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  • 《不积跬步无以至千里》

     

    One of the most inspiring quotes I ever heard regarding perseverance was by Brian Tracy. He said: “The difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is that successful people fail many more times than unsuccessful people.” 我听过的关于“毅力”的最鼓舞人心的一句名言,出自布赖恩-特蕾西之口。他说:“成功者和失败者的区别是,成功者比失败者要经历更多的失败。”

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    I personally experienced the wisdom of that understanding right after my first book was published. Like many authors, I envisioned hundreds of bookstore customers lining up for me to benevolently sign copies for them. 我的第一本书出版之后的亲身经历让我对这句名言的智慧有了深刻的理解。与许多作者一样,我也曾想象有几百个我的书迷朋友在书店里排起长龙,期待着我亲切地为他们签名。

    benevolently [bi'nevələntli] adv. 仁慈地;慷慨地

    I’m afraid to say, it didn’t quite happen like that. 然而,我得说,这一幕并没有发生。

    I was living in Atlanta at the time and arranged my first signing at The Phoenix and Dragon, the largest inspirational bookstore in the city. The store was celebrating its 15th anniversary and had authors scheduled to appear throughout the three-day event. I was scheduled Sunday at 5pm, the last day and time slot of the celebration. 那时我住在亚特兰大,正在为我的第一次签名售书活动做准备。这次签名售书活动被安排在龙凤书店举行,那是亚特兰大市最大的励志书书店。为了庆祝书店开业15周年,书店邀请了一些作家陆续在为期3天的庆祝活动中亮相。我被安排在星期天下午5点出席活动—那是三天庆祝活动的最后一天,也是活动的一段间隙。

    Brimming with anticipation, I was put into a private signing room in the beautiful store, and for the next hour and a half, had little more to do than to read my own book and wonder for what purpose in the world I had felt so driven to spend four years writing it. 那天,我满怀期待。我被安排在漂亮的龙凤书店的一个专用签名室里。可是在接下来的一个半小时里,我除了百无聊赖地翻看自己的书之外,没有其他事情可做。我不禁问自己,究竟是什么促使我花了四年的时间来写作这本书。

    anticipation [æntɪsɪ'peɪʃ(ə)n] n. 希望;预感;先发制人;预支

    Despite a nice sign placed outside the room exhibiting images of both me and my book, The 9 Insights of the Wealthy Soul, not a single customer entered the room. As each minute passed, I became increasingly anxious. 签名室的外面摆着一块漂亮抢眼的广告牌,上面展示着我的头像,以及我的书——《富足灵魂的九大顿悟》,然而却没有一个客人走进这个房间。随着时间一分一秒地过去,我变得越来越焦虑不安。

    Do they not like the title? I wondered. Do they not like the book cover? 他们不喜欢我的书名吗?我充满疑问。还是不喜欢书的封面设计?

    After 90 minutes of this torture, I was absolutely distraught. 这种折磨持续了90分钟以后,我彻底疯掉了。

    For the four years writing the book, I had felt a sense of mission and purpose like never before in my life. Working a full 8 to 9 hour day in my clinic, I had lived on a strict regimen during the four years of getting into bed by 9:30pm, so I could quiet my mind and feel a sense of surrender before turning out the lights at 11. I would sleep with that silent potentiality, so I could wake up at 5:30 in the morning and have two pristine hours of writing before heading into my clinic. 在著书的4年时间里,我有一种前所未有的使命感和目标感。那时,我每天在诊所工作8到9个小时。那4年里,我的作息时间极为严格,每天晚上9点半准时上床,以便在11点熄灯之前的这段时间里,能使大脑平静下来,体会一种抛开杂念,交出身心的感觉。带着这种沉默的潜在力量入睡,我就可以在早上5点半起床,利用完整的两个小时来写作,然后再前往诊所。

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    regimen ['redʒɪmən] n. [医] 养生法;生活规则;政体;支配

    Before I ever began each writing session, I would close my eyes for 10 minutes and end my meditation whispering, “Please grant me the words to touch just one person’s life.” 每次提笔写新内容之前,我都会闭目沉思10分钟,然后低声说:“请赐予我一种力量,让我的文字能够感动一位读者。”

    I truly was inspired, and despite my ascetic lifestyle, I knew that’s what I had to do to maintain the grace in my words with which I wanted my readers to eventually be touched. 写作时,我确实是文思泉涌。虽然我过着苦行僧般的生活,但我深知为保持文字的优美流畅我必须这么做,我希望我的文字最终能够感动读者。

    Now, sitting there alone at my first book signing, I wondered if my entire life wasn’t just a big joke. I watched the minutes agonizingly tick by on a clock on the wall. At 6:25pm, just before the store’s closing, defeated, I began to get myself ready to leave. 然而现在,我孤单一人坐在这里,举行自己的第一次签名售书活动。我开始怀疑自己的人生是不是一个天大的玩笑。我苦闷地盯着墙上的时钟,指针走了一圈又一圈。到了下午6点25分,书店马上就要关门了。我备受打击,开始准备离开。

    At that moment, just when I couldn’t feel any worse, a middle-aged couple walked into the room. Trying to regain my composure, I managed to hide my emotions and introduced myself and my book: 这时,就在我情绪低落到极点的时候,一对中年夫妇走了进来。我一边强作镇定,极力掩饰失落的情绪,一边向他们介绍我自己和我的新书。

    “Well,” I started hesitantly, “It’s called The 9 Insights of the Wealthy Soul, and it’s a story of a WWII pilot, my dad, and the lessons he was giving me in wealth accumulation while he was facing a terminal illness. And each lesson in the story becomes a much deeper lesson about life and death, and finding the greatest spiritual meaning anytime we are facing our greatest adversities.” “嗯,”我开始解说,语气有些犹豫,“这本书的名字叫《富足灵魂的九大顿悟》,讲述的是我父亲—一位二战飞行员,在患了晚期重病的时候,教我积累人生财富的故事。从这个故事里得到的每一个教诲,都成为一个对生死有更深刻理解的教诲,这些教诲也讲到当我们面对自己最大的不幸时,该怎样寻求最大的精神慰藉。”

    Both the man and the woman’s eyes were now glued on me. There was something different about the way they were looking at me that I couldn’t quite identify. But I didn’t know what else to say. However, additional words were unnecessary. 夫妇俩的眼睛都紧紧地盯着我。他们看我的眼神有点异样,至于怎么个异样法,我说不上来。但我又不知要说些什么。反正此刻再说什么,也是多余的。

    The couple turned to each other, and the husband nodded solemnly to his wife. She then told me, “I think we’ll get the book.” My heart began to pound. But instinctively, despite the impulse to jump in the air and wring their hands to thank them for being my first readers, I realized the woman was trying to say something else. 夫妇俩对望了一下,然后丈夫严肃地朝妻子点了点头。接着那位妻子对我说:“我们想买下这本书。”我的心开始“怦怦”地狂跳起来。尽管出于本能,我有种雀跃腾空的冲动,并想紧紧握住他们的手以感谢他们做我的第一批读者,但我意识到那位女士似乎还有别的话要说。

    “The reason we’re buying it,” she said hesitantly, “is because our son committed suicide two years ago.” She took my hand. “Maybe your story will help us get over it.” “我们之所以决定买这本书,”她有些犹豫地说,“是因为我们的儿子两年前自杀了。”她握住我的手。“也许你的书能帮助我们抚平心灵的创伤。”

    hesitantly ['hɛzətəntli]adv. 迟疑地;踌躇地

    I felt my eyes glisten. I was speechless. 我感到自己的眼里泛着泪光,一时无语。

    In that moment, I knew if I never sold another copy of the book, my four years of writing it had served its purpose. My prayer of asking for the words to touch just one person’s life had already been answered. 那一刻,我知道,即便我只卖出这一本书,我四年的写作也有了回报。我曾经祈求自己的文字能打动一个人,现在我如愿了。

    Although I would have many more challenging years until my book caught on and sawsubstantial distribution, this couple’s story was all the motivation I needed at that point to keep me moving ahead. 尽管经过多年的挑战和考验以后,我的书才终于引起人们的注意,成为畅销书,但在当时,这对夫妇的故事就是支撑我继续前行的全部动力。

    substantial [səb'stænʃ(ə)l] adj. 大量的;实质的;内容充实的 n. 本质;重要材料

    Thanks to them, I would come to the realization that the greatest of lives are made all in the same way: One challenge... one hurdle... one step... and one small victory at a time. 感谢他们,我后来意识到,那些最伟大的人都有着相同的经历:一次挑战……一次困难……一次突破……每次都是一小步的成功。

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