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我们怎样慢下来(请慢慢阅读本文)

(2010-06-06 11:06:53)
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教育

三思而后行,跑得太快会使人摔跤。——莎士比亚

在我们这个飞奔的时代,放慢脚步似乎是颠覆。在车间里,我们被监视着工作。即使慢一点干工作经常会产生积极的快的成果,实际上,我们还是在追赶那些不必要的会议和工作。你可能正深受高速度之苦,毕竟,你在读这篇文章。机器能够一星期七天都运转,一天24小时都工作,但我们人类无法永远在线,过分消耗的结果就是耗尽。

人需要休息,放松和娱乐。我们需要时间去思考,去休整内心,去愉悦。但是,对于一个超负荷的人来说,愉悦彷佛是内心里遥远的记忆。

放慢脚步是孕育、培养和收获活力的途径,这跟通过多看电视、逛街购物来减轻厌倦的心态,没有关系。最初,你可能会感到厌倦,但,有时候,事物在变好之前可能会先变坏。

脚步不要急剧放缓

如果你正在狂奔,而且想慢下来,你的第一步可能会是尽全力并预计将来的结果。做出改变,需要时间,而且往往不容易。预计会有一段时间的不适。从积极生活退出来的许多人会感觉到失落。过度活跃常常是一种对付厌倦的办法,害怕自己会慢下来,确实是你要面临的一种恐惧。

工作迷可能是唯一一种受社会赦免的疾病。在美国,已经有大量关于工作迷的书。在日本,过度工作导致死亡有一个词汇:过劳死。

如果我们纵容,工作可以带走我们的生命。当然,工作很重要,但问题是,偏离得太远了。你可以判断一下什么对你来说是过度的。自觉主动,是一个自行实施的积极行为,可是,被驱动,被强迫去长时间工作,就是对精神的迫害了。

引起广泛影响的Josef Pieper的书,《悠闲》中讲到:1940年写成的文化基础警告我们要反抗他提出的“工作的全世界”。我们需要闲暇去休息,去创造,去联系,去思考。当各种纯粹的专业技能成为我们崇拜的对象,不再需要心灵的参与,我们的文明将会走向毁灭。

在美国,我们有如此丰富的物质财富,但大多数人却感觉不满,也不能感受愉悦,这是很奇怪的。如果我们远离工作,我们不可能把工作干好,反过来,只有工作没有玩耍,也会使得吉尔姑娘变成一个呆滞的姑娘。

慢下来,能够赋予独一无二的你荣誉,呈现给你和其他人。而且,你可以在娱乐的事情里,真正发现乐趣。你不会孤立无援地去做这件事情。找一个慢下来行为教练,能够帮你过渡到更平衡的生活。

如果你自己选择长时间的工作(可能是你自己雇佣了你自己),那么你处于可控的状态,但是,如果你长时间的工作是出于恐惧,如果你不这样,你就会降职或者解雇,那么你就是一个耗尽的例子。

慢下来,即使很小的程度上慢下来,能够帮助你降低苛求,减少冲动,更有耐心的对待自己和他人。如果慢下来能够使得你更周全地与他人相处,你将会比现在更可爱。

一个想法的实验
时间是你的,生命是你的,你可以把时间当做一种投资。现在花费几分钟来想象一下:

你尝试一个想法的实验。如果你把明天拿走,自己花费,你的一天会是什么样?会是什么感觉?对于这个实验来说,你不需要做任何实际价值的事情,你不用用它来处理实际的事

情。

上面的仅仅是一个想法的实验,仅仅是思考一下你的一天,早上会是什么样子?中午你会在哪里?你能否形容一下你自己将要在的地方?独自一人的时候,你怎么样推测你的感受?

现在,努力想象一下,如何把半天花费出去。记住,这个时间段,不是用来为了取得目标。你可以和别人一起,做任何你喜欢的事情,来花费这半天的时间。沉浸在这个时间里,你感觉怎么样?时间段过后,你感觉如何?

让小时慢下来

如果上面这个想法的实验花费了几分钟时间,你是否会实际花上一小时去实现慢下来?这一个小时里,不受任何有压力的事情影响,会是什么样子?

我问过一组管理者(一个高时间化的群体),他们是否安排没有任何规划的时间表?没有一个人会安排这样的时间表。但是,如果你慢下来一个小时,情况会怎么样?

午餐一小时的想法是这样的,这一小时提供休息、恢复的时间,但是实际上,这种实践已经消失在了许多工作间。你放慢一个小时,其实可以跟你分配重要工作给这个宝贵的一小时,一样容易。请确信,你与自己有个约会,你将如何使用你慢下来的一小时?你会受不了诱惑,用你的工作列表来填充这一小时?还是能够让这一小时慢下来?你会尽力去试,得出结论吗?在你照顾自己的时候,你会不会有罪恶感?

平静地慢下来

越匆忙,越降低速度,或者欲速则不达是一句众所周知的名言。在压力下,行动缓和一些、深思熟虑一些,是有益处的。聪明的木匠会测量两次尺寸,再切削。花时间来研究地图,比凭感觉猜测方向,盲目地被困在路上,要有意义得多。

在行动之前,想一下,周全地考虑一下。当我们在重压之下,往往就忘了这一步。吉卜林的诗,如果……当别人在压力和慌乱的时候,保持一份安静的心态,是很不容易的,慢下来并不是指变懒惰。

吃饭慢下来

我们当中有多少人,在吃饭的时候,听到母亲的唠叨,不要狼吞虎咽?孩子们直到变文明以前,都像动物一样吃饭,我们是跑着吃饭。吃饭慢下来的运动从意大利开始,是为了反抗快餐,指的是另外一个课题了。现在的一种智慧的说法是,吃饭慢一点,能帮助减肥。慢慢咀嚼,能够更好的吸收食物的营养。慢慢吃饭,能防止吃的过量。

在美国,我们在讨论,吃完饭后,我们是否满足。食物被视作燃料,当你一个人吃饭的时候,你更有可能吃的很快,当你边工作边吃饭的时候,你更有可能吃的很快。我们吞下食物的时候,我们的胃没有机会去很好得消化,没有信息传送到我们的大脑,提示我们满足了。

吃的过程停一下,或者吃更小的份额,等待跟别人一起吃,花时间去消化,这是一个练习慢下来的好途径。

慢慢锻炼

如果你曾经在体育馆里试过举重,你就会知道,慢慢地做举重这个动作,比迅速地举重要严苛得多。举重是为了练习肌肉,然而我们经常见到的是,人们冲进他们的日常计数的训练,彷佛计数越多就越好。如果他们慢下来了,或者训练用的重量少了,他们就会设法追上去。KEN,“超级慢”的奠基人,发明了一种减肥的规则,就是为了实现快速减肥,需要训练者慢慢地举重。

我的气功练习,包含了18个动作的十二次缓慢优美的重复,使得我养成了安静的性情。

很多年以来,我每天都做这样的练习,这个练习很容易,而且能够促进平衡感和柔韧性。如果我想要更多的测试,那就是我慢下来的程度更好了。

当我们慢下来,我们能够注意到更多东西,能够注意到呼吸是一个轻松的慢的练习,只是注意一下你是怎么呼吸的就够了,什么会比这个更容易?

多任务并行

“多任务并行是道德上的一个缺憾”,当然这是一句玩笑话。某种程度上,不多任务并行,是不可能的。我们身体活着,就伴随着多种化学反应。我们连续地呼吸,思考,观测我们内部和外部的环境。但是,我们能够选择做更少的事情,这样使得我们更专注。

当开车的时候,我们为了安全驾驶,可以不接电话,不听广播,不与乘客聊天。我们可以选择专心驾驶。慢下来能够教会我们去注意我们周围正在发生的事情。

注意力慢下来

慢下来能够帮助我们全神贯注我们正在做的事情。像倡导全神贯注的佛教一样,慢下来能够让我们进入这样的境界。试着走路慢一些,在回答问题之前停顿一下,说话慢一些,这样会让人感到笨拙吗?为什么?

现在让我们慢下来

个人的经历、注意力和时间都是有限的。慢下来之后,我们能更好的把这些有限的资源用到我们擅长的方面。慢下来是与直觉相对的,不论感觉多么丰富,都要拒绝,这不是件容易的事情,但是,你不是孤军奋战,如果你想从慢下来里面受益,如果你不确信如何放弃你的速度上瘾症,慢下来行为教练能够帮你。

 

How to Slow Down Now (Please Read Slowly)

 

Wisely and slowly, they stumble that run fast. – Shakespeare

In our rush-aholic world slowing down seems subversive. In the workplace we have to be “seen” to be working. Even though doing a task more slowly can often produce a result faster, many of us get caught up in unnecessary meetings and tasks. You may be suffering from too much speed. After all, you are reading this. We humans are not always-on, efficient machines that can run seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day. Burning the candle at both ends results in, well, burnout.

Humans need rests, relaxation, and recreation. We need time to think about things, to clear the mind, and to have fun. But to a person overburdened with claims on her time, fun seems only a distant remembered state of mind.

Slowing down is a way to incubate, conserve, and harvest our energy, not about relief from boredom by just watching more TV or going shopping. You may have to confront boredom at first. Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better.

Don’t slow down quickly
If you’re a rush-aholic and want to slow down, your first impulse may be to try too hard and expect instant results. Making a change takes time and isn’t always easy. Expect a period of some discomfort. Many people who retire from an active life feel themselves at a loss. Hyperactivity is often a defense against boredom, and the fear of slowing down is really a fear of confronting yourself.

Workaholism may be the only socially condoned disease. Numerous books have been written about workaholism in America. In Japan there is an expression for death by overwork: Karoshi (Kah-roe-she).

If we let it, work can take over our lives. Work is of course necessary, but the problem is taking it too far. You decide what excess is for you. Having drive is a self-actualizing positive attribute, but being driven, being compelled to work long-hours, is soul destroying.

Josef Pieper’s seminal book, Leisure: The basis of culture written in the 1940’s warns us against what he calls the “Total World of Work.” We need leisure to rest, create, relate, and think. Our culture drifts toward destruction when we worship mindless know-how.

It’s odd that we have so much material wealth in America, but so many of us are dissatisfied and unable to enjoy. When everything is about work we are far less likely to do a good job. And of course, all work and no play, makes Jill a dull girl.

Slowing down has the reward of honoring the unique you, and being present for yourself and others. And what’s more, you just may discover the joy in enjoyment. You don’t need to do it alone, that’s why getting a slow coach can help through your transition to a more balanced life.

If you choose to work long hours (maybe you are self employed) then you are in control. But if you work long hours out of fear that if you don’t you’ll be demoted or fired, then that’s a recipe for burnout.

Slowing down, even a small amount, can help you be less demanding, less impulsive, and more patient with yourself and others. If slowing down makes you more considerate of other people, you’ll be even more likable than you are now.

A thought experiment

It’s your time. It’s your life. You can think of time as an investment. So take just a few minutes to imagine now.

Try this thought experiment. If you took tomorrow off and spent it by yourself, what would your day be like? How would you feel? For this experiment you’ll do nothing of practical value. You won’t use it to get things done.

The above is only a thought experiment. Just thinking about your day, what will the early morning be like? Where will you be at mid-day? Can you describe the place you imagine yourself to be? How do you anticipate your feeling at being alone?

Now try thinking about how you would spend half a day. Remember, this is not time to achieve a goal. You can spend your half-day with other people doing anything you like. How would you feel during this time, and how would you feel afterward?
Slow hour

If the thought experiment above took only a few minutes, could you actually take an hour to slow down? What would it be like to spend an hour completely free from any pressing matter?

I asked an assembly of management consultants (a highly-scheduled group) if they schedule unstructured time. None did. But what would it be like for you to take a slow hour?

The idea behind a lunch hour was that it gave one time for rest, sustenance, and renewal. But this practice has disappeared from many workplaces. Your slow hour could be as easy as assigning importance to this precious time. Make sure you keep a date with yourself. How would you use your slow hour? Would you be tempted to fill it up with striking things off your to-do list, or would you be able to slow down? Do you have to try it and find out? Would you feel guilty about taking care of yourself?

Slow calm

More haste, less speed, or haste makes waste are a well-known sayings. When under pressure, the ability to act slowly and deliberately is a benefit. The wise carpenter measures twice and cuts once. Taking time to read the map instead of blindly heading off in what you guess might be the right direction makes sense.

Thinking and considering before acting takes a level of impulse control that’s missing when we become overly stressed. Rudyard Kipling’s poem, If, is about keeping your head when all those about you are losing theirs. Maintaining a sense of calm when others are stressed and panicking is not easy. Slow is not about being lazy.

Slow eating
How many of us have heard our mothers tell us not to gobble our food? Children eat like animals until they are civilized. We eat and run. The slow food movement started in Italy as a backlash against fast food, but that is another subject. Current wisdom has it that eating slowly can help you lose weight. Taking your time to chew your food releases the nutrients. It’s easy to overeat, but slowing down can help.

In America, we talk about being full up after a meal. Food is seen as fuel. You are more likely to eat quickly if you eat alone. You are more likely to eat quickly if you are working at the same time. When we gulp down food our stomachs don’t have a chance to digest it properly, nor signal to our brains that we are satiated.

Taking a break between courses or eating smaller portions and waiting, eating with others, and taking time to digest what you eat is a good way to practice slowing down.

Exercise slow

If you’ve ever tried to lift weights at the gym, you’ll know that doing it very slowly is far more demanding than doing it quickly. The idea of weight lifting is to build muscle. However, it’s common to see people rush through their routines counting repetitions, as if more is better. If they went more slowly, and used less weight they would get the result they are after more quickly. Ken Hutchins, founder of SuperSlow, invented a fat burning weight protocol that has weight trainers lift weights very slowly in order to get fast results.

My qiqong (Chi-Kung) practice of twelve slow and graceful repetitions of eighteen movements helps me develop a sense of calm. I’ve been doing this daily practice for many years and it’s easy, and promotes balance, and flexibility. If I want more of a workout, I simply slow down more.

When we slow down, we notice more. Noticing your breath is an easy slow exercise. That’s all, just notice how you are breathing. What could be easier?

Multi-tasking

Multi-tasking is a moral weakness”, is of course all in fun. It’s impossible not to multi-task to some extent. Our bodies are alive with electro-chemical reactions. We are constantly breathing, thinking, and monitoring our internal and external environments. Yet we can choose to do fewer things in order to concentrate better.

When driving we can choose to drive safely, not to answer the phone, or listen to the radio, or talk to passengers. We can choose to just drive. Slowing down can teach us to notice more of what is going on around us.

Slow attention
Slowing down helps give our full-attention to what we are doing. Like full-attention Zen, slowing down can put us in the zone, or what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls flow (Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience).

Try walking more slowly. Pause before responding to questions. Speak more slowly. Does this feel awkward? Why?

Slow down now

Personal energy, attention and time are limited. By slowing down we can use these better to our advantage. Slowing down is counter-intuitive. It’s not easy to go against the grain no matter how much sense it makes. But you don’t have to do it alone. If you want the benefits of slow and aren’t sure how you can give up your speed addiction a slow coach can help.

 

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