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为什么自律这么难呢?

Why Self-Discipline is so Hard

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这是奥丁 也是众神之王
This is Odin, also known as the All-father.
他将成为北欧诸神中最智慧最有力量的神
He will become the wisest and most powerful
但是还没有
of the Norse gods, but not yet.
现在 他挂在宇宙树上
For now, he hangs from Yggdrasil,
这棵树支撑着九界
the world tree that holds all nine worlds together,
长矛嵌入了他的胸部
with a spear lodged in his chest.
奥丁挂在那里九天九夜
He will hang there for nine days, and nine nights,
挣扎在生与死的边缘
on the border between life and death.
他始终向下凝视神奇的泉水
All the while, he peers down into the magical waters of the well below,
呼唤着符文写成的神圣知识
calling out for the godly knowledge of the runes.
满意于奥丁的牺牲 他们出现了
Satisfied with his sacrifice, they emerge,
他们向奥丁展示智慧 并将伟大的力量赐予他
revealing to him their wisdom and bestowing him with great power.
奥丁把自己给了自己
Odin had given himself to himself.
或者更具体地说
Or, more specifically,
他为了未来的自己牺牲了现在的自己
he sacrificed his present-self for his future-self.
这不是巧合
It’s no coincidence
因为为了伟大的奖赏他必须做出伟大的牺牲
that he had to perform the greatest sacrifice for the greatest reward.
这个故事至少隐喻了自我牺牲和自律
This story is, at the least, a metaphor for self-sacrifice or self-discipline.
而且这是我们代代相传的一件事
And, it’s one that we have been telling for generations.
人类以如此崇高的敬意对待自控的美德
Humanity has held the virtue of self-control in such high regards
在大多数宗教信仰和许多神秘道德中自律是主要内容
that it’s a staple in most religions and the moral of many myths.
基督教中的原罪就是吃了禁忌之果
In Christianity, the first sin – eating the forbidden fruit –
是自控上的过失
was a lapse in self-control.
在希腊神话中
In Greek mythology,
当潘朵拉不能控制自己的好奇心时 邪恶进入世界
evil entered the world when Pandora could not control her curiosity
并打开盒子
and opened the box.
这个神话甚至进入了我们的日常言语中
This myth, in particular, has even entered our everyday language.
如果我担心你引起灾难性后果
If I want you to avoid a temptation,
希望你拒绝诱惑
for fear of causing disastrous consequences,
我就会警告你不要“打开潘朵拉的盒子”
I might warn you against”opening Pandora’s box”.
这一美德被提升到了
The elevation of this virtue to
宗教和文化层面 强调了人们的普遍认识:
religious and mythic proportions highlights a commonly
自律在引导你走向美好未来方面
held belief: self-discipline plays a huge role
扮演重要角色
in leading you to your best future, as
奥丁就是正面例子 而潘朵拉就是反面例子
in the case of Odin, or your worst one, as with Pandora.
如果这是对的
If this is true, it seems like it would be great
那么如果我们有更多自律精神 似乎很好
if we could all have some more self-discipline.
但是自律是什么呢?
But, what is self-discipline?
人们经常用这个词
People often use the term to describe someone who makes
来形容那些为了长期目标克服短期诱惑的人
“good” long-term decisions by overcoming short-term temptations.
但是当你问他们是如何克服这些短期诱惑的
But, when you ask them how they overcome these short-term temptations,
他们会经常提到“意志”和“毅力”之类的词
they often invoke some sort of *will* or *willpower*.
“意志”的意思并不非常明显
What *will* actually means isn’t really obvious.
但是在谈这个话题之前
But, before we get to that,
咱们先从“决定”开始
let’s start at the beginning: the decision.
在任何时候
At any point in time,
你都要做出如何行动的决定
you’re making a decision on how to act.
当你需要在
The difficulty arises when you have
立即满足和延迟满足之间做出决定的时候
to make a decision between what’s immediately gratifying
困难就出现了
versus what is not gratifying now,
困难在于未来的未知
but will be in the future.
换句话说困难在于延迟满足
In other words, the difficulty lies in delaying gratification.
但是什么导致你不要冲动呢?
But, what causes you to not act impulsively?
你作出任何单一决定的原因都是多元的
The reason for any single decision you make is multivariate:
基因 激素 进化 社会环境
genes, hormones, evolution, social environment,
物理环境 过往经历 形势背景
physical environment,past experience, context of the situation,
众多其他因素也起到了作用
and a multitude of other factors all play a role.
但是你做出决定的最直接原因
But, the most immediate cause of any
要追溯到你的大脑活动
of your actions can be traced back to your brain activity.
当谈及自律的时候
When discussing self-discipline,
最好的起点之一就是神经传递素多巴胺
one of the best places to start is with the neurotransmitter dopamine.
罗伯特·萨波斯基
In his book *Behave*,
在《行为》一书中提出了一个例子
Robert Sapolsky puts forth an example that clarifies at least one
证明在我们大脑中多巴胺至少扮演一种主要角色
of the primary roles of dopamine in our brains.
假如我拿一只猴子 把它放到笼子里
Let’s say that I take a monkey and stick him in a cage.
现在我把一根控制杆放进笼子
Now, I put a lever in there that,
如果猴子推十次控制杆 就奖励他一颗葡萄干
if he pushes it 10 times, rewards him with a raisin.
然后我会在控制杆进入笼子前
Next, I turn on a light that comes
把灯打开
on before the lever enters the cage.
也就是
In other words,
灯信号先亮 然后控制杆再进入笼子
the light signals that the lever will be entering the cage which, in turn,
也就是灯是猴子获得葡萄干的信号
signals that the monkey will be able to get a raisin.
结果猴子学会了把提示(灯)
As a result, the monkey learns to associate the cue (a light)
和奖励(葡萄干)联系起来
with the reward (a raisin).
有趣的是 灯亮时
Interestingly, the monkey will begin to release more dopamine
猴子会释放更多多巴胺
in response to the light than
比享用奖励时释放得还要多
he does when consuming his reward.
和流行看法相反的是
Contrary to popular belief,
“因心理预期释放的多巴胺多于因奖赏本身释放的多巴胺”
*dopamine is about anticipation more than it is about reward*.
当环境中的某些线索
Certain cues in our environment hint
暗示我们有潜在奖励 多巴胺就会开始上升
at a potential reward and dopamine starts to rise in anticipation.
“多巴胺是使我们对目标采取行动的原因”
*Dopamine is what gets us to take action with respect to a goal.*
那么多巴胺和自律有什么关系呢?
So, how does this relate to self-discipline?
也就是你要决定
Let’s say that you’re deciding
是获得即时奖励还是延迟奖励
between an immediate reward and a delayed reward.
当你选择即时奖赏时 多巴胺就会被送到
When you think about the immediate reward,
你大脑中叫“边缘靶点”的特定范围
dopamine is sent to certain parts of the brain known as limbic targets.
当你考虑延迟奖赏时
When you think of the delayed reward,
多巴胺就会被送到大脑中的不同区域
dopamine is sent to a different part of the brain known
也就是“前额皮质靶点”
as frontocortical targets.
如果大脑部分和延迟奖励联系时受到更多刺激
If the part of the brain associated with delayed reward is more stimulated,
你就更倾向于延迟满足
you’re more likely to delay gratification.
再次强调 多巴胺在“驱使”我们行动时扮演重要角色
Again, dopamine plays a role in *driving* our action.
所以你的大脑是如何决定
So, how does your brain decide how
将多巴胺送到每个位置呢?
much dopamine is sent to each part?
这又得归结到几个复杂的因素
Again, this comes down to several complex factors such
过往经历 基因 激素
as past experiences, genes, hormones,
社会环境 物理环境 形势背景等等
social environment, physical environment, the context of the situation and so on.
但从实用主义角度讲
But, pragmatically,
大脑的决定受两个因素的影响
the brains decision is affected by how pleasurable the reward is
奖励令人愉悦的程度以及获得奖励所要付出的时间
and how much time it takes to get that reward.
有一个例子能帮你直观地理解这个问题
Here’s an example to help you understand it intuitively.
假如我给你一个报价
Let’s say that I make you an offer:
你今天能有100美元或者明天能有100美元
you can have $ 100 today or $ 100 tomorrow.
奖励是相同的 只是在第二种情况下奖励时间被延迟了
The reward is the same but the time delay is greater in the second scenario.
你可能会选择今天拿100块
You’ll probably take the $ 100 today
因为等到明天毫无意义
because there’s no point in waiting until tomorrow.
但假如我说要么你今天拿100块 要么明天拿200块呢?
But, what if I said that you could get $ 100 today or $ 200 tomorrow?
这种情况下你往往会愿意等待
It’s more likely that you’ll be willing to wait,
前提是额外的100块足够令人愉悦
if an extra $ 100 is pleasurable enough.
但是假如我要说如果你等到明天
But, what if I said that if you wait
你能拿101块
until tomorrow, you could get $ 101.
那你可能就转头回去拿今天的100块了
You’ll probably revert back to taking the $100 today.
每次你做决定的时候 你的大脑就会像这样做出多次计算
Your brain does multiple calculations like this every time you decide.
它基于奖励大小以及奖励到来的速度
It creates a sense of wanting or reward seeking based
制造出一种欲望感或奖励寻求感
on the speed and size of a reward.
那么如何终结自己寻求奖励的决定呢?
So, how do you end up determining what rewards to seek?
活着就是有欲望
To live life is to have desires.
这个世界让你充满了需求和欲望
The world fills you up with needs and wants,
邀请你前来与它互动
inviting you to come and interact with it.
每次你满足于一个欲望的时候
Every time you satisfy a desire,
你就会收到一个内部奖励 并且形成一种关于如何获得这种奖励的信念
you receive an internal reward and a belief forms about how you did it.
当欲望重新出现的时候
When that desire re-emerges,
你的大脑就会激活相应的信念电路
your brain activates the corresponding belief circuitry and dopamine releases,
怀着对奖励的期待释放多巴胺
in anticipation of the reward,
这会促使你重复与之前相同的行为
which motivates you to repeat the same action as before.
换句话说 你开始养成一个习惯
In other words, you begin to form a habit.
在每一次重复中
With each repetition,
神经通路都会加强 你就会把这个习惯当成为通往欲望之路的方案
the neural pathway strengthens and you solidify the habit’s role as the solution to your desire.
送你一个警句:
Here’s the punchline:
习惯会调节个人欲望与周围环境
habits mediate the relationship between an individual’s
之间的关系
desires and their environment.
要想改变习惯 个人或周围环境得做出改变
To change the habit, the individual, the environment,
或者两者都得改变
or both have to change,
这就是自律如此艰难的原因
and that’s why self-discipline is so hard.
我们几乎控制不了决定我们欲望的生物学
We have little control over the biology that determines our desires.
萨波斯基表示
According to Sapolsky,
思考即时奖励和延迟奖励时
individuals with ADHD have abnormal dopamine responses when thinking
患有注意力不集中症的人会有异常的多巴胺分泌
about immediate rewards vs delayed ones:
他们更偏向于冲动行为
they’re biased towards impulsive action.
而那些遭遇过童年不幸的个人
Individuals who experience a childhood adversity
更倾向于有不发达的额皮质
are more likely to have an underdeveloped frontal cortex,
延迟满足对他们来说更困难
making delayed gratificationmore difficult.
或许最终我们可以用科学改变个人生物特质
Eventually, we may be able to change an individuals biology using science,
但是我们对道德性以及长期结果持怀疑态度
but the morality and long-term consequences of this are questionable.
我们生物学上的某部分具有可塑性:大脑
There is a part of our biology that *is* more malleable: the brain.
个人可以通过教育被改变
An individual can be changed with education.
人们对这个世界了解越多
As people learn more about the world,
就会检验新的信念并强化新的行为
they can test out new beliefs and reinforce new behaviors. But,
但是这引出了问题的核心
this leads me to the heart of the issue.
自律更多的是环境问题 而非个人问题
Self-discipline is much more of an environmental problem than it is an individual one.
一个人可以通过教育改变信念和行为
While an individual can change their beliefs and behaviors through education,
而可用的教育资源是经由环境展现的
the resources available for education are presented by the environment.
此外 个人为实现欲望而建立的习惯
Furthermore, the habits an individual builds to meet their desires are,
很大一部分是环境中的可获得产品
in large part, a product of what’s available in the environment.
神经系统科学家卡尔·哈特的一项研究发现
A study done by neuroscientist Carl Hart found
当他把选择交给那些毒品上瘾者
that when meth addicts were given a choice
是选择5美元还是50毫克药物时
between $5 and 50mg of meth,
50%的情况下吸毒者选了5美元
the addicts took the $5 half of the time.
等他把现金奖励的额度增加到20美元 上瘾者几乎都不选药物了
When he increased the value of the cash reward to $20, they almost never took the drug.
他在可卡因极度上瘾者身上发现了相似的结果
He found similar results with crack cocaine addicts.
哈特认为 上瘾者实际上是理性的决策者
Hart suggests that addicts are actually rational decision makers,
在有“替代强化刺激”的情况下 他们就不会选择药物
and will choose not to take a drug when there are “alternative reinforcers”.
这在某种程度上可以说明
It seems that drug habits are more likely
当个人处在这种环境中 吸毒习惯就会建立:
to be formed when individuals are in an environment
没有提供替代物或竞争方式来满足他们的欲望
that offers no alternative or competing ways to meet their desires.
布鲁斯·亚历山大进行著名实验“老鼠公园”时发现了类似结果
Bruce Alexander found similar results when he conducted his now-famous study: *Rat Park*.
在亚历山大的研究之前
Prior to Alexander’s study,
人普遍认为上瘾主要由毒品引起
it was commonly believed that addiction was caused primarily by drugs.
当你摄入毒品时 你就会上瘾
When you take a drug, you get addicted.
这也是故事的发展过程
That’s how the story went.
但亚历山大发现大多数毒品相关研究发生在老鼠被隔离时
Alexander noticed that most drug-related studies occurring at the time placed rats in isolation.
他想知道这一点
He wondered if this played a role
是否在老鼠选择毒品时起到某些作用
in the rats deciding to take the drug.
结果证明他是对的
It turns out that it did.
当老鼠被隔离时
When rats were in isolation,
看到它们摄入毒品直到死亡不会令人惊讶
it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them consume a drug until they died.
但是当亚历山大做老鼠公园这个实验时
But, when Alexander constructed a “Rat Park”
给老鼠提供了朋友 性伴侣 玩具等等
complete with friends, sexual partners, toys,
在这种情况下老鼠选择毒品的几率更小
and so on, rats were much less likely to take the drugs.
这两个实验都提出了一个有趣的想法:
Both of these studies present an interesting idea:
当你有更好的方式获取替代物
addiction is much less likely to occur
并满足自己的欲望时 上瘾就会更少发生
when you have greater access to alternative ways to meet your own desires.
在《沉思》一书中 马卡斯·阿里琉斯说
In his *Meditations,* Marcus Aurelius said that,
我们生来手脚眼就做好了分工协作
We were born to work together like feet, hands and eyes,
两排牙齿也进行上下分工
like the two rows of teeth, upper and lower.
彼此设置障碍是不自然的
To obstruct each other is unnatural.
对某人发怒 背弃某人:这些都是不自然的
To feel anger at someone, to turn your back on him: these are unnatural.
人们是一个远远出乎意料的环境产物
People are a product of their environments a lot more than we like to think.
承认这一点 我们对别人会有更多的同理心
By acknowledging this, we can have more compassion
但是更重要的是
for one another but, more importantly,
我们能够开始互帮互助
we can begin helping one another.
通过尽可能给人们提供许多机遇
By providing people with as many opportunities
让他们了解到可以通过替代物实现自己的需要
as possible for learning and alternative ways to meet their needs,
我们就可以根除不能自律的问题
we can eradicate the problem of self-discipline.
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One of my favorite places to learn is The Great Courses Plus.
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They have a huge library of over 10000 videos about nearly anything you can think of,
科学 哲学 烹饪 摄影等等
science, philosophy, cooking and even photography.
如果你喜欢本视频
If you enjoy this video,
我觉得你会喜欢一个叫“自控的科学秘密”的课程
I think you’ll enjoy the course called the scientific secrets for self-control
讲师是心理学教授C. 内森德瓦尔
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他们会提供几条科学建议来改善你的自控力
They offer several science based tips for improving self-control
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如果有兴趣的话就前去观看吧
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You can get access to your free trial by going to thegreatcoursesplus.com/freedom
你也可以通过点击简介上方的链接进入该网站
or clicking the link at the top of the description to take you over there.
一如既往要感谢你的观看 我们下次再见
As always, thanks for watching, and I’ll see you soon.

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视频概述

自律,显然是个褒义词。但人活一世,总有七情六欲,总有那么一刻抵挡不住打开潘多拉魔盒的欲望。本视频介绍了不能自律的各种原因以及解决办法。

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

ABC

审核员

审核员YX

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVbrgBjZm60

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