【它山之玉】人生的自然法则-科学网马臻

最近在旧书摊上捡到一本Brain Tracy写的Eat that Frog: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time,感觉很对胃口,于是买了Brain Tracy写的一些书,其中一本Maximum Achievement: Strategies and Skills That Will Unlock Your Hidden Powers to Succeed写得特别好。

书中讲到:宇宙中有两种法则:人为设定的法律和自然法则。如果你触犯了人为设定的法律,如交通法,未必会被抓到;但是如果你触犯了自然法则,每一次都会被抓到,没有任何例外。

自然法则分为两种:物理法则和精神法则。物理法则(比如电学、力学)的存在和运作能够通过实验和实践来证明;而精神法则只能用经验和直觉来证明,并且在日常生活中看它们是怎么运作的。虽然精神法则不是很容易被识别,但是他们如物理法则一样,100%时间内都是强化的、不可违背的。
那么,有哪些精神法则呢?

控制法则

The Law of Control says that you feel positive about yourself to the degree to which you feel you are in control of your own life, and you feel negative about yourself to the degree to which you feel that you are not in control, or that you are controlled by some external force, person or influence. For example, if you feel that your life is controlled by your debts, or your boss, or your ill health, or a bad relationship, or the behavior of others, you will suffer stress. This stress will manifest itself in irritation, anger, and resentment. If not dealt with, it can progress to insomnia, depression or illness of various kinds.

这个法则说:当你感到你正控制着自己的生活的话,你感到非常舒畅和自信;而当你感到你没有控制着自己的生活,或自己的生活被外力(比如你的债务、你的老板、你的疾病、你和别人的关系)控制的时候,你就会有焦虑感,并导致激怒和愤怒情绪。

这个法则归纳得非常好!说“控制”吧:博士生、博士后总是喜欢有更多自主权,用哲学的话说,叫“主观能动性”,说穿了就是自己“控制”自己的科研进展和每日的安排。可是有些老板也喜欢“控制”,每时每刻如直升机一样盘旋在学生上空,问加了几毫升溶液,为什么用圆底烧瓶而不是用平底烧瓶;并且当学生把课题完成到一半的时候把学生的“兵力”调到另外的课题中去,搞三分钟热度,没有一件事情做得成,这也是一种“控制”。


同理,为什么在有些单位(如研究所)里面,无能的人被提拔,而能力强的人却被赶走?这不也是“控制”理论在起作用吗?有些老板就是喜欢老实巴交听话的人,当作“有手的工具”来使。申请项目的时候把这些“有手的工具”(如副研究员)当作是“人头”向国家要钱,而要了钱以后既不让手下副研究员独立用科研经费,又不让他们招研究生、博士后,更不让他们当通讯联系人,说到底,这也不正是“控制”吗?

原因和结果法则

The Law of Cause and Effect says that for every effect in your life there is a specific cause. It says that everything happens for a reason, whether or not you know what it is. There are no accidents. We live in an orderly universe governed strictly by law, and this understanding is central to every other law or principle. The Law of Cause and Effect says that there are specific causes of success and there are specific cause of failure. There are specific causes for health and for illness. There are specific causes for happiness and for unhappiness.

原因和结果法则说的是任何结果都有原因。得到这个或者那个结果都不奇怪,这都是自然而然的事情。常言道:“种瓜得瓜,种豆得豆”,济公说:“善有善报,恶有恶报。”

比如说:有的学生考进重点大学,而有的人没有;有的人找到了对象,而有的夫妻离婚;有的人被单位里提拔,而有的人下岗,这些结果都是由于一定原因引起的。不是说一个特定的原因(如“寒窗苦读”)一定能导致一个特定的结果(如“考进重点大学”),比如有的人寒窗苦读后也一样名落孙山,但是“金榜题名”或者“名落孙山”一定有其原因。有的人通过关系也能考进重点大学,那么“通过关系”也是原因。


再比如:我曾经多次上Nova Science出版社网站,心想如果能出版书章就好了,结果一年多后该出版社主编主动找我写书章;还有一次,我上The Open Catalysis Journal的主页,心里想我会不会成为国际编委?结果几个月后出版社联系我当编委了;最近一次,我从网上看到科学网正在编2008年科学网博文精选,我就在想:我会有一篇文章被收入的,结果一两个月后,果然有一篇文章被收入了。再比如我的博文被物理化学学报主页转载,被科学新闻双周刊发表。我知道这些“结果”是一定有“原因”的,原因并不是“我想”、“我预测”,而是能量到了,只有以前做了事情(如发表了好的科研论文、写博文引起别人的共鸣)才得到这样的结果。

再比如:在大学院系里面,为什么有的教师能够在关键的时候站出来,承担举办国际会议、接待外宾、用英语编写教科书的重任?为什么有的科研工作者和别人合作了以后,别人还是非常愿意和他合作?为什么有的人给编辑审了稿子,编辑下次还是不断地找他?这一切都是有“原因”的。这个法则给我的启发是:花下去的功夫不会是白花的。

预期法则

The Law of Expectations says that whatever you expect with confidence becomes your own self-fulfilling prophecy. To put it another way, what you get is not necessarily what you want in life, but what you expect. Your expectations exert a powerful, invisible influence that causes people to behave and situations to work out as you anticipated.

集中法则(The Law of Concentration)

Whatever you dwell upon grows and expands in your life. Whatever you concentrate upon and think about repeatedly increases in your world. Therefore, you must focus your thinking on the things you really want in your life.

服务法则(The Law of Service)

Your rewards in life will be direct proportion to the value of your service to others. The more you work, study and develop your ability to contribute more to the lives and well-being of others, the better life you will have in all areas.

准备法则(The Law of Preparation)

Luck is when opportunity meets preparation. Perfect performance comes from painstaking preparation, often for weeks, months and years in advance. The most successful people in every area invariably spend far more time in preparation than the least successful.

主观价值法则(The Law of Subjective Value)

All value is in the eye of the beholder. There is no set value for anything. Something is only worth what someone else is willing to pay. The person willing to pay ultimately determines the true value of any item.

 

在Brian Tracy成功学书中,有这么一条人生定律:The Law of Reciprocity。

The Law of Reciprocity states that people are internally driven to be even, to reciprocate for anything done either to or for them. They will be willing to help achieve your goals only when you have demonstrated a willingness to help them to achieve their goals.

The most successful people in our society, in all fields, are those who have helped the greatest number of other people to get the things they want. They build up a reservoir of goodwill and create a propensity in others to help them, to reciprocate for having been helped in the past.

If you want to increase the quantity and quality of your returns, your rewards, you need but to increase the quantity and quality of your service. By always doing more than you're paid for, you'll eventually be paid more than you're getting now. By putting more in, you'll get more out. By "overcontributing" you'll end up being "overcompensated."

这段话说得很透彻。它的意思说,如果你乐意解决别人的(比如你的老板的)问题,分担别人的忧愁,别人也会来解决你的问题,分担你的忧愁,把你的付出反馈给你。为此,要成功,就要不断地付出;不能给多少工资干多少活,而要干超过工资价值的活,这样才能赢得别人的尊敬和帮助。

这段话说得没错。比如中学时,我们到某煤气厂参观。作报告的管理人员说工厂建设初期,资金紧缺,一些双职工没有分到房子,却不离不弃;后来经济效益好了,造起了公房,厂里给这些双职工更多照顾,分到相对宽敞的房子。

再比如,有两个科研者合作研究一个东西,结果双方贡献比例相仿,但是第一作者只能有一个。一方根本就没有提出做第一作者,对辛勤付出毫无怨言。结果另外一方(第一作者)考虑到这种情况提出以后还继续合作,“吃亏”的一方只要做少量的事情也可以成为第二作者。

再比如现在科研教育界,做了很多事情未必“算的”。比如帮出版社审稿、帮系里构建网页、协助学校举办国际会议、接待外宾、当一些不是自己“嫡系”学生的学生的非正式导师(informal mentor)、给别人修改出国材料,这些都被视为“软”的东西(“硬”的东西为科研成果和项目资金),在评职称的时候很难放在台面上说。究竟该怎么补偿、怎么考虑,还要不要帮助别人、主动承担,这个问题值得思考。

The Law of Reciprocity的意思是,吃亏的事情做得越多,别人反馈地也越多。但是,要做到专门找吃亏的事情做还是非常不容易。比如在有的国外国家实验室,向国家申请科研基金都如拍电影找“全明星”阵容一样,都是资深科学家出面的。一些有为青年、少数族裔、他国出生的人出不了头只能当“枪手”(ghost writer),把科研申请书写好让“明星科学家”出马拿钱,自己只能吃些剩饭剩菜。能做到这样,才能赢得本土明星科学家的表面上的“器重”。一句话:不但不抢别人饭碗而且把别人的活干了让别人去邀功,自己干最苦最累的活,才会赢得土生土长的人的“器重”。

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