Before it was proven that the earth was round, it was a well-known “ fact “ that it was flat. This “ fact “ was so widely accepted that no one dared test it, because they thought if they did sail out beyond the horizon they would fall off the edge. In other words, because they believed it couldn't be done, it wasn't done.
在地球没有被证明是圆的以前,人们普遍接受的 “ 事实 “ 是:它是扁平的。这个 “ 事实 “ 得到了广泛的认同,以至于没人敢去验证它是否正确,因为大家担心如果航行的船只一跨过地平线,就会从边界上掉下去。换句话说,因为大家都相信这件事情不能做,于是就没有人去做。
That is, until Columbus questioned common knowledge and asked “ what if? “ This question literally expanded the boundaries2)of his country, changed history, and permanently altered accepted reality forever.
这种状况一直延续到哥伦布质疑这个常识的那一刻-- “ 如果不是……会怎样? “ 这个疑问彻底拓宽了他祖国的疆域,改写了历史,并且永久性地改变了人们所接受的现实。
In spite of our tendency to think of reality as the non-negotiable basis of our experience, the definition of reality changes every time someone pushes the boundary conditions of conventional wisdom. When our perception of reality changes, our behavior changes accordingly, based on what is newly considered possible. When Columbus returned from the New World, a revised world map was drawn up and this began a new era of exploration and adventure.
Examples of the impossible being made possible can be found throughout history. When Chuck Yeager flew the X-1, he shattered the myth that there was such a thing as a sound barrier . His training and instincts, combined with the new technology of the day, not only enabled him to go beyond the speed of sound, but reinforced the fact that even alleged technological barriers can be overcome as well.
纵观整个历史, “ 不可能 “ 变成 “ 可能 “ 的例子不胜枚举。当查克•耶格尔驾驶X-1型飞机腾空而起的时候,他就颠覆了世界上存在声障的神话。他的训练和天分,加上当代的新技术,不仅帮助他超越了声速,也再次证明了即使是所谓的技术障碍也能够被克服。
People often approach me in my seminars with statements such as, “ I'll never be successful because my parents never supported me, “ “ I don't have the right education to create wealth, “ or “ I can't pursue my dreams because I have too many obligations. “ I even hear, “ I can't do what I want in my life because I don't have the money. “ These statements are clear indicators of the boundary conditions of their own thinking. They are accepting certain seeming truths proven true by their experience and coming up against the individual horizons beyond which they cannot conceive of venturing.
在我的演讲会上,经常有许多人走过来说 “ 我永远不会成功,因为我父母不支持我 “ , “ 我没有受过良好的教育,无法创造财富 “ ,或者 “ 我无法追求自己的梦想,因为我有太多的责任 “ 。我甚至听到有人说 “ 我不能做自己想做的事,因为我没有钱 “ 。这种种言辞清楚地显示出他们思维的边缘效应,他们正在接受某种由自己的经验证明的所谓 “ 真理 “ ,遇到了他们不敢逾越的个人边界。
Success follows beliefs such as, “ I have all I need to be incredibly wealthy and massively successful. “ Warren Buffett, the most successful investor of all time, was once asked, “ How have things changed for you now that you have incredible wealth? “ He responded, “ Well, I can afford anything I want... “ Then he paused before adding, ...but then again, I always could. “ Even before Buffett had actually created the wealth he enjoys today, he already had the mind-set17)of wealth-and therefore the power to create it, because he saw the world in those terms. “ The reasonable man adapts himself to the world, “ wrote Bernard Shaw, “ the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man. “ When we dare to go beyond our own internal boundary conditions, we discover a whole new world of possible futures for ourselves.
其实,这样的信念才能带来成功: “ 我拥有能够带来无尽财富和巨大成功的所有一切。 “ 有史以来最成功的投资人沃伦•巴菲特曾经被问到: “ 现在你有数不尽的财富,你是怎样创造这一切的? “ 他回答说: “ 哦,我可以买下任何我想要的东西…… “ 他顿了一下补充说: “ ……不过,我一直都可以。 “ 巴菲特在创造出现有财富之前,已经把这些财富装进头脑里了。 “ 理性的人调整自己以便适应这个世界, “ 肖伯纳认为, “ 不理性的人坚持改变世界以适应自己。因此所有的进步都有赖于不理性的人。 “ 当我们超越自己内心的边界,就会发现一个全新的世界,里面有我们可能的未来。
Let's play a little game. It's called the “ What's Possible “ game. The dictionary definition of possible is something “ that can or may be, exist, happen, or be done. “ Each of the following questions I want you to answer yes or no. Has someone, somewhere on the planet today, achieved these things?
让我们玩一个小游戏,它叫 “ 什么是可能的 “ 。在字典里, “ 可能 “ 的意思是 “ 能够或者也许存在、发生或者完成的东西 “ ,请你用 “ 是 “ 或 “ 不是 “ 来回答下面每个问题。今天,在这世界上的某个地方,是否会有人取得这些成就?
•Is it possible to have a million dollars in the bank?
•Is it possible to have a successful business?
•Is it possible to wake up excited about life?
•Is it possible to have happy, loving relationships?
•Is it possible to be fit and healthy?
•Is it possible to find your life's work and feel passionate about your life most of the time?
You may have experienced one of the side effects of this game as you answered the questions. This is called the “ yes, buts. “ The “ yes, buts “ are responses such as “ Yes, but that won't happen to me, “ or “ Yes, but that's because they had privileges19)I don't have, “ and so forth.
在回答问题的时候,你也许会感受到这种游戏的负面效应。这种效应叫做 “ 是的,但是 “ 。 “ 是的,但是 “ 是诸如 “ 是的,但是那不会发生在我身上 “ ,或者 “ 是的,但那是因为他们有我没有的特权 “ 等等。
Ignore the “ yes, buts “ for the time being. All I want you to do right now is open your mind to the possibility that the world is made up of a countless array of experiences from the very worst to the very best. As someone once said, “ A mind is like a parachute20)-it works best when open. “ And here is my promise: If you open your mind, you will enjoy a more abundant and fulfilling life.
从现在开始忘掉 “ 是的,但是 “ 。现在你做的就是认识到这样一种可能性,即世界是由无数从最好到最坏的经历组成的。正如有人曾说过的: “ 头脑就像降落伞--在打开的时候工作得最好。 “ 我的承诺是:如果你能够广开思路,就会享受到更加丰富、更加充实的人生。