该故事讲述了一个成功的商人,他十分乐于为自己指导的年轻人给出建议。故事的末尾有习语的定义和一个表达小测试。试着阅读下面的故事,第一次时,在不看后面定义的前提下去理解故事梗概。第二次阅读时,可以利用后面的定义解释,来帮助你在学习新的习语的同时理解全文。

John's Keys to Success
约翰的成功秘诀

John is an incredibly accomplished and successful businessman. As such, he is quite popular as a mentor. He enjoys showing young professionals the ropes. The first thing he says is that his career has certainly not always been smooth sailing. In fact, he learned a number of lessons along the way. "First and foremost," John said "don't believe that success is ever mana from heaven." He said that everyone he had met had a similar rags to riches story, and that a lot of hard work had gone into the success.
约翰是一位功成名就的商人。同样,他也是一名十分受欢迎的导师。他很喜欢向年轻的专业人士传授窍门。他要说的第一件事,就是自己的职业生涯当然也不是一帆风顺的。事实上,一直以来他学习了大量的课程。“首要的是,”约翰说道,“不要觉得成功是会突然从天而降的。”他认为,他遇到的人都有相似的白手起家的经历,他们都是通过辛勤地工作而获得成功的。

John believes in hard work, but also in recognizing the right opportunities. "It's absolutely essential to never spread yourself too thin" John advised. "If you have too many irons in the fire, you'll certainly miss out on real opportunity" he continued. "I've seen people as busy as a bee who never really seem to do anything" he pointed out. The more I thought about this advice, the more I understood what he was saying.
约翰相信辛勤工作的作用,但他也承认机遇的重要性。“过度操劳绝对是不必要的”约翰建议。“如果你要做的事太多太多,你就一定会错过真正的机会。”他继续说道。他说:“我见过一些人,他们像蜜蜂一样忙个不停,却没有真正的做实事。”关于这条建议,我越是思考,就越觉得能够理解他的说法。

If you put on your thinking cap, you'll realize that it's impossible to really concentrate if you have to worry about fifty different things. Another important lesson was that it's important to know which side your bread is buttered on and make sure to give that activity your full attention. In other words, you need to ride the gravy train.
如果你集中精力思考,你会发现,如果要操心的事太多的话,你是不可能真正将注意力集中到某事上的。另一件重要的事就是,你必须知道,对于自己来说最重要的是什么,并将所有的精力放在那项活动上。也就是说,你需要做的是那些被人们认可的工作。

Don't start looking for new challenges if everything is working out for the best!
如果事情都圆满结束了,不要马上开始就寻找新的挑战!

John stressed that the most important ability of any successful entrepreneur was to have the presence of mind to not only take advantage of an opportunity, but also to keep your eye on the ball. Some people are quick on the uptake, but then they get bored. It's important to be consistent, but not spread yourself too thin. Finally, make sure to never show your hand to your opponents. In any case, that's how to be successful according to John.
约翰强调,任何成功事业中,最重要的能力不仅仅是有意识地抓住机会并利用好它,还要集中精力把它们做好。一些人能够迅速理解这个道理,但他们很快就厌倦了。持之以恒很重要,但也不要操劳过度了。最后,你要确保,不要想你的对手展示你的优势。无论如何,这就是约翰关于成功的建议。

Idioms Used in the Story
故事中的习语

smooth sailing = an easy life with no problems
一帆风顺的生活

know which side one's bread is buttered on = to understand what is most important for oneself
明白对于自己来说最重要的是什么

ride the gravy train = to make money by doing something that is already proven to be successful
通过做那些被认可的事而赚钱

keep one's eye on the ball = to concentrate and conti

nue doing well

[cn]集中精力继续做好某事

mana from heaven = surprise riches
意外的财富

from rags to riches = from poor to rich
白手起家

show someone the ropes = to explain and show by example how something is done properly
通过例子解释和展示做好某事的方法

as busy as a bee = very busy (also busy as a beaver)
非常忙碌(也说busy as a beaver)

work out for the best = to end with the best possible result
以最好的结果结束

quick on the uptake = to understand very quickly
很快地理解

have the presence of mind to do something = to be aware and able to grasp an opportunity
有意识地抓住机会

show one's hand = to show others what advantages you have in a situation
向他人展示你在某个环境中的优势

put on one's thinking cap = to concentrate
集中注意力

spread oneself too thin = to do too many things
要做的事情特别多

have too many irons in the fire = to do too many things
要做的事情特别多

习语测试

1. My friend is as ________________ these days. He never gets time to relax.

2. We've been lucky in life. It's been _____________ since the very beginning.

3. I'm sure the situation will improve. It will _________________.

4. You need to ____________________ for this problem. It requires a lot of concentration.

5. Alan ___________________ during the negotiations for the business deal.

6. Franklin went from ________________ in his life. He started with nothing and ended up a very rich person.

7. Some artists are lucky and have a huge hit early in life. Then they ______________________ for many years afterwards.

8. My boss _________ me ______________ at work because it was my first week.

答案

1. busy as a bee

2. smooth sailing

3. work out for the best

4. put on your thinking cap

5. showed his hand

6. rags to riches

7. ride the gravy train

8. showed me the ropes

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