n the past 10 years, I've realized that our culture is rife with ideas that actually inhibit joy. Here are some of the things I'm most grateful to have unlearned:
1. Problems are bad.
You spent your school years solving arbitrary problems imposed by boring authority figures. You learned that problems suck. Real problems are wonderful, each carrying the seeds of its own solution. Job burnout? It's steering you toward your perfect career. An awful relationship? It's teaching you what love means. Confusing tax forms? They're suggesting you hire an accountant. Finding the solution to each problem is what gives life its gusto.
在校期间，你总是被无聊的权威人士逼着去解决各式各样的难题。你开始觉得这些难题太糟糕了。真正的难题是很棒的，因为每个难题都需要你找到方法来解 决它。工作倦怠？这是促使你朝着完美的事业方向迈进。人际关系糟糕？这是教你爱的真谛。各类税款让你发疯？这是在告诉你要请一个会计了。给每个难题找到解 决方法也能给你的生活带来乐趣哦。
2. It's important to stay happy.
Solving a knotty problem can help us be happy, but we don't have to be happy to feel good. If that sounds crazy, try this: Focus on something that makes you miserable. Then think, "I must stay happy!" Stressful, isn't it? Now say, "It's okay to be as sad as I need to be." This kind of permission to feel as we feel—not continuous happiness—is the foundation of well-being.
3. I'm irreparably damaged by my past.
Painful events leave scars, true, but it turns out they're largely erasable. Jill Bolte Taylor, the neuroanatomist who had a stroke that obliterated her memory, described the event as losing "37 years of emotional baggage." Now it appears we can all effect a similar shift, without having to endure a brain hemorrhage. The very thing you're doing at this moment—questioning habitual thoughts—is enough to begin off-loading old patterns. For example, take an issue that's been worrying you and think of three reasons that belief may be wrong. Your brain will begin to let it go.
痛苦的事情总会留下疤痕，的确是这样，但它们也会随着时间淡去。神经解剖学家Jill Bolte Taylor因中风失忆了，她把这称为失去了“37年的情感包袱。” 其实不需要中风，我们也能经历类似的情感转变。你现在正在做的事情——怀疑以往的想法——已经足够你把过去那些事都翻篇了。比如，找一件曾让你困扰的事 情，再想想三个原因来证明这种想法也许是错的。你的大脑就会忘记这个困扰。
4. It matters what people think of me.
"But if I fail," you may protest, "people will think badly of me!" This dreaded fate causes despair, suicide, homicide. I realized this when I read blatant lies about myself on the Internet. When I bewailed this to a friend, she said, "Wow, you have some painful fantasies about other people's fantasies about you." Yup, my anguish came from my hypothesis that other people's hypothetical hypotheses about me mattered. Ridiculous! Right now, imagine what you'd do if it absolutely didn't matter what people thought of you. Got it? Good. Never go back.
“如果我失败了，人们就会看不起我了！”你也许会这样想。这种想法只会造成失望、自杀和杀人，这是我在网上看到对自己不实的诽谤时体会到的。我把这 些和一个朋友倾诉，她说“你现在是因为幻想别人对你的看法而感到痛苦。” 是的，我的怨恨都来自于我的假设，我假想别人会对我做出一些评价。多可笑！现在试想一下，你将要做的事与别人怎么想你完全无关。学会了吗？很好，一直保持 下去吧。
5. The pretty girls get all the good stuff.
Oh, God. So not true. I unlearned this after years of coaching beautiful clients. Yes, these lovelies get preferential treatment in most life scenarios, but there's a catch: While everyone's looking at them, virtually no one sees them. Almost every gorgeous client had a husband who'd married her breasts and jawline without ever noticing her soul.
6. If all my wishes came true right now, life would be perfect.
Check it out: People who have what you want are all over rehab clinics, divorce courts, and jails. That's because good fortune has side effects, just like medications advertised on TV. Basically, any external thing we depend on to make us feel good has the power to make us feel bad. Weirdly, when you've stopped depending on tangible rewards, they often materialize. To attract something you want, become as joyful as you think that thing would make you. The joy, not the thing, is the point.
想想吧：拥有你想要的一切的人们，也许正在康复中心、离婚法庭和监狱。这是因为和药物电视广告一样，财富也会有副作用。事实上，所有能给我们带来快 乐的外界东西都会给我们带来伤害。奇怪的是，当你不再依赖于有形的奖励时，它们偏偏经常出现。想得到些什么，就多想想有了它之后生活会多么快乐。快乐才是 最重要的。
7. Loss is terrible.
Ten years ago I still feared loss enough to abandon myself in order to keep things stable. I'd smile when I was sad, pretend to like people who appalled me. What I now know is that losses aren't cataclysmic if they teach the heart and soul their natural cycle of breaking and healing. A real tragedy? That's the loss of the heart and soul themselves. If you've abandoned yourself in the effort to keep anyone or anything else, unlearn that pattern. Live your truth, losses be damned. Just like that, your heart and soul will return home.
十年前，我仍希望一切如旧，害怕失去。难过的时候我会微笑，假装喜欢那些我厌恶的人们。现在我知道，失去并不是灾难性的，它们能促使内心和灵魂的自 然循环那些伤害和愈合。真正的悲剧是什么？就是失去了内心和灵魂。如果在挽留某个人或维持某件事的过程中，你失去了自己，那就别再坚持了吧。做真实的自 己，失去再难过，你的内心和灵魂也会慢慢愈合。