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[转贴]勤奋有恒结硕果 Application and Perseverance Give Results

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IN THIS ARTICLE: Samuel Smiles, the eldest of eleven children, was born on 23rd December, 1812 in Scotland. He was apprenticed to a doctor, studied medicine at Edinburgh University and graduated in 1832. Five years later, he abandoned medicine to become editor of the Leeds Times, following the successful publication of several of his articles about self-improvement. His famous book Self Help; With Illustrations of Conduct and Perseverance was published in England in 1859. Now, more than 140 years later, it still provides sound advice. ---- Editor

本文简介:塞缪尔斯迈尔斯在1812年12月23日出生于苏格兰.是11个孩子中最大的。他曾跟一位大夫当学徒,后在爱丁堡大学学医,1832年毕业。五年之后,他放奔了医学,成为《利兹时报》的编辑,此前,他已成功地发表了几篇关于自我修养的文章。他的名著《自助;附有关于品德和坚持不懈的图例》于1859年在英国出版。140多年后的今天,这本书仍然可以提供明智的忠告。----编者





[1]The greatest results in life are usually attained by simple means, and the exercise of ordinary qualities. The common life of every day, with its cares, necessities, and duties, affords ample opportunity for acquiring experience of the best kind; and its most beaten paths provide the true worker with abundant scope for effort and mom for self-improvement. The road of human welfare lies along the old highway of steadfast well-doing; and they who are the most persistent, and work in the truest spirit, will usually be the most successful.

[2] Fortune has often been blamed for her blindness; but fortune is not so blind as men are. Those who look into practical life will find that fortune is usually on the side of the industrious, as the winds and waves are on the side of the best navigators. In the pursuit of even the highest branches of human inquiry, the commoner qualities are found the most useful--such as common sense, attention, application, and perseverance.

[3] Genius may not be necessary, though even genius of the highest sort does not disdain the use of these ordinary qualities. The very greatest men have been among the least believers in the power of genius, and as worldly wise and persevering as successful men of the commoner sort. Some have even defined genius to be only common sense intensified. A distinguished teacher and president of a college spoke of it as the power of making efforts. John Foster held it to be the power of lighting one s own fire. Buffon* said of genius "it is patience".

[4] Newton's was unquestionably a mind of the very highest order, and yet, when asked by what means he had worked out his extraordinary discoveries, he modestly answered, "By always thinking unto them." At another time he thus expressed his method of study: "I keep the subject continually before me, and wait till the first dawnings open slowly by little and little into a full and clear light." It was in Newton's case, as in every other, only by diligent application and perseverance that his great reputation was achieved. Even his recreation consisted in change of study, laying down one subject to take up another. To Dr. Bentley he said: 'If I have done the public any service, it is due to nothing but industry and patient thought."



[5] The extraordinary results effected by dint of sheer industry and perseverance, have led many distinguished men to doubt whether the gift of genius be so exceptional an endowment as it is usually supposed to be. Thus Voltaire held that it is only a very slight line of separation that divides the man of genius from the man of ordinary mould. Beccaria was even of opinion that all men might be poets and orators, and Reynolds that they might be painters and sculptors. If this were really so, that stolid Englishman might not have been so very far wrong after all, who, on Canova's death, inquired of his brother whether it was "his intention to carry on the business!".

[6] Locke, Helvetius, and Diderot believed that all men have an equal aptitude for genius, and that what some are able to effect, under the laws which regulate the operations of the intellect, must also be within the reach of others who, under like circumstances, apply themselves to like pursuits. But while admitting to the fullest extent the wonderful achievements of labour, and recognising the fact that men of the most distinguished genius have invariably been found the most indefatigable workers, it must nevertheless be sufficiently obvious that, without the original endowment of heart and brain, no amount of labour, however well applied, could have produced a Shakespeare, a Newton, a Beethoven, or a Michelangelo.




[1]人生最大的成就通常是靠简单的方法和运用一般的才干获得的。普通的日常生活以及其中的忧虑、各种不可避免之事和种种职责提供了取得最好经验的很多机会;生活中走过最多的老路给诚实的工作者以充分努力的机会和自我修养的空间。人类幸福之路就是坚定不移沿着做好事的大道前进;那些最坚毅而又最诚挚地工作的人常常是最成功的人。

[2]人们经常指责运气是盲目的;但是运气并不像人那样盲目。那些观察实际生活的人会发现运气通常支持勤劳的人,正如风浪支持最优秀的航海家一样。甚至在人类对所研究的最高学科的探索中,也能发现比较普通的素质是最有用的----诸如常识、专心、勤奋和锲而不舍。

[3]天赋或许是不必要的,即使是具备最高天赋的人也不轻视使用一般性的才能。最伟大的人物一直列身于最不相信天赋力量的人们之中,他们像一般的成功者一样,是善于处世和坚韧不拔的。有人甚至将天赋解释为只是增强的常识。一位杰出的教师兼大学校长说,天赋是努力的力量。约翰福斯特认为天赋是点燃自己热情的力量。布丰在谈到天才时说“它就是耐心”。

[4]无可争议,牛顿的头脑是最高才智的头脑,然而当问到他是用什么方法获得惊人的发现时,牛顿谦虚地回答:“全靠对那些问题不断地深思。”在另一次,他这样表述他的研究方法:“我连续不断地思考问题,一直等到最初的曙光慢慢一点一点地发展成完全明晰的亮光。”牛顿的事例和其他事例一样,就是靠孜孜不倦的努力和坚持不懈的精神,他才获得了极大的声望。连他的消遣都是放下一个科目又拿起另一个科目的变换研究。他对本特利博士说:“如果我对社会有些贡献的话,那完全是由于勤奋和耐心的思考。”

[5]完全凭借勤奋与毅力所产生的非凡成果,已经引起许多名人怀疑天赋是否真像通常认为的那样,是种极为异常的才能。所以,伏尔泰认为区分天才和一般类型的人的界线是非常细微的。拜克雷亚甚至认为所有人都可能成为诗人和演说家,雷诺兹则认为所有的人都可能成为画家和雕塑家。假如真是这样的话,那么这位不动感情的英国人(指雷诺兹)犯的错误归根结底也不算太大了,他在卡诺瓦临死之际,询问其兄弟是否“有意继续那桩营生(指雕塑)!”。


[6]洛克、爱尔维休和狄德罗都相信所有的人都有相同的天赋,并且相信在约束大智英才的活动的法则之下,有些人所能完成的,其他的人在相似的环境下,致力于相似的追求,也准是力所能及的。但是,在最大程度上承认劳动的了不起的成就,承认最出类拔革的天才人物永远是最不知疲倦的工作者这一事实的同时,无论怎样都必然十分明显的是,假如没有心灵和头脑固有的天赋,不论多么大量的劳动,应用得多么恰当也创造不出一位莎士比亚、牛顿、贝多芬或者米开朗琪罗。

[7] Dalton, the chemist, repudiated the notion of his being "a genius", attributing everything which he had accomplished to simple industry and accumulation. John Hunter said of himself, "My mind is like a beehive; but full as it is of buzz and apparent confusion, it is yet full of order and regularity, and food collected with incessant industry from the choicest stores of nature." We have, indeed, but to glance at the biographies of great men to find that the most distinguished inventors, artists, thinkers, and workers of all kinds, owe their success, in a great measure, to their inde-fatigable industry and application. They were men who turned all things to Gold-- even time itself.

[8] Disraeli the elder held that the secret of success consisted in being master of your subject, such mastery being attainable only through continuous application and study. Hence it happens that the men who have most moved the world, have not been so much men of genius, strictly so called, as men of intense mediocre abilities, and untiring perseverance; not so often the gifted, of naturally bright and shining qualities, as those who have applied themselves diligently to their work, in whatsoever line that might lie. "Alas!" said a widow, speaking of her brilliant but careless son, "he has not the gift of continuance." Wanting in perseverance, such volatile natures are outstripped in the race of life by the diligent and even the dull. Who goes slowly, goes long, and goes far, says the Italian proverb.

[9] Hence, a great point to be aimed at is to get the working quality well trained. When that is done, the race will be found comparatively easy. We must repeat and again repeat; facility will come with labour. Not even the simplest art can be accomplished without it; and what difficulties it is found capable of achieving! It was by early discipline and repetition that Sir Robert Peel cultivated those remarkable, though still mediocre powers, which rendered him so illustrious an ornament of the British Senate.



[10] When he was a boy at Drayton Manor, his father was accustomed to set him up at table to practise speaking extempore and he early accustomed him to repeat as much of the Sunday's sermon as he could remember. Little progress was made at first, but by steady perseverance the habit of attention became powerful, and the sermon was at length repeated almost verbatim. When afterwards replying in succession to the arguments of his parliamentary opponents--an art in which he was perhaps unrivalled--it was little surmised that the extraordinary power of accurate remembrance which he displayed on such occasions had been originally trained under the discipline of his father in the parish church of Drayton.

[11] It is indeed marvellous what continuous application will effect in the commonest of things. It may seem a simple affair to play upon a violin; yet what a long and laborious practice it requires! Giardini said to a youth who asked him how long it would take to learn it, "Twelve hours a day for twenty years together." Industry, it is said, makes the bear dance. The poor ballet dancer must devote years of incessant toil to her profitless task before she can shine in it. When the ballet dancer Taglioni was preparing herself for her evening exhibition, she would, after a severe two hours' lesson from her father, fall down exhausted, and had to be undressed, sponged, and resuscitated from being totally unconscious. The agility and bounds of the evening were insured only a price like this.

[12] Progress, however, of the best kind, is comparatively slow. Great results cannot be achieved at once; and we must be satisfied to advance in life as we walk, step by step. De Maistre says that "to know HOW TO WAIT is the great secret of success". We must sow before we can reap, and often have to wait long, content meanwhile to look patiently forward in hope; the fruit best worth waiting for often ripening the slowest. But "time and patience," says the Eastern proverb, "change the mulberry leaf to silk."

[13] To wait patiently, however, men must work cheerfully. Cheerfulness is an excellent working quality, imparting great elasticity to the character. Cheerfulness and diligence are nine-tenths of practical wisdom. They are the life and soul of success, as well as of happiness; perhaps the very highest pleasure in life consisting in clear, brisk, conscious working; energy, confidence, and every other good quality mainly depending upon it.





[7]化学家道尔顿拒绝接受他本人是“天才”的看法,他认为他完成的一切工作都完全是由于勤奋和积累。约翰亨特谈到自己时说:“我的脑袋像个蜂巢;实际上里面充满了嗡嗡声和明显的混乱,然而又满有条理和规律性,还有以不间断的勤奋从大自然最优质的储藏品中收集而来的食物。”确实,我们只要侧览一下伟人们的传记,就会发现,那些最杰出的发明家、艺术家、思想家以及各行各业的成功者,在很大程度上都把成功归于他们不知疲倦的辛勤劳动和努力工作。他们是把一切----甚至时间本身----变成黄金的人。

[8]大迪斯累里坚持认为成功的秘诀在于精通你的专业,这种精通只有通过不断努力和研究才能达到。那些最令世人感动的人,严格地说不是天才,而是那些热忱的、能力中等而不屈不挠的人;他们经常不是天生才华出众的人,而是那些不论在什么行业里都埋头刻苦工作的人。“哎呀!”一位寡妇说到她的有才华而粗心大意的儿子时说,“他没有持久性。”缺乏了毅力,那些反复无常的人就会在生存竞争中被勤奋甚至迟钝的人所超越。意大利的格言说:谁走得慢,走得久,才能走得远。 [9]因此,要瞄准的大目标就是要练好工作本领。本领练好了,竞争就比较容易了。我们必须一再重复;熟练来自劳动。没有这一点,即使最简单的技艺也不能完成;能够成功是多么困难呀!罗伯特皮尔爵士就是靠早期的训练和重复,培养了引人瞩目的能力,尽管只是中等之才,也使他成为为英国参议院如此增光的辉煌人物。


[10]他小时候在德雷顿在园时,他父亲总是让他坐在桌旁练习即席讲话;并且很早使他习惯于尽量重复他所记忆的礼拜天的布道文。起初进步很小,可是靠持续不断的努力,专心的习惯变得颇有成效,终于布道文复述得几乎一字不差。后来在议会上应对对手一个接一个的争论时----他在这门技艺上也许是无人可比的----很少有人猜想得到他在这样的场合显露出的不寻常的准确记忆力,原来是在德雷顿牧区教堂里他父亲的训练之下培养成功的。

[11]最普通的事,只要不断努力,所产生的结果的确是令人惊奇的。演奏小提琴似乎是简单的事;然而这需要多么长期和艰苦的练习呀!一位青年问基阿迪尼,学会小提琴要多长时间,他说:“每天12小时,连续20年。”据说,勤奋可使狗熊跳舞。可怜的芭蕾舞演员必须把多年不断的辛劳献给她无益的苦差事,之后她才能在芭蕾上大放异彩。芭蕾舞演员泰格利欧尼准备晚会演出时,在跟着父亲上了两小时非常严格的芭蕾课程之后,她会精疲力尽跌倒在地,不得不让别人帮她脱下衣服,用湿海绵擦身,使她从完全失去知觉中苏醒过来。只有付出这样高的代价,才能保证晚会演出时动作灵活、跳跃自如。

[12]然而最使人满意的进步是相对比较缓慢的。伟大的成果不可能片刻获得;我们必须满足于生活中所得的进步,如同走路一样,是一步一步前进的。麦斯特说:“懂得怎样等待是成功的一大秘诀。”我们必须先下种,然后才能收获,往往得长时间地等待,在满足的同时耐心地期待;最值得等待的水果常常成熟得最慢。但是东方格言说:“时间和耐心把桑叶变成蚕丝。”

[13]可是,要想耐心地等待,人们必须愉快地工作。愉快是非常好的工作品质,给人很开朗的心情。愉快和勤奋就是绝大部分的实用知识。两者不仅是幸福的关键,也是成功的关键;或许人生最大的乐趣莫过于明确、轻快、自觉地工作;干劲、自信及其他优点全赖于这样的工作态度。




最后由 Vena_tong 于 2007-01-11 11:17 编辑
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