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推迟满足感——少有人走的路

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推迟满足感——少有人走的路

​​最近U君在重读 The Road Less Traveled 这本书,《少有人走的路》为美国心理医生斯科特·派克所写,共三本,分别为《心智成熟的旅程》,《勇敢地面对谎言》,《与心灵对话》。我认为第一本《心智成熟的旅程》是精华中的精华。走出校园以来,我感觉此书是少有的能规范我的言行,引导我养成正确习惯,重新认识爱与责任的佳作。

这本书处处透露出沟通与理解的意味,它跨越时代限制,帮助我们探索爱的本质,引导我们过上崭新,宁静而丰富的生活;它帮助我们学习爱,也学习独立;它教诲我们成为更称职的、更有理解心的父母。归根到底,它告诉我们怎样找到真正的自我。

正如开篇所言:人生苦难重重。M·斯科特·派克让我们更加清楚:人生是一场艰辛之旅,心智成熟的旅程相当漫长。但是,他没有让我们感到恐惧,相反,他带领我们去经历一系列艰难乃至痛苦的转变,最终达到自我认知的更高境界。

今天U君带大家一起来读一下其中的一个小章节,大家可以自己体会一下这本书的风格以及看了之后是否有启发:​

Delaying Gratification《推迟满足感》 

Not too long ago a thirty-year-old financial analyst was complaining to me over a period of months about her tendency to procrastinate in her job. We had worked through her feelings about her employers and how they related to feelings about authority in general, and to her parents specifically. We had examined her attitudes toward work and success and how these related to her marriage, her sexual identity, her desire to compete with her husband, and her fears of such competition. Yet despite all this standard and painstaking psychoanalytic work, she continued to procrastinate as much as ever. Finally, one day, we dared to look at the obvious.

不久前,一位30岁的财务分析师请求我的帮助。她想纠正在最近几个月里,总是拖延工作的恶习。我们探讨了她对老板的看法,老板对她的态度;她对权威的认识以及她的父母的情况。我们也谈到她对工作与成就的观念;这些观念对其婚姻观、性别观的影响;她同丈夫和同事竞争的愿望,以及竞争带给她的恐惧感。尽管一再努力,但这种常规心理分析和治疗,并未触及问题的症结。终于有一天,我们进入久被忽略的一个领域,才使治疗出现了转机。

"Do you like cake?" I asked her. She replied that she did. "Which part of the cake do you like better," I went on, "the cake or the frosting?" "Oh, the frosting!" she responded enthusiastically. "And how do you eat a piece of cake?" I inquired, feeling that I must be the most inane psychiatrist that ever lived. "I eat the frosting first, of course," she replied.

 “你喜欢吃蛋糕吗?”我问。 她回答说喜欢。 “你更喜欢吃蛋糕,”我接着问, “还是蛋糕上涂抹的奶油?” 她兴奋地说:“啊,当然是奶油啦!” “那么,你通常是怎么吃蛋糕的呢?”​ 我接着又问。 我也许是有史以来最愚蠢的心理医生了。 她不假思索地说: “那还用说吗,我通常先吃完奶油,然后才吃蛋糕的。” 

From her cake-eating habits we went on to examine her work habits, and, as was to be expected, discovered that on any given day she would devote the first hour to the more gratifying half of her work and the remaining six hours getting around to the objectionable remainder. I suggested that if she were to force herself to accomplish the unpleasant part of her job during the first hour, she would then be free to enjoy the other six. It seemed to me, I said, that one hour of pain followed by six of pleasure was preferable to one hour of pleasure followed by six of pain. She agreed, and, being basically a person of strong will, she no longer procrastinates.

就这样,我们从吃蛋糕的习惯出发,重新讨论她对待工作的态度。正如我预料的,在上班第一个钟头,她总是把容易和喜欢做的工作先完成,而在剩下六个钟头里,她就尽量规避棘手的差事。我建议她从现在开始,在上班第一个钟头,要先去解决那些麻烦的差事,在剩下的时间里,其他工作会变得相对轻松。考虑到她学的是财务管理,我就这样解释其中的道理:按一天工作七个钟头计算,一个钟头的痛苦,加上六个钟头的幸福,显然要比一个钟头的幸福,加上六个钟头的痛苦划算。 她完全同意这样的计算方法,而且坚决照此执行,不久就彻底克服了拖延工作的坏毛病。 

Delaying gratification is a process of scheduling the pain and pleasure of life in such a way as to enhance the pleasure by meeting and experiencing the pain first and getting it over with. It is the only decent way to live.

推迟满足感,意味着不贪图暂时的安逸,重新设置人生快乐与痛苦的次序:首先,面对问题并感受痛苦;然后,解决问题并享受更大的快乐,这是惟一可行的生活方式。 

This tool or process of scheduling is learned by most children quite early in life, sometimes as early as age five. For instance, occasionally a five-year-old when playing a game with a companion will suggest that the companion take first turn, so that the child might enjoy his or her turn later. At age six children may start eating their cake first and the frosting last. Throughout grammar school this early capacity to delay gratification is daily exercised, particularly through the performance of homework. By the age of twelve some children are already able to sit down on occasion without any parental prompting and complete their homework before they watch television. By the age of fifteen or sixteen such behavior is expected of the adolescent and is considered normal.

其实,我们早在小时候(通常从五岁开始),就可以学会自律的原则,避免只图眼前安逸带来的不利。例如在幼儿园里,有的游戏需要孩子们轮流参与,如果一个五岁的男孩多些耐心,暂且让同伴先玩游戏,而自己等到最后,就可以享受到更多的乐趣,他可以在无入催促的情况下,玩到尽兴方休。对于六岁的孩子而言。吃蛋糕时不把奶油一口气吃完,或者先吃蛋糕,后吃奶油,就可以享受到更甜美的滋味。小学的孩子正确对待家庭作业。是实践“推迟满足感”的最佳手段。孩子满l2岁时,无须父母催促,首先做完功课,再去看电视。到了十五六岁以后,他们的实践更可以得心应手。到了青春期,他们处理类似问题,应该形成一种习惯或常态。 

It becomes clear to their educators at this age, however, that a substantial number of adolescents fall far short of this norm. While many have a well-developed capacity to delay gratification, some fifteen- or sixteen-year-olds seem to have hardly developed this capacity at all; indeed, some seem even to lack the capacity entirely. These are the problem students. Despite average or better intelligence, their grades are poor simply because they do not work. They skip classes or skip school entirely on the whim of the moment. They are impulsive, and their impulsiveness spills over into their social life as well. They get into frequent fights, they become involved with drugs, they begin to get in trouble with the police. 

根据教育工作者的经验,不少青春期的少年,却缺少这种健康的常态。许多孩子懂得推迟满足感的好处,但还有的孩子显然缺乏能力和经验。有的孩子长到十五六岁,仍旧缺乏“先吃苦,后享受”的意识,而是恰好将次序颠倒过来,他们很容易成为“问题学生”。他们的智商与别人相比毫不逊色,但不肯少有人走的路用功学习,导致成绩远远落在别人后面。他们说话和做事,全凭一时冲动。只要心血来潮,他们动辄旷课或逃学。他们不愿思考,缺乏耐心,这很容易危及他们的社会生活:喜欢打架,与毒品为伴,故意与警方为难并发生冲突,此类情形司空见惯。

 Play now, pay later, is their motto. So the psychologists and psychotherapists are called in. But most of the time it seems too late. These adolescents are resentful of any attempt to intervene in their life style of impulsiveness, and even when this resentment can be overcome by warmth and friendliness and a nonjudgmental attitude on the part of the therapist, their impulsiveness is often so severe that it precludes their participation in the process of psychotherapy in any meaningful way. They miss their appointments. They avoid all important and painful issues. So usually the attempt at intervention fails, and these children drop out of school, only to continue a pattern of failure that frequently lands them in disastrous marriages, in accidents, in psychiatric hospitals or in jail.

先享受,后付费”,成为他们的座右铭。他们最需要心理治疗,却往往为时已晚。意气用事的青少年,通常不喜欢被人干涉,即便心理治疗师能以客观、公正、亲切的姿态,慢慢化解他们的敌意,他们也难以积极配合整个治疗过程。他们的主观冲动过于强烈,经常逃避定期的治疗。心理医生的一切努力,常常以失败告终,最终这些孩子离开学校,浪迹社会。他们的成年生活也极为糟糕——婚姻不幸,精神恍惚、神不守舍,容易遭受意外事故,而精神病院或者监狱可能成为他们最终的归宿。

U君读完这段文字,想起来的是《施瓦辛格自传》里面,施瓦辛格小时候家里很穷,但是父母对于“劳动”的态度跟我们日常所想的有很大区别,他的父母从小就教育他,劳动是一种恩赐,是一种奖励,而不是作为惩罚。每当小施瓦辛格犯错误时,他的父亲都是带着他的哥哥去林子里劳动,不让施瓦辛格参与,通过这种手段来惩罚他。所以直到施瓦辛格功成名就,进入肯尼迪家族,仍然保存着锻炼才能保持健康、健美的身材,劳动才能创造财富和幸福这种理念。

 

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