如果你想追随你的梦想,你必须对所有的其它事情说不

我们的大脑就像灌满了蜜蜂的沙滩排球一样。上百个互相矛盾的冲动想法把我们推向不同的方向。

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人们从来不想只做一件事情。我们想做全部的事情。我们想同时既锻炼身体学英语,要出去吃披萨。我们的欲望是无限的,各个不同的力量,把我们的“沙滩排球”推向各个方向。

于是,通常的情况是那个球那儿也到不了。它受地形的影响而不是受到它内心意志的控制。

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这是绝大多数人的生活方式。我们永远感到彷徨。我们永远没有足够的时间。我们遇到的困难永远比我们能够以自身能力处理的更为强大。

让我们来纠正这种情况吧。

“好主意”的诅咒

想像一下如果在20年前你是一个天才,你有个主意,创立谷歌公司,还有亚马逊,同时还有脸书。你拥有上世纪三个最佳的商业创意,你如果启动了任何一个,现在就身家过亿。但如果你决定同时做这三个,那你会什么也不是。

有好主意并不够。许多人有好主意。问题是太多的好主意互相抵消了。

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这就是为什么聪明人组成委员会之后就被叫做“蠢货”。人多并不会产生领导力。你被牵扯进的方向越多,你能够行进的距离就越短。

人们是怎样把不可能变成可能的

想像一个你自己做梦也不敢想的目标。比如你想写一本书,或者登上火星。

如果你绝对不得不实现它 -- 如果你的生命和你关心的人的生命都寄托在这件事上 -- 你会怎么做?你怎么做?

你绝对会扔掉所有其它的事情。你会把自己变成一只巨大的大黄蜂,向一个方向猛推,而且你会行动非常非常迅速。

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偏执狂一般聚焦在一个目标上,这可能是能够成功的唯一策略。这是从爱迪生到爱因斯坦的每个成功人士身上发现的一种模式。当你能够在一个目标上聚焦,而且是持久地,你的成就将会达到它们的理论上限。

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绝大多数人不是因为他们的能力不够而挫败。他们失败是因为把能力分散到太多的方向上。

怎样驯服这些“小虫子”

你一直会想要尝试更多的事情,哪怕比你实际上能做的更多。不幸的是把你自己往太多方向上拉是确保你失败的唯一的最快的方法。而把你的全部精力放在一个方向上是确保成功的最快方法。

所以试试这些吧:

  • 1. 把目标定得更高。 如果你的抱负很小,它们很容易就被淹没了。大的目标反而更容易坚持,因为它们值得为此而忽略其它小的目标。
  • 2. 限定为3。 最多对于你生活的不同方面保留3个愿望清单,比如“工作”、“家庭”和“周末”。每个清单只有一个目标。如果你绝对必须有更多的清单,那你必须明白每加一个清单会使得那个部分的成功机率降到1/4。
  • 3. 搁置。 任何现在不是最高优先级的事情都可以被优化到以后再做。马克·扎克伯格先创办了脸书,然后才学中文,这是很聪明的做法。你的目标也是一样,只是你经常在当时太沉迷于其中而没有察觉。
  • 4. 留心你的其它愿望。 小心那些“你也想要做的其它事情”。它们会让你觉得舒服、无害和必然。但它们是致命的。每多一个方向将会使你所能达成的成果降到1/4。
  • 5. 把你的大黄蜂们排成一行。你可能不能够同时创建下一个谷歌、治疗癌症或登上火星。但你可能能够同时成为,比方说,一个成功而又健壮的总裁。成功和健身可以成为互补的目标: 一个更健康的人可以成为更好的领导者。他们象两个往同一个方向推进的大黄蜂,这样变成更加有力。
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那些在一生中成就了最令人惊讶的、改变世界的事业的少数人,不是因为分散他们的目标而达成这些的。他们把目标定得更高,把他们的“大黄蜂们”排成一列,而且对生活给予他们的所有其它机会说不。

如果你希望具有追寻你的梦想的能力,你必须对所有其它选择说不。这不容易,但当它们来到你的面前,至少你要知道选择它们的代价。

原文标题:If you want to follow your dreams, you have to say no to all the alternatives
原文链接:http://abetterlife.quora.com/If-you-want-to-follow-your-dreams-you-have-to-say-no-to-all-the-alternatives
原文作者:Oliver Emberton, founder of Silktide
原文日期:2014年10月29日

Our brains behave like a beachball filled with bees. Hundreds of conflicting impulses, pushing us in different directions.

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People never want to do one thing. We want to do all the things. We simultaneously want to exercise and to learn Spanish and to go out for pizza. Our desires are countless, independent agents, working to nudge our beachball in their own selfish direction.

And so usually, that ball is going nowhere. It’s controlled more by the terrain than by the will of what’s inside it.

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This is how most people live their lives. We feel endlessly conflicted. We never have enough time. And what happens to us is stronger than our ability to combat it.

Let’s fix that.

The curse of the ‘great idea’

Imagine if 20 years ago you were a genius who had the idea of starting up Google, and Amazon, and Facebook. You just invented three of the best business ideas of the last century, and if you had started any one of them you could now be worth billions. But if you were determined to do all three simultaneously you’d be absolutely nowhere.

It’s not enough to have great ideas. Lots of people have great ideas. The problem is that too many great ideas cancel each other out.

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This is why a committee of smart people is called an “idiot”. Leadership doesn’t work in volume. The more directions you’re being pulled in, the less distance you’ll travel.

How people achieve the impossible

Imagine an insanely ambitious goal for yourself. Say you want to write a book, or land on Mars.

If you absolutely had to do that – if your life and the lives of everybody you cared about depended upon it – how would you? How could you?
You’d simply drop everything else. You’d become one giant bumblebee, pushing in one direction, and you’d move very, very quickly:

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Monomaniacal focus on a single goal is perhaps the ultimate success stratagem. It’s a pattern found in everyone from Edison to Einstein. When you’re able to focus on a single goal, constantly, your achievements reach their theoretical limit:

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Most people aren’t failing because of their potential. They’re failing because their potential is spread in too many directions.

How to tame the swarm

You will always want to attempt more than you can achieve.

Unfortunately pulling yourself in too many directions is the single quickest way to ensure failure. And putting your all into a single direction is the quickest way to ensure success.

So try this:

  • 1. Aim higher. If your ambitions are small, they’re easily overpowered. Big goals are paradoxically more likely to stick because they’re worth ignoring smaller goals for.
  • 2. Limit to three. Keep up to three lists for different parts of your life – say ‘work’, ‘home’ and ‘weekend’. Each list only gets one objective. If you absolutely must have more, just know that each addition quarters the odds of that area succeeding.
  • 3. Put it off. Anything which isn’t top priority now can be done optimally later. Mark Zuckerberg was smart to start Facebook first and then learn Chinese. Your goals are the same, you’re just usually too attached to them in the moment to notice.
  • 4. Beware your idle wants. Watch out for ‘other things that you also want’. They will feel comforting, harmless, and automatic. They are deadly. One new direction will quarter what you can accomplish.
  • 5. Line up your bumblebees. You may not be able to create the next Google, cure cancer and land on Mars at the same time. But you might be able to simultaneously become, say, a successful and athletic CEO. Success and fitness can be complementary goals: a healthier person can be a better leader. They’re like two bumblebees, pushing in the same direction, and stronger for it.
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The few people who have achieved the most staggering, world changing things with their lives didn’t do so by dividing their intentions. They aimed high, got their bumblebees in line, and said no to all the other opportunities that life presented them.

If you want the power to follow your dreams, you have to say no to all the alternatives. It’s not easy, but if that’s for you, at least you know the price.

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