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How do I find my passion?- 怎样获得激情?

原文是Oliver Emberton在Quora的一个问题——How do I find my passion?下的回答。现本着学习交流的目的,将其翻译如下,欢迎指正。

Too many of us believe in a magical being called ‘passion’. “If only I could find my passion”, we cry. “Finding my passion would make me happy”.
人们总会相信一个神奇的词:激情。“只要能找到自己的激情在什么上,我一定会快乐起来!”

 

Well, passion is real, and very powerful. But almost everything people believe about finding it is wrong.
确实,激情有这个能力;但怎么寻找激情引发点,人们却总是不得其法。
Rule 1: Passion comes from success1. 激情源自成功
All of our emotions exist for good reason. We feel hunger to ensure we don’t starve. We feel full to ensure we don’t burst. And we feel passion to ensure we concentrate our efforts on things that reward us the most.
我们所有情绪的存在,都是有原因的。我们会感觉到饥饿,才不会饿死;会感觉到饱,才不会撑死(也有例外)。而我们的激情,是驱使自己把更多的精力,花在能给我们最大回报的事情上。
Imagine you start a dance class. You find it easy. You realise you’re getting better than others, and fast. That rising excitement you feel is your passion, and that passion makes you come back for more, improving your skills, and compounding your strengths.
比如你开始上舞蹈班时,发现很轻松,你比别人做的更好,学得更快。这就会让你觉得兴奋,也就是传说中的激情,激情会让你花更多的心思去学习,去进步。

 

The enemy of passion is frustration. If you constantly struggle with something, you’ll never become passionate about it. You learn to avoid it entirely, guaranteeing you never improve.
而激情的敌人,是沮丧。如果某件事对你来说简直就是挣扎,你是不会对它有激情的。避免沮丧,否则你是很难提高的。

 

Most people get this backwards. They think we discover our passion, and that makes us good at something. It’s actually finding that you’re good which comes first. Passion comes from success.
反馈机制如上图,大多人是这种情况。他们觉得,我得先发现激情所在,然后才能获得成功;但实际上,成功是激情之母。
Rule 2: Childhood is where passion goes to die2. 激情卒于童年
In theory childhood provides a great opportunity to try a bit of everything, find your talents, and with them, your passions.
理论上,童年时的我们,会有很多机会涉猎各种事情,通过这种方式,我们会发现自己的天赋,发现自己的激情。
But think for a moment how badly the system is stacked against you. Say school lets you try 20 subjects, ranking you against thousands of other children. Those aren’t good odds. Most kids are, by definition, around average. And it doesn’t matter how much we improve education, because people need to feel exceptional to feel passionate, and improving education simply moves up the average.
但想一想,我们就会发现,在这个系统中,我们只是可怜的路人甲。比如,学校里你需要选20门课,但需要和数千名小伙伴们一起排名。这可就不好玩了。大多数孩子都是普通水平——因为普通的定义就是大多数所达到的水平。这样,即使教育水平提高,也无济于事,以为我们需要从独特的优越中获取激情,而教育提高的是一群人的水平,水涨船高。

 

Say you’re one of the lucky ones, and you’re top of your junior math class. The education system will keep rising your difficulty until you find a level – like college – where you’re not exceptional anymore. Even if you actually are objectively pretty great, once you feel merely average, you’ll find your passion slipping.
再假如,你很幸运地成为了传说中的万里挑一,是你们整个八年级数学最好的那个。随着你接受的教育越来越高端,难度越来越大,总一天你会发现自己不再出色——高等数学课上,你已经泯然众人矣。即使你真的很强,又读到数学博士,但发现自己只是个“普通的”数学博士,你的热情,就像一把渐渐熄灭的火。
And that’s if you’re lucky. What if your passion was for art? From an early age that passion is compromised by its social consequences. “It’s hard to make a living from painting” say your parents. “Your cousin is doing so well from engineering. Why can’t you be more like him?” And so you put your passions to one side, and let them wither.
这还算是幸运的。如果你的激情在艺术上会怎样?你激情的小火苗还没燃起来的时候,它就已经被看衰。你爸妈会说,画画很难吃饱饭的,那谁家的谁谁,学机械工程好就业,你就不学好?于是你不得不放下你的音乐/艺术梦想,任其枯萎。
In a population of billions, it’s obvious that not everyone can be unusually great at a handful of academic subjects. What if your true skills are in speechwriting, or creative dance, or making YouTube commentaries of videogames? None of those things are even on the syllabus.
在几十亿的社会中,很明显,不是所有人都能在学校的那几门课程中表现出色的。如果你真正的特长是写演讲稿、即兴舞蹈或者在网上写游戏测评?学校可不会考这些。
And so most people grow up without much passion for anything.
所以才会有那么多人在成长中是难以发现激情的。
Rule 3: Passion can be created
3.创造激情
It may help to know that the most successful people in life generally didn’t pick their passion off a shelf.
最成功的那些人可不是在书中发现自己的激情的。

 

In fact, many of the world’s most successful people dropped out of education entirely. Not because they were stupid – but because they found other areas where they were more skilled that education did not recognise.
实际上,世界上最成功的那些人,很多干脆辍学了。不是因为笨。他们发现了教育根本没顾忌到的领域。
They created their own passions.
他们自己创造了自己的激情。
Only a tiny fraction of people can expect to excel in the narrow subjects that childhood primes us for. And competition in that space is basically ‘everybody in the world who went to school’, which doesn’t help our chances.
关于我们童年教育所针对的那些事情,可能只有很少的一部分人能出类拔萃。基本上,你是在和全世界上学的孩子一起竞争。这就是说,如果你真的是万里挑一,那全世界还有几百万人和你一样万里挑一——泪奔么?
But if you look outside of that space, you’ll find less competition, and more options. And this is how you tip the odds of finding a passion in your favour.
但你得跳出圈子看这个问题,少一点竞争,多一点选择。你才可能发现激情。
Option 1: Create something方法一:创造新东西。
When you create something new, you’re inventing something to be passionate about.
当你创造出新东西时,这玩意会让你获得激情的。
You might design novelty cushions, or write Batman stories, or start a Twitter account dedicated to fact-checking politicians.
比如设计一个很新奇的坐垫,写一则蝙蝠侠往事,在微博上注册个专用于黑郭敬明的账号(作者说黑政治家,结合国情,我们还是聊郭敬明吧)。

 

New things are relatively uncontested. By creating something new, you’ve made your odds of becoming exceptional far, far higher.
新东西就没那么多人来跟你竞争。你需要和成千上万竞争者PK,才可能进入Google/百度;但若是自己创业,专搞挖掘机专业英语培训,基本上你不用和任何人竞争。
Now it’s important to note that this doesn’t sidestep Rule #1: passion comes from success. So if your new Twitter account only has 5 followers after a year, you probably won’t be too passionate about it. If you had 5 million, you’d have quit your job. You must find success to fuel your passion.
需要注意的是,这和【第一条:激情源于成功】不太一致。你注册的“郭敬明研究院院长“长期只有几个粉丝,恐怕要不了几个月你就没劲了;但如果你有五百万粉丝,估计你干脆就辞职在家专门写段子发软文了。激情的小火苗离不开不断的成功来作为燃料。

 

But at least you’ve drastically improved your odds, because your competition is so limited. Only a handful of people will even dare to try something new. And you can be one of them, just by starting.
不过话说回来,至少你另辟蹊径,获得激情的概率会提高。很少有人敢于尝试新鲜东西,只要去开这个头,你也能成为这少数人之一。
You see this pattern throughout history’s greats. A student called Mark was never going to be the world’s greatest programmer. But he started building cool websites, and he found he was unusually good at this because even better programmers rarely dared to try. It just so happens one of his little experiments became Facebook.
看一看历史上那些伟人,很多都是在这个模式下成其伟业的。有个叫马克的学生,本来是不可能成为世界上最好的程序员的;不过他决定去创建网站,他发现自己特别善于把网站做的很酷,比那些更出色的程序员更出色了。他的小实验叫Facebook.
Option 2: Lead a new trend方法二:引领新潮流
The older and more established an area is, the harder it will be to compete in. Millions have got there before you, and the lower your odds of standing out, the lower your odds of being passionate.
一个领域越是历史悠久,其中的竞争就越激烈。无数人已经比你先占好位置了,你很难脱颖而出,也就难以获得激情。
But there’s always a new frontier being born, a place where everyone else is hopelessly incapable, and even modest skills can be impressive.
但任何一个领域的产生,总有一个起点。在这个起点,任何人都和你一样,一无所知,一无所长。

 

Say you were a teenager who started making YouTube videos, back in 2005. You grow a modest following, and your growing success excites you. By the time the ‘grown up’ world had realised YouTube was Kind-Of-A-Big-Deal with 4 billion views every single day, you’ve become a passionate master of an invaluable new craft.
比如,你是个喜欢鼓捣视频的小伙子,在2005的情人节闲着无事,发现另一群单身汉这天创建了个网站叫Youtube. 既然这么有缘,你就注册了自己的账号,传几段有趣的视频,刚开始没人搭理你,渐渐有人来你的主页上溜达,到后来人越来越多,你的成就感与日俱增,你的激情也越来越大。而这个时候,Youtube已经火起来了,你作为最早的使用者之一,俨然已经成为网站大V了,谈笑风生。
That isn’t fantasy. There are mountains of hugely successful YouTubers, and most started in the same way: before everybody else. It’s the same for the first bloggers, rappers, and videogame designers.
这不是做梦,Youtube上有太多太多这样的成功者,他们仅仅是比别人更早使用罢了。同样的,最早写博客的人,制作网络歌曲的人,视频游戏设计者,都有类似的情况。
If you can find something new that’s growing fast, and get skilled at it early, you’ll find it disproportionately easy to excel because of the lack of competition. And that’s your new passion right there.
如果你发现了长势喜人的新事物,赶紧掌握它吧。你会发现没有了太多竞争,出色起来,真是好轻松啊。这就是新潮流给你带来的激情。
Option 3: Fuse mediocrity方法三:熔炼平凡
One limitation of education is it’s designed to narrow your skills. Education generally finds your One Best Thing, and pushes that thing as far as you can stand it:
教育的局限之一是,它会让你的技能越来越来专一;它会让你在某个领域的某个方向上越走越远,以至于让最初的你无法想象。

 

The problem is most of us, by definition, can’t be the best in any one area. But we can be exceptional in our combinations.
问题是,我们大多数人是不可能在一个领域里成为最好的那一个;却可以在我们自己创造的领域里做的最好。
Say you’re an average artist, with a decent sense of humour. You won’t have much hope with an art degree, and you can’t study ‘humour’ as a subject. But you could be an awesome cartoonist.
比如你是一个很一般的艺术家,不过幽默感还不错。你没法成为艺术大师,也不太可能成为一个谐星;不过你却会是一个出色的漫画家。
Or take an average business student, with some programming ability, and decent sales skills. That person is surprisingly well suited to become the boss of others who were better than them in any one of those areas.
或者你是一个普通的商科学生,会一点编程,还懂点推销技巧。那你就去做个领导者吧,让比你更懂商业的人、更懂编程、更懂推销的人,在你手下各自发挥所长。
The most successful people are almost never defined by a single skill. They are a fusion of skills, often not even exceptional skills, but they’ve made their fusion exceptional. Steve Jobs was not the world’s greatest engineer, salesperson, designer or businessman. But he was uniquely good enough at all of these things, and wove them together into something far greater.
成功者不是靠某一项技能的。他们通常是多种能力融合体,而且其中的任何一种能力可能也不会太出众,但这个融合体就非常出众了。乔布斯如果可以拆成几个部件的话,可以是工程师、销售、设计、商人,每一部件都不是最好的,不过都有其独特之处,而其组装一起后,就可以称得上伟大了。
This is the final route you have to finding your passion: combine skills into something more valuable. Remember, passion comes from success. If a new combination gets you better results, that could be your passion right there.
寻找激情的终极大法即是:把自己的技能融合成更有价值的东西。记住,激情源自成功,你的聚合物如果能让你有所成就,那它就是你要寻找的。
Why passion matters为什么要有激情?
Passion is attractive. As passion comes from believing you’re unusually good at something, being passionate is a very sincere way of saying, “by the way, I’m awesome”.
激情会让你更有魅力。对事情的激情在某种程度上就是一种自信,能向比人传递出你很在行、值得信赖的信息。

 

Passion will persuade people to follow you. It will persuade people to believe in you. But most importantly, passion will persuade yourself. Passion is an emotion specifically intended to make you go crazy and work your ass off at something because your brain believes it could rock your world. That, like love, is a feeling worth fighting for.
人们愿意追随有激情的人。因为我们通常会信任那些充满激情的人,不过最重要的是,激情会让你自己信任自己。激情会让你为之痴迷、癫狂,愿意拿出十二分努力,因为你坚信这会改变你的一切。就像你愿意为爱痴狂。
And like love, what we’re passionate about is too important to leave to the mercy of fate. If you haven’t found your passion yet, create new things, lead new trends, and fuse new combinations. But don’t ever stop looking.
就像爱,我们注以激情的东西,对自己来说太重要了,以至于不愿听天由命。如果你还没找到激情所在,试试创造新的东西,尝试新的方式,或者在已有的技能上,看看能不能提炼出不一样的东西。Just keep looking.

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