三千多年前 尤利西斯在特洛伊战争取胜后 带领勇士们
Go back 3,000 years to Ulysses, who fought in the Trojan War and was coming home to his
island of Ithaca on his ships with his men, and he realized that he had this amazing opportunity,
which is he was going to pass the Island of the Sirens.
他也知道 塞壬歌声美妙而充满诱惑 最正气凛然的听众也会被引诱
And he knew that the sirens sang so beautifully and were so seductive that mortal men would
从而触礁沉船 葬身大海 无一例外
crash their ships into the rocks, and they’d all die every time.
If you heard the song of the sirens you were going to die.
He wanted to hear the song of the sirens, so what did he do?
The Ulysses of present sound mind made a contract with the future Ulysses.
He said, “I know that guy is going to behave badly when he hears the siren’s song.”
So what did he do?
He lashed himself to the mast, exactly, and he filled his men’s ears with beeswax, and
然后他说: 无论我一会儿做什么 你们继续摇桨
he said, “No matter what I do, keep on rowing.”
Just ignore everything, keep on going.
就是用这种方法 他听到了塞壬的歌声 也不至于丧命
And that way he got to hear the siren’s song but he didn’t crash in the rocks because
he was lashed to the mast.
And so this is what is known as a “Ulysses contract”, which is your present self making
a contract with your future self.
Penning in, constraining the behavior of your future self so that it has to do the right
thing given your long-term thinking that you’re doing now.
所以 当涉及到那些诱惑 像曲奇饼时 尤利西斯契约更有效
And so when it comes to something like the cookies, the Ulysses contract, it’s more
than “I’m going to eat it or not eat it.”
他的原理类似于: 好的 那么如果我想吃曲奇 我将向另一半保证
It can be something like, “Okay, look, if I eat cookies, I’m going to promise my spouse
that I’ll go to the gym tonight.”
That’s the kind of way that we can bring these sorts of things into our own life.
And so I’ll give you several examples.
I want to say is so what we’ve seen so far is that there’s this great seduction in
And so if we want to do something where we actually are navigating our future selves
in a better way we have to establish these kinds of contracts with ourselves.
This is one of the most important sort of life lessons that I’ve got.
I mean take something like New Year’s resolutions.
每个人在新年 都会定很多愿望 也相信自己可以坚持下去
Everybody has really good New Year’s resolutions and believes they’re going to do it.
And by the end of January for almost everybody these things have fallen away.
It’s not because you didn’t mean it in January.
It’s because you didn’t set up the structures in your life, the Ulysses contracts to make
sure that that went through.
单纯承诺 下决心 保持美好意愿是不够的
It’s not enough to make a promise and a resolution with good intention.
你需要理解 这些愿望到底意味着什么 以及你能做什么
You need to understand what’s actually happening so that you can do something about it.
So what I want to do is suggest actionable steps by which we can actually keep our resolutions
to ourselves a little bit longer.
So the first one is building fences around yourself by minimizing temptation.
比如 在匿名戒酒所 他们首先会告诉你
So, for example, in Alcoholics Anonymous the very first thing they tell you is you’ve
got to clear all the alcohol out of your house.
因为(如果不清空) 你可能在开心的周五晚喝酒庆祝 或在孤独的周日
It’s because on a festive Friday night or a lonely Sunday night you’re going to go
即使你自己想: 不 我不再喝了
Even if you think, “No, I’m done.
I’m not going to drink but I’m going to keep those in there.”
With smokers the first thing they’re told in these rehab programs is: don’t hang out
with other smokers.
With drug addicts who are trying to quit the first thing they’re told in drug rehab programs
is: make sure you never carry more than 20 bucks of cash with you.
因为你一旦有了钱 你就会弃决心不顾 把钱交给那些毒贩
Because if you have the cash, no matter what your resolution is, you meet somebody in the
换得一时过瘾 并自我安慰: 反正我也正好有钱
alley who offers you drugs and you feel like, “Oh yeah, I’ve got this money anyway,”
and so you do it.
So the issue is not-tempting temptation.
I was recently on a college campus giving a talk and I met these kids afterwards who
during finals week what they do is they swap Facebook passwords with each other and they
change those passwords so they can’t log into Facebook when they’re supposed to be
And then at the end of finals when it’s all over they give each other’s passwords
It was very clever and that’s a beautiful sort of Ulysses contract where a week before
finals you’re knowing about the temptations that you’re going to give into and you’re
doing something to take care of those.
By now a lot has been said about the marshmallow test.
观众朋友们可能已经听说过了 在这个实验中 孩子们得知
You guys probably know about this where children are asked you can eat this one marshmallow
现在吃只能得到一个棉花糖 但是等实验者回来 他们可以得到两个
now or if you wait until I come back you can get two marshmallows.
People talk about this in terms of the resolution that little kids have and how good they are
at resisting temptation and stuff but there’s something that’s often overlooked here which
is that one of the most common strategies that kids use was simply covering their eyes.
Just clapping their hands over their eyes so they’re not looking at the marshmallow.
And it turns out that’s a very effective strategy.
And so when we think about minimizing temptations whatever your temptations are in life just
think about the ways that you can actually contractually minimize that temptation so
it’s not there.
Not a fake thing or anything.
哦就是这样 如果把诱惑藏起来 我一定不碰它 实际上
Oh yeah, if it’s in the back of the cabinet I won’t do it but like actually get rid
of the temptation.
三千多年前 尤利西斯在特洛伊战争取胜后 带领勇士们