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更新时间:2018-2-22 20:02:02 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

'Our formula for happiness and success is backwards'

Sebastien Bras was at the top of his game: the chef’s restaurant in southern France, Le Suquet, had received Michelin’s highly sought-after three-star rating.

塞巴斯蒂安·布拉斯(Sebastien Bras)成为了业界翘楚:这位主厨开在法国南部的Le Suquet被评为米其林三星餐厅,这是一项令人羡慕不已的殊荣。

But Bras made headlines in 2017 when he requested that the prestigious dining guide strip Le Suquet of its stars, citing the “huge pressure” of knowing that any one less-than-perfect dish could throw his restaurant’s reputation into jeopardy.

但布拉斯却在2017年因为要求米其林撤销Le Suquet的三星评级而登上媒体头条,他的理由是:当他知道,任何不够完美的菜肴都会对餐厅的声誉构成威胁时,他感受到了"巨大的压力"。

“You’re inspected two or three times a year, you never know when. Every meal that goes out could be inspected. That means, every day, one of the 500 meals that leaves the kitchen could be judged,” he told Agence France Presse news agency.


“Today… we wish to be free spirits, to continue the adventure serenely, without tension,” Bras told his fans in a video posted on his Facebook page.


Michelin granted Bras’s request to remove Le Suquet from its listings this week – a first for the prestigious dining guide. “It is difficult for us to have a restaurant in the guide which does not wish to be in it,” Michelin spokesperson Claire Dorland Clauzel told AFP.

米其林同意了布拉斯的要求,撤销了三星评级——这在米其林的历史上尚属首次。"我们很难在指南中收录一家不愿被我们收录的餐厅。"米其林发言人克莱尔·多兰的·克劳泽尔(Claire Dorland Clauzel)对法新社说。

Bras’s story may be unique in the world of fine dining, but he is hardly the first person to climb to the top only to find happiness and success aren’t as inexorably linked as most of us assume.


Know your enemy


Experts say that great success often comes with a raft of unexpected complications, both in personal relationships and from your own self-perception.


Mary Lamia is a clinical psychologist and author of What Motivates Getting Things Done. She says very successful people often feel like they’re walking around wearing a target – and all too often, they’re not too far off the mark.

玛丽·拉米亚(Mary Lamia)是一名临床心理学家,她还著有《什么东西激励人们完成任务》(What Motivates Getting Things Done)。她表示,成功人士经常感觉自己带着目标四处行走——他们往往不会离目标太远。

“When you’ve achieved a certain level of success there are people who want what you have. They don’t see you as who you are anymore – they see you as what they want,” Lamia says, adding that people sometimes derive pleasure from watching those at the top of their fields falter.


And if the schadenfreude and clashes with colleagues and and loved ones weren’t enough, Lamia says the high stakes of success can also activate some extremely powerful negative emotions around fear of being exposed as inadequate.


“I’ve talked to people who are wrecked by success – not everybody can embrace success in a way that makes them feel good,” Lamia says.


Many people who become successful and stay at the top of their game use fear of being found out as a driving force to propel them from one achievement to the next. But according to Lamia, others become immobilised by their own fear of failure. They may take their frustration out on loved ones, turn to drugs or alcohol, or withdraw altogether from the thing they once loved to do.


For those who manage to cultivate healthy, jealousy-free relationships and use a fear of failure to propel themselves to further greatness, there remains a further barrier to success: Ever-shifting targets.


Moving the goalposts


By all accounts, Dan White had it made. By his late 20s he was director of a digital agency, drove a Porsche, owned a seven-bedroom home and counted himself among the top 1% of earners in the UK.

从各个角度来看,丹·怀特(Dan White)都算得上是成功人士。他20多岁就成为一家数字公司的负责人,开着保时捷,有一套七居室的房子,还跻身1%收入最高的英国人之列。

“Money, wealth and income potential – the future growth of that – were hugely important to me and they defined me. My identity was very much wrapped up in those things, and I would internally measure myself against other people and judge myself against that.”


But White found that the goalposts kept moving. He no sooner had the Porsche than he started thinking about owning a Ferrari; he no sooner owned a house than he started thinking about how long it would be before he could buy a bigger one.


Happiness researcher and the author of the Happiness Advantage Shawn Achor says that this type of thinking is extremely common – and symptomatic of a flawed approach to happiness.

快乐研究者、《幸福优势》(Happiness Advantage)的作者肖恩·阿克尔(Shawn Achor)表示,这种思维方式非常普遍——表明人们获得幸福的方式存在缺陷。

“Our formula for happiness and success is backwards,” Achor says.

"我们关于幸福和成功的公式非常落后。" 阿克尔说。

“We think if we accomplish a goal and have a certain level of success, then we will be happy,” Achor says. But he explains that every time we have a success, our brains change the benchmark for what that success looks like.


“Success is a challenge because the brain gets addicted to the rush,” Achor says. “It invests more resources into increasing that success, but sometimes at the cost of other things that lead to happiness – social connection, quiet time, reflection and peace.”


It was in one of these rare, reflective times that White had what he describes as a “road to Damascus” moment of clarity. It was New Years Day 2010, and he was on the beach with his family, reflecting on the year that had just gone by. White realised that he had allowed money and status symbols to dictate not only his life’s work, but also his own self-worth.


Within a few years, White had left his agency job and founded Ninety, a social enterprise venture that allocates 90% of all distributable profit to charity. Ninety aims to give away a billion pounds over a period of 30 years.


White says the realisation that he needed to find meaning beyond some of the traditional measures of success has paid dividends for him.


“Before, I was looking for people to admire me for what I had achieved. I wanted people to think I was a wealthy young overachiever. I don’t really care what people think anymore. Now I’m motivated by a sense of rightness, and that’s hugely motivational,” White says. “My life now has a point.”


A better way to handle success


Experts say there are some practical ways to deal with the pitfalls of success.


Lamia says that humans have a bad habit of immediately assigning meaning to emotion, even though emotions only give us vague information to go on. Instead, she says people should learn to recognise their uncomfortable feelings about their success as just that – feelings – not indicators that a person is truly inadequate or unworthy.


“If you ask ‘why do I feel like this?’ every time you feel an emotion in the present, it instantly accesses an entire warehouse of emotional memories,” Lamia says. “Doing this allows us to learn about why we feel the way we do. We can change our habitual patterns if we take a look at the way we feel in the present.”

"如果每当你感受到一种情绪时,都问自己:'我为什么会有这种感觉?',它就会立刻参考整个情绪记忆库。" 拉米亚说,"这样做可以让我们了解为什么会有这样的感觉。看一看现在的感觉,就能改变我们的习惯模式。"

Achor suggests that the path to happiness while being successful lies in learning to focus on other things – aspects of life unrelated to professional achievements.


“If you have all your pleasure, attention and energy in one domain of your life, you become fragile,” Achor says. So if one area is doing well, diversify and put energy into social connections, exercise and altruism.


When success is ‘all about you’ it becomes less fun, so share the success,” he says. “Take people with you on your ride.”