Two Bad Bricks and Positive Psycholgy 兩塊出錯的砖和正面心理学

I recently listened on youtube  to a talk by the venerable Ajahn Brahm, a buddhist monk resides in Perth Australia, speaking on the topic of happiness (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHXkwj_0MIU&feature=related).  In this exceptionally simple yet profound talk, he shared a story of his personal encounter called “Two Bad Bricks”.

In the story, the venerable Ajahn Brahm was building a monasetry. When he completed one side of the wall with 1000 bricks, he was shocked to see that two bricks amongst the 1000 were not properly aligned. He was so agonized by these two bricks that spoilt the whole wall that he thought of taking down the wall, but that was not possible.  He was so upset over the two bad bricks that he could not stop thinking about it and lost sleep over it. Until one day, when what a visitor said woke him up.

The visitor said, “That’s a nice wall.”  Ajahn Brahm would not believe his ears and asked the visitor did he not see the two bad bricks that were not placed nicely.  And this was what Ajan Brahm said: “What he (the visitor) said next changed my whole view of that wall, of myself, and of many other aspects of life. He said, ‘Yes. I can see those two bad bricks. But I can see the 998 good bricks as well.’ “

Listening to “Two Bad Bricks” , I can’t help but notice how well it has encapsulated what positive psychology and strength-based coaching are about:  We must learn to see the whole picture — see the 998 good bricks and the 2 bad bricks.  Only then we can appreciate the whole beautiful wall. 

We often focus so much on seeing the negatives and finding faults that we miss the whole beautiful picture and wasted good talents.  It is a very good lesson learned.  This is indeed the essence of positive psychology and strength-based coaching: while we help individuals to work on areas that need improvement, we must also help them to identify and appreciate their strengths. And, from there, help them utilise their strengths and bring out the best in them.

You can also read the “Two Bad Bricks” story at this web-link.

我最近在 youtbue 听了阿姜布拉姆大师的一个有关于“幸福”的演說(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHXkwj_0MIU&feature=related)。阿姜布拉姆大师是一位居住在澳大利亚珀斯佛教僧侶。在他这个简单而又非常深刻的演說里,他和大家分享了一个他亲身经历的故事:“兩塊出錯的砖”。

在故事里,阿姜布拉姆大师在忙着建设一所寺院。当他完成了一面有一千塊砖的牆壁時,他才惊觉到,竟有两块砖並没有整齐地排列好。他觉得那兩塊出錯的砖是如此难看,他非常痛苦难过。他想把整面墙推倒重建,但那是不可能的。他日夜思想着那两个出了錯的砖,不能睡眠。直至有一天,一位参观寺院游客所说的话敲醒了他:

那位游客看到那面一千塊砖的牆,赞道,“这是一面漂亮的墙。” 阿姜布拉姆大师几乎不敢相信自己的耳朵,问游客难道他没有看到那两块没有好好放置的砖?

阿姜布拉姆大师说:“他(游客)接下来所说的,彻彻底底, 完完全全改变了我对那面墙,以及对生命等诸多方面的整体观。游客说:’当然,我可以看到这两个出了錯的砖。但我可以看到九百九十八塊好的砖呀。’

我听完 阿姜布拉姆大师的故事,深觉 “兩塊出錯的砖“ 给正面心理學以及实力辅导教练作了一个很好的概括:我们应该学习看到完整画面:看到九百九十八塊沒出錯的好砖,也同时看到那兩塊出了差錯的砖。唯有这样,我们方不会錯过欣赏整面美丽的墙。

我们往往因为过於专注负面和发掘缺点,而错过了整个美丽的画面或浪费了良好的人才。这是值得我们学习的一课。 这真正是积极的心理和实力辅导教练的真髓:我们应帮助他人进行需要改善的,但也绝对必须帮助他们辨识他们的优点长处以及如何最好的去利用自己的长处。 让他们可以发挥所长。

你可在这里 读到”兩塊出錯的砖“ 的故事(繁体字)。

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