如何成为一个专家

 

文/Kathy Sierra <本文摘自:2007年12月刊《程序员》134页>

Kathy Sierra简介: O’Reilly Head First系列畅销计算机图书创建人之一,关注大脑科学与人工智能。

 

阻碍你从业余选手变成专家的唯一因素就是:专注。

天才?如果我们投入足够的时间并足够专注,我们都可以一跃(至少接近)成为天才。至少大脑科学家们是这么说的。最棒的是――这样做从来都不晚。

许多人觉得因为他们没有在年轻时起步,或是缺少天分,所以没有机会再成为音乐家、专家级的高尔夫球手,或是国际象棋大师了,他们错了。根据大脑科学家的研究,只要身体条件不构成障碍,几乎每个人都可以开发世界级(至少是顶尖专家级的)能力。“天赋异能”和遗传基因的左右并不像想象的那般重要。实际上,表现卓著者更倾向于具备专注,并不断追求更高的境界的能力,理论上来讲,任何人都将会变得更好,只要他愿意区做需要做的事情。

“天才艺术家”的养成,只不过是因为他们比别人倾注了更多的精力来联系。佛罗里达州立大学心理学教授K.Anders Ericsson博士,花费了20多年的时间来研究天才、神童和杰出人士。在Richard Restak的书《全新的大脑》(The New Brain)中引用了Ericsson博士的话作为结论:

“对于表现出众的人来说,反复不断重复同样的事情,是为了将他们表现的每个方面提升到更高的水平。他们不觉得练习沉闷,在每次练习过程中,他们总是能够在某些方面做的比上次更好。”

问题关键不在于练习了多久,而在于练习的方式。基本上,可以归结为下面这段话:

大部分人呢都愿意练习或实践已经擅长的事情,并且避免做的不好的事情。所以我们总是保持在平均水平或业余水平。

Restak指出,我们要拥有“追求精益求精的激情”。这种专注让具备专家清理的人总能从细枝末节上发现有待改进之处,并且永不知足,而且愿意去做无趣的事情,为成功付出代价。

有人认为:要想成为世界上最最好的国际象棋棋手、小提琴演奏家、数学家、或是程序员,你可能真的需要一些特别的因素。但是,这是说要成为最最好的。研究明确表明,无论基因多特别,对于让人达到世界冠军级别的水平来说,只能起到1%的推动作用。普通人――即使没有特别的基因――仍然可以成为世界级(至少是国家级)的专家,只要我们愿意付出实践,并且以正确的方式去做。

要想达到充满激情的状态,必须突破“菜鸟临界点”和“大牛临界点”。一般人很容易落入三个类别中的一个:专家、业余者、掉队者。掉队者在“我做这个很逊”阶段就决定放弃了,他们认为不值得继续。不过最麻烦的――也是我们大部人都难以避免的――就是满足于现状的业余者。他们经常这样说“没错,我知道做这个事情有更好的方式,但是我现在会做了,而且一直这样做下去对我来说很轻松。”他们已经通过了“菜鸟临界点”,但是不想学习新的技巧。他们不想再陷入“逊”的阶段了。这就意味着他们永远无法超越“大牛临界点”。如果跨过这个门槛,他们就会变得更加卓越。能力曲线所处位置越靠上,他们所能得到的激情成就体验也就越强。

如何让大家更轻松地走上专家之路?记住,变得更好。你能做的更好的事情,将会变得更加有趣、更令你满意,带来更好的体验,并导致更多的涌流(译注:一种心理状态,人在这种状态下能够获得卓越的心理体验。由美国心理学家米哈伊尔.奇凯岑特米哈伊提出并命名)。

关于“永远不会太迟”的说法――我们中的大部分人可以向奥林匹克滑冰冠军金牌说再见了。由于5英尺4英寸(译注:相当于160厘米)的身高,我们职业篮球生涯不会有什么指望了。但是看看这个:女演员吉娜.戴维斯(Geena Davis)从40岁时开始练习射箭运动,这时离奥林匹克运动会选拔赛不到三年的时间,可她竟然差一点就入选了美国奥运射箭队。

神经科学家说,通过学习,人几乎可以在任何年龄生成新的脑细胞。如果你今天30岁,如果你明天就拿起吉他,到50岁的时候,你就有了20年的演奏经历,水平一定很牛!那你还等什么呢?

英文原文:

Link : http://www.noelkingsley.com/blog/archives/2006/04/how_to_be_an_ex.html

How to be an expert

 


The only thing standing between you-as-amateur and you-as-expert is dedication. All that talk about prodigies? We could all be prodigies (or nearly so) if we just put in the time and focused. At least that’s what the brain guys are saying. Best of all–it’s almost never too late.

Seriously. How many people think they’ve missed their opportunity to be a musician, or an expert golfer, or even a chess grand master because they didn’t start when they were young? Or because they simply lacked natural talent? Those people are (mostly) wrong. According to some brain scientists, almost anyone can develop world-class (or at least top expertise) abilities in things for which they aren’t physically impaired. Apparently God-given talent, natural “gifts”, and genetic predispositions just aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Or at least not in the way most of us always imagined. It turns out that rather than being naturally gifted at music or math or chess or whatever, a superior performer most likely has a gift for concentration, dedication, and a simple desire to keep getting better. In theory, again, anyone willing to do what’s required to keep getting better WILL get better.

Maybe the “naaturally talented artist” was simply the one who practiced a hell of a lot more. Or rather, a hell of a lot more deliberately. Dr. K. Anders Ericsson, professor of psychology at Florida State University, has spent most of his 20+ year career on the study of genuises, prodigies, and superior performers. In the book The New Brain (it was on my coffee table) Richard Restak quotes Ericsson as concluding:

“For the superior performer the goal isn’t just repeating the same thing again and again but achieving higher levels of control over every aspect of their performance. That’s why they don’t find practice boring. Each practice session they are working on doing something better than they did the last time.”

So it’s not just how long they practice, it’s how they practice. Basically, it comes down to something like this:

Most of us want to practice the things we’re already good at, and avoid the things we suck at. We stay average or intermediate amateurs forever.

Yet the research says that if we were willing to put in more hours, and to use those hours to practice the things that aren’t so fun, we could become good. Great. Potentially brilliant. We need, as Restak refers to it, “a rage to master.” That dedication to mastery drives the potential expert to focus on the most subtle aspects of performance, and to never be satisfied. There is always more to improve on, and they’re willing to work on the less fun stuff. Restak quotes Sam Snead, considered one of the top five golfers of the twentieth century, as saying:

“I know it’s a lot more fun to stand on the practice tee and rip your driver than it is to chip and ptch, or practice sand shots with sand flying back in your face, but it all comes back to the question of how much you’re willing to pay for success.”

There’s much more to the brain science around this topic, of course–I’m just doing the highlights. And a lot of the research is new, made possible today by how easy it is for researchers to get time with an fMRI or PET scan. And I stretched just a little… there is some thought that to be, literally, THE best in the world at chess, or the violin, or math, or programming, or golf, etc. you might indeed need that genetic special something. But… that’s to be THE best. The research does suggest that whatever that special sauce is, it accounts for only that last little 1% that pushes someone into the world champion status. The rest of us–even without the special sauce–could still become world (or at least national) class experts, if we do the time, and do it the right way.

Where this ties into passionate users is with the suck threshold and kick-ass (aka “passion”) threshold. Your users will typically fall into one of the three categories in the graphic: expert, amateur, or drop-out. The drop-outs decide that during that “I suck at this” phase, it isn’t worth continuing. They give up. Is that something you can work on? Do you know what your attrition rate is?

But the most troubling–and where we have the most leverage–is with the amateur who is satisfied with where they are. These are the folks who you overhear saying, “Yes, I know there’s a better way to do this thing, but I already know how to do it this [less efficient, less powerful] way and it’s easy for me to just keep doing it like that.” In other words, they made it past the suck threshold, but now they don’t want to push for new skills and capabilities. They don’t want to suck again. But that means they’ll never get past the kick-ass threshold where there’s a much greater chance they’ll become passionate about it. The further up that capability curve they are, the higher-res the user experience is!

Can we help make it easier for them to continue on the path to becoming expert? Remember, being better is better. Whatever you’re better at becomes more fun, more satisfying, a richer experience, and it leads to more flow. This is what we’re trying to do for our users.

Oh yes, about that never too late thing… most of us can kiss that Olympic ice skating medal good-bye. And at 5′ 4″, my basketball career is probably hopeless. But think about this… actress Geena Davis nearly qualified for the US Olympic archery team in a sport she took up at the age of 40, less than three years before the Olympic tryouts.

And if the neuroscientists are right, you can create new brain cells–by learning (and not being stuck in a dull cubicle)–at virtually any age. Think about it… if you’re 30 today, if you take up the guitar tomorrow, you’ll have been playing for TWENTY years by the time you’re 50. You’ll be kicking some serious guitar butt. And if you’re 50 today, there’s no reason you can’t be kicking guitar butt at 70. What are you waiting for?


原文作者:Kathy Sierra
翻    译:孙小小
审    校:Danny Yu

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《如何成为一个专家》有0条留言

  1. Pingback引用通告: 再见!小人物 | 92SEC
  2. dedication确实非常重要。然而,现实的诱惑太多,随要非常强大的心智才能专注走一条路。
    而这条路可以多宽也是一个问题?多专才叫专注呢?
    btw, 广度到了极端也是一种另类的“专”;但是前提是,要能融会贯通,而不是简单add up!

    • @惜知猫,
      我理解她提到的专注是指精益求精的精神,能在某一方面有很深的造诣已经不易,术业有专攻,追求“广”可能分散了人的精力。

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