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我们为何意志薄弱

所属:成长励志 来源:Financial Times 阅读:7251 次 评论:2 条 [我要评论]  [+我要收藏]

小编摘要:当你真的充满热情地开始做一些需要意志力的事情,减肥,戒烟……但不久你就故态复萌。或许你得出结论认为,这是时机不对,而且你就是没有意志力。想知道背后的原因么?意志究竟是否合理?




你已经彻底考虑了这个问题。很明显,唯一的做法是进行节食,戒烟或开始写小说。而你真的充满热情地开始做这些事情,但不久你就故态复萌。或许你得出结论认为,这是时机不对,而且你就是没有意志力。你对此毫无办法,对吗?
You have really thought about it and it is quite clear that the only course of action is to go on that diet, stop smoking or begin writing your novel. And you do make a start, full of enthusiasm. But it’s not long before you fall back into your sweet old ways. Perhaps you conclude the time isn’t right and that you just don’t have the willpower. There’s nothing you can do about that, right?
错!把“意志力”视为一种我们要么有、要么没有的内在力量具有误导性,而且适得其反。真相是,我们的确希望变得更苗条、更健康,或者从事创作,但我们也想要一些其它东西,无论是愉悦、舒适,还是仅仅不想努力改变旧习惯。我们的倾向与渴望可能相互矛盾,前者旨在获得我们眼下想要的,后者则专注于我们的更长期福祉。在随后的斗争中,前者往往会获胜。
Wrong. Thinking of “willpower” as an inner power that we either do or don’t have is misleading and counterproductive. The truth is that we do genuinely want to be slimmer, healthier or produce creative work, but we also want something else – be it pleasure, comfort or simply not having to make the effort to fight old habits. Our inclinations and desires can be at odds with each other, some aimed at securing what we want right now and others focused on our longer-term wellbeing. In the ensuing battles, the former often win.
在工作中多年接触成瘾现象使我认识到,我们应该防范两个主要的不良倾向。一个是不假思索迅速行动:当你走过蛋糕时突然有种冲动,于是立刻买一个并马上把它吃掉。另一个是自欺欺人地认为就今天例外(今天是自己的生日或感到压力特别大)。为这种内心的游戏做好准备吧。只有向前看并做好准备,你才能战胜自己。
In my years of working with addictions I came to see that there are two main gremlins we should guard against. One is acting quickly and without reflection: you have a sudden urge while you are passing by the cupcakes and immediately buy one, devouring it straight away. The other is deceiving yourself into thinking you can make an exception just for today (it’s your birthday, or you’re particularly stressed). Get ready for this inner game-playing. You can outsmart yourself only if you look ahead and prepare.
一个经常被引用的例子是奥德修斯(又称尤利西斯,Ulysses)。他要求船员把自己绑在船的桅杆上,以免被女妖的歌声迷惑。奥德修斯知道自己不可能抵制诱惑。他的意志力包括争取外界的帮助,阻止自己做那些将来忍不住会做的事情。在更普通的情况下,这可能意味着我们让自己无法接触到诱惑,或者作出一个具有约束力的、自己摆脱不了的承诺。无论是对我们还是对古希腊的英雄们,最有效的意志力是能够把自己绑在最结实的桅杆上。
An often-quoted example is that of Ulysses, who asked his sailors to tie him to the ship’s mast in order to avoid succumbing to the lure of the sirens. Ulysses knew he couldn’t do it just by gritting his teeth. His willpower consisted of enlisting outside help to stop him acting on what he realised he would feel like doing in the future. In more ordinary circumstances, that may mean we put the temptation out of reach, or make a binding commitment that we can’t escape from. For us, as for classical heroes, the most effective form of willpower is being able to tie ourselves to the sturdiest mast.
哲人
The Sage
意志薄弱的人通常被描述为非理性的动物,他们听命于自己的炽热欲望,而不是从冷静的理性角度出发,作出最符合自己利益的举动。这种说法有些不公平,原因在于,正如哲学家史蒂芬•P•施瓦兹(Stephen P. Schwartz)所辩称的那样,许多时候,正是意志力(而不是意志薄弱)从理性角度看起来令人费解。
The weak-willed are usually portrayed as irrational creatures who allow their hot desires to overrule what cooler reason tells them is in their best interests. This is somewhat unfair because, as the philosopher Stephen P. Schwartz has argued, there are many times when it is strength of will, not weakness, which looks rationally puzzling.
以戒烟为例。比如你几十年来有每天抽20支烟的习惯,现在你想戒掉它。你选好了良辰吉日,随后一个装满烟草的纸管恳求你抽掉它。如果你抽掉了这支烟,真的会有什么关系吗?
Take giving up smoking. Say you’ve had a 20-a-day habit for decades and you want to quit. You pick the time, you pick the day, and then a paper tube stuffed with tobacco implores you to smoke it. Would it really make any difference if you heeded the call?
总体而言,再抽一支不会造成伤害。这并非不合逻辑,这只是事实。当然,下一支也是这样,下下支还是这样,下下下支……
In the grand scheme of things, one more won’t hurt. That’s not illogical, it’s just true. And, of course, that will also be true of the next one, and the next one, and the next one ...
如果你想戒烟,就必然会有最后一支烟。问题在于,从没有一个好的理由说明为何这支烟是最后一支。因此再抽一支似乎从来不是非理性的。同样,一支特定的香烟为何是最后一支也从来不存在理性的理由。再喝一杯酒、再吃一块蛋糕以及又一天不去健身房同样如此。
If you want to give up, there has to be a last smoke, of course. The problem is that there is never a good reason why any particular cigarette should be it. So it seems that it’s never irrational to have just one more. Nor is there ever any rational reason why a given cigarette should be the last one. The same is true for one more glass of wine, one last bit of cake, another day of not going to the gym.
解决办法是,我们有时不得不主观选择采取一些特定步骤,以实现某些特定目标。哪支香烟是最后一支无关紧要,只要有一支是最后一支就可以了。同样,没有哪块蛋糕会破坏我们的节食计划,但我们必须放弃足够多的蛋糕,否则我们的体重永远不会下降。因此矛盾之处在于,我们发现自己确实有很好的理由作出一系列举动,即便就单个举动而言,我们没有什么好的理由。
The solution is that we sometimes have to make arbitrary choices about which particular steps we take to achieve certain goals. It doesn’t matter if this or that cigarette is the last one, as long as one of them is. Similarly, no particular piece of cake will ruin our diet but we must spurn enough of them or else we’ll never lose weight. Hence, paradoxically, we find we do have good reasons to commit to a set of actions, even when we have no good reason to do so for each individual act.
如果你发现这很难理解,那么就同情那些看上去意志薄弱的人吧。他们可能表明,有时运用一些逻辑比一点也不用逻辑更加麻烦。
If you find that hard to get your head around, then have pity for the apparently weak-willed, who may just show that applying a limited amount of logic can sometimes prove more troublesome than using none at all.
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2011-08-09 11:30 编辑:essaywriter
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  • Never wanna lose the oppotunities to go into the gym. Great words. But it still seems too difficult for me to read but for a dict on thi iPod.

    2011-08-09 14:54 回复 支持(0) 反对(0) 沙发
  • 恒CALM 说:

    the resources of our dict is unbelievable,i am so lucky and honored to met it,thank you~

    2012-08-15 10:28 回复 支持(0) 反对(0) 板凳
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