6个可以让你变得更强大的残酷事实 ——6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Better Person

文章很不错,推荐给大家,英文好的建议看原文,因为译文难免会有偏颇。
英文原文地址:http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-harsh-truths-that-will-make-you-better-person-updated/   (原文链接应该是打不开了,是他们网站的问题。)
译文1原文地址:http://www.douban.com/group/topic/36138010/
译文2原文地址:http://article.yeeyan.org/view/237128/372400
本文排版顺序为:译文1、译文2、英文原版。

译文1:

 

如果你的职业道路非常顺利,你的生活美满感情顺利,你可以不用读这篇文章。祝你一天愉快,这篇文章不是为你写的。你做的非常出色,我们都为你自豪。

对于其余的人来说,我希望你做一件事情:说出5件你引以为豪的事情。写在纸上也好,或者喊出来也好都可以。但这里有一个条件:你不可以列出你“是”怎样的人(比如,我是一个温柔的人,我很诚实),只能列出你“做”的事情(比如,我刚获得了全国象棋冠军,我做的chili是全麻省最好的)。如果你发现很难列出五件事情,这篇文章就是为你所写的。而且你他娘de肯定一边听一边心里会不舒服。我的感受是,如果有人在1995年的时候跟我讲这些事情就好了。

#6:这个世界只关心你能给予什么
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我们假设一下你最爱的亲人在大街上被枪击了。TA一边失血一边尖叫。一个路人冲上来说“让一下”。他仔细检查了伤口并拿出一把小刀准备在大街上动手术取出子弹。

你问他:“你是医生吗?”
他回答说:“不是”
你说:“你知道你要做什么,对吧?你是不是退伍的军医,还是……”

这个时候那个路人感觉有点不快了。他告诉你说他是一个好人,是一个诚实的人,他上班从来不迟到。他告诉你说他是一个孝顺的儿子。业余生活丰富,生活非常富足。他还说他从不说脏话。

你有点疑惑,说:“这TM的和我亲人被枪击躺在马路上有什么关系?我需要一个可以在伤口上动手术的人!你到底能不能做?”

现在这个路人非常生气了——为什么你就那么自私肤浅呢?你难道不在乎他的那些优良品德么?他刚才不对你说他总是记住女友的生日吗?他有那么多优良品质,你为什么就抓着他会不会外科手术这个事实不放呢?

在那个疯狂的情形下,你会用你沾满鲜血的双手用力摇晃他的肩膀,大喊道:“废话!你说的那些优良品质都是屁话,因为在当前情况下我只需要一个可以止血动手术的人!你这个神经病给我滚!”

所以,这就是我要说的第一点成人世界的残酷事实:你其实天天都身处于上述的“当前情况”之中。只不过换作你是那个喋喋不休的好心路人,而社会上其他所有人都换作成那个流血的伤者。

如果你想知道为什么社会对你不屑,或者你为什么从不受到尊重,这是因为社会充满了【需要某样东西】的人。他们需要人来造房子,他们需要食物,他们需要娱乐,他们需要人来满足性欲。你从出生开始就进入了这样的需要解决人们需求的社会系统。

你要么选择学习某种技能担当某样角色满足他人的需要,要么就选择被社会抛弃。这个社会不在乎你有多么善良,礼貌,无私。你会变穷,你会没有朋友,你会被遗弃。
但这是不是说我们要刻版、自私呢?爱和温柔重要吗?当然了,但前提是这些爱是别人需要的,也是从其他人那里得不到的。

否则的话……

#5:别去相信嬉皮士的话 (Hippies are wrong)
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【原文此处引用了一段视频。国内看不了Youtube。可以翻墙且听力没问题的可以此处看:http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=8kZg_ALxEz0】

对于那些无法看视频的读者,这是一段著名的影院神片Glengarry Glenn Ross里Alec Baldwin的演讲。Baldwin的角色——你会假设是反角——对一屋子的销售员疯狂施压,警告他们说他们都会被解雇,除非他们可以搞定他们手上的单子。

“好人?关我屁事!慈父?去你ma的!回你的家和你孩子玩去!如果你想在这里工作,给我敲定手上的单子”

非常残酷、粗鲁、甚至有点疯狂。可是,这恰恰是这个社会对你期望的最诚实的写照。不同的是,在现实世界里,人们认为那样讲话太粗鲁了对你不礼貌,于是他们干脆什么都不说眼看着你失败。

这个电影片段改变我的人生。我如果知道怎么做的话,会把它录成闹钟每天早上叫我起床。Baldwin因此还拿了奥斯卡奖,而这个片段是他整个电影唯一出场的场景!正如前人已经分析过,这段演讲精彩之处在于,一般的人会理解为“天哪,我要有这么一个混蛋老板会怎样啊?”。而另一半人却会想“太TM励志了!我现在就想去上班做业务去!”

或者,有一个心理学家写道:“如果当时你在那个房间里,你们中的一些人会明白这是工作,会从那段演讲里吸收能量,就像一个球队教练冲你大骂一样。你会觉得‘这家伙太有能耐了’。而另一些人会非常介意,认为这个老板是混蛋,你没有权利跟我这样说话。”
以上节选自一篇对于“hipster(这个词很难翻译,姑且翻译为非主流潮人)”的批判文章。文章解释了这些人为什么会难找工作,并指出上述两种不同的态度——受刺激vs受激励——很大程度上决定你是否在现实生活中能成功。

比如说,有人会引用搏击俱乐部里的经典台词“You are not your job”。但事实上,你完完全全就是你的job(职责)。当然了,你的职责和你为公司的服务不是一回事请,但其实你只不过是你所有有用技能经验的综合体罢了。技能是某一个个体能为社会中其他人提供的有用服务。但别搞错了,你的“职责”——你为他人提供的有用服务——就是你的全部。

这就是为什么外科医生比喜剧作家更受到尊重。也是为什么机修工比无业潮人更受到尊重。如果你的死讯能登上新闻,这说明你的工作已经成为了你的标签。搏击俱乐部里Tyler说You are not your job,但他同时又操办了一家成功的肥皂公司同时成为了社会运动的领导人。He was totally his job (这句不翻译比较好理解)。

我们再这样理解一下:你还记得Chick-fil-A餐厅反对同性恋婚姻么?不论嬉皮们如何抗议,公司还不是照样卖出了成千上万的汉堡?这不是说顾客们认可他们,而是因为他们成功地完成了履行了他们的职责——做好吃的汉堡。这一点才是最关键的。

你不一定非要从心里喜欢这个事实。我也不喜欢我生日的时候天下雨。但天还是要下雨。人们有需求,人们会认可能够满足他们需求的人。世界就是通过这么简单的机制运行的,谁也改变不了。

如果你抗议说,我不是肤浅的物质主义者,金钱不是万能的,我只能说:我有说过金钱吗?说明你没看懂我的要点。

#4:你所做的事情不一定要换成钱,但一定要有益于他人
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那么我们换一个非金钱的例子好了。这个网站(cracked.com)主要面向20出头的男性。我每天都要从邮箱里收到一大堆挫男抱怨女人不愿意接近他们,虽然他们是世界上最nice的男人。我可以解释他们的思路有什么问题,不过最好是让Alec Baldwin解释最好。

(译注:此处再次引用上述视频,我真的建议大家去看那个片段!)

在我们说的例子里,Baldwin就是你生活里那个女神。他们当然不会像Baldwin的角色那样粗鲁直接——社会教育我们不要对别人那么“诚实”——但问题是一样的:“你是好人?关我屁事!想在这里工作,就给我搞定工作。”

所以,你有什么感想呢?你对在书店里遇到的女神每天白日梦YY,为她午餐不吃色拉感到惋惜。她10年后会成为一个外科医生,你呢?

“什么?你是说除非我找到一个好工作赚大钱否则不可能把到女神?”

不!你的大脑跳跃太快了,因此你可以给自己一个理由认为所有拒绝你的女神都是肤浅自私的。我在这里就问一个问题:你给予了什么?你聪明么?幽默吗?情趣吗?天才?雄心?创意?好,那你做什么事情能向这个世界证明自己的优点呢?不要跟我说你是个好人——这是最起码的。你的女神每天有三打的男人对她“好”。用我们上文的例子来说,伤者在大街上流血,你到底会不会开刀?

“我不歧视女人,不歧视种族,不贪婪,不肤浅,也不虐待人!我和那些diao不垃几的男人不一样。”
很抱歉,如果你所能做的事情只不过是你“没有”一堆缺点,就TM的给我从伤者身边滚出去!我们有的是风趣、英俊、事业成功的男人来帮助你的女神。

伤到你自尊了么?有一点?那现在怎样呢?你想碎碎念呢,还是打算学习怎么去做手术治疗那个伤者?取决于你。但你不要去抱怨为什么女神就喜欢找你口中的坏男人。她们吃这套是因为那些diao不拉几的男人有其他东西可以满足你的女神。“但我是一个聆听者!”是吗?你可以坐在女神身边几个小时听她念叨?你猜怎么着?角落里还有另一个男人可以这样做,他还是吉他高手!你如果不停地说你是一个好人,就像一个餐厅说他们的卖点是他们的食物不会让你拉肚子一样,就像一部电影的标题是“This Movie is in English”。

这就是为什么你可以做一个好人但仍然觉得自己是loser。

#3:你恨自己是因为你无所作为
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“所以你的意思是要我去买一本教我如何把妹的书么?”
当然不是,除非那本书的第一章是“让自己变成女孩子愿意接近的人”。因为这一步总是容易被忽略——人们总是问“我怎么能找到工作?”而不是“我如何成为雇主愿意雇用的人?”;人们总是问“怎么让女孩喜欢我?”而不是“我怎么成为女孩喜欢的人?”。对吧?因为后者往往要求你放弃自己喜欢的爱好,注重外表,天知道还要做其他什么牺牲。你甚至还可能要改变你的天性。

“但是为什么我不能就去找一个喜欢原本的我的人呢?”答案很简单:人是有需求的。别忘记我们的例子:伤者在流血,而你所做的只是抱怨找不到会自动愈合的伤口?

【此处插入一段Youtube上点击率很高的猥琐街头艺人表演的视频】

每个人看了上面这段视频都会会心一笑。你能为人们带来笑声么?为什么不呢?是为什么阻止你穿上猥琐的衣服在街头边唱边甩鸡鸡呢?那家伙似乎知道赢得掌声的门道……做怪事……总比什么都不做好……

“但是我什么都不擅长!”我有好消息告诉你:如果你尝试反复练习做一件事情,任何事情,你都可以擅长此事。我小时候可能是全世界最糟糕的作者。到了25岁的时候稍微好那么一点点。但当我职场失意的时候,我用业余时间写作长达八年,一周写一篇文章,直到它为我换回了钞票。我花了13年时间才能登上纽约时报畅销书榜单。我大概花了20000个小时才慢慢磨快了我拙劣的文笔。

不希望花那么多时间磨练一门技术?那么我有好消息和坏消息告诉你。好消息是漫长的磨练可以让你慢慢走出困境——我忍受了多年琐碎的办公室工作,因为我知道我同时在学习一门技能。人们半途而废是因为要看到结果实在是太漫长了,同时也是因为他们没有意识到“结果”就是过程本身。
坏消息是你别无选择。“想继续在这里工作?给我搞定手里的单子”

从我个人角度出发看,你并不是因为缺乏自信而恨自己,或者是因为别人羞辱你。你恨自己是因为你【什么都不做】。连你自己都不能爱“原本的自我”——这就是为什么你很可悲,不断写私信问我如何处理你的生活问题。

自己扳手指算一下:你有多少时间是在消费别人创造的东西(电视,音乐,电玩,网站)而不是生产你自己的东西?只有你的“产出”才能为你添加作为人的价值。

如果你听到这里听不下去了,并且用你从小听到大的陈词滥调回应说:“人的内在才是最重要的”,那么我只能说……(接下文)

#2:你的内在只有通过所做的事情才能表现出来
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在我所从事的行业里,我认识无数有理想的作家。他们认为自己是作家,他们在聚会上介绍自己是作家,他们拥有一颗作家的热心。他们只缺乏最后的一步:写点ta吗的像样的东西出来。

是吗?难道“写点东西”就是真正决定谁是谁不是真正“作家”的标准吗?
我的天哪,当然是了!

这恰恰是对我以上所说一切最常见的反驳,也是对你生活中批评声音最常见的反驳。这是你不断对你自己暗示以逃避能帮你改善自我的刻苦工作的理由。“我知道我的内在是一个很好的人”。你也会听到人说“我做我自己”。

不要误会我的意思:你的内在非常重要。一个男人如果为了他的家庭从无到有造出一栋房子完全是因为他的内在是一个好人。你所做的一切坏事最初是一个坏的念头,萦绕在你脑中,直到最后实施。同样,做一件好的事情也是一样道理——内在的自我是你成功果实赖以生长的土壤。
但是所有人都应该知道,所有人却都不能接受的事实是:“没有最后的果实,你就什么都不是”

比如你内心非常同情穷人。很伟大。这会让你最后做什么实事么?你听到你社区里一些悲剧发生后,你会说“这些不幸的孩子啊,让他们知道我在内心同情他们”吗?你要这么说我就只好说法克you——给我去真正帮助他们才是真的。数以千万的人看了那段Kony视频(译注:2012年Youtube上很有争议的关于非洲儿童的视频),所有看过的人都“在心里同情他们”。那么这么强大的同情给儿童们带来了什么呢?屁都没有!每天有非洲的儿童死于非命,因为数以百万的我们对自己说关心和行动一样重要。这是我们内心的一种心理机制,控制着我们大脑里犯懒的那一部分,让我们不断逃避真正去做实事。

有多少人此刻正在想:“她(他)如果知道我是多么有趣的人,一定会爱上我。”真的吗?你那些有趣的想法有多少让世人知道了呢?如果你的心上人有一个隐藏摄像机跟着你拍一个月,他们会被录影的内容打动吗?记住,人们不会读心术,他们只会观察你的行动。

我希望你做的,只不过是用你看别人的标准来看你自己罢了。你有没有一个烦人的基督徒朋友给别人最大的帮助只不过是“我为你祈祷”?你觉得烦不烦?我这里还没涉及到祈祷是不是实际有用呢,他们提供的帮助不需要他们屁股离开沙发就可以做。他们认为自己思想纯净,但是他们纯净的思想土壤有没有结出果实呢?他们自己应该比别人更清楚这点——因为我“土壤-果实”的比喻就是从圣经里拿来的。圣经里耶稣曾经不止一次说过“人们是根据果实来评判一颗树的”。当然,耶稣从来不会说“想继续留在这里工作,就给我搞定单子”,但他说“凡不结好果实的树,都要砍下來,扔在火里。”

对以上这些话无动于衷的人,就如同电影里对Baldwin无动于衷的业务员一样。(未完)

#1: 人的内心其实一直在拒斥进步
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人类的大脑是很神奇的。但你会发现大脑在拒斥进步的时候运转得比做实事的时候还快。你的意识会通过层层防御机制来排斥任何会让你改变现状的事情——问一下对任何事物有瘾头的人就知道了。

所以,到现在,你们中的许多人一边读这篇文章,一边会感觉到大脑在不断提供排斥这篇文章的理由。从经验上说,这些想法通常是:

*有意将任何批评理解为侮辱
“他凭什么说我又懒又没用?一个善良的人从来不会这样对我说话!作者写这些东西只不过是想显示自己有多么优越,让我这个loser对自己生活不满罢了!等我回复更损人的话给你!”

*对人不对事
“这人有什么资格告诉我怎么活?他自以为自己了不起吧?不过是网上的一个白痴写手罢了!我要去人肉他,看他有什么丑事可以抖出来。这人真自以为是,让我作呕”

*只看语气,不看内容
“我会仔细看你的文章,找出一句话,断章取义只讨论那个。”

*不断修饰你的过去
“事情没那么糟糕。确实我上个月还想自杀呢,但现在我感觉好多了!也许我只要继续做我现在做的事情,情况会好的。让我继续给那个女神修电脑,女神总会到我身边的!”

*认为改善生活的行为总会让你失去自我
“哦,那么你是让我扔掉所有的漫画书。天天去健身房6小时?因为除此之外我没选择了?”

当然还有其他的想法。记住:【痛苦是会让人感到舒坦的】。许多人选择拥抱痛苦。幸福是需要努力的。

还有:勇气。人们无法批评你根本没有去创造出来的东西,所以人们选择什么都不做来避免批评。
人们很容易双手一叉裤袋批评别人的工作。这个电影很傻,这对父母的小孩很皮,那对情侣的感情很糟糕,那个暴发户不学无术,这个餐厅糟透了,本文作者是个白痴,我倒不如留一条损的回复让网站开除他,瞧,我这不“创造”了一些东西么?

哦,是啊,我忘记提醒你了。不论你尝试建造或者创造什么东西——诗歌也好,新的技术也好,或者新的感情也好——你会立刻发现自己身边多了很多批评家。这些批评家也许不会当你面损你,但是他们确实在挖苦你。你的酒鬼朋友不希望你清醒,你肥胖的朋友不希望你苗条,你无业的朋友不希望看到你开始新的职业。

记住,他们不过在表达他们对生活的恐惧罢了,批评别人的工作是自己不作为的另一个理由。“为什么我要创造什么东西呢,你看别人做的东西都糟透了!”“我想写小说,不过我要等时机,我可不想写出暮光那样肤浅的东西”。只要他们永远不动手去做事情,事情就永远是完美的。或者他们如果真的着手做事情了,他们会故意不努力,让别人认为事情做不好是因为他们不在状态,“他们真正的潜力是无穷的”,不是你看到的狗屎一样的产品。

往下翻读一下本文的回复——那些很极端的回复,永远都是“Cracked应该炒了这个作者”“这个自负的白痴应该停止写作”。所有一切的负面评论潜台词永远都是“停止创作,如果换我来创作绝对比这个好千倍,你现在得到那么多人气让我自己很没面子。”

不要成为上述的那种人。如果你是那种人,请不要继续成为那样的人。这正是人们为什么不喜欢你的原因,这正是你恨自己的原因。

所以,我有个建议:给自己定一个期限,2013年底,或者从你读本文之后的一年。当别人跟你说“我的新年计划是减肥15磅”的时候,我说咱们应该努力去做任何一件事情——学习新的技能直到足够有用为止,或者随便选一件事情:学空手道,学跳舞,学陶艺,做一个鸟屋,学习按摩,学一门语言,甚至拍一部A pian,做蝙蝠侠打击犯罪……

关键在于:我不希望你把眼光放在某个过高的目标上,我希望你专注于获得一样新的,【对其他人有用】的技能和经验。

“我没钱参加烹饪班”,那就TM的给我Google“如何烹饪”。我的天,拜托你戒掉这些借口,否则这些借口就要你命了。(You have to kill those excuses, or they will kill you)
(完)

 

译文2

 

为了不耽误你的时间,你现在要是已经春风得意事业有成,那我这文章你就不用看了,不是给你们准备的,但是俺在这为你热烈鼓掌、撒花… …(此处省略500字)。

那我这篇文章是给谁看的呢?做个小测验你就明白了,现在列举5个自己的优点,但不能我是个大好人,我特诚实这类又大又空的东西,得是我刚赢了奥数冠军啦,某某地方我做饭手艺叫第二,别人就不敢叫第一之类的。这时候要是你感觉,我天好难呐,我也老大不小了,怎么数个优点都这么费劲儿,那你就该看看我下面讲的。事先声明,我写东西是好话不好听,你要是脾气不好那就事先准备个枕头。接下来我要讲的有没有用,很简单,但凡我年轻的时候有人跟我唠扯过,我就不用走那么些弯路了。由浅入深,先从第六条说起。

第六条:扪心自问,你是个对社会有用的人吗?

假设现在你最心爱的人,比如你媳妇,就在大街上中弹了血流不止,然后你呼救,一个人颠颠儿跑过来了,手里还拿着把小刀要给你媳妇当街就做手术,你问他:“你是大夫吧?” 那人说“不是啊。” 然后你又问他:“那你是懂医术?” 那人有点面露难色了,不过他跟你说他是个好人,他诚实本分,还从来不迟到呢,又说他孝顺父母,热心公益,扒拉扒拉一大顿,末了他还傲娇地告诉你,他从来都没说过脏话。

是可忍孰不可忍,“我媳妇现在淌血呢,你说这些跟我有1毛钱关系么?我现在需要能取子弹的人,你到底能干不能干!?”

他一听你这话也激动了,问你怎么这么肤浅、怎么这么自私,“我是不会取子弹,我别的优秀品质你就看不到啦?我跟你说,就连我女朋友的生日,我都没落下过,我这么多优点,会不会手术有什么关系?

这样人骂他都多余,“我跟你说了,你那些优点跟现在1毛钱关系都没有,我需要会取子弹的人。傻叉,明白吗?”。

他也迷糊了,“我不太明白,要不我帮你媳妇找件干净衣服,要不帮她把鞋脱了,诶要不… …”

故事虽然是虚构的,但现实社会就是这么回事儿,这个社会有很多中了枪在流血的人,而你就是那个手里拿把小刀的人。

知道你为什么就成了社会的边缘人么?为什么就没人尊敬你呢?答案就是这个社会全部都是有需要的人,有人要盖房子,有人要吃东西,有人要娱乐享受,他们在等你出手来满足他们,而你却啥也不会,只能眼巴巴地看着。从你出生来到世上的第一天起,你就成了社会的一分子,这个社会的运行机制就是要一个成员去满足其他成员的需求。

所以要么是有一技之长可以满足社会需要,要么就是被社会抛弃,不管你多善良,多感恩,多礼貌,你都将穷困一生、孤独终老。

第五条:社会用什么尺子来评价一个人?答案是——工作能力。

给你们看一段不太适合合家观赏的视频,别误会哦,18岁以下可以看的,只是这个视频太现实太残酷了,我是怕有人玻璃心受不了。(小翻注释:请用优酷或者YouTube搜索视频glengarry glen ross speech),看不到没关系,大意就是一个出色的房地产销售阿牛给3个业绩平平的销售阿呆上课,开始3个人1万个不服,其中一个场景一个阿呆说“你谁啊?在这跟我吆五喝六。”,阿牛说“我去年买了个包。你问我是谁?不看看你开的什么车,我宝马看到没有,最新款的,这儿我手表看着没有,就能买你一辆车,你说我是谁。”

另外一段阿牛对着三人一顿骂,“你觉着自己是好人是吧,能当饭吃么?你觉得自己是个好爸爸是吧,那赶紧回家老婆孩子热炕头吧,别搁着耽误了。都听好喽,想保住饭碗的,就一条道,完成销售指标。”,扒拉扒拉一共7分钟。

这段视频出自电影Glengarry Glenn Ross,阿牛的扮演者叫Alec Baldwin。表面看来就是一个暴发户在欺负一帮老实人,“你们这帮人完不成销售指标,就都给老子收拾包袱走人。”

就是这么一段粗暴蛮横简直反人类的片段,却最诚实最精确地告诉你社会是怎么衡量你要求你的。这部片子之外呢?现实中人们怎么跟你说的?别人心里就想了“我管那么多呢?这些话好说不好听的,咸吃萝卜淡操心,他们爱咋咋地,跟我没关系,我犯不上。”

我有幸看到了这段视频,从此开始改变了我的人生,要是我会编程,就设定它每天自动播一遍给我看。整部影片里,阿牛的演员Alec Baldwin就露了这一面,但太精彩了,Alec Baldwin借此奥斯卡提了名。这片子妙在哪?俩字,深刻。不是一杯白开水,你得品味。一半的人看完会说,“倒霉催的,摊上这么个老板。”,还有一半人就会想,“阿牛话糙理不糙,完成业绩才是王道。”

再看看心里学家是怎么分析的,“现在你把自己设想成阿衰中的一员,那么有人就会认为阿牛的话是艺术,能把他说话颐指气使的态度过滤掉,心想’这人真牛!’;有人就认为这是阿牛看我眼眶发青,歪歪’这人今天忘吃药了吧?你有什么权利跟我这么说话?鸡毛掸子当令箭’等等,啊,最后结论是,还是YY有益身体健康。”

你有没有这样的时候,老板正慷慨激昂做总结,你不耐烦了心想,“你一会儿要是敢找我毛病,我就给你好看,才不惯着你。”,下一秒老板发现你走神了,还没等发作呢,你赶紧说:“对不起,对不起,我听着呢。您说,您说,嘿嘿。”

所以看了上面的片子,你是哪种人呢?是觉得被羞辱了,还是被激励了?这很重要,因为你的态度很大程度上决定了你能不能在这个社会生存。你可能觉得我说的不对,谁谁跟我说了:“你是人,不是工作,它不是你的全部。”

可我要说的是,你就是工作,它就是你的全部。当然现在你可能就没在班上,正干别的事,但不管是上班还是在干别的,能把你跟别人区别开的是什么呀?就是你会的技能好吗。什么是好妈妈?好妈妈就是有照顾孩子的技能。你能做对这个社会其他成员有意义的事,才表示存在着你,你才是你。是工作,成就着你。

走点心吧,想想为什么大医生就比卖菜的受尊敬?为什么工程师就比待家混吃骗喝的受尊敬?为什么有的人天天就能上报纸,而说出你的名字别人都记不住你?睁开眼睛看看吧,那个跟你说“你是人,不是工作”的人,他正开着大公司做着一大堆工作呢,他就是他的工作。

你不喜欢听?开运动我也不喜欢下雨呀,可哪次不下?当有人有需要,谁能满足这个需要,社会就赋予谁价值。这是宇宙的运行法则,你不想接受成么?想让地球围着你转,你是太阳啊?

这个时候你千万别跟我说什么金钱不是万能的,什么你不是拜金主义者,没那么肤浅,也没那么物质。真要这样,我只能说:“我从头至尾提钱了么?你根本没明白我说的是什么。”

第四条,为什么没钱就找不到媳妇儿?答案是——钱不是唯一,主要因为你没本事。

我做过一档情感栏目,电子邮箱里全是20来岁小伙子来信,跟我抱怨世风日下,女孩儿都钻钱眼儿里了,所以尽管我心眼儿特别好,对感情又认真,就是没女孩拿正眼瞧我。我想说亲爱的同鞋们,错不在人家姑娘,是你们的想法错了,上个视频里阿牛就告诉你原因了。

再看这个视频,阿牛不是你老板了,他现在就是一个让你着迷的女孩,她说什么来着?,“心眼好,能当饭吃么?想追我,你得有真本事给我瞧瞧。” ,现实生活哪个姑娘能这么直白告诉你,大家都世故圆滑了,哪有阿牛那么实在的。

你一天到晚就想着把妹纸弄到手,可妹纸们要的是什么你知道么?妹纸们没有那份闲情逸致你侬我侬,她要为生活打拼,省吃俭用,在想着将来找份好工作。在她这样的世界里,你能为她做什么呢?

有人问我,“照你这么说,没有好工作,也不是富二代,我就得打一辈子光棍是不是?”,我告诉你不是。不过就冲你能问出这样的话,我就知道你平时都喜欢拿什么当借口,“现在的女孩们太现实了,物质又自私,所以才拒绝我。”,我现在是在启发你,问你自己能给她们什么。

先看看自己有什么吧,聪明、风趣、有才、脑子活、会做买卖、会念书,你占那一条?找到以后,再想办法利用这个优点来满足社会的需求,把现在的你打造成一支潜力股。别没事儿老提自己心眼好、人好,有什么用?包括你在内,一火车箱的人对漂亮妹纸心眼都特别好。现在有人躺在大街上等着取子弹,问问自己会不会做手术吧。

有人说了,“没说完呢,我不光心眼好,还没有性别歧视,也没有种族歧视,不贪心不自私,不占人小便宜!”

好吧,别嫌我说的难听,如果你的本事就是掰手指头说我没这个缺点,没那个缺点,那你趁早离女孩远点,一边儿玩儿去吧。旁边那位工作好人又机灵的帅哥已经准备好要做手术了。

心碎了吧?那你现在要怎么做?你是要跟这儿生闷气,还是赶紧学学怎么做手术?想怎么做随你,不过你可别再跟别人抱怨女孩儿现实了,“为什么我心爱的女孩宁可对那傻叉投怀送抱都不找我?”,因为那傻叉会的东西,你不会。“我愿意给她做饭,现在女孩子不都是喜欢这样的么?” ,哦?是么?呵呵,你真是很傻很天真,就因为乐意做饭美女就跟你走了?醒醒吧,你旁边那位不但做饭,还能带孩子呢。知道你老强调自己心眼儿好像什么?就像一个饭店说,“来我这吃饭呐,菜都是炒熟的”,像一个国产电影说,“快来看哪,纯中文电影啊”。我想到这儿你能明白为啥你是一个好人,却找不道媳妇了吧。

第三条,为什么你自个儿都瞧不起自个儿?答案是——你不事生产,米虫一条。

有人说,“用不着你教训我,我到外面买本书,它就告诉我怎么能找到媳妇儿。”,我跟你说那些书都白扯,它们把最关键东西跳过了。教你“怎么找份好工作?“,不教你”怎么成为老板需要的人?“,教你”怎么让女孩喜欢我?“,不教你”怎么成为女孩喜欢的那种人?”。不是他们不会写,因为那么写卖不出去。你扫一眼目录,太难了不喜欢换一本,找本速成的。因为按照对的做,你就要逼着自己放弃好多爱好,开始花心思改变自己,等等 ,甚至必要时候你得强迫自己改变自己的个性。

可你不想改变,“我就是这样,为什么就不能喜欢现在的我?”,答案就是人都是有需要的。还是那个例子,女人还躺在大街上流血呢,你帮不上忙,棍儿似的跟那儿一杵,却幻想着伤口自己就能愈合。

再来一段新视频(真有点18禁了)。(小翻注释:请搜索YouTube视频G.O.A.T AND YOUR M.O.M 或者优酷视频G.O.A.T And your MOM,内容是一个人穿着三角紧身裤,边唱歌边甩JJ。)

这真是用生命在表演啊,好多人一看就不厚道地笑了。是你的话豁得出去么,我猜你拉不下来脸。我想说他是个聪明人,知道自己能干什么,怎么做才能在这个社会生存。不管你们怎么评价,他这么做也比干待着强。

有人又有借口了,”我想干活,可我啥也不会呀。”,我告诉你,只要肯下功夫,重复重复再重复,训练训练再训练,就没有学不会的。我刚生下来也不会写作,是世界上最烂的作家,直到25岁了,我才好容易找着点写作的感觉。当时我有一份全职工作,干得不顺心,就开始业余时间练习写作,1周1篇一直坚持写了8年,我才挣到第一笔稿费,又用了整整13年,我才终于登上了纽约时报的畅销书排行榜,为这一天我投入了20,000个小时。

谁能静下心来不断重复练习,谁就能摆脱现在失败的自己。常常有人因为急于求成导致半途而废,给自己一点时间,功夫没有白下的。而且不按我说的做就是死路一条,社会就是这么残酷,还记得阿牛怎么说的,“给我听着,想保住饭碗的,就一条道,完成销售指标。”,你别无选择。

我不是砖家,从我非专业角度分析,天天游手好闲的人大致分两种,一种人是觉得自己没错,这种人要么是自卑要么是觉得我变成这样都是别人的错,另外一种人是恨自己无能,知道自己是废物点心。不管是哪副德行,别说妹纸看不上你了,你自己都看不上这样的自己,天天就会可怜巴巴问别人“我该怎么办呢?”

舍不得花时间学习的童鞋你们现在给自己算笔账,你有多少时间消磨在了别人创造出来的东西上,你看电视,听音乐,看视频,打游戏,看网页,用的都是别人创造出来的东西。再算算你又花了多少时间自己创造了能给别人用的东西。只有你创造的东西才能代表你是一个有价值的人。

有人反驳说他小时候都是这么被教育的,”内在美才是最重要的”。大错特错,看第二条。

第二条,这年头为什么好人没好报?答案是——你总拿“我是好人”说事儿,从不见真章。

写作圈里有一群人,逢人就说自己是作家,打心眼里认定自己就是为写作而生,可他们就是从来都不写文章。你要问“不写文章就不能当作家了?”,皇天在上,就是不能。

有些人不管别人说什么他都听不进去,用“我是好人”给自己洗脑,主动给自己找台阶下,然后就理所当然觉得什么都不用学习了,没必要改变自己。不下功夫,就没有进步,你就永远是一潭死水。

光心里想我是好人没有用,但不是说内在就没有用。有人辛辛苦苦给家人盖了一座房子,那是因为他心里想给家人盖座房子。你做的不管是好事还是坏事,都最初始于脑子里的一个冲动,然后这个想法不停不停地在脑子里盘算,然后你就做了,所以你的内心是做一切事情的根基。如果把你做的事看作是树上结出的果子,内心就是培育树木的土壤。

但你总遇到这么一个有趣的现象,大家给一棵树拍照,都是拍果子而不是拍土。所以大家应该认识到这样一个事实,也是很多人都不愿意接受的事实,就是“你”是一个果子,如果你没有果子,那你就啥也不是。没人关心你的土壤,你的内在是什么样的对他们而言没有意义,除非你的内在能为别人创造出有价值的东西。

看别人可怜你就同情心泛滥,一听说谁得癌了你就叹息这人命不好,然后就通通没有下文了。同情心有用么?能帮他们解决实际问题么?真有这份心,你该看看他们需要什么,然后帮他们弄来。还有非洲儿童吃不上饭饿得皮包骨头,多少人是看完电视,就把一份同情心放在了心里,你放心里了对他们有什么用?屁用没有,饿死的一个也没少。用“心里有就够了”给自己洗脑,然后你就觉得舒服了。其实你是被大脑控制了,大脑有一块组织专门控制你让你懒惰,这种机制让你不愿做出实际行动。

有人还是坚持,“要是我心爱的妹纸或者帅锅知道我是个富有同情的人,好人,他就会喜欢我。”,真的是这样么?你的同情心曾经产生过什么可视化结果让他看到了么?就算我现在给你录像,把你一个月做的事全录下来给她看,你觉得里面真有什么事能打动她么?别人没有义务读你心里在想什么,她就相信亲眼看到的。

或者换位思考一下,你怎么看待光说不做的人。不少信主的人整天都说要互相帮助,然后他们唯一做的就是帮你向上帝祈祷。甭管祈祷有没有用,因为这改变不了他们光动嘴不出力的事实。他们都觉得自己内心特纯洁,土壤肥沃,可长出果子了么?信主的人一眼就明白我为什么用果子做比喻,因为果子这个词就来自圣经,只不过圣经里上帝是这么说的,“任何一棵树,如果它结不出好果子,它就将被砍倒,然后烧掉。”,只不过上帝没跟你说“都给我听着,想保住饭碗的,就一条道,完成销售指标。”

第一条,是谁总在扯我后腿?答案是——你自己。

人脑特别神奇,它不激发你主动出击调整行为相反却希望你维持现状不要改变,大脑的这种机制使人内心里产生一层层的防护机制阻碍人看清事实真相。所以文章看到这,不少人就会感觉自己的大脑正不断告诉自己“这人说的不对”,经验来说有这么几种心态:

1.故意把批判性思维曲解成人身攻击。“这人谁呀就说我懒说我一无是处,哪个有文化的人像他这么说话,他就是想让我自卑,才显他比我强!我也得埋汰埋汰他。”

2.应该对事不对人,你却对人不对事。“你哪根儿葱跟我在这讲人生大道理?你就牛叉了不起啊,充其量就是个网络写手。看我把你老底儿翻出来让大家瞧瞧。你太恶了,YouTube你自己录的rap,歌唱的跟你人一样恶心。”

3.不关心我说的内容,反而总挑我态度不好。“我不关心你内容,我就要挑刺,把你文章的视频摘出来,随便一个都是黄段子。你写的东西一点档次没有,居然还有脏字儿。”

4.阿Q精神,自我洗脑。“我挺好的没他说的这么邪乎,昨天我是想不开不过今天我又觉得心情好多了。船到桥头自然直,慢慢我的问题就自然而然消失了,所以该咋样还咋样,什么都不用变。只要我坚持对女神好,她早晚是我的。”

5.觉得改变自我就是在出卖灵魂。“好吧社会就这么现实,宅男没人爱,那我只能踏入社会了,做个没有灵魂的人,在社会这个大熔炉里迷失自我。”,

等等很多,但不管你是哪一类请记住我的话,自怨自艾是最容易的,只有坚持不懈才能过上幸福生活。

自怨自艾的人是懦夫,因为他们内心的逻辑是“只要我什么都不做,别人就抓不到我把柄”,批评别人的作品多容易啊,这个电影不好看,那个饭店不能吃;老李家孩子不听话,小赵家两口子不和谐;这个老板没人性,那个老板是土包子;这个作者真没素质,我要投诉他,让网站把它开了,我不是啥也干不了,我能投诉他让他下岗你信不信。

投诉我是能耐么?我告诉你,每当一个人真心想做点什么事儿的时候,周围就有一帮无所事事的人要来打击你。你的酒友不希望你戒酒,你的胖闺密不希望你减肥,你失业的朋友也不希望你找工作。犯不着恨这些人,他们是害怕,别人要是上进了,他还怎么为自己找借口。

网站里有些作者给我差评,内容都惊人一致,“站长呢?别让他写了,封他号让他走人。”,你们想想这是什么心理?他们最终目的就是不让我写,因为我写的东西他们写不出来,我关注度特别高又让他们没面子。

千万不要成为这种人,如果你是这种人,那从现在开始就别做这种人了。因为你这么做不但让别人看不起你,连你自己都看不起自己。

我给你出个主意你看怎么样,8月份马上就到了,咱们以明年8月份为限做一件事,就一件,什么都可以,只要是能让你长本事的事儿,但要做到能让别人对你刮目相看的程度。你也不用问我该做什么,你要是没主意那看看手边有什么你就做什么,跆拳道、街舞、做饭、手工、按摩、编程、录视频往YouTube上发,可作的事太多了,写小说也行啊。

但我告诉你什么事最好别做,就是只能让你自己爽的事,比如我要找个女朋友,我要赚大钱之类。我希望你能学一门纯粹的技术,给自己增值,让你比现在的你能强一丁点儿,让你对别人也能有价值。

别说你没资源没条件学习,百度一下什么都有,别给自己找理由,下点苦功,重复重复再重复,你就能做到。你不会因此失去什么,你也没什么好失去的。

 

英文原版

 

6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Better Person (Updated)
By:David Wong December 17, 2012

 

2013, motherfuckers. Yeah! LET’S DO THIS.

“Do what?” you ask. I DON’T KNOW. LET’S FIGURE THAT OUT TOGETHER, MOTHERFUCKERS.

Feel free to stop reading this if your career is going great, you’re thrilled with your life and you’re happy with your relationships. Enjoy the rest of your day, friend, this article is not for you. You’re doing a great job, we’re all proud of you. So you don’t feel like you wasted your click, here’s a picture of Lenny Kravitz wearing a gigantic scarf.

6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Better PersonVia Upscalehype.com

For the rest of you, I want you to try something: Name five impressive things about yourself. Write them down or just shout them out loud to the room. But here’s the catch — you’re not allowed to list anything you are (i.e., I’m a nice guy, I’m honest), but instead can only list things that you do (i.e., I just won a national chess tournament, I make the best chili in Massachusetts). If you found that difficult, well, this is for you, and you are going to fucking hate hearing it. My only defense is that this is what I wish somebody had said to me around 1995 or so.

 

#6. The World Only Cares About What It Can Get from You

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Let’s say that the person you love the most has just been shot. He or she is lying in the street, bleeding and screaming. A guy rushes up and says, “Step aside.” He looks over your loved one’s bullet wound and pulls out a pocket knife — he’s going to operate right there in the street.

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“OK, which one is the injured one?”

You ask, “Are you a doctor?”

The guy says, “No.”

You say, “But you know what you’re doing, right? You’re an old Army medic, or …”

At this point the guy becomes annoyed. He tells you that he is a nice guy, he is honest, he is always on time. He tells you that he is a great son to his mother and has a rich life full of fulfilling hobbies, and he boasts that he never uses foul language.

Confused, you say, “How does any of that fucking matter when my (wife/husband/best friend/parent) is lying here bleeding! I need somebody who knows how to operate on bullet wounds! Can you do that or not?!?”

Now the man becomes agitated — why are you being shallow and selfish? Do you not care about any of his other good qualities? Didn’t you just hear him say that he always remembers his girlfriend’s birthday? In light of all of the good things he does, does it really matter if he knows how to perform surgery?

In that panicked moment, you will take your bloody hands and shake him by the shoulders, screaming, “Yes, I’m saying that none of that other shit matters, because in this specific situation, I just need somebody who can stop the bleeding, you crazy fucking asshole.”

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“I don’t get it. Would it help if I put on a lab jacket? Here, one sec, let me just …”

So here is my terrible truth about the adult world: You are in that very situation every single day. Only you are the confused guy with the pocket knife. All of society is the bleeding gunshot victim.

If you want to know why society seems to shun you, or why you seem to get no respect, it’s because society is full of people who need things. They need houses built, they need food to eat, they need entertainment, they need fulfilling sexual relationships. You arrived at the scene of that emergency, holding your pocket knife, by virtue of your birth — the moment you came into the world, you became part of a system designed purely to see to people’s needs.

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“Here’s that shit you needed. Now fuck off.”

Either you will go about the task of seeing to those needs by learning a unique set of skills, or the world will reject you, no matter how kind, giving and polite you are. You will be poor, you will be alone, you will be left out in the cold.

Does that seem mean, or crass, or materialistic? What about love and kindness — don’t those things matter? Of course. As long as they result in you doing things for people that they can’t get elsewhere. For you see …

 

#5. The Hippies Were Wrong

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Here is the greatest scene in the history of movies (WARNING: EXTREME NSFW LANGUAGE):

For those of you who can’t watch videos, it’s the famous speech Alec Baldwin gives in the cinematic masterpiece Glengarry Glenn Ross. Baldwin’s character — whom you assume is the villain — addresses a room full of dudes and tears them a new asshole, telling them that they’re all about to be fired unless they “close” the sales they’ve been assigned:

“Nice guy? I don’t give a shit. Good father? Fuck you! Go home and play with your kids. If you want to work here, close.”

It’s brutal, rude and borderline sociopathic, and also it is an honest and accurate expression of what the world is going to expect from you. The difference is that, in the real world, people consider it so wrong to talk to you that way that they’ve decided it’s better to simply let you keep failing.

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“First graders, welcome to Mr. Baldwin’s third period art class — is everyone here? Well, I’m goin’ anyway.”

That scene changed my life. I’d program my alarm clock to play it for me every morning if I knew how. Alec Baldwin was nominated for an Oscar for that movie and that’s the only scene he’s in. As smarter people have pointed out, the genius of that speech is that half of the people who watch it think that the point of the scene is “Wow, what must it be like to have such an asshole boss?” and the other half think, “Fuck yes, let’s go out and sell some goddamned real estate!”

Or, as the Last Psychiatrist blog put it:

“If you were in that room, some of you would understand this as a work, but feed off the energy of the message anyway, welcome the coach’s cursing at you, ‘this guy is awesome!’; while some of you would take it personally, this guy is a jerk, you have no right to talk to me like that, or — the standard maneuver when narcissism is confronted with a greater power — quietly seethe and fantasize about finding information that will out him as a hypocrite. So satisfying.”

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I swear, if he mentions my hair, I’ll slap his face so har– Yes, sir, I’m listening. I’m sorry.”

That excerpt is from an insightful critique of “hipsters” and why they seem to have so much trouble getting jobs (that doesn’t begin to do it justice, go read the whole thing), and the point is that the difference in those two attitudes — bitter vs. motivated — largely determines whether or not you’ll succeed in the world. For instance, some people want to respond to that speech with Tyler Durden’s line from Fight Club: “You are not your job.”

But, well, actually, you totally are. Granted, your “job” and your means of employment might not be the same thing, but in both cases you are nothing more than the sum total of your useful skills. For instance, being a good mother is a job that requires a skill. It’s something a person can do that is useful to other members of society. But make no mistake: Your “job” — the useful thing you do for other people — is all you are.

There is a reason why surgeons get more respect than comedy writers. There is a reason mechanics get more respect than unemployed hipsters. There is a reason your job will become your label if your death makes the news (“NFL Linebacker Dies in Murder/Suicide”). Tyler said, “You are not your job,” but he also founded and ran a successful soap company and became the head of an international social and political movement. He was totally his job.

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It was the irony that many people missed from that movie.

Or think of it this way: Remember when Chick-fil-A came out against gay marriage? And how despite the protests, the company continues to sell millions of sandwiches every day? It’s not because the country agrees with them; it’s because they do their job of making delicious sandwiches well. And that’s all that matters.

You don’t have to like it. I don’t like it when it rains on my birthday. It rains anyway. Clouds form and precipitation happens. People have needs and thus assign value to the people who meet them. These are simple mechanisms of the universe and they do not respond to our wishes.

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“This is bullshit. I have a completely clean criminal record, and this is the thanks I get?”

If you protest that you’re not a shallow capitalist materialist and that you disagree that money is everything, I can only say: Who said anything about money? You’re missing the larger point.

 

#4. What You Produce Does Not Have to Make Money, But It Does Have to Benefit People

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Let’s try a non-money example so you don’t get hung up on that. The demographic that Cracked writes for is heavy on 20-something males. So on our message boards and in my many inboxes I read several dozen stories a year from miserable, lonely guys who insist that women won’t come near them despite the fact that they are just the nicest guys in the world. I can explain what is wrong with this mindset, but it would probably be better if I let Alec Baldwin explain it:

In this case, Baldwin is playing the part of the attractive women in your life. They won’t put it as bluntly as he does — society has trained us not to be this honest with people — but the equation is the same. “Nice guy? Who gives a shit? If you want to work here, close.”

So, what do you bring to the table? Because the Zooey Deschanel lookalike in the bookstore that you’ve been daydreaming about moisturizes her face for an hour every night and feels guilty when she eats anything other than salad for lunch. She’s going to be a surgeon in 10 years. What do you do?

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“Well, I’m fucking wicked at capture the flag.”

“What, so you’re saying that I can’t get girls like that unless I have a nice job and make lots of money?”

No, your brain jumps to that conclusion so you have an excuse to write off everyone who rejects you by thinking that they’re just being shallow and selfish. I’m asking what do you offer? Are you smart? Funny? Interesting? Talented? Ambitious? Creative? OK, now what do you do to demonstrate those attributes to the world? Don’t say that you’re a nice guy — that’s the bare minimum. Pretty girls have guys being nice to them 36 times a day. The patient is bleeding in the street. Do you know how to operate or not?

“Well, I’m not sexist or racist or greedy or shallow or abusive! Not like those other douchebags!”

I’m sorry, I know that this is hard to hear, but if all you can do is list a bunch of faults you don’t have, then back the fuck away from the patient. There’s a witty, handsome guy with a promising career ready to step in and operate.

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“Wait, I said I wouldn’t hit you!”

Does that break your heart? OK, so now what? Are you going to mope about it, or are you going to learn how to do surgery? It’s up to you, but don’t complain about how girls fall for jerks; they fall for those jerks because those jerks have other things they can offer. “But I’m a great listener!” Are you? Because you’re willing to sit quietly in exchange for the chance to be in the proximity of a pretty girl (and spend every second imagining how soft her skin must be)? Well guess what, there’s another guy in her life who also knows how to do that, and he can play the guitar. Saying that you’re a nice guy is like a restaurant whose only selling point is that the food doesn’t make you sick. You’re like a new movie whose title is This Movie Is in English, and its tagline is “The actors are clearly visible.”

I think this is why you can be a “nice guy” and still feel terrible about yourself. Specifically …

 

#3. You Hate Yourself Because You Don’t Do Anything

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“So, what, you’re saying that I should pick up a book on how to get girls?”

Only if step one in the book is “Start making yourself into the type of person girls want to be around.”

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“Come ooooon. I know I hid some vodka in here somewhere.”

Because that’s the step that gets skipped — it’s always “How can I get a job?” and not “How can I become the type of person employers want?” It’s “How can I get pretty girls to like me?” instead of “How can I become the type of person that pretty girls like?” See, because that second one could very well require giving up many of your favorite hobbies and paying more attention to your appearance, and God knows what else. You might even have to change your personality.

“But why can’t I find someone who just likes me for me?” you ask. The answer is because humans need things. The victim is bleeding, and all you can do is look down and complain that there aren’t more gunshot wounds that just fix themselves?

Here’s another video (NSFW):

Everyone who watched that video instantly became a little happier, although not all for the same reasons. Can you do that for people? Why not? What’s stopping you from strapping on your proverbial thong and cape and taking to your proverbial stage and flapping your proverbial penis at people? That guy knows the secret to winning at human life: that doing … whatever you call that … was better than not doing it.

“But I’m not good at anything!” Well, I have good news — throw enough hours of repetition at it and you can get sort of good at anything. I was the world’s shittiest writer when I was an infant. I was only slightly better at 25. But while I was failing miserably at my career, I wrote in my spare time for eight straight years, an article a week, before I ever made real money off it. It took 13 years for me to get good enough to make the New York Times best-seller list. It took me probably 20,000 hours of practice to sand the edges off my sucking.

Don’t like the prospect of pouring all of that time into a skill? Well, I have good news and bad news. The good news is that the sheer act of practicing will help you come out of your shell — I got through years of tedious office work because I knew that I was learning a unique skill on the side. People quit because it takes too long to see results, because they can’t figure out that the process is the result.

The bad news is that you have no other choice. If you want to work here, close.

Because in my non-expert opinion, you don’t hate yourself because you have low self-esteem, or because other people were mean to you. You hate yourself because you don’t do anything. Not even you can just “love you for you” — that’s why you’re miserable and sending me private messages asking me what I think you should do with your life.

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Step One: Get up.

Do the math: How much of your time is spent consuming things other people made (TV, music, video games, websites) versus making your own? Only one of those adds to your value as a human being.

And if you hate hearing this and are responding with something you heard as a kid that sounds like “It’s what’s on the inside that matters!” then I can only say …

 

#2. What You Are Inside Only Matters Because of What It Makes You Do

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Being in the business I’m in, I know dozens of aspiring writers. They think of themselves as writers, they introduce themselves as writers at parties, they know that deep inside, they have the heart of a writer. The only thing they’re missing is that minor final step, where they actually fucking write things.

But really, does that matter? Is “writing things” all that important when deciding who is and who is not truly a “writer”?

For the love of God, yes.

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I’ve known “writers” who produced less content than what’s on this woman’s grocery list.

See, there’s a common defense to everything I’ve said so far, and to every critical voice in your life. It’s the thing your ego is saying to you in order to prevent you from having to do the hard work of improving: “I know I’m a good person on the inside.” It may also be phrased as “I know who I am” or “I just have to be me.”

Don’t get me wrong; who you are inside is everything — the guy who built a house for his family from scratch did it because of who he was inside. Every bad thing you’ve ever done has started with a bad impulse, some thought ricocheting around inside your skull until you had to act on it. And every good thing you’ve done is the same — “who you are inside” is the metaphorical dirt from which your fruit grows.

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Notice how the camera is pointed up, and not at the base of the tree?

But here’s what everyone needs to know, and what many of you can’t accept:

“You” are nothing but the fruit.

Nobody cares about your dirt. “Who you are inside” is meaningless aside from what it produces for other people.

Inside, you have great compassion for poor people. Great. Does that result in you doing anything about it? Do you hear about some terrible tragedy in your community and say, “Oh, those poor children. Let them know that they are in my thoughts”? Because fuck you if so — find out what they need and help provide it. A hundred million people watched that Kony video, virtually all of whom kept those poor African children “in their thoughts.” What did the collective power of those good thoughts provide? Jack fucking shit. Children die every day because millions of us tell ourselves that caring is just as good as doing. It’s an internal mechanism controlled by the lazy part of your brain to keep you from actually doing work.

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“I just wanted to tell you that you’re in my thoughts. Good luck — let me know if that cured you.”

How many of you are walking around right now saying, “She/he would love me if she/he only knew what an interesting person I am!” Really? How do all of your interesting thoughts and ideas manifest themselves in the world? What do they cause you to do? If your dream girl or guy had a hidden camera that followed you around for a month, would they be impressed with what they saw? Remember, they can’t read your mind — they can only observe. Would they want to be a part of that life?

Because all I’m asking you to do is apply the same standard to yourself that you apply to everyone else. Don’t you have that annoying Christian friend whose only offer to help anyone ever is to “pray for them”? Doesn’t it drive you nuts? I’m not even commenting on whether or not prayer works; it doesn’t change the fact that they chose the one type of help that doesn’t require them to get off the sofa. They abstain from every vice, they think clean thoughts, their internal dirt is as pure as can be, but what fruit grows from it? And they should know this better than anybody — I stole the fruit metaphor from the Bible. Jesus said something to the effect of “a tree is judged by its fruit” over and over and over. Granted, Jesus never said, “If you want to work here, close.” No, he said, “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

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“And then a buffalo will stare stupidly into your soul while slowly chewing grass and softly farting.”

The people didn’t react well to being told that, just as the salesmen didn’t react well to Alec Baldwin telling them that they needed to grow some balls or resign themselves to shining his shoes. Which brings us to the final point …

 

#1. Everything Inside You Will Fight Improvement

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The human mind is a miracle, and you will never see it spring more beautifully into action than when it is fighting against evidence that it needs to change. Your psyche is equipped with layer after layer of defense mechanisms designed to shoot down anything that might keep things from staying exactly where they are — ask any addict.

So even now, some of you reading this are feeling your brain bombard you with knee-jerk reasons to reject it. From experience, I can say that these seem to come in the form of …

*Intentionally Interpreting Any Criticism as an Insult

“Who is he to call me lazy and worthless! A good person would never talk to me like this! He wrote this whole thing just to feel superior to me and to make me feel bad about my life! I’m going to think up my own insult to even the score!”

*Focusing on the Messenger to Avoid Hearing the Message

“Who is THIS guy to tell ME how to live? Oh, like he’s so high and mighty! It’s just some dumb writer on the Internet! I’m going to go dig up something on him that reassures me that he’s stupid, and that everything he’s saying is stupid! This guy is so pretentious, it makes me puke! I watched his old rap video on YouTube and thought his rhymes sucked!”

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“When you get to where I am in life, you feel free to give me advice! Until then, you’re nothing but meat and guesses.”

*Focusing on the Tone to Avoid Hearing the Content

“I’m going to dig through here until I find a joke that is offensive when taken out of context, and then talk and think only about that! I’ve heard that a single offensive word can render an entire book invisible!”

*Revising Your Own History

“Things aren’t so bad! I know that I was threatening suicide last month, but I’m feeling better now! It’s entirely possible that if I just keep doing exactly what I’m doing, eventually things will work out! I’ll get my big break, and if I keep doing favors for that pretty girl, eventually she’ll come around!”

*Pretending That Any Self-Improvement Would Somehow Be Selling Out Your True Self

“Oh, so I guess I’m supposed to get rid of all of my manga and instead go to the gym for six hours a day and get a spray tan like those Jersey Shore douchebags? Because THAT IS THE ONLY OTHER OPTION.”

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“Way to leave ‘the hood’ behind, asshole. New house or not, you’ll always be white trash!”

And so on. Remember, misery is comfortable. It’s why so many people prefer it. Happiness takes effort.

Also, courage. It’s incredibly comforting to know that as long as you don’t create anything in your life, thennobody can attack the thing you created.

It’s so much easier to just sit back and criticize other people’s creations. This movie is stupid. That couple’s kids are brats. That other couple’s relationship is a mess. That rich guy is shallow. This restaurant sucks. This Internet writer is an asshole. I’d better leave a mean comment demanding that the website fire him. See, I created something.

Oh, wait, did I forget to mention that part? Yeah, whatever you try to build or create — be it a poem, or a new skill, or a new relationship — you will find yourself immediately surrounded by non-creators who trash it. Maybe not to your face, but they’ll do it. Your drunk friends do not want you to get sober. Your fat friends do not want you to start a fitness regimen. Your jobless friends do not want to see you embark on a career.

Just remember, they’re only expressing their own fear, since trashing other people’s work is another excuse to do nothing. “Why should I create anything when the things other people create suck? I would totally have written a novel by now, but I’m going to wait for something good, I don’t want to write the next Twilight!” As long as they never produce anything, it will forever be perfect and beyond reproach. Or if they do produce something, they’ll make sure they do it with detached irony. They’ll make it intentionally bad to make it clear to everyone else that this isn’t their real effort. Their real effort would have been amazing. Not like the shit you made.

Read our article comments — when they get nasty, it’s always from the same angle: Cracked needs to fire this columnist. This asshole needs to stop writing. Don’t make any more videos. It always boils down to “Stop creating. This is different from what I would have made, and the attention you’re getting is making me feel bad about myself.”

Don’t be that person. If you are that person, don’t be that person any more. This is what’s making people hate you. This is what’s making you hate yourself.

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What are you going to do with it? Hunt witches or kick off the Olympics?

So how about this: one year. The end of 2013, that’s our deadline. Or a year from whenever you read this. While other people are telling you “Let’s make a New Year’s resolution to lose 15 pounds this year!” I’m going to say let’s pledge to do fucking anything — add any skill, any improvement to your human tool set, and get good enough at it to impress people. Don’t ask me what — hell, pick something at random if you don’t know. Take a class in karate, or ballroom dancing, or pottery. Learn to bake. Build a birdhouse. Learn massage. Learn a programming language. Film a porno. Adopt a superhero persona and fight crime. Start a YouTube vlog. Write for Cracked.

But the key is, I don’t want you to focus on something great that you’re going to make happen to you (“I’m going to find a girlfriend, I’m going to make lots of money …”). I want you to purely focus on giving yourself a skill that would make you ever so slightly more interesting and valuable to other people.

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“Holy shit, by learning Spanish, I just gained the ability to speak to 400 million people I previously couldn’t.”

“I don’t have the money to take a cooking class.” Then fucking Google “how to cook.” They’ve even filtered out the porn now, it’s easier than ever. Damn it, you have to kill those excuses. Or they will kill you.

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