“越狱”人生 Escape Artists

“越狱”人生

On the surface, Robert Capp is a true success. He’s a publishing executive at the top of his field. In his 38 years, he’s 1)overseen everything from major magazines to major Internet sites. In his free time, he 2)runs a charity that helps war 3)veterans adjust to life after 4)traumatic injury. But every day, Capp fights a battle he rarely wins.
从表面上看,罗伯特·卡普是一位真正的成功人士。他在事业巅峰期时是一位出版业高管。38岁的他已经当过各大杂志及主要网站的一把手。在业余时间,他管理着一家慈善机构,帮助退伍军人克服战后创伤,回归正常生活。但是每一天,卡普都进行着一场几乎没有赢过的战争。

“As soon as I have something important to do,”he says, “I get really into my head about it. I don’t do it, just can’t do it. Anxiety starts to build. If I have to arrange a meeting, just making the phone call to set it up becomes impossible. All sorts of 5)weird excuses start 6)popping into my brain. If the meeting is with someone important I start thinking,‘Who am I to be calling this guy, he’s really important and I’m not, why would he possibly want to waste time speaking to me?’ It’s truly awful.”
“只要我有重要的事情要做,”他说,“我会为此很纠结。我做不了这件事,简直无法下手。焦虑开始累积。如果我要安排一个会议,我无法只是通过打电话来搞定。我的脑子里开始出现种种怪异的借口。如果要会见某个重要人物,我就会想:‘我是谁,有什么资格给这个家伙打电话,他是个大人物,而我不是,他为什么要浪费时间跟我说话呢?’真糟糕。”

For Capp, this awful feeling has been one of the more 7)defining features of his life. “Procrastination has affected every part of my life for as long as I can remember. As a kid, I was always 8)hiding from responsibility. By the time I was a teenager, I discovered drugs and alcohol and these were the perfect tools to 9)foster my procrastination. Why do something I should be doing when there were drugs to take?”
对于卡普来说,这种可怕的感觉已经成为他生活中愈加典型的特征之一。“记忆所及, 拖拉已影响到我生活的每一部分。孩提时期,我就喜欢逃避责任。当我十几岁时,我发现毒品和酒精是助长我拖拉的完美工具。当我可以在毒品中飘飘欲仙时,为什么还要去做那些本应该去做的事呢?”下载

His addiction lasted over 10 years.“But even when I got sober, the urge to delay didn’t get better. It nearly destroyed my marriage. It’s impossible to be in a relationship with a chronic procrastinator. It feels crazy to a partner, who can’t help but think, ‘Here’s this rational, intelligent person, so how can this keep happening? It doesn’t make any sense.’”
他的毒瘾持续时间超过10年。“但是,即使当我清醒时,拖拉的冲动也没见好转。这几乎毁了我的婚姻。与长期拖拉者建立稳定关系是不可能的。拖拉者的伴侣会很抓狂,会忍不住想:‘这个理性、聪明的人怎么会一直这样呢?这根本讲不通。’”

For Capp, it’s worse at work. “Several months ago my boss sent me a 10)memo listing things that were wrong with my performance. There were eight items on his list and all eight had to do with my procrastination problems.” Capp lost his job—although he 11)landed a 12)coveted position on a new Web site.
对卡普来说,工作中拖拉的情况要更糟糕。“几个月前,我老板给了我一份备忘录,列出我表现欠佳的地方。清单里一共列了八项,都与我拖拉的毛病有关。”卡普因而丢掉了这份工作——虽然他又在一个新网站上找到了一份令人垂涎的差事。

“Everyone procrastinates,” observes DePaul University psychologist Joseph Ferrari. However, “not everyone is a procrastinator.” Still, a large and growing proportion of the population can 13)lay claim to this problem. In a 1978 survey, 5 percent of the population defined themselves as procrastinators. Ferrari recently completed two large studies of the behavior. “We found that between 20 and 25 percent of the population are procrastinators.”
“每个人都会有点拖拉,”德保罗大学的心理学家约瑟夫·法拉利说,然而,“不是每个人都是拖拉者。”尽管如此,很大一部分人(这个人数还在不断上升)可以说都存在拖拉的问题。1978年的一项调查显示,5%的人认为自己是拖拉者。法拉利最近完成了两个大型的行为研究。“我们发现,20%到25%的人可以归类为拖拉者。”

Psychologists define procrastination as a gap between intention and action. Chronic procrastinators like Robert Capp feel bad about their decisions to delay—which helps distinguish procrastination from laziness. Laziness involves a lack of desire; with procrastination, the desire to start that project is there, but it 14)consistently loses out 15)to our appetite for delay. And this is no ordinary delay. Procrastination is considered a needless, often irrational delay of some important task in favor of a less important, but seemingly more rewarding, task. And that accompanying negative feeling—the 16)gnawing guilt, the building anxiety—is one way we know we’re not doing what we’re supposed to do.
心理学家把“拖拉”定义为意图和行动之间的差距。像罗伯特·卡普这样的人对自己拖拉的决定感觉并不好——这恰恰有助于区分懒惰与拖拉。懒惰是因为缺乏欲望; 而拖拉则是有去做那件事情的愿望,但总是输给对拖拉的渴求。这绝不是指普通的拖拉。这里所指的拖拉是不必要的,往往还是对一些重要任务的非理性延迟,因为拖拉者更愿去做一些不太重要、但似乎更有满足感的事情。而这种拖拉又伴随着消极情绪——令人痛苦的内疚感和不断增长的焦虑感——因为我们知道自己没有去做那些本该做的事情。

Researchers now believe that procrastination reflects the triumph of 17)impulsivity over the lure of future rewards. We’re terrible at processing time. Because our brains were built largely when survival 18)hinged on mastering immediate conditions, we engage in 19)temporal discounting—that is, we misjudge the importance of a task when it lies even a short distance in the future, so we see distant rewards as smaller than they really are. And our impulsivity never had it so good: Modern life furnishes an 20)abundance of endlessly reinforcing demands for our attention, such as the streams of tweets you 21)subscribe to.
如今,研究人员认为,拖拉反映了冲动战胜了对未来回报的诱惑。我们在对时间的处理上是挺糟糕的。远古时代,人类生存往往依赖于对即时状况的掌握,而我们的大脑正是适应那时的条件而发展起来的,所以现在我们会只见树木不见森林,也就是说我们会错估任务的重要性,哪怕其并非一项长远的任务。因此,我们看到的未来回报比实际上要小。加之,我们的冲动从来没有像现在这么强烈:现代生活使得我们的关注诉求丰富多样且无休无止,例如你订阅的推特消息。

However much procrastination reflects a 22)mismatch between our stone-age brains and the highly sophisticated environments those same brains have created, it reaches deep into our being. “It is always about choice,” observes Canadian psychologist Timothy Pychyl. And that makes procrastination 23)quintessentially an 24)existential problem. “We’re given a certain amount of time and we have to use it,” he says.
尽管拖拉反应了我们石器时代的大脑与其所创建的高度复杂的环境之间极不匹配,它却深深触及到人类的本质。“拖拉总是关乎选择,”加拿大心理学家蒂莫西·塞克尔说。这使得拖拉成为一个典型存在的问题。“我们被给予了一定的时间,因此必须把这些时间用上,”他说。

“It’s the acts of 25)omission that lead to our biggest regrets in life. Where do we choose to invest ourselves?”Procrastination, he contends, bumps right up against our commitment “to who it is we are trying to be in life.”Even 26)indecision and inaction are really decision and action, Pychyl notes.“Your indecision, your inaction, becomes your choice, your act—perhaps your whole life.” Unless, of course, you take 27)deliberate steps to 28)counteract your worst tendencies.
“正是疏忽的行为导致我们人生中最大的遗憾。我们选择在哪里投资自己呢?”他声称,拖拉恰巧撞上了我们的承诺——“我们想尽力成为怎样的一个人”。塞克尔注意到,即使是优柔寡断和不作为其实也是真实的决定和行为。“你的优柔寡断、不作为成了你的选择和行为——也许还是你的整个人生。”当然,除非你采取谨慎的措施来抵制最糟糕的拖拉倾向。

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