重大活动

“今日长缨在手,何时缚住苍龙?”

毛主席翻越六盘山的这两句诗问挺有意思。

长缨是基本工具,相当简陋,人人或可俯而拾之。拿到手上是必要条件,而绑住苍龙是极少数人脑海里才会出现的工作目标吧。泯泯从生里面的普通一员,若充分使用手头有限的资源,寻觅,发起,或紧紧加入不可思议的一系列重大项目;让项目带动人,水涨船高,人生境界是不是会渐渐进入一个别开生面的广阔天地?反之,即使拥有最先进的技术工具,最高等的学历,若整天做了无生趣的杂务,牛人是不是会变成猪?

物理学家弗里曼·戴森在88岁访谈中对怎样最好地利用个人有限的能力, 完成一些重大活动,给了两点建议。第一是要不自量力,敢于做自己尚不够格做的事情。第二是要勇于每7年换道,接受新鲜的挑战。

QUESTION:
what advice would you give to those who have been working for (a) one year, and (b) 30 years?

Freeman Dyson’s ANSWERS:
(a). Advice to people at the beginning of their careers: do not imagine that you have to know everything before you can do anything. My own best work was done when I was most ignorant. Grab every opportunity to take responsibility and do things for which you are unqualified.

(b). Advice to people at the middle of their careers: do not be afraid to switch careers and try something new. As my friend the physicist Leo Szilard said (number nine in his list of ten commandments): “Do your work for six years; but in the seventh, go into solitude or among strangers, so that the memory of your friends does not hinder you from being what you have become.”

想起2013年9月参加在中国人民大学的一次学术数据研究报告会议,我的PPT演示文稿中,加入了阿基米德撬动地球的一张插图,当时意趣别有所指。不过看图思考:什么事情对你重要?你在做什么?下一步做什么?于我,是一辈子需要常常自反及自勉的问题。

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