Happiness is to follow your own way in life【双语】

Are entrepreneurs happy souls? They should be, because in a sense they define what makes us happy. According to research by economists and psychologists, the key to happiness is to find your own path in life. 创业家幸福吗?答案应该是肯定的,因为从某种意义上来说,他们定义了幸福的决定因素。根据经济学家和心理学家的研究,幸福的关键就是找到自己的人生之路。
After all, entrepreneurs know that it is autonomy and freedom – the ability to determine one’s own destiny, rather than the money – that is the critical reason why they do what they do. Many of the self-employed earn less than they could working for someone else. But they choose to be their own boss because it gives them more satisfaction and control over their career. 毕竟,创业家们知道,促使他们创业的关键原因不是金钱,而是自主权和自由,即创业能让他们把命运掌握在自己手中。许多创业者挣的还不如给别人打工时多。但他们之所以选择自己当老板,是因为当老板能带来更多的满足感,以及对自己职业生涯更大的掌控权。
This latter aspect is a crucial factor in achieving fulfilment: mastering your own direction in life, rather than letting others do it for you (parents, teachers, bosses and so forth), really matters. Too many people feel helpless because they have no power over their world. 后一点是获得成就感的关键因素:将人生方向的控制权掌握在自己手中、而不是交给别人(父母、老师、老板,等等),这一点真的非常重要。太多的人之所以感到无助,就是因为他们无法掌控自己的世界。
Recent research appears to confirm these views. Earlier this month, Babson College published the results of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor study for 2013 in the US. It states: “?On the whole, those who choose a path of entrepreneurship end up?.?.?.?more likely to see their lives as ‘excellent’ and ‘close to ideal’ than those who do not become entrepreneurs.” Indeed, on average entrepreneurs rate their well being more than twice as high as the rest of the population. 最近的研究似乎证实了上述观点。6月,巴布森商学院(Babson College)在美国发表了《2013年全球创业观察》(Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2013)报告。该报告指出:“整体而言,那些选择创业的人最终……比那些没有选择创业的人更有可能认为自己的生活‘非常好’、或‘接近完美’。”实际上,平均而言,创业家对自己幸福感的打分是其他人群分值的两倍。
For the first few years of their career, young entrepreneurs do not have bumper scores in the contentment stakes. Improvements in well being come over time. I can empathise: when I was in my 20s, and searching for opportunities, I often felt lost and frustrated. Sometimes I felt a failure, and unlikely ever to reach my ambitions. Almost all entrepreneurs strive in the early days until they adjust to their circumstances or change them. 在创业的最初几年,年轻的创业家们对幸福感的打分并不高。幸福感是随着时间的推移而不断提升。我可以理解这种现象:我自己在20多岁寻求各种机遇的时候,也经常会感到失落和沮丧。有时我会有一种挫败感,觉得自己永远都不可能实现自己的抱负。几乎所有的创业家在创业初期都会努力拼搏,直至他们适应环境或者改变环境。
It may be that by nature entrepreneurs tend to be optimists, and unsurprisingly as a breed they are happier than pessimists. Studies indicate that about 40 per cent of one’s happiness is decided through genetics rather than circumstance or nurture. This predisposition can typically be boosted by choosing to plough your own furrow and pursue your passion, rather than conform and simply do what others expect of you. 创业家可能往往天生就是乐观主义者,而乐观主义者比悲观主义者更快乐并不让人意外。研究表明,一个人的幸福感大约有40%是由基因(而非环境或抚育)决定的;而选择自己创业、追求自己的兴趣、而非顺从地做他人希望你做的事情,可能往往会增强你天生的快乐倾向。
Another factor may be that humans appreciate earned success – they favour an appropriate linkage between merit and reward. Entrepreneurship offers this direct connection. Those who take a risk by inventing something or starting a business can expect just deserts if they win in the marketplace; whereas those who battle their way to the top in a large corporation or institution have to deal with the capricious tendencies of office politics, where triumph may be nothing to do with talent. In many large organisations credit for great ideas is stolen by senior managers – leading to enormous bitterness from junior team members. 另一个因素可能是,人类欣赏经过努力拼搏得来的成功——他们喜欢看到才能与回报之间存在合理联系。创业精神则将这两样东西直接联系了起来。那些通过冒着发明东西或创建企业的人知道,一旦在市场竞争中获胜,就能获得公平的回报;而那些在大型企业或机构中努力向上攀爬的人,则不得不应对难以捉摸的办公室政治——在办公室政治中,胜利可能与才能毫无关系。在许多大型机构中,高级经理人会将好点子的功劳占为己有,让初级团队成员恨之入骨。
And this feeds into another conclusion of research into happiness: humans flourish when they are active, and have purpose. Idleness, permanent relaxation and apathy are a path to a misery. I think the vast majority of us have an inbuilt need to be busy, productive and wanted. The important things take effort, and will test you: but the sense of achievement gained thereby is far greater than any enjoyment or gain derived from sheer luck, inheritance or consumption. 而这引出关于幸福的另一项研究结论:当人类积极主动且有目标时,他们就会蓬勃发展。懒散、长期懈怠和对事物缺乏兴趣会导致痛苦。我认为我们绝大多数人都有让自己忙碌、富有创造性并被需要的内在需要。人们只有努力奋斗,经历各种考验才能成就一番事业,但因此获得的成就感,远非靠纯粹的运气、继承或消费获得的收获(或愉悦)能比。
As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “the high prize of life, the crowning glory of a man is to be born with a bias to some pursuit, which finds him in employment and happiness – whether it be to make baskets, or broadswords, or canals, or statutes, or songs”. 正如拉尔夫?沃尔多?爱默生(Ralph Waldo Emerson)所言,“人生最高的奖赏和最大的幸运产生于某种执着的追求,人们在追求中找到自己的工作与幸福——无论是编织篮子、制作大刀、开凿运河还是制定法律或谱写歌曲”。
There are other reasons, too, why entrepreneurs are more likely to be happy than most. For example, they know well, through the exertion of building an enterprise, that the journey is the thing, not the destination. And they also understand that no undertaking is ever close to perfect – it is always a series of pragmatic compromises. 创业家比其他大多数人更可能幸福的原因还有很多。例如,创建企业的实践让他们清楚地知道,重要的是过程,而非结果。他们也明白,从来都不会有任何事能接近完美,面对现实,始终需要做出一个个妥协。
This is actually positive news; for we all need fresh goals, and the chance to do better. Entrepreneurs live and work in the real world, and yet they are dreamers at heart, struggling with the rollercoaster of victories and defeats. 这实际上是积极的消息;因为我们全都需要新的目标和做得更好的机会。创业家在真实的世界里生活和工作,然而他们内心其实是梦想家,经受着成功与失败带来的跌宕起伏。
To me, that is a marvellous combination, and why I am happy to be an entrepreneur. 在我看来,有成功也有失败的人生非常棒。我之所以愿意当一名创业家,也就是为了拥有这样的人生。


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