成功秘诀:需要一点儿失败 The Secret to Success

The Secret to Success

美式发音 适合精听

Success is more than Winning or Achieving.

I want this new school year to be a good one for my students as they learn about everything from calculus to Shakespeare to failure.
我希望这个新学年成为对学生有益的一个学年。他们将在新学年里学习很多东西,包括微积分、莎士比亚和失败。

That’s right. Failure.
没错,就是失败。

We all need to fail a little. In fact, the secret of success might just be that. Consider the path of Henry David Thoreau.
我们都需要有点儿失败的经历。事实上,成功的秘诀也许就在于此。以亨利·大卫·梭罗的人生道路为例吧。

By many accounts, Thoreau was a failure. Folks thought he should have been a civic leader. He could have been a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher. He might even have made congressman or governor.
许多人都曾表示,梭罗的一生是失败的。人们认为他本该成为一名官员,他本来还可以成为医生、律师或教师,他甚至还可能当选众议员或州长。

Instead, the Harvard man seemed to spend most of his time 1)loafing in the woods near his hometown over near Walden Pond. Everyone just scratched their heads and wondered why such a promising young fellow wasn’t a “success.”
然而,这位哈佛毕业生似乎把自己的大部分时间都用来在家乡附近瓦尔登湖畔的树林里闲逛。所有人都百思不得其解,为什么这样一个前途光明的年轻人却没能“成功。”

  I’m not suggesting that my students drop classes for the woods, but it’s important to remember that ideas on success vary, even in these 2)enlightened times.
我并不是建议我的学生逃课去树林里,但重要的是要记住,即便是在现在这样开明的时代,对成功的定义也是不同的。

The lessons of failure are an important part of the 3)curriculum of success. We learn from them. They push us to do better; they teach us humility.
失败的教训是成功这门必修课的重要组成部分。我们从中学到了东西。它促使我们做得更好,让我们学会谦逊。

As a teacher, I expect students to revise their work, to build on the “failure” of the first draft to achieve clarity and insight in the final draft. That’s a good model for most things in life.
作为老师,我希望学生修改自己的作业,在初稿“失败”的基础上,让终稿做到清晰透彻。对人生中的大多数事情而言,这都是一种好模式。

Part of the problem, though, is that we live in a country obsessed by results. In school, it is the A student who gets all the perks even though getting an A doesn’t always measure how much a person really knows. A’s are icons of honor. F’s are badges of defeat.
然而一部分问题在于,我们生活在一个追求结果的国度里。在学校里,优等生能够得到一切特殊待遇,尽管学习成绩优异并不总能说明一个人真正的学识。现实是优异的学业成绩是荣誉的象征,而学业不及格则是失败的标志。

We idealize icons and look up to heroes such as George Washington or 4)John Glenn. Yet we shouldn’t discount the heroes who labor outside the limelight. Those are the men and women who quietly go about the business of raising a family and taking care of their neighbors.
我们习惯于把偶像理想化,推崇像乔治·华盛顿或约翰·格伦这样的英雄。但我们不应该小看在聚光灯外苦干的众多英雄,他们就是那些默默地承担起赡养家庭和帮助邻居重任的男男女女。

The most admirable are ones who invent their own success. They know how to seize the moment and let the chips fall where they may. They know that the best way to measure success is by living each day to the fullest.
最值得钦佩的人是那些开创自身成功模式的人。他们知道如何抓住时机,不计较结果。他们知道衡量成功的最佳方式是充分把握每一天。

True success is giving something back. And you don’t have to have a lot in the wallet to attain it. There are many people, young and old, who give back by serving in literacy campaigns and soup kitchens.
真正的成功是予以回馈。你无须钱包厚实就能做到这一点。有很多人——有年轻的也有年长的——通过参加扫盲和救济活动作出了回馈。

As my father used to say: “Make sure you leave the world a better place than it was when you entered it. At least clean up after yourself.”
正如我父亲曾经说过的一句话:“要确保你留下的世界比你来到时更美好。至少要把你自己留下的东西清理干净。”

The beginning of the school year is a good time to start reorienting ourselves. It’s a good time to see our failures in a new light.
开学是着手为自己重新确定方向的一个大好时机,也是从新的角度来看待失败的一个大好时机。

After Thoreau died in 1862, his mentor, Ralph Waldo Emerson, 5)lamented that Henry hadn’t blossomed into a great leader of the nation. His books were little read, his ideas seemed 6)skewed. And yet, less than 100 years later, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. pointed to Thoreau’s essay Civil Disobedience as one of the sparks that ignited the civil rights movement and profoundly shaped American society.
1862年梭罗去世后,他的导师拉尔夫·沃尔多·爱默生哀叹亨利没能成为我国的一位杰出领袖。他的书无人问津,他的思想似乎离经叛道。然而过了不到一百年,马丁·路德·金说,梭罗的文章《论公民的不服从》是点燃美国民权运动的火种之一,并对美国社会产生了深刻影响。

Not a bad legacy for a failure.
对一个失败者来说,这可是笔不错的精神财富。Tom O’Malley/文