下去,事情会不会变得更糟?抑或是你有能力扭转败局,使自己的尊严和声誉丝毫无损?你还要继续这样再奋战一天吗?

永远心存爱意

自我意识最糟糕的一个特点,就是容易将微小的挫败变成极大的伤痛。而且这种伤痕还会感染和扩大,随着愤恨与日俱增,最终会将我们埋葬。愤恨正是自我意识的外在呈现。

在失败或逆境中,人很容易滋生愤恨。愤恨和自责是两种不同的情绪,愤恨会使人将责任推到旁人身上。同时,愤恨也会令人分心:如果我们将精力放在报复别人上,或是去刨根问底地追究错误是怎样发生的。这些有助于我们实现自己的事业目标吗?不是的。它只是会令我们原地踏步,甚至彻底阻碍我们的发展。

当你受到了别人的攻击和轻慢时,或是碰到了你不喜欢的东西时,你知道更好的回应方式是什么吗?是爱。没错,就是爱。爱你那不愿意把音乐关小些的邻居,爱你那可能令你失望的父母,爱你那把你的文件弄丢了的领导,爱那些拒绝了你的单位,爱那些抨击你的人,爱那个盗用了你的生意灵感的前任合伙人,爱那个给你扣了绿帽子的小贱人。总而言之一个字:爱。

我们发现,伟大的领导者不仅不恨他们的敌人,反而会对他们感到怜悯和同情。比如马丁·路德·金反复劝诫我们,仇恨是一种负担,爱才是自由。爱能使人破茧重生,恨只会令人向隅而泣。马丁·路德·金曾说:“仇恨是癌症,会破坏掉你人生的重心和你的存在。它就像硫酸一样,会腐蚀掉你人生中最好和最客观的部分。”

总结

以上这些做法和标准,就是我们在逆境中应该采取的良方。我们要选择将时间过成“活时间”,不让一分一秒在喟叹中白白流逝。我们要专注于自己能控制的事情,尽最大的努力,做最好的自己。我们要凭自尊和道义行事,在东山再起时,依旧保持自己的良好品质。

至于我们当下正在经历的困难,它并非是我们自己选择的境遇,但我们可以凭借自己的力量、瞄准自己的目标冲出困局,而不是凭借过度的自我意识。换句话说,我们不能让自我意识将暂时的失败变成永远的失败。这才是我们能做的选择。

本文改编自由Ryan Holiday创作、Penguin Portfolio出版社出版的著作《人生的敌人是自我》(Ego is the Enemy)。(财富中文网)

译者:朴成奎

“The future bears down upon each one of us with all the hazards of the unknown.” — Plutarch

There is no way around it: We will experience difficulty. We will feel the touch of failure. As Benjamin Franklin observed, those who “drink to the bottom of the cup must expect to meet with some of the dregs.” Or as the 49ers coach Bill Walsh says, “Almost always, your road to victory goes through a place called ‘failure.’”

All great men and women went through difficulties to get to where they are, all of them made mistakes. They found within those experiences some benefit — even if it was simply the realization that they were not infallible and that things would not always go their way. They found that self awareness was the way out and through — if they hadn’t, they wouldn’t have gotten better and they wouldn’t have been able to rise again.

For us to follow their example and push through failure we can be sure of one thing we’ll want to avoid. Ego. Unless we use this moment as an opportunity to understand ourselves and our own mind better, ego will seek out failure like true north. Unless we learn, right here and right now, from our mistakes.

During times of adversity, we need to keep in mind the four principles below to help us get back up on our feet and do so without ego, which when unleashed will only make things worse.

Alive time or dead time?

According to bestselling author Robert Greene, there are two types of time in our lives: dead time, when people are passive and waiting, and alive time, when people are learning and acting and utilizing every second. Every moment of failure, every moment or situation that we did not deliberately choose or control, presents this choice: Alive time. Dead time.

During times of failure the ego in all of us wants to complain about how the situation sucks. How it’s unfair. How we’d rather be doing just about anything else. And it’s this attitude that creates dead time we can never get back. In this way, ego is the mortal enemy of alive time.

It’s easy to be angry, to be aggrieved, to be depressed or heartbroken. Ego says: I don’t want this. I want ______. I want it my way. But this accomplishes nothing!

Let us say, the next time we find ourselves stuck: This is an opportunity for me. I am using it for my purposes. I will not let this be dead time for me. The dead time was when we were controlled by ego.

Alive time. Dead time. Which will it be?

Focus on what you can control.

Failure and rejection can be a miserable place. How do you carry on? How do you take pride in yourself and your work?

The famous coach John Wooden’s advice to his players gives the answer: Change the definition of success. “Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.”

That’s it. Your effort, doing the best, is what you can control. This is what you need to focus on.

Do your work. Do it well. Then “let go and let God.“ That’s all there needs to be. Recognition and rewards — those are just extra. Rejection, that’s on them, not on us.

In other words, the less attached we are to outcomes the better. When fulfilling our own standards is what fills us with pride and self-respect. When the effort — not the results, good or bad — is enough. With ego, this is not nearly sufficient — it wants recognition and validation.

Warren Buffett has said the same thing, making a distinction between the inner scorecard and the external one. Your potential, the absolute best you’re capable of — that’s the metric to measure yourself against. Your own standards. Winning is not enough. People can get lucky and win. People can be assholes and win. Anyone can win. But not everyone is the best possible version of themselves.

Don’t let ego hold sway and distract you with whether or not we are getting credit and validation. It’s far better when doing good work is sufficient.

Don’t make things worse.

People make mistakes all the time. This is all perfectly fine; it’s what being an entrepreneur or a creative or even a business executive is about. We take risks. We mess up. The problem is that when we get our identity tied up in our work, we worry that any kind of failure will then say something bad about us as a person. It’s a fear of taking responsibility, of admitting that we might have messed up.

Ego asks: Why is this happening to me? How do I save this and prove to everyone I’m as great as they think?It’s the animal fear of even the slightest sign of weakness.

“Act with fortitude and honor,” Alexander Hamilton once wrote to a distraught friend in serious financial and legal trouble of the man’s own making. “If you cannot reasonably hope for a favorable extrication, do not plunge deeper. Have the courage to make a full stop.”

A full stop. It’s not that you should quit everything. It’s that a fighter who can’t tap out or a boxer who can’t recognize when it’s time to retire gets hurt. Seriously so. You have to be able to see the bigger picture. Are you going to make it worse? Or are you going to emerge from this with your dignity and character intact? Are you going to live to fight another day?

Always love.

One of ego’s worst traits is the tendency to turn a minor inconvenience or insult into a massive sore. The wound festers, becomes infected, and can borderline kill us with the hatred and anger bubbling up. Hatred is ego embodied.

In failure or adversity, it’s so easy to hate. Hate defers blame. It makes someone else responsible. It’s a distraction too; we don’t do much else when we’re busy getting revenge or investigating the wrongs that have supposedly been done to us. Does this get us any closer to where we want to be? No. It just keeps us where we are — or worse, arrests our development entirely.

You know what is a better response to an attack or a slight or something you don’t like? Love. That’s right, love. For the neighbor who won’t turn down the music. For the parent that let you down. For the bureaucrat who lost your paperwork. For the group that rejects you. For the critic who attacks you. The former partner who stole your business idea. The bitch or the bastard who cheated on you. Love.

We find that what defines great leaders is that instead of hating their enemies, they feel a sort of pity and empathy for them. Think of Martin Luther King Jr., over and over again, preaching that hate was a burden and love was freedom. Love was transformational, hate was debilitating. “Hate,” he said “is a cancer that gnaws away at the very vital center of your life and your existence. It is like eroding acid that eats away the best and the objective center of your life.”

Bottom line.

These are the behaviors and standards we need to embrace and commit to to be able to handle adversity. We will choose alive time and not let any moment go to waste. We will focus only on what we can control: exerting maximum effort at being our best selves. We will act with dignity and decorum and emerge with our character intact.

The difficulty that we are experiencing now? It is not a position we chose for ourselves, but we can push through with strength and purpose, not ego. In other words, we will not let ego turn a temporary failure into a permanent one. That’s a choice we can make.

This piece is adapted from Ryan Holiday’s book Ego is the Enemy, published by Penguin Portfolio.

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