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纽约时报双语:在这个动荡时代,如何自我调适、迎接挑战?

在这个动荡时代,如何自我调适、迎接挑战?
How to Cope When Everything Keeps Changing
CINDY LAMOTHE
2020年9月10日
纽约时报双语:在这个动荡时代,如何自我调适、迎接挑战?

How do you make plans when it’s impossible to make plans?

在不可能制定计划的时候,该如何制定计划?

The ground beneath our feet is constantly shifting. Planning for anything more than a week out can feel futile — almost silly — since no one knows what the next week, much less the next month, will bring. A surge in coronavirus cases in your area? More lockdowns? Worrying about natural disasters? And concerns about health and financial well-being make matters even worse.

我们脚下的路一直在发生变化。既然没人能知道下一周,更别说下个月能出现什么事情,那么为一周以后的事情做计划都让人觉得是徒劳,甚至都可以说是很傻。你住的地区新冠病例激增?担心会出现自然灾害?此外,关于健康和经济状况的担忧更是雪上加霜。

“The questions are endless. And the answers are always changing,” said Nick Tasler, an organizational psychologist and the author of “Ricochet: What To Do When Change Happens To You.”

“问题是无穷无尽的。答案也总是有变化,”组织心理学家、《反弹:当发生变化的时候你该怎么做》(Ricochet: What To Do When Change Happens To You)一书的作者尼克·塔斯勒(Nick Tasler)说。

“One day the W.H.O. recommends this, and the next day the C.D.C. recommends something else,” Mr. Tasler said. “One day the economy is opening back up. A week later it’s closing back down.

“今天世卫组织推荐这个,明天疾控中心又推荐别的,”塔斯勒说。“今天经济重新开放。一周后,又再次关停。”

“And all of this changes not just day-by-day, but country-by-country, state-by-state.”

“而且这些改变不仅仅是每天发生的,也因国家、各州情况不一而各有不同。”

It’s enough to frazzle anyone.

这足以让任何人感到筋疲力尽。

Knowing how to react when our plans fail, according to experts, is essential for recalibrating. Fortunately, there are strategies we can take that can help us cope when life resembles an endless stream of curveballs.

专家表示,当我们的计划失败时,知道该如何作出反应,对重新自我调整来说至关重要。幸运的是,当生活看起来像是没完没了的曲线球时,我们可以采取一些措施来应对。

Overcome mental barriers

克服心理障碍

During a setback, it’s easy to get stuck in feelings of panic and disappointment. One of the most psychologically jarring things for many of us right now, Mr. Tasler said, is the radical upheaval to our daily routines.

遭遇挫折时,很容易会陷入恐慌和失望的情绪中。塔斯勒说,目前对我们许多人来说,在心理上让人最为不快的,就是我们日常生活完全被颠覆了。

“Many of us had already made pre-decisions that determined how we spend the majority of every day — what time we wake up, what we wear to work, what time we go to work, where we eat lunch, etc.,” he explained. “Now, suddenly, all those pre-decisions have had to be made anew.”

“我们许多人已经提前决定好了每天大部分时间该怎么过——几点醒来、穿什么上班、几点上班,去哪里吃午餐等等,”他解释道。“如今,突然之间,这些提前决定好的事情又得重新决定一遍。”

But the key to mental agility and not falling into an anxiety spiral, Mr. Tasler said, is to remind ourselves that it’s OK to switch gears. One way to achieve this mind-set shift is to use a technique called temporal distancing, which is like having access to your own personal mental time machine where you can transcend the here-and-now and visualize the future. Mr. Tasler suggests closing your eyes and asking yourself: “In 10 years, how will I want to remember telling the story of how I responded to this crisis?”

塔斯勒说,但要头脑灵活,不让自己陷入焦虑漩涡,关键是要提醒自己改变一下没什么大不了的。实现这种心态转变的一种方式是使用一种名为“保持时间距离”(temporal distancing)的技巧,这就像是能随时使用你自己的心理时间机器,在其中,你可以超越此时此刻,构想未来。塔斯勒建议你可以闭上眼睛,问问自己:“10年后,对于这次危机作出的反应,我会想以怎样的方式回忆这件事,向他人讲述这个故事?”

Dr. Roxane Cohen Silver, a professor of psychological science, medicine and public health at the University of California, Irvine, agreed that focusing on the future rather than the past is what ultimately helps us cope with difficult experiences.

加州大学欧文分校(University of California, Irvine)心理科学、医学和公共卫生教授罗克珊·科恩·西尔弗(Roxane Cohen Silver)博士也认为,关注未来而非过去,才能最终帮助我们应对困难经历。

“Many people throughout their lives encounter adversity that doesn’t go their way or is unexpected,” she said. “And when people successfully navigate these new life adversities, they are likely to learn things about themselves they didn’t realize.”

“很多人一生中都会遇到一些不顺心或意想不到的逆境,”她说。“而当人们成功渡过这些新的人生逆境时,他们很可能会了解到一些自己之前没有意识到的东西。”

This is not to diminish the very real feelings of disappointment and angst we all experience after a setback — especially when we’ve invested emotional and financial resources. But if we can approach our failed plans with a sense of our own resilience, we’re better able to overcome these challenges.

这并不是在贬低我们在遭遇挫折后的失望与焦虑这些真实感受——尤其是我们投入了情感和金钱资源的时候。但如果我们能以自己的适应能力来处理那些失败的计划,我们就能更好地克服这些挑战。

Don’t underestimate your ability to adapt

不要低估你的适应能力

Those of us who are serial planners often get stuck in rehashing our losses, rather than trust in our capacity to find new solutions. But operating from a place of fear doesn’t allow us to tap into our full cognitive abilities, said Margie Warrell, a leadership expert and the author of “You’ve Got This!: The Life-Changing Power of Trusting Yourself.”

我们这种总是做出一连串计划的人,经常沉溺于不断重温自己的损失,不相信我们有能力找到新的解决方案。但在恐惧中行动不能让我们充分发挥自己的认知能力,领导力专家、《你能行!信任自己改变人生的力量》(You’ve Got This!: The Life-Changing Power of Trusting Yourself)一书的作者玛吉·沃勒尔(Margie Warrell)说。

This mind-set also “undermines the quality of our decision making, stifles our creativity and impairs our ability to take the most constructive actions we have within us to take,” she added.

她还说,这种思维模式“降低了我们的决策质量,扼杀了我们的创造力,妨碍我们采取最具建设性的行动”。

If we’re stubbornly clinging to canceled plans, for instance, then we aren’t leaving room for new possibilities to unfold.

例如,如果我们过于固执,坚持要取消计划,那么就没有为新的可能性留下空间。

“Right now, people are dealing with immense uncertainty, but the truth is, we’ve never really had certainty,” Ms. Warrell said. “We just thought we did. That was an illusion.”

“现在,人们面临着巨大的不确定性,但事实是,我们从来不曾拥有真正的确定性,”沃勒尔说。“我们只是认为我们拥有它。这是一种幻觉。”

When something changes, our mind goes into battle arguing against that change, because we’re wired to crave comfort and certainty, she said, adding that we can override that impulse “by trusting in our innate capacity to handle change and adapt to new situations.”

她说,当某件事发生变化时,我们的大脑就会开始战斗,反对这种变化,因为我们天生就渴望舒适和确定性。她还说,“通过相信自己处理变化和适应新情况的内在能力”,我们就可以压倒这种冲动。

Instead of getting stuck in a thought-loop of what could have been, Ms. Warrell recommends we “zoom up” and look at what’s going on around us through a larger lens.

沃勒尔建议我们不要陷入“原本可能发生什么”这样的思维循环中,而是要“后退一步”,用更宽阔的视角来审视我们周围发生的事情。

“Was it really realistic that your plans should have fallen into place just as you wanted?” she said. “I’ve learned that what is outside our control is teaching us a lesson on letting go of our attachment to how we think things should be.”

“你的计划总会按照你的想法去落实,这真的现实吗?”她说。“我了解到,我们无法控制的事情给我们上了一课,让我们放下对‘事物应该如何发展’的执迷。”

The bottom line: A big part of stretching our mental flexibility comes down to accepting that what we thought we knew was unknowable to begin with.

关键是,锻炼思维灵活性很大程度上在于接受这样的事实:我们以为自己知道的事情,其实从一开始就是不可知的。

“Once we decide to accept that reality — scary as it might seem — most people find it to actually be liberating,” Mr. Tasler said. “Accepting the reality of what we can’t control sets our minds free to explore the possibilities of what we can control.”

“一旦我们决定接受这个现实——虽然看上去很可怕——大多数人会发现这实际上是一种解放,”塔斯勒说。“接受我们无法控制的事实,可以让我们的思想去自由地探索我们可以控制的事物有着什么样的可能性。”

Take action, no matter how small

采取行动,无论多小

When faced with unexpected change, taking immediate steps to improve our situation can help us quickly switch gears. “The key is to start almost stupidly small,” Mr. Tasler said. “Pick something that is so easy and so certain to be accomplished that it’s almost comical.”

面临突如其来的变化时,立即采取改善处境的措施,可以帮助我们迅速实现转变。“关键是要从近乎愚蠢的小事开始,”塔斯勒说。“要选择一件非常简单、肯定能完成、简直是近乎滑稽的事情。”

A strategy he recommends is to approach your planning the way a scientist would: by conducting small experiments. For example: “If your plan consists of only online grocery shopping from a particular store this month, but you find that there are things you need at another store, then you still won because you invalidated the hypothesis that suggested you only need one store,” he said, adding you can apply this principle to other areas of your life, like work and exercise.

他推荐的一个策略是以科学家的方式来规划:搞点小实验。比如:“如果你的计划是本月只在某家店网购杂货,但你发现在另一家商店也有你需要的东西,那你还是赢了,因为你使得‘我只需要一家店’的假设失效了,”他说,还可以将这个原则应用到生活、工作和运动等其他领域。

The idea isn’t that any of these small acts will solve your problem, “but they will start the psychological snowball rolling in your mind, steadily restoring your sense of agency, and rekindling that belief that what you do matters,” Mr. Tasler said.

这并不意味这些小行动就能解决你的问题,“但它们会在你的头脑中像雪球一样滚动,稳步恢复你的行动感,重新点燃你的信念,让你相信自己做的事情很重要,”塔斯勒说。

He added: “Over a short period of time your mental state changes and you’re ready to tackle the bigger, more meaningful challenges.”

他还说:“在短时间内,你的精神状态会发生变化,你已经做好了准备,应对更大、更有意义的挑战。”

While it can feel like our options are limited, we can still get more comfortable taking the next step and adjusting if needed. “Don’t wait until you are sure what the future holds until you make a new plan,” Ms. Warrell urged.

虽然感觉选择有限,但我们仍然可以更为轻松地进行下一步,并根据需要进行调整。“不要等到你确定未来会怎样,再制定新计划,”沃勒尔敦促道。

“It’s important to be decisive amid the uncertainty, ambiguity and volatility of this time,” she said. “So make your plan and take action, but then be brave enough to quickly change course as the situation changes from what you had planned on.”

“在当前的不确定性、模棱两可和多变的情况下,保持果断很重要,”她说。“所以,要制定计划并采取行动,但也要有足够的勇气,根据情况改变计划,迅速改变路线。”

Reframe your situation

重塑你的处境

Many of us set intentions and made assumptions at the beginning of the year and were devastated when the majority of these plans fell apart. But according to experts, changing the way we view these experiences can help us focus on growth.

我们许多人在年初就定下了目标,做出了假设,当这些计划大多都以失败告终后,我们非常震惊。但根据专家的说法,改变看待这些经历的方式,可以帮助我们专注于成长。

“Reframing unexpected change is saying, ‘I can learn from this and hopefully my future will be better from it,’” said Benjamin Hardy, Ph.D., an organizational psychologist and the author of “Personality Isn’t Permanent: Break Free from Self-Limiting Beliefs and Rewrite Your Story.”

组织心理学家、《个性不是永恒的:打破自我限制的信念,重写你的故事》(Personality Isn’t Permanent: Break Free from Self-Limiting Beliefs and Rewrite Your Story)一书的作者本杰明·哈迪(Benjamin Hardy)博士说 ,“重塑意料之外的变化意味着,‘我可以从中汲取教训,希望我的未来会因此变得更美好。’”

It also helps to know this is happening to every person in the world.

这也有助于了解,世界上每个人都在面对这种情况。

For Charlie Gilkey, a productivity coach and the author of “Start Finishing: How to Go From Idea to Done,” “The grace that we all have right now is that everybody’s timelines are messed up.”

对于生产力教练、《开始完成:如何从想法到行动》(Start Finishing: How to Go From Idea to Done)的作者查理·吉尔基(Charlie Gilkey)来说,“每个人都有的优势是,大家的时间表都乱了。”

“This is the very best time to practice proactive communication, to practice updating our plans and having a flexible mind-set,” he said.

“这是练习主动沟通、更新计划并保持灵活心态的最佳时机,”他说。

Another strategy to cope with the constant shifting of our lives is to embrace the psychological concept of hardiness, or “transformational coping,” which teaches us to perceive stressful life events less as threats and more as opportunities for personal development.

应对生活不断变化的另一种策略是,接受耐性这个心理学概念,也就是“转型应对”,它叫我们将生活中充满压力的事情视为个人发展的机遇,而不是威胁。

Choosing courage over our sense of powerlessness is what ultimately helps us cope with sudden change, and allows us to foster more empathy and meaning.

选择勇气而非无力感,最终将帮助我们应对突如其来的变化,并使我们能够培养出更多的同理心和意涵来。

“While there is no denying the heartache and hardship of this turbulent time, it’s important to be intentional to look at ways we can transform it into a powerful catalyst for transformational change,” Ms Warrell said.

沃勒尔说:“尽管无法否认这个动荡期的心痛和困难,但重要的是,要有意识地研究如何将其转化为强大的催化剂,来推动变革。”

And no matter our situation, Mr. Tasler said, we can always stop and take a beat to ask ourselves: “Do I want to tell the story of my fear? Or do I want to tell the story of my strength of character? And what does that mean for how I spend today?”

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