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  • I feel so fortunate that my first job

    我十分慶倖自己的第一份工作

  • was working at the Museum of Modern Art

    是在現代藝術博物館

  • on a retrospective of painter Elizabeth Murray.

    當時正在籌備伊莉莎白•默里(美國畫家)的回顧展

  • I learned so much from her.

    她讓我受益匪淺

  • After the curator Robert Storr

    在館長羅伯特•斯托

  • selected all the paintings

    從默里的畢生心血中

  • from her lifetime body of work,

    精心挑選出所有展品後

  • I loved looking at the paintings from the 1970s.

    我總愛欣賞她創作於二十世紀七十年代的畫作

  • There were some motifs and elements

    其中的一些主題和元素

  • that would come up again later in her life.

    未來都將反映到她的後期創作中

  • I remember asking her

    我記得我問過她

  • what she thought of those early works.

    對自己的早期作品有何看法

  • If you didn't know they were hers,

    若非事先所知

  • you might not have been able to guess.

    恐怕你無論如何也猜不到那些作品出自她之手

  • She told me that a few didn't quite meet

    她告訴我其中有幾幅

  • her own mark for what she wanted them to be.

    並未如她所願展現出個人風格

  • One of the works, in fact,

    實際上

  • so didn't meet her mark,

    有一幅甚至令她大失所望

  • she had set it out in the trash in her studio,

    以至於被扔進了畫室的垃圾桶

  • and her neighbor had taken it

    但她的鄰居卻撿了去

  • because she saw its value.

    因為她看到了其中的價值

  • In that moment, my view of success

    聽到這裡,我對成功和創造力的看法

  • and creativity changed.

    發生了改變

  • I realized that success is a moment,

    我意識到成功只屬於片刻

  • but what we're always celebrating

    而始終為人們所稱道的

  • is creativity and mastery.

    則是創造力和掌控力

  • But this is the thing: What gets us to convert success

    但問題在於:如何將成功

  • into mastery?

    轉化為一種掌控力?

  • This is a question I've long asked myself.

    對此我思慮良久

  • I think it comes when we start to value

    我想轉化的關鍵在於

  • the gift of a near win.

    認識到垂成(接近成功)的價值

  • I started to understand this when I went

    我開始明白這一點時是在一個五一節

  • on one cold May day

    那天天氣寒冷

  • to watch a set of varsity archers,

    我前往觀看一支大學射箭代表隊訓練

  • all women as fate would have it,

    她們恰巧都是女生

  • at the northern tip of Manhattan

    訓練場地在曼哈頓北端

  • at Columbia's Baker Athletics Complex.

    哥倫比亞大學的貝克爾運動綜合中心

  • I wanted to see what's called archer's paradox,

    當時我想見識一下所謂的“弓箭手悖論”

  • the idea that in order to actually hit your target,

    即“必須瞄準稍稍偏離靶心的目標

  • you have to aim at something slightly skew from it.

    才能正中靶心”的說法

  • I stood and watched as the coach

    我站在一旁

  • drove up these women in this gray van,

    只見教練開著灰色的貨車載著姑娘們到場

  • and they exited with this kind of relaxed focus.

    她們漫不經心地鑽出了車

  • One held a half-eaten ice cream cone in one hand

    有個女生右手握著吃了一半的甜筒

  • and arrows in the left with yellow fletching.

    左手拿著帶黃色箭羽的箭

  • And they passed me and smiled,

    她們微笑著從我身邊經過

  • but they sized me up as they

    但在前往靶場的時候

  • made their way to the turf,

    她們打量了我一番

  • and spoke to each other not with words

    並且一邊通過手勢而不是對話

  • but with numbers, degrees, I thought,

    向同伴給出數位、角度、位置等資訊

  • positions for how they might plan

    我想她們是在交流

  • to hit their target.

    如何命中靶心的方法

  • I stood behind one archer as her coach

    我站在一名弓箭手的後面

  • stood in between us to maybe assess

    她的教練站在我們中間

  • who might need support, and watched her,

    可能在觀察誰需要幫助

  • and I didn't understand how even one

    教練看著她

  • was going to hit the ten ring.

    我甚至無法想像怎樣才能射中靶心的10環

  • The ten ring from the standard 75-yard distance,

    靶心的距離足有75碼遠

  • it looks as small as a matchstick tip

    看起來就和距離

  • held out at arm's length.

    一臂之遠的火柴頭一樣小

  • And this is while holding 50 pounds of draw weight

    而且每次開弓時

  • on each shot.

    還要承受50磅的拉力

  • She first hit a seven, I remember, and then a nine,

    我記得她第一箭射中7環,然後是9環

  • and then two tens,

    接著連續兩個10環

  • and then the next arrow

    然後再下一箭

  • didn't even hit the target.

    卻直接脫靶了

  • And I saw that gave her more tenacity,

    但我發現脫靶反而使她的意志更加堅定

  • and she went after it again and again.

    之後她一次次重複,力圖射中靶心

  • For three hours this went on.

    訓練持續了三小時之久

  • At the end of the practice, one of the archers

    到結束時,其中一名弓箭手已精疲力竭

  • was so taxed that she lay out on the ground

    四肢張開癱倒在地

  • just star-fished,

    活像一隻海星

  • her head looking up at the sky,

    她抬頭仰望天空

  • trying to find what T.S. Eliot might call

    試圖尋找T•S•艾略特(美國詩人)筆下的

  • that still point of the turning world.

    “旋轉世界的靜止點”

  • It's so rare in American culture,

    在美國文化中

  • there's so little that's vocational about it anymore,

    極少有人會觀看這些菜鳥訓練

  • to look at what doggedness looks like

    從她們身上領會堅持不懈的含義

  • with this level of exactitude,

    以及為了命中靶心

  • what it means to align your body posture

    連續三小時不斷調整姿勢

  • for three hours in order to hit a target,

    默默追求卓越的意義

  • pursuing a kind of excellence in obscurity.

    因為這樣做的職業價值已所剩無幾

  • But I stayed because I realized I was witnessing

    但我留了下來,因為我意識到

  • what's so rare to glimpse,

    我正在見證關於區別成功和掌控力的

  • that difference between success and mastery.

    如此難得的一幕

  • So success is hitting that ten ring,

    所以,命中靶心意味著成功

  • but mastery is knowing that it means nothing

    而掌控力則是懂得如果你不能百發百中

  • if you can't do it again and again.

    那麼即使成功也毫無意義

  • Mastery is not just the same as excellence, though.

    但是,掌控力並不等同於卓越

  • It's not the same as success,

    它和成功不同

  • which I see as an event,

    成功是一次事件

  • a moment in time,

    一個瞬間

  • and a label that the world confers upon you.

    是世人給你貼上的一個標籤

  • Mastery is not a commitment to a goal

    掌控力不是對目標的一次性實現

  • but to a constant pursuit.

    而是一種永恆的追求

  • What gets us to do this,

    對垂成的重視

  • what get us to forward thrust more

    促使我們不斷追求

  • is to value the near win.

    推動我們日益進步

  • How many times have we designated something

    多少我們認定為經典

  • a classic, a masterpiece even,

    甚至傑作的作品

  • while its creator considers it hopelessly unfinished,

    在創作者看來卻是充滿困難與缺陷的

  • riddled with difficulties and flaws,

    無可救藥的半成品

  • in other words, a near win?

    或者說垂成品

  • Elizabeth Murray surprised me

    默里對自己早期畫作的坦誠

  • with her admission about her earlier paintings.

    出乎我的意料

  • Painter Paulzanne so often thought his works were incomplete

    保爾•塞尚(法國畫家)時常覺得自己的作品有所欠缺

  • that he would deliberately leave them aside

    他會有意置之不理

  • with the intention of picking them back up again,

    待日後加以完善

  • but at the end of his life,

    但直到臨終時

  • the result was that he had only signed

    他認可並署名的畫作也僅僅是

  • 10 percent of his paintings.

    他所有作品的十分之一

  • His favorite novel was "The [Unknown] Masterpiece" by Honoré de Balzac,

    塞尚最愛的一部小說是巴爾扎克的《無人知道的傑作》

  • and he felt the protagonist was the painter himself.

    他覺得小說主人公是他的真實寫照

  • Franz Kafka saw incompletion

    對於換做他人都將大加讚賞的作品

  • when others would find only works to praise,

    弗朗茨•卡夫卡(奧地利小說家)

  • so much so that he wanted all of his diaries,

    卻認為有太多不足之處

  • manuscripts, letters and even sketches

    以至於他要求自己所有的日記、手稿、信件甚至草稿

  • burned upon his death.

    都在他死後付之一炬

  • His friend refused to honor the request,

    他的朋友沒有答應他的要求

  • and because of that, we now have all the works

    正因為此,如今我們才能有幸拜讀

  • we now do by Kafka:

    現今所有卡夫卡的作品

  • "America," "The Trial" and "The Castle,"

    包括《美國》、《審判》和《城堡》

  • a work so incomplete it even stops mid-sentence.

    《城堡》並不是一部完整的小說,就連停筆處的句子也只寫了一半

  • The pursuit of mastery, in other words,

    換句話說,對掌控力的追求

  • is an ever-onward almost.

    是一個不斷前進接近成功的過程

  • "Lord, grant that I desire

    “主啊,請讓我的渴望

  • more than I can accomplish,"

    總是多於我所能完成的”

  • Michelangelo implored,

    米開朗琪羅如是懇求道

  • as if to that Old Testament God on the Sistine Chapel,

    仿佛在懇求西斯廷教堂壁畫(這裡指《創世紀•創造亞當》)中所繪的舊約中的上帝

  • and he himself was that Adam

    而他就是那壁畫中的亞當

  • with his finger outstretched

    虔誠地伸出手指

  • and not quite touching that God's hand.

    即將與上帝的神指觸碰

  • Mastery is in the reaching, not the arriving.

    掌控力於過程中形成,而非從結果中獲取

  • It's in constantly wanting to close that gap

    它存在於力圖縮小理想與現實之間差距的

  • between where you are and where you want to be.

    長久的希冀之中

  • Mastery is about sacrificing for your craft

    掌控力意味著為事業作出犧牲

  • and not for the sake of crafting your career.

    而非圖一時事業之成就

  • How many inventors and untold entrepreneurs

    許多發明家和無數企業家

  • live out this phenomenon?

    都踐行了這一點

  • We see it even in the life

    我們甚至可以從不屈不撓的北極探險家

  • of the indomitable Arctic explorer Ben Saunders,

    本•桑德斯的生平看到這一點

  • who tells me that his triumphs

    據他所說,他所取得的成就

  • are not merely the result

    不僅包括

  • of a grand achievement,

    這巨大的成就本身

  • but of the propulsion of a lineage of near wins.

    還包括一系列垂成事件所帶來的推動作用

  • We thrive when we stay at our own leading edge.

    不斷超越自我,方能茁壯成長

  • It's a wisdom understood by Duke Ellington,

    艾靈頓公爵(美國爵士音樂家)領悟了這個道理

  • who said that his favorite song out of his repertoire

    在他創作的所有歌曲中,他最鍾愛的

  • was always the next one,

    永遠是下一首

  • always the one he had yet to compose.

    永遠是即將譜寫出的那首

  • Part of the reason that the near win

    垂成之所以是掌控力形成的內因

  • is inbuilt to mastery

    部分原因是因為

  • is because the greater our proficiency,

    我們對一件事情越精通

  • the more clearly we might see

    就會越清楚地明白

  • that we don't know all that we thought we did.

    自己並非全知全能

  • It's called the DunningKruger effect.

    這就是所謂的“達克效應”

  • The Paris Review got it out of James Baldwin

    在《巴黎評論》對詹姆斯•鮑德溫(美國作家)的採訪中也有所提及

  • when they asked him,

    當記者問鮑德溫

  • "What do you think increases with knowledge?"

    “你如何看待知識的增長?”

  • and he said, "You learn how little you know."

    他回答道:“學之甚多,方顯知之甚少。”

  • Success motivates us, but a near win

    成功可以激發積極性

  • can propel us in an ongoing quest.

    但垂成能推動我們不斷求索

  • One of the most vivid examples of this comes

    如果我們琢磨一下

  • when we look at the difference

    一場奧運會比賽後

  • between Olympic silver medalists

    亞軍和季軍之間的差別

  • and bronze medalists after a competition.

    便會得出一個鮮明例證

  • Thomas Gilovich and his team from Cornell

    康奈爾大學的湯瑪斯•季洛維奇與他的團隊

  • studied this difference and found

    研究這種差別後發現

  • that the frustration silver medalists feel

    亞軍通常比季軍更顯沮喪

  • compared to bronze, who are typically a bit

    因為和一無所獲的第四名相比

  • more happy to have just not received fourth place

    季軍至少有獎牌可得

  • and not medaled at all,

    這也是值得高興的

  • gives silver medalists a focus

    而與金牌失之交臂的亞軍在沮喪之餘

  • on follow-up competition.

    會把注意力放在接下來的比賽中

  • We see it even in the gambling industry

    我們甚至可以從博彩業中

  • that once picked up on this phenomenon

    體會到垂成的作用

  • of the near win

    正因為意識到這種作用

  • and created these scratch-off tickets

    博彩業推出了“刮刮樂”彩票

  • that had a higher than average rate of near wins

    這種彩票的中獎率高於平均值

  • and so compelled people to buy more tickets

    十分容易誘使人們購買更多

  • that they were called heart-stoppers,

    以至於被戲稱為“速效救心丸

  • and were set on a gambling industry set of abuses

    在二十世紀七十年代的英國

  • in Britain in the 1970s.

    刮刮樂風靡博彩業

  • The reason the near win has a propulsion

    垂成之所以是一種推動力

  • is because it changes our view of the landscape

    是因為它可以改變我們對形勢的看法

  • and puts our goals, which we tend to put

    將原本遙不可及的目標

  • at a distance, into more proximate vicinity

    融入離我們更近

  • to where we stand.

    更容易企及的目標當中

  • If I ask you to envision what a great day looks like next week,

    如果下周讓你描述美好的一天

  • you might describe it in more general terms.

    你大概只會泛泛而談

  • But if I ask you to describe a great day at TED tomorrow,

    但如果明天讓你形容在TED的美好一日

  • you might describe it with granular, practical clarity.

    你或許就會清晰具體、繪聲繪色地講述一番

  • And this is what a near win does.

    這就是垂成體現的作用

  • It gets us to focus on what, right now,

    它會讓我們立即集中注意力

  • we plan to do to address that mountain in our sights.

    著手解決眼前的難題

  • It's Jackie Joyner-Kersee, who in 1984

    傑西•喬伊娜•柯西在1984年的奧運會上

  • missed taking the gold in the heptathlon

    僅以三分之一秒之差

  • by one third of a second,

    痛失七項全能金牌

  • and her husband predicted that would give her

    她的丈夫預言,這會讓她獲得

  • the tenacity she needed in follow-up competition.

    接下來的比賽中所需要的堅韌

  • In 1988, she won the gold in the heptathlon

    1988年的奧運會,她最終斬獲七項全能金牌

  • and set a record of 7,291 points,

    並且書寫了7291分的新紀錄

  • a score that no athlete has come very close to since.

    此記錄至今仍無人能及

  • We thrive not when we've done it all,

    促使我們成長的不是已完成之事

  • but when we still have more to do.

    而是更多有待完成之事

  • I stand here thinking and wondering

    此刻我站在這裡思考著一個問題

  • about all the different ways

    我想知道如果要在這個演播廳內

  • that we might even manufacture a near win

    刻意製造一次垂成

  • in this room,

    諸位將如何各顯神通

  • how your lives might play this out,

    又將如何在各自的生活中發揮它的作用

  • because I think on some gut level we do know this.

    因為我想我們內心都明白這種作用的存在

  • We know that we thrive when we stay

    我們懂得不斷超越自我

  • at our own leading edge,

    方能茁壯成長的道理

  • and it's why the deliberate incomplete

    這就是為何有意製造的不完美

  • is inbuilt into creation myths.

    會成為創世神話的內在組成部分

  • In Navajo culture, some craftsmen and women

    在納瓦霍文化中

  • would deliberately put an imperfection

    一些手藝人會故意在紡織品和陶器中

  • in textiles and ceramics.

    保留些許缺陷

  • It's what's called a spirit line,

    他們稱之為“靈性線”

  • a deliberate flaw in the pattern

    即在圖案中有意留出瑕疵

  • to give the weaver or maker a way out,

    給編織者或製造者以改進的空間

  • but also a reason to continue making work.

    也是一種精益求精的動力

  • Masters are not experts because they take

    大師不是專家

  • a subject to its conceptual end.

    大師之所以為大師

  • They're masters because they realize

    是因為他們追求事物概念上的終點

  • that there isn't one.

    但同時也清楚終這個終點並不存在

  • Now it occurred to me, as I thought about this,

    我由此想到

  • why the archery coach

    為什麼射箭隊的教練

  • told me at the end of that practice,

    會在訓練結束後

  • out of earshot of his archers,

    私下告訴我

  • that he and his colleagues never feel

    他和他的夥伴始終覺得

  • they can do enough for their team,

    為自己的團隊做得不夠

  • never feel there are enough visualization techniques

    始終覺得沒有掌握足夠的瞄準技巧

  • and posture drills to help them overcome

    也沒有進行足夠多的姿勢訓練

  • those constant near wins.

    來幫助他們克服日復一日接近成功的過程

  • It didn't sound like a complaint, exactly,

    在我聽來,這絕非訴苦

  • but just a way to let me know,

    而是以一種便於理解的方式

  • a kind of tender admission,

    一種委婉的坦陳

  • to remind me that he knew he was giving himself over

    來提醒我他清楚自己

  • to a voracious, unfinished path

    已經踏上一條永不滿足

  • that always required more.

    永無止境的道路

  • We build out of the unfinished idea,

    我們朝著未實現的目標前行

  • even if that idea is our former self.

    即使這目標是回到故我

  • This is the dynamic of mastery.

    這便是推動掌控力的力量

  • Coming close to what you thought you wanted

    努力去接近你所追求的目標

  • can help you attain more than you ever dreamed

    可以助你達到意想不到的