接受研究測試的自願者，都是中年人，這樣的安排也有道理，因為四十好幾的人，人生已經走完一半，那樣的時間點，自是驗收人生結果的時候。過去的努力，到了四十幾歲，差不多也看出成果了。這篇文章不是譁眾取寵型的報導，不過裡面很多句子與觀點，卻可以成為寫作的資糧。大家不妨將喜歡的句型抄下來，下回寫作文的時候可以使用。文章中的最後一句話，非常經典， self-control isn’t the best route to instant gratification, but it may bring something even better: long-term contentment. 整篇文章有念到這一句就足夠了。
語文實力的培養貴在持續不斷的努力。我經常鼓勵大家用慣性來克服惰性。每周閱讀一篇好文章，該背的單字與句型記牢，寫英文日記keep an English journal、找時間每天都朗誦英文，多聽演講與廣播，持之以恆必定能看到成果。所以下回，當誘惑對你招手的時候，記得拿出自制力。自制力所帶來的甜頭，將讓所有努力值回票價。人生是一場馬拉松競賽，不用在意是否輸在起跑點，因為你的目標在於跑贏下半場。
Self-Disciplined People Are Happier
(and Not as Deprived as You Think)
It’s easy to think of the highly self-disciplined自我規範能力強的人 as being miserable misers不開心的守財奴/吝嗇鬼or uptight Puritans急躁不安的清教徒, but it turns out that exerting self-control can make you happier not only in the long run以長遠的角度來看, but also in the moment當下.
The research, which was published in the Journal of Personality, showed that self-control isn’t just about deprivation剝奪, but more about managing conflicting goals處理/駕馭相衝突性目標. Since most people associate highly disciplined folks with being more task-oriented任務導向 — they’re not likely to be the life of the party派對會集會的靈魂人物, for example, or eager to act on a whim急著去實踐一個奇想 — the scientists decided to correlate找出關聯性 self-control with people’s happiness, to determine if being self-disciplined leaves people feeling less joyful.
Through a series of tests — including one that assessed 414 middle-aged participants中年受測者 on self-control自制力 and asked them about their life satisfaction both currently and in the past — and another that randomly queried隨機詢問 volunteers on their smartphones about their mood and any desires they might be experiencing, the researchers found a strong connection between higher levels of self-control and life satisfaction. The authors write that “feeling good rather than bad may be a core benefit核心優勢 of having good self-control, and being well satisfied with life is an important consequence.”對生活感到滿意、而非不滿這件事，可能是個核心優勢。這樣的心態能讓人們擁有良好的自制力。對生命感到滿足，正是自制力所帶來的一個重要結果。
The smartphone experiment also revealed how self-control may improve mood. Those who showed the greatest self-control reported more good moods and fewer bad ones. But this didn’t appear to being more able to resist temptations抵抗誘惑 — it was because they exposed themselves to fewer situations that might evoke craving挑起渴望 in the first place. They were, in essence, setting themselves up to happy. “People who have good self-control do a number of things that bring them happiness — namely, they avoid problematic desires and conflict他們會避免容易產生問題的欲望與衝突,” says the study’s co-author Kathleen Vohs, professor of marketing at the University of Minnesota.
That became clear in the study’s last experiment, which investigated how self-control affect影響 the way people handle goals that conflict with one another. In particular, the researchers were interested in how self-disciplined and less-disciplined people differed when it came to choosing among “virtues善行美德” or “vices惡行” — like the pleasure of eating a sugar cookie vs. the pain of gaining weight. More than 230 participants were asked to list three important goal conflicts they experienced regularly — and then to rate how strongly the goals conflicted and how frequently they experienced the conflict. They were also queried on how they managed to balance the goals平衡木標.
The highly self-controlled showed a distinct difference from those with less discipline over their lives. They tended to avoid creating situations in which their goals would conflict, and reported fewer instances of having to choose between short-term pleasure短暫的歡愉 and long-term pain長期的痛苦. The result? They experienced fewer negative emotions負面情緒. The authors write that “one interpretation of this finding is that people use self-control to set up their lives so as to avoid problems.”人們利用自治力去打造生活，透過這個能力避開問題
[It’s a] very interesting study,” says Kristin Smith-Crowe, associate professor of management at the University of Utah, who was not connected with the research, “The authors address some of the most important questions in life: What leads to happiness and how can we achieve a life well lived達成美滿人生的目標?”
The answer, it seems, lies in being a good manager. Self-control, for one, may not consist so much of being better at resisting temptation, but at finding better ways to avoid it. “High self-control does make you happy,” the authors conclude.
So why does exerting more self-discipline seem so dreary令人感到沮喪? Dieting, for example, is all about self-control but isn’t necessarily associated with happy thoughts. Part of that may have to do with the effort required to bypass繞路/繞過 or diffuse擴散 conflicts created by temptation. “From other research, we know that exercising self-control is taxing很累人的,” says Smith-Crowe, but that may only be a perception感覺, since it results from our tendency to focus on the difficulty of exercising discipline rather than the benefits that result when we do.
And self-control doesn’t always mean self-denial自我否定: it may mean saving now to get a big payoff later放長線釣大魚(先苦後甘). For dieters, it means making choices to avoid entering a bakery since you’re more likely to buy a cupcake杯子蛋糕 if you do. Granted也就是說, self-control isn’t the best route to instant gratification, but it may bring something even better: long-term contentment.自制力絕非快速通達快樂的途徑，但是卻能帶來更好的結果，那就是長遠的滿足與喜樂。