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不要一悔再悔

Kathryn Schulz: Don't regret regret

这是强尼・德普 很显然
So that’s Johnny Depp, of course.
这是他的肩膀
And that’s Johnny Depp’s shoulder.
这是他肩膀上著名的纹身
And that’s Johnny Depp’s famous shoulder tattoo.
也许有人知道90年代
Some of you might know that, in 1990,
德普和薇诺娜・赖德订婚
Depp got engaged to Winona Ryder,
他的右肩上就有了这个纹身
and he had tattooed on his right shoulder
“永远的薇诺娜”
“Winona forever.”
然而3年后-
And then three years later —
这个依照好莱坞的标准来说算得上永远了-
which in fairness, kind of is forever by Hollywood standards —
他俩各奔东西
they broke up,
强尼一蹶不振 做了些小修纹
and Johnny went and got a little bit of repair work done.
现在他肩膀的纹身是“永远的酒鬼”
And now his shoulder says, “Wino forever.”
(笑声)
(Laughter)
我喜欢强尼・德普
So like Johnny Depp,
就像16岁到50岁美国人中的
and like 25 percent of Americans
百分之二十五的人一样
between the ages of 16 and 50,
我有纹身
I have a tattoo.
大概是25岁左右的时候我开始想纹一个
I first started thinking about getting it in my mid-20s,
不过我刻意等了很久
but I deliberately waited a really long time.
因为我知道很多人
Because we all know people
在17岁或者19岁23岁
who have gotten tattoos when they were 17
纹了身
or 19 or 23
然后30岁就后悔了
and regretted it by the time they were 30.
我不是这样的
That didn’t happen to me.
我29岁的时候去纹了身
I got my tattoo when I was 29,
然后立马后悔了
and I regretted it instantly.
我说的“后悔”
And by “regretted it,”
是我一出了纹身店的门-
I mean that I stepped outside of the tattoo place —
离这儿就几公里远
this is just a couple miles from here
在下东区-
down on the Lower East Side —
大白天好端端地我就在
and I had a massive emotional meltdown in broad daylight
东百老汇和运河街的拐角情绪崩溃了
on the corner of East Broadway and Canal Street.
(笑声)
(Laughter)
那是个情绪崩溃的好地方因为别人都懒得理你
Which is a great place to do it because nobody cares.
(笑声)
(Laughter)
那天晚上我回到家,情绪更加崩溃
And then I went home that night, and I had an even larger emotional meltdown,
一会儿我会再谈谈
which I’ll say more about in a minute.
这让我十分震惊
And this was all actually quite shocking to me,
因为在那之前
because prior to this moment,
我告诉自己
I had prided myself
我绝对不会后悔的
on having absolutely no regrets.
我做过很多错事
I made a lot of mistakes
和傻事 这是当然的
and dumb decisions, of course.
而且从来没间断过
I do that hourly.
但我觉得
But I had always felt like, look, you know,
我在当时的状况下
I made the best choice I could make
基于手头具有的信息
given who I was then,
作出了最好的选择
given the information I had on hand.
我学到了一些
I learned a lesson from it.
这就是我成为现在的我的原因
It somehow got me to where I am in life right now.
我不会改变的
And okay, I wouldn’t change it.
也就是说我深知我们对后悔的文化
In other words, I had drunk our great cultural Kool-Aid about regret,
也就是为过去的事情悲伤
which is that lamenting things that occurred in the past
简直就是在浪费时间
is an absolute waste of time,
我们应该常常向前看而不是向后看
that we should always look forward and not backward,
我们最好应该做的事就是
and that one of the noblest and best things we can do
争取活在没有后悔的世界了
is strive to live a life free of regrets.
有句话很好地表达了这个观点:
This idea is nicely captured by this quote:
“放开
“Things without all remedy
无法挽回的事情
should be without regard;
泼出去水收不回来”
what’s done is done.”
首先这个看起来是很值得赞扬的人生哲学-
And it seems like kind of an admirable philosophy at first —
要是我不告诉你谁说的
something we might all agree to sign onto …
大家也许会同意然后签署为…
until I tell you who said it.
没错就是麦克白夫人
Right, so this is Lady MacBeth
告诉她丈夫别像个懦夫一样
basically telling her husband to stop being such a wuss
害怕杀了人
for feeling bad about murdering people.
这里莎士比亚其实另有所指
And as it happens, Shakespeare was onto something here,
他总是这样
as he generally was.
因为无法体会后悔
Because the inability to experience regret
其实是反社会人格的
is actually one of the diagnostic characteristics
诊断特征之一
of sociopaths.
它也是一种脑损伤的表象
It’s also, by the way, a characteristic of certain kinds of brain damage.
如果有人的眼窝前额皮质
So people who have damage
受到损失
to their orbital frontal cortex
就可能在甚至面对
seem to be unable to feel regret
非常错误的决定时也能绝不后悔
in the face of even obviously very poor decisions.
那么你要是想生而无悔
So if, in fact, you want to live a life free of regret,
那就有个办法
there is an option open to you.
叫前脑叶白质切除术
It’s called a lobotomy.
但是如果你想正常功能
But if you want to be fully functional
做正常人
and fully human
有人性
and fully humane,
那就得学着不要一悔再悔
I think you need to learn to live, not without regret, but with it.
首先让我们定义一下几个词语
So let’s start off by defining some terms.
什么是后悔?
What is regret?
后悔是我们觉得
Regret is the emotion we experience
如果过去做法不同
when we think that our present situation
当下的状况就会更好更幸福时的
could be better or happier
情绪表达
if we had done something different in the past.
也就是 后悔包含两点
So in other words, regret requires two things.
首先是对象-我们曾经作出个决定
It requires, first of all, agency — we had to make a decision in the first place.
第二是想像
And second of all, it requires imagination.
我们要想像如果能回到过去,作出不同的选择
We need to be able to imagine going back and making a different choice,
那么我们就能据此想像未来
and then we need to be able to kind of spool this imaginary record forward
眼下的事情会如何发展
and imagine how things would be playing out in our present.
这两样我们有的越多-
And in fact, the more we have of either of these things —
在一个遗憾上
the more agency and the more imagination
有更多的对象和想像
with respect to a given regret,
这种后悔就越强烈
the more acute that regret will be.
比如
So let’s say for instance
你在去你朋友婚礼的路上
that you’re on your way to your best friend’s wedding
机场的路上塞车
and you’re trying to get to the airport and you’re stuck in terrible traffic,
你最终到了登机口
and you finally arrive at your gate
却错过飞机了
and you’ve missed your flight.
如果你只是迟到了3分钟
You’re going to experience more regret in that situation
会比迟到20分钟
if you missed your flight by three minutes
后悔得更厉害
than if you missed it by 20.
为什么
Why?
因为如果你只是迟到3分钟
Well because, if you miss your flight by three minutes,
去想像你要是做个不同的决定
it is painfully easy to imagine
事情就不会这样子
that you could have made different decisions
是非常痛苦的
that would have led to a better outcome.
“我应该不走隧道走大桥
“I should have taken the bridge and not the tunnel.
我不应该在那个黄灯停下来”
I should have gone through that yellow light.”
这是典型会导致后悔的场景
These are the classic conditions that create regret.
在觉得我们对一个决定负责而其结果糟糕
We feel regret when we think we are responsible
但离好结果近在咫尺的时候
for a decision that came out badly,
我们就会觉得后悔
but almost came out well.
在这个模式下
Now within that framework,
我们显然常常后悔很多事情
we can obviously experience regret about a lot of different things.
今天这个会议是关于行为经济学
This session today is about behavioral economics.
我们知道的大部分“后悔”
And most of what we know about regret
都是来自这个范围
comes to us out of that domain.
我们对消费者的财政决定
We have a vast body of literature
有大量研究
on consumer and financial decisions
他们的决定-
and the regrets associated with them —
也就是购买者的懊悔
buyer’s remorse, basically.
不过终于有研究者想到
But then finally, it occurred to some researchers to step back
那么到底
and say, well okay, but overall,
人生中我们最后悔什么?
what do we regret most in life?
让我们看看结果
Here’s what the answers turn out to look like.
六大遗憾-
So top six regrets —
人生里我们最遗憾的事情:
the things we regret most in life:
第一是教育
Number one by far, education.
百分之三十三的后悔
33 percent of all of our regrets
是来自对受教育的决定
pertain to decisions we made about education.
我们希望受更多的教育
We wish we’d gotten more of it.
更好地利用教育资源
We wish we’d taken better advantage of the education that we did have.
或者学习另外一个专业
We wish we’d chosen to study a different topic.
其他在遗憾单子上非常高排名的项目还有
Others very high on our list of regrets
事业,爱情,子女教育
include career, romance, parenting,
各种各样的定义了今天我们自身的决定
various decisions and choices about our sense of self
还有怎么度过闲暇时间的决定-
and how we spend our leisure time —
或者确切地说
or actually more specifically,
后悔我们怎么没好好利用闲暇时间
how we fail to spend our leisure time.
其他的遗憾
The remaining regrets
还有这些:
pertain to these things:
财政,家庭问题包括婚姻或子女教育
finance, family issues unrelated to romance or parenting,
健康,朋友
health, friends,
精神世界和社区
spirituality and community.
换句话说,我们是通过金融研究了解了
So in other words, we know most of what we know about regret
遗憾
by the study of finance.
但结果是当你思量人们生命中的憾事时
But it turns out, when you look overall at what people regret in life,
我们的财务决定根本就是排不上号
you know what, our financial decisions don’t even rank.
理财上的遗憾都不及总的遗憾的百分之三
They account for less than three percent of our total regrets.
那么如果你因为不知道选个
So if you’re sitting there stressing
大帽子还是小帽子苦恼
about large cap versus small cap,
或者纠结于公司A和B
or company A versus company B,
斯巴鲁还是普瑞斯
or should you buy the Subaru or the Prius,
那么还是别操那个心了
you know what, let it go.
因为你五年之内都不会在意这个的
Odds are, you’re not going to care in five years.
而对于我们真正在乎
But for these things that we actually do really care about
并且会深深抱有遗憾的事物
and do experience profound regret around,
会是什么样的感受?
what does that experience feel like?
不用说我们都知道
We all know the short answer.
会无比地痛心后悔
It feels terrible. Regret feels awful.
但结果显示懊悔
But it turns out that regret feels awful
主要由四个非常特有的,连贯性的阶段组成
in four very specific and consistent ways.
第一个就是
So the first consistent component of regret
否认
is basically denial.
当我那晚纹了身回家时
When I went home that night after getting my tattoo,
我一夜没睡
I basically stayed up all night.
头几个小时
And for the first several hours,
我脑子里只有一个念头
there was exactly one thought in my head.
就是
And the thought was,
“我不要这样!”
“Make it go away!”
这是个令人难以置信的初始情绪
This is an unbelievably primitive emotional response.
就像是心里想着“我要妈妈!”
I mean, it’s right up there with, “I want my mommy!”
根本不想解决问题
We’re not trying to solve the problem.
不试着去了解问题的根由
We’re not trying to understand how the problem came about.
就是希望错误消失
We just want it to vanish.
后悔第二波就是
The second characteristic component of regret
困惑感
is a sense of bewilderment.
那天晚上我在卧室里想的就是
So the other thing I thought about there in my bedroom that night
“我怎么做出这样的事情?
was, “How could I have done that?
我到底在想什么?”
What was I thinking?”
这是尝试把做出后悔决定的
This real sense of alienation
那部分自己跟自身孤立起来
from the part of us that made a decision we regret.
我们无法认同那部分自己
We can’t identify with that part.
无法理解那部分
We don’t understand that part.
而我们绝对不喜欢那部分自己-
And we certainly don’t have any empathy for that part —
这就带来了后悔第三波
which explains the third consistent component of regret,
一种强烈的自我惩罚的愿望
which is an intense desire to punish ourselves.
这就是我们面对悔恨的时候
That’s why, in the face of our regret,
总之自我责难:“真想抽自己一巴掌!”
the thing we consistently say is, “I could have kicked myself.”
第四波就是
The fourth component here
心理学家所谓的表现执拗
is that regret is what psychologists call perseverative.
表现执拗就是不断地强迫性地
To perseverate means to focus obsessively and repeatedly
重复同一件事情
on the exact same thing.
而表现执拗的结果就是
Now the effect of perseveration
持续不停地重复
is to basically take these first three components of regret
后悔的前三个阶段
and put them on an infinite loop.
那天晚上我就坐在卧室里
So it’s not that I sat there in my bedroom that night,
想“我不要这样!”
thinking, “Make it go away.”
我就这么坐着一直想
It’s that I sat there and I thought,
“不要这样,不要这样
“Make it go away. Make it go away.
不要这样,不要这样。”
Make it go away. Make it go away.”
如果你查看心理学文献
So if you look at the psychological literature,
这些就是悔恨的四个阶段
these are the four consistent defining components of regret.
但我想说还有第五阶段
But I want to suggest that there’s also a fifth one.
我想这是
And I think of this
一种自我觉醒
as a kind of existential wake-up call.
那晚我在公寓里
That night in my apartment,
反反复复讨伐自己后
after I got done kicking myself and so forth,
我躺在床上很久
I lay in bed for a long time,
想着植皮
and I thought about skin grafts.
然后我想到
And then I thought about how,
旅行保险可不保自然灾害
much as travel insurance doesn’t cover acts of God,
那么我的医疗保险自然也不包括自己干的蠢事
probably my health insurance did not cover acts of idiocy.
没有什么保险保自己干的蠢事
In point of fact, no insurance covers acts of idiocy.
愚蠢的结果就是
The whole point of acts of idiocy
自己完全无保障
is that they leave you totally uninsured;
你完全袒露在这个世界面前
they leave you exposed to the world
袒露在你自身的脆弱和不可谱面前
and exposed to your own vulnerability and fallibility
事实上,这是个相对无情的世界
in face of, frankly, a fairly indifferent universe.
这很明显是个十分痛苦的经历
This is obviously an incredibly painful experience.
我想这对于西方人来说
And I think it’s particularly painful for us now in the West
这种Control-Z文化是
in the grips of what I sometimes think of
无比痛苦的-
as a Control-Z culture —
Control-Z就是电脑键盘上的命令
Control-Z like the computer command,
撤消
undo.
在某种意义上 我们曾经不用去面对
We’re incredibly used to not having to face
残酷的现实
life’s hard realities, in a certain sense.
我们以为用钱
We think we can throw money at the problem
或者科技就能解决问题-
or throw technology at the problem —
我们能撤消,能解除好友关系
we can undo and unfriend
取消关注
and unfollow.
但问题是生活中有很多
And the problem is that there are certain things that happen in life
我们迫切地期望改变
that we desperately want to change
但是不行
and we cannot.
有时候不是撤消
Sometimes instead of Control-Z,
而是无法控制
we actually have zero control.
而对于那些控制狂和完美主义者-
And for those of us who are control freaks and perfectionists —
我知道我说自己呢-
and I know where of I speak —
这是非常糟糕的
this is really hard,
因为我们想亲力亲为每件事并绝对做好
because we want to do everything ourselves and we want to do it right.
那么有一点就是
Now there is a case to be made
控制狂和完美主义者千万别纹身
that control freaks and perfectionists should not get tattoos,
一会儿我会提到这一点
and I’m going to return to that point in a few minutes.
首先是
But first I want to say
我们体验到的懊悔各阶段的
that the intensity and persistence
强度和持久度
with which we experience these emotional components of regret
很显然是
is obviously going to vary
取决于后悔的特定对象
depending on the specific thing that we’re feeling regretful about.
比如这就是一个
So for instance, here’s one of my favorite
常常导致我后悔的例子
automatic generators of regret in modern life.
(笑声)
(Laughter)
文字:回复给所有人
Text: Relpy to all.
这个狡猾的技术发明的
And the amazing thing
奇特之处就是
about this really insidious technological innovation
仅仅是这样一个东西
is that even just with this one thing,
就足够让你无比后悔
we can experience a huge range of regret.
你可能不小心点了这个按钮
You can accidentally hit “reply all” to an email
然后断送了一段恋爱
and torpedo a relationship.
或者就是在办公室里羞愧地想钻地洞
Or you can just have an incredibly embarrassing day at work.
或者被炒鱿鱼
Or you can have your last day at work.
这些比起真正的生命中的遗憾
And this doesn’t even touch
完全不算什么
on the really profound regrets of a life.
因为有时候我们的决定
Because of course, sometimes we do make decisions
会导致无可挽回的结果
that have irrevocable and terrible consequences,
也许是关于自己或者别人的健康
either for our own or for other people’s
幸福或者生活之类
health and happiness and livelihoods,
最严重的是涉及到别人的生命
and in the very worst case scenario, even their lives.
很显然那些遗憾
Now obviously, those kinds of regrets
会无比痛苦且持久
are incredibly piercing and enduring.
甚至仅仅是愚蠢的“恢复给所有人”
I mean, even the stupid “reply all” regrets
就能折磨我们好几天
can leave us in a fit of excruciating agony for days.
那我们怎么才能面对悔恨?
So how are we supposed to live with this?
我想提三点建议
I want to suggest that there’s three things
来让我们平和地面对后悔
that help us to make our peace with regret.
第一就是
And the first of these
意识到它的普遍性
is to take some comfort in its universality.
如果你在谷歌上搜索后悔和纹身
If you Google regret and tattoo,
能有1150万条结果
you will get 11.5 million hits.
(笑声)
(Laughter)
食品和药物管理局
The FDA estimates
估计全美纹过身的人里
that of all the Americans who have tattoos,
大概有百分之十七的人都会后悔
17 percent of us regret getting them.
包括强尼・德普,我
That is Johnny Depp and me
还有七百万陌生朋友
and our seven million friends.
而这只不过是后悔纹了身而已
And that’s just regret about tattoos.
我们都差不多
We are all in this together.
第二点去平和地处理后悔就是
The second way that we can help make our peace with regret
学会自嘲
is to laugh at ourselves.
这对我来说一点都不难
Now in my case, this really wasn’t a problem,
因为你要是29岁了还因为
because it’s actually very easy to laugh at yourself
一个不喜欢的新纹身而哭着找妈妈的话
when you’re 29 years old and you want your mommy
完全可以自嘲一下
because you don’t like your new tattoo.
虽然有人会觉得这个建议对于真正沉重的后悔来说
But it might seem like a kind of cruel or glib suggestion
有点残酷且华而不实
when it comes to these more profound regrets.
我不这么认为
I don’t think that’s the case though.
几乎我们所有人都经历过
All of us who’ve experienced regret
十分痛苦和懊悔的情况
that contains real pain and real grief
幽默,甚至黑色幽默
understand that humor and even black humor
能帮助我们度过难关
plays a crucial role in helping us survive.
因为它能连接我们生活的两个极端
It connects the poles of our lives back together,
正极和负极
the positive and the negative,
给我们的生活注入一点电流
and it sends a little current of life back into us.
第三点我想就是通过时间的流逝
The third way that I think we can help make our peace with regret
来慢慢平和地面对遗憾
is through the passage of time,
我想,时间抚平一切-
which, as we know, heals all wounds —
除了纹身大概是永久性的
except for tattoos, which are permanent.
我纹身也有
So it’s been several years
几年了
since I got my own tattoo.
你们想看看吗?
And do you guys just want to see it?
没问题
All right.
不过我得先声明一下
Actually, you know what, I should warn you,
你们可能会失望
you’re going to be disappointed.
因为这个纹身并不那么糟糕
Because it’s actually not that hideous.
我可没把玛莉莲・曼森的脸
I didn’t tattoo Marilyn Manson’s face
纹到什么隐私部位
on some indiscreet part of myself or something.
别人看到我的纹身
When other people see my tattoo,
基本上都还挺喜欢
for the most part they like how it looks.
只是我不喜欢这个图案
It’s just that I don’t like how it looks.
正如我之前所说 我是个完美主义者
And as I said earlier, I’m a perfectionist.
不过我还是会给你们看看
But I’ll let you see it anyway.
我的纹身
This is my tattoo.
我知道你们有些人会怎么想
I can guess what some of you are thinking.
那么让我告诉你
So let me reassure you about something.
有些你后悔的东西
Some of your own regrets
并不是你以为的那么糟糕
are also not as ugly as you think they are.
我纹这个
I got this tattoo
是因为我二十来岁的时候
because I spent most of my 20s
基本都是在其他国家旅行
living outside the country and traveling.
后来当我到纽约定居后
And when I came and settled in New York afterward,
我怕自己会忘记
I was worried that I would forget
在那期间我认识到一些重要的东西
some of the most important lessons that I learned during that time.
特别有两点
Specifically the two things I learned about myself
我最不想忘记
that I most didn’t want to forget
一是不要停止探索的脚步
was how important it felt to keep exploring
二是不要忘记
and, simultaneously, how important it is
你心中的目标
to somehow keep an eye on your own true north.
我当初喜欢这个指南针图案
And what I loved about this image of the compass
就是因为觉得这个图案将上述两点
was that I felt like it encapsulated both of these ideas
含括于内
in one simple image.
我想这个会变成我永久的记忆
And I thought it might serve as a kind of permanent mnemonic device.
不过确实是
Well it did.
只是让我想起的不是我当初希望的
But it turns out, it doesn’t remind me of the thing I thought it would;
而常常是其他东西
it reminds me constantly of something else instead.
它常常让我想起
It actually reminds me
关于遗憾的教训
of the most important lesson regret can teach us,
也是生命中最重要的教训之一
which is also one of the most important lessons life teaches us.
讽刺的是,我想这可能唯一的最重要的
And ironically, I think it’s probably the single most important thing
我能把它纹到身上的东西-
I possibly could have tattooed onto my body —
既是作为一名作家
partly as a writer,
也是作为一个人
but also just as a human being.
总之就是
Here’s the thing,
如果我们有目标
if we have goals
和梦想
and dreams,
我们想尽最大的努力
and we want to do our best,
或者如果我们爱一些人
and if we love people
不希望伤害到他们或失去他们
and we don’t want to hurt them or lose them,
当这些出现问题的时候我们理应感到痛苦
we should feel pain when things go wrong.
问题的关键不是生而无悔
The point isn’t to live without any regrets.
而是不要因后悔而厌恨自己
The point is to not hate ourselves for having them.
我从纹身上学到的东西
The lesson that I ultimately learned from my tattoo
我想今天跟你们分享的
and that I want to leave you with today
就是:
is this:
我们应该学会去爱
We need to learn to love
我们制造出来的
the flawed, imperfect things
不完美有缺陷的东西
that we create
并原谅自己导致了这样的结果
and to forgive ourselves for creating them.
遗憾并不是要提醒我们所做的糟糕行为
Regret doesn’t remind us that we did badly.
而是提醒我们可以做得更好
It reminds us that we know we can do better.
谢谢
Thank you.
(掌声)
(Applause)

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