成功的嚴厲考驗

By Robert J. Tamasy

我們都看過這個現象:明星運動員,享受著粉絲的崇拜,卻表現出各種不名譽的行為。娛樂界和媒體名人的行為不像我們在電視或電影中看到的那麼仁慈、友善、可愛。從政者在競選期間非常迷人,但向反對他們的人就展現傲慢。

我們有時形容這種人是「相信自己的剪報」,也就是陶醉在自己的名聲和成功中。他們所受到的奉承使他們相信自己真的是「特別的」。

我們大多數人對這些公眾人物的不當行為和討厭、自大態度起反感。雖然我們尚未達到那樣有名的身份地位,但我們也有可能陷入那種危險,就是表現出只關心自己的態度。

例如,你得到肯定,成為你的部門或整個公司中的最高銷售主管。當人們拍你的背並恭喜你時,你如何回應?你終於得到長久追求的升遷,得到一間新的辦公室,身份地位和額外的公司福利都隨之而來。你如何看待其他員工,他們沒有達到你那樣的成就,而且現在必須成為你的屬下?

或者可能你被邀請在一個著名的企業集會中演講,你演說的內容很受歡迎,事後許多人來稱讚你的演講內容非常好且有趣。你是否親切地接受讚賞,很高興你所說的對聽眾有益處?或者你開始想:「是的,我非常棒!」?

幾年前我擔任一家雜誌的編輯,在我的主導下進行重大的改變。當那些改變完成後,在各樣的會議中人們會來感謝我做的改變。一開始我很高興得到這肯定,但過了一些時間後,這些感謝不再是驚喜。就在那時,我發覺了讓好聽話支撐我自尊的危險。

當我們遭遇困苦與患難時,我們一向將它們視為生命的「考驗」。那考驗就是我們如何回應困難的環境。但我學到我們也會被成功考驗。成功是好的--只要它不讓我們因驕傲而自我膨脹。聖經這樣處理這問題:

在諂媚的火燄中存活。就像寶貴的金屬被極高的溫度精煉以去除雜質,我們生命中的考驗--不論好或壞--能顯示我們的缺點,並且希望我們能改掉缺點。「鼎為煉銀,爐為煉金,人的稱讚也試煉人」(箴言27章21節)。

避免自高的誘惑。我們住在一個注重名牌、高度行銷的世界。我們被告知若要在職場上能升遷,達成我們的抱負,就必須促銷自己。人們告訴我們:「你必須自己打 鼓,別人才會注意你。」但在有些事情上,人們尊崇並讚賞的是誠摯、謙虛的心靈,那樣才能得到人們的喜愛。「要別人誇獎你,不可用口自誇;等外人稱讚你,不 可用嘴自稱」(箴言27章2節)。

勞勃.泰默西是領袖資產協會的傳播部副部長,這是一個總部在美國喬治 亞州亞特蘭大的非營利組織。他也是一個有40年經驗的退休新聞工作者。他寫過一本書「最佳狀態的商業:箴言給今日職場的歷久彌新智慧」(Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today”s Workplace)。他也與David A. Stoddard合著一本書「導師之心」(The Heart of Mentoring)。要了解更多資訊, 可上網www.leaderslegacy.com 或上他的部落格www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com以及www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com 。

省思 / 討論題目

當你看到或讀到名人顯然被自己的名氣沖昏了頭,舉止駭人聽聞,或犯法被逮捕時,你的反應是什麼? 你是否同意接受個人和專業成就上的讚美可能是對一個人品格的考驗,因他們如何回應會顯示出他們的內在?為什麼? 當你的上司或同儕稱讚你的工作表現,你一向都如何回應?你是否曾覺得好像「被自己所受到的讚美考驗」?請解釋。 人們可以如何避免因為成功而自滿,把自己看得過高?註:若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文,請看:箴言11章2節,15章33節,16章18節,18章12節,22章4節;羅馬書12章3節;腓立比書2章3-11節;彼得前書5章5-6節

THE STERN TEST OF SUCCESS

By Robert J. Tamasy

We all have seen this phenomenon: Star athletes, basking in the adoration of their fans, exhibiting various kinds of disgraceful behavior. Entertainers and media celebrities acting very unlike the kind, friendly, engaging personalities they seem to be on TV or the movie screen. Politicians, so endearing during their election campaigns, displaying arrogance toward all that disagree with them.

We sometimes describe such individuals as “believing their own press clippings,” caught up in their own fame and success. The adulation they receive has them convinced they truly are “special.”

Most of us recoil at the misbehavior and offensive, pompous attitudes of these public figures. But even if we have not achieved such celebrated status, we can flirt with the danger of falling into the same kinds of self-absorbed attitudes.

For instance, you earn recognition as the top sales executive in your department or your entire company. When people pat you on the back and offer congratulations, how do you respond? You finally receive that long-sought promotion, gaining a new office, the status and additional corporate benefits that come with it. How do you regard the staff members who have not reached your level of achievement, who perhaps must now report to you?

Or suppose you are invited to speak at a prominent industry gathering, your talk is well-received, and afterward numerous people come up to commend you on the excellent and entertaining message you gave. Do you graciously receive the compliments, gratified that what you had to say was beneficial to your listeners, or do you start thinking to yourself, “Yes, I really was good, wasn”t I”?

Years ago I was the editor of a magazine that underwent major changes under my direction. As the revisions became established, people began approaching me at various meetings to thank me for the changes. Initially I was pleased to receive the affirmation, but over time these kind gestures were no longer a surprise. It was then I realized the danger of letting nice words bolster my ego.

We typically view life”s “tests” as times when we are confronted with hardship and adversity. The test is how we respond to difficult circumstances. But I have learned we also can be tested by success. Prosperity is good – unless it causes us to become puffed up with pride. The Bible addresses this:

Surviving the fires of flattery. Just as precious metals are refined by extreme heat to remove impurities, our times of testing in life – good and bad – can serve to reveal our personal flaws, and hopefully help to eliminate them. “The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but man is tested by the praise he receives” (Proverbs 27:21).

Avoiding the temptation of self-promotion. We live in a brand-conscious, hyper-marketed world. We are told we must promote ourselves if we are to advance professionally and realize our ambitions. “You have to beat your own drum to get noticed,” we are told. But there is something about a sincere, humble spirit that people respect and admire, that gains favor. “Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips” (Proverbs 27:2).

Robert J. Tamasy is vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit organization based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. A veteran journalist, he has written Tufting Legacies (iUniverse); Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today”s Workplace (River City Press); and has coauthored with David A. Stoddard, The Heart of Mentoring (NavPress). For more information, see www.leaderslegacy.com or his blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

What is your reaction when you see or read about famous people that appear to be caught up in their own celebrity status, behaving outrageously or even being arrested for engaging in illegal activities? Do you agree that receiving praise for personal and professional accomplishments can be a test of one”s character, revealing who they really are on the inside by how they respond to it? Why or why not? When your superiors or peers commend for your work, what is your typical way of responding? Have you ever personally felt as if you were being “tested by the praise you received?” Explain your answer. How can people avoid becoming “puffed up” by success, beginning to think more highly of themselves than they should?NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages: Proverbs 11:2, 15:33, 16:18, 18:12, 22:4; Romans 12:3; Philippians 2:3-11; 1 Peter 5:5-6

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