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Paul Graham谈士气的要素

美国著名程序员、博客作者和技术作家保罗·格雷厄姆(Paul Graham)在其个人网站上的长文《How to do great work》给仍然雄心勃勃的年轻人提了一些建议,适合每位对自己仍有期望的朋友反复阅读。下面是本文的第二十三部分摘录:


An audience is a critical component of morale. If you’re a scholar, your audience may be your peers; in the arts, it may be an audience in the traditional sense. Either way it doesn’t need to be big. The value of an audience doesn’t grow anything like linearly with its size. Which is bad news if you’re famous, but good news if you’re just starting out, because it means a small but dedicated audience can be enough to sustain you. If a handful of people genuinely love what you’re doing, that’s enough.

To the extent you can, avoid letting intermediaries come between you and your audience. In some types of work this is inevitable, but it’s so liberating to escape it that you might be better off switching to an adjacent type if that will let you go direct.

The people you spend time with will also have a big effect on your morale. You’ll find there are some who increase your energy and others who decrease it, and the effect someone has is not always what you’d expect. Seek out the people who increase your energy and avoid those who decrease it. Though of course if there’s someone you need to take care of, that takes precedence.

Don’t marry someone who doesn’t understand that you need to work, or sees your work as competition for your attention. If you’re ambitious, you need to work; it’s almost like a medical condition; so someone who won’t let you work either doesn’t understand you, or does and doesn’t care.

Ultimately morale is physical. You think with your body, so it’s important to take care of it. That means exercising regularly, eating and sleeping well, and avoiding the more dangerous kinds of drugs. Running and walking are particularly good forms of exercise because they’re good for thinking.

People who do great work are not necessarily happier than everyone else, but they’re happier than they’d be if they didn’t. In fact, if you’re smart and ambitious, it’s dangerous not to be productive. People who are smart and ambitious but don’t achieve much tend to become bitter.

观众是士气的关键组成部分。如果你是一位学者,你的观众可能是你的同行;在艺术领域,它可能是传统意义上的观众。无论如何,观众的价值与其规模的增长不成正比。对于名人来说,这可能是个坏消息,但对于初出茅庐的人来说,这是个好消息,因为这意味着一个小而忠诚的观众群体足以维持你的生活。如果有一小撮人真心喜欢你所做的事情,那就足够了。

在你和观众之间尽量避免让中间人介入。在某些类型的工作中,这是不可避免的,但如果你能够直接进行,那会让你感到非常自由。如果可以的话,你可能更好地转换到相邻的类型。

你与人相处的时间也会对你的士气产生很大影响。你会发现有些人能增加你的精力,而有些人会消耗你的精力,而某个人对你的影响并不总是你所期望的。寻找那些能增加你精力的人,避免那些会减少你精力的人。当然,如果有人需要你照顾,那就优先考虑照顾他们。

不要嫁给一个不理解你需要工作,或者把你的工作视为争夺你注意力的竞争对手的人。如果你有雄心壮志,你需要工作;这几乎就像一种疾病;所以那些不让你工作的人要么不了解你,要么明白你的情况但并不在乎。

最终,士气是与身体相关的。你用身体思考,所以照顾好自己的身体很重要。这意味着定期锻炼、饮食健康、良好的睡眠,并避免使用更危险的药物。跑步和散步是特别好的锻炼方式,因为它们有助于思考。

做出伟大成就的人不一定比其他人更幸福,但他们比如果不做成就会更幸福。事实上,如果你聪明而有雄心,不去努力成为一个有所成就的人是很危险的。那些聪明而有雄心却没有取得多大成就的人往往会变得愤世嫉俗。


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