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中英对照:《Why not simply be grateful》

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LAOALNG 时间:2008-01-18 16:14  72次点击 | 0 关注
《海外英语》 Marshall Goldsmith Snapping at someone who offers well-intentioned advice diminishes us more than it does the other person. Why not simply be grateful?
呵斥别人出于善意的良言,只会使我们自己的形象大打折扣。何不学着感恩?感恩的心,感谢有你,伴我一生。

How much do we learn proving that we are right? Nothing.

How much do we learn proving that other people are wrong? Nothing.

How much of our lives have been wasted on these two pursuits? Far too much.

Buddha taught his students to do what he suggested only if it made sense in the context of their own lives. In other words, if it works for you, do it. If it doesn’t work for you, just let it go.

Our natural tendency when others give suggestions we don’t agree with is to immediately become defensive and prove they are wrong. Our natural tendency when others give suggestions we do agree with is to point out that we “already knew that,” implying that the suggestion is unnecessary.

The next time someone gives you an idea or counsel, listen without judgment, try to find value in what you’re hearing, and say: “Thank you.”

This sage advice is easy to understand yet hard to practice. I’ll give you an example from my life when I totally blew it in terms of practicing what I teach. My guess is that when you read my story, you’ll agree that what I did was not only stupid, it was dangerous. I’ll also predict that you’ve done the same stupid thing that I did—perhaps even on multiple occasions.

Combative Mood

In my work I travel constantly. On American Airlines alone, I have more than 9 million frequent-flier miles. I always put off going to the airport until the last second. The time I really screwed up I was racing to the San Diego airport to catch a flight to New York. My wife, Lyda, was sitting next to me in the front seat. My kids, Bryan and Kelly, were in the back. I was frantically racing along and not paying much attention. Lyda cried out: “Look out! There is a red light up ahead.”

Being a trained behavioral science professional—who teaches others the value of encouraging input—I naturally screamed at her:“I know there is a red light up ahead! Don’t you think I can see? I drive as well as you can.”

When we arrived at the airport, Lyda, a licensed clinical psychologist with a PhD, abandoned her usual farewell ministrations for some reason. Not only did she fail to kiss me good-bye, she didn’t even speak to me. As she walked around the car, slid behind the wheel, and drove off, both kids gave me that my-dad-is-an-idiot look.

“Hmm,” I pondered, “I wonder why she seems mad at me?”

Cost-Benefit Analysis

During the six-hour flight to New York, I did a cost-benefit analysis. I asked myself: “What was the cost of just listening when Lyda called out the warning? Zero.” I then reasoned: “What was the potential benefit? What could have been saved?” Several potential benefits came to mind, including her life, my life, the lives of our children, and the lives of other people.

When someone gives us something that has a huge potential benefit—and costs us absolutely nothing—what should we say to such a fine person? “Thank you!”

I landed in New York feeling lonely, guilty, and ashamed of myself. I immediately called Lyda and told her my cost-benefit story. I assured her: “The next time you help me with my driving, I am just going to say, ‘Thank you.’”

“Sure you will,” she said with a laugh (sarcasm free of charge). For some reason, she seemed to doubt that I had undergone a true religious conversion.

“Just you wait. I am going to do better.” I continued.

“We’ll see.” she replied.

Another Airport Run

A few months passed, and I had long forgotten the incident. Again, I was racing off to the airport, not paying attention, when Lyda cried out: “Look out for the red light!”

My face turned crimson, I started breathing hard, I grimaced—and then yelled: “Thank you!”

I’m a long way from perfect, but I’m getting better. My suggestion is that you get in the habit of asking the important people in your life how you can do things better. And be ready for an answer. Some people may tell you things like “Look out for the red light.” or “You’re going too fast around the corner.”

When this happens, take a deep breath. Ask yourself:“What is the cost of listening to this?” Remember that there is possibly some potential benefit. Then just say:“Thank you.”

 
通过证明自己对,能学到什么?没有什么。

通过证明别人错,能学到什么?没有什么。

我们浪费了多少精力在这两件事上?很多很多的时间。

佛陀教育弟子们只有他的话贴近他们的生活,才按他讲的去做。换言之,对你有用,听之;对你没用,随它去。

如果不同意别人的建议,我们的本能反应是立刻为自己辩护,并想方设法给别人挑错。如果同意别人的建议,我们的本能反应是摆出一副自己“早就知道”的架势,言下之意,建议是多余的。

下一次有人向你提建议或与你讨论时,要静静地听,不要作评判,试着从听到的话中找出有价值的东西,然后说声“谢谢”。

这条忠告知易而行难。让我讲一段生活中的亲身经历吧,在实际生活中我把自己教导别人要牢记的这条忠告忘得一干二净。我猜你们在读故事的时候,也会认为我当时不仅愚蠢,而且很危险。我敢断言你们也做过同样的傻事,没准更多呢。

情绪里带着火药味

工作期间我经常出差。仅美国航线,我就飞过900多万英里。我总是拖到最后一刻才上路。有一次我真急了,为了赶上飞往纽约的航班,向圣地亚哥机场飞奔。我的妻子丽达坐在前排,我旁边的位置。我的两个孩子布赖恩和凯利坐在后面。我一路狂奔,没注意别的。丽达突然大叫:“小心!红灯。”

我虽然是一名训练有素的行为科学专家,常常教育别人要重视那些出于善意的提示,但当时却本能地朝她大吼:“我知道前面红灯。你以为我没看见?我的车技不比你差。”

到机场后,丽达——这位拥有职业许可证的临床心理学专家、博士——居然不辞而别。不仅没有与我吻别,甚至连句话都没说。她绕到汽车另一边,倒车,一溜烟开走了。孩子们看我的表情就像在说“爸爸真是个大傻瓜”。

“哎,”我不禁沉思,“丽达怎么发这么大火?”

成本效益分析

在飞往纽约的6个小时途中,我做了个成本效益分析。我问自己:“当丽达大声提醒注意时,我如果不作声,会损失什么?什么都不会损失。”我又继续思考:“潜在的好处有哪些呢?能挽救什么呢?”那些潜在的好处不断涌上心头,对她的生活、我的生活、我们孩子的生活和其他人的生活都有好处。

如果有人给我们提供具有巨大潜在利益的事务,我们又毫发无损,我们要对这样的好心人说些什么呢?“谢谢!”

到了纽约,孤独、内疚、惭愧一起涌上心头。我立刻给丽达打了电话,告诉她我的成本效益分析,并向她保证:“下一次开车时你再帮我的忙,我只说‘谢谢’。”

“您当然要谢谢我。”她笑着说(口气中充满挖苦)。我猜,她好像怀疑我经历了一场宗教洗礼。

“等着瞧。我下次一定做得更好。”我继续说。

“我们拭目以待哦。”丽达答道。

又一次机场狂奔

几个月后,上次的事早忘了。我又一次开车奔向机场,没注意到红灯。丽达大叫:“小心红灯!”

我的脸刷地红了,呼吸急促,脸上的肌肉抽动着,痛苦地挤出两个字:“谢谢。”

我的表现远非尽善尽美,但已经有进步了。我建议要养成这样的习惯,向生活中重要的人咨询怎样才能把事情做得更好,并虚心等待对方的答复。有人会说“注意红灯”或是“你的讲话跑题了”之类的话。

每当听到这样的话,深吸一口气,问问自己:“听听这样的话有什么不好?”记住,这些话很可能让你受益呢。然后说声:“谢谢。”
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