追求卓越 Pursuing Excellence


一直以來,我腦中很常在想的一件事情是:如果我一個禮拜內就死了,什麼會是我最大的遺憾?每一次我的答案都一樣:我還沒成為一個卓越的人。然而人總有一天會死,所以對我來說,人生在某種程度上就像是在跟死神和現實賽跑,我要在他們之前衝破那條名為卓越的終點線。當我知道自己已經成為一個卓越的人時,死亡和現實想對我做什麼事,我想我更能坦然應對。

以前在學禪時,我就在想,禪強調要專注於當下。正巧,要論專注,我從小到大對自己最有自信的就是專注力。如果拿本物理書來讀,我想我應該能比任何禪學大師更加專注。但我後來發覺,也許禪的專注談得不只是對一件事的專注,而是對人生的專注。在平常,專注在一件事情很容易,然而人生處處是修煉,要怎麼在面對這些修煉的當下,仍然能保持對人生整體的專注,這我覺得就是個真正困難但也真正重要的難題。而我想,也許只有這樣的專注才能真正將人帶往卓越的境界。

三年前,我失去了對人生整體的專注。我大腦一樣在轉,一樣在思考,但比起追求卓越,我花更多時間在思考我無法控制的事情上面,並且讓情緒在腦中橫衝直撞。我把解決問題的能力用在錯誤的事情上面,甚至用錯誤的方法去做。這就讓我察覺到,我的修煉還不到家,我需要再更近一步地練習。

三個月前,當新冠肺炎在美國爆發時,我看著我最要好的朋友們一個個離開校園、回自己的國家,我察覺到我正逐漸失去對追求卓越的專注,腦中甚至開始產生了如何打擊新冠肺炎的衝動。值得慶幸的是,這次我很快地就重新找回了專注,知道什麼是對我來說真正重要的,什麼是我此時此刻最應該做的。

我們生來都不是卓越的,甚至我們大多數人可能這ㄧ生都達不到卓越的境界。但是每一次突如其來地、令人感到挫折的事件,都等於是給了我們一個修煉的機會,讓我們能更加接近卓越。雖然我討厭這種類型的修煉,但對於有這樣的機會我還是很感激的。

One of the things that have been on my mind a lot is: if I were to die in a week, what would be my biggest regret? Every time my answer is the same: I am not excellent yet. But people die one day, so for me, life is in some ways a race against death and reality to break through that finish line called excellence before they do. When I know I've arrived there, I think I can cope with whatever death and reality want to do to me.

When I was studying Zen in the past, I learned that Zen emphasizes being present. As it happens, the thing I grew up with the most confidence in myself was my ability to focus. I think I can read a Physics book with more focus than any Zen master. But then I realized that maybe Zen's focus was not just about the focus on one thing, but about the focus on life as a whole. In normal days, it is easy to focus on one thing. However, life is full of challenges, and how to remain focused on the whole of life in the face of these challenges is the real problem that is difficult and important. And I thought, maybe only this kind of focus can bring us to the realm of excellence.

Three years ago, I lost my focus on the whole of my life. My mind was still spinning and thinking, but I spent more time thinking about things I couldn't control and letting my emotions run amok in my head. I used my problem-solving skills on the wrong problems, even in the wrong ways. This made me realize that my Zen's practice was not yet at home and that I needed to take a step closer to practice.

When the COVID19 pandemic outbreak hit the U.S. three months ago, and I watched my best friends leave our residence hall one by one to their home countries, I noticed that I was losing my focus on excellence and even had an urge to fight COVID19. Thankfully, this time I quickly get my focus back on what's really important to me and what I should be doing right now.

We are not borne excellent, and most of us may not even be able to achieve it. But every unexpected and frustrating event gives us a chance to practice and get closer to excellence. Although I hate this type of practice, I am grateful for the opportunity.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

物理與奧林匹亞大小事

怎麼準備科學班甄試

名偵探柯南-世良家族族譜分析