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人生意义的四大支柱

There's more to life than being happy | Emily Esfahani Smith

I used to think the whole purpose of life was pursuing happiness.
我曾认为 人生的全部目的就是追逐快乐
Everyone said the path to happiness was success,
人们都说 通往快乐的那条路就是成功
so I searched for that ideal job,
所以我找到了理想的工作
that perfect boyfriend, that beautiful apartment.
完美的男朋友 漂亮的公寓
But instead of ever feeling fulfilled,
但我不仅没有感到满足
I felt anxious and adrift.
反而感到焦虑和不踏实
And I wasn’t alone; my friends — they struggled with this, too.
不仅是我 我朋友也有这种困扰
Eventually, I decided to go to graduate school for positive psychology
最终 我决定去攻读积极心理学硕士
to learn what truly makes people happy.
去探寻真正让人们快乐的东西
But what I discovered there changed my life.
但在那儿的发现 改变了我的生活
The data showed that chasing happiness can make people unhappy.
有数据显示 一味地追求快乐并不会让人快乐
And what really struck me was this:
而真正让我震惊的是:
the suicide rate has been rising around the world,
全球的自杀率在不断升高
and it recently reached a 30-year high in America.
并且美国最近达到了三十年来的新高
Even though life is getting objectively better
即使客观上 无论从什么标准来看
by nearly every conceivable standard,
我们的生活都在变好
more people feel hopeless, depressed and alone.
但越来越多的人感到无助 沮丧和孤独
There’s an emptiness gnawing away at people,
空虚正侵噬着人们
and you don’t have to be clinically depressed to feel it.
你不需要被诊断出抑郁症就能感受到它
Sooner or later, I think we all wonder:
我想我们迟早都会想知道:
Is this all there is?
人生就是这样吗?
And according to the research, what predicts this despair is not a lack of happiness.
研究表明 这种绝望的信号并不是缺乏快乐
It’s a lack of something else,
而是缺少另一种东西
a lack of having meaning in life.
那就是生命的意义
But that raised some questions for me.
但这让我有了一些疑问
Is there more to life than being happy?
人生难道还有比快乐更重要的东西?
And what’s the difference between being happy
活得快乐和活得有意义
and having meaning in life?
这两者有什么不同?
Many psychologists define happiness as a state of comfort and ease,
许多心理学家把快乐定义为一种舒适安逸的状态
feeling good in the moment.
在当下感觉良好
Meaning, though, is deeper.
意义 则有着更深层的内涵
The renowned psychologist Martin Seligman says
著名心理学家马丁•塞里格曼说
meaning comes from belonging to and serving something beyond yourself
意义来源于对身外事物的归属和服务
and from developing the best within you.
来源于从内部开发最好的自己
Our culture is obsessed with happiness,
我们的文化痴迷于快乐
but I came to see that seeking meaning is the more fulfilling path.
但我发现 寻找意义是更令人满足的道路
And the studies show that people who have meaning in life,
而且研究表明 活的有意义的人
they’re more resilient,
适应力更强
they do better in school and at work,
在学校和工作中表现得更好
and they even live longer.
甚至活得更久
So this all made me wonder:
所有的这些都让我想弄明白:
How can we each live more meaningfully?
我们怎样才能更有意义地生活?
To find out, I spent five years interviewing hundreds of people
为了寻求答案 我花了五年时间采访了数百人
and reading through thousands of pages of psychology, neuroscience and philosophy.
翻阅了数千页心理学 神经科学和哲学(资料)
Bringing it all together,
把它们整合在一起
I found that there are what I call four pillars of a meaningful life.
我发现了我称之为人生意义的四大支柱
And we can each create lives of meaning
我们可以通过建立这些支柱
by building some or all of these pillars in our lives.
来创造有意义的生活
The first pillar is belonging.
第一根支柱是归属感
Belonging comes from being in relationships
归属感来源于
where you’re valued for who you are intrinsically
有人重视你
and where you value others as well.
而你也重视他人的人际关系
But some groups and relationships deliver a cheap form of belonging;
但一些团体和关系提供的是廉价的归属形式
you’re valued for what you believe, for who you hate,
你被重视是因为你们共同相信的东西 或你们共同讨厌某个人
not for who you are.
而非因为你是谁
True belonging springs from love.
真正的归属感源自于爱
It lives in moments among individuals,
它存在于个体之间
and it’s a choice — you can choose to cultivate belonging with others.
它是一种选择 你可以选择去培养和他人的归属感
Here’s an example.
举个例子
Each morning, my friend Jonathan buys a newspaper
每天早上 我纽约的朋友Jonathan
from the same street vendor in New York.
都会从同一个街头小贩那里买份报纸
They don’t just conduct a transaction, though.
但他们不仅仅是买卖关系
They take a moment to slow down, talk,
他们会花点儿时间停下来 聊会儿天
and treat each other like humans.
把彼此当作朋友
But one time, Jonathan didn’t have the right change,
但有一次 Jonathan没有足够的零钱
and the vendor said, “Don’t worry about it.”
小贩说:“没关系的”
But Jonathan insisted on paying,
但Jonathan坚持要付款
so he went to the store and bought something he didn’t need
于是他去商店买了些不需要的东西
to make change.
换了些零钱
But when he gave the money to the vendor,
但是当他把钱给小贩时
the vendor drew back.
小贩却后退了
He was hurt.
他受到了伤害
He was trying to do something kind,
他试着表现出善意
but Jonathan had rejected him.
但Jonathan却拒绝了他
I think we all reject people in small ways like this without realizing it.
我想我们都曾像这样不经意地在很小的事情上拒绝别人
I do.
我也不例外
I’ll walk by someone I know and barely acknowledge them.
我从认识的人身边走过 却没有打招呼
I’ll check my phone when someone’s talking to me.
当别人和我说话时 我会看手机
These acts devalue others.
这种行为是在贬低他人的价值
They make them feel invisible and unworthy.
会让他们觉得自己是隐形的 没有价值
But when you lead with love, you create a bond
但你若用爱来引导 你就能建立
that lifts each of you up.
一种让彼此精神振奋的纽带
For many people, belonging is the most essential source of meaning,
对多数人而言 归属感是人生意义最本质的来源
those bonds to family and friends.
能够把他们和家人朋友连在一起
For others, the key to meaning is the second pillar: purpose.
对于另一些人 人生意义的关键来源于第二支柱:目标
Now, finding your purpose is not the same thing
找到你的目标和找到让你开心的工作
as finding that job that makes you happy.
并不是同一件事情
Purpose is less about what you want than about what you give.
目标注重于你给予什么 而非你想要什么
A hospital custodian told me her purpose is healing sick people.
一位医院管理员告诉我 她的目标是治愈病人
Many parents tell me,
许多父母告诉我
“My purpose is raising my children.”
“我的目标是养大我的孩子”
The key to purpose is using your strengths to serve others.
目标的关键是用你的力量服务他人
Of course, for many of us, that happens through work.
当然 对我们多数人而言 是通过工作实现的
That’s how we contribute and feel needed.
那是我们做出贡献和感到被需要的途径
But that also means that issues like disengagement at work,
但那也意味着 诸如员工不敬业
unemployment, low labor force participation —
失业 劳动力参与度低等问题
these aren’t just economic problems, they’re existential ones, too.
它们不仅仅是经济问题 也是关于存在的问题
Without something worthwhile to do,
没有值得去做的事情
people flounder.
人们就会开始挣扎
Of course, you don’t have to find purpose at work,
当然 你不用非得在工作中找到目标
but purpose gives you something to live for,
但是目标给了你活下去的意义
some “why” that drives you forward.
一些“为什么”驱使着你前行
The third pillar of meaning is also about stepping beyond yourself,
第三根支柱是超越自我
but in a completely different way:
但是是以一种完全不同的方式:
transcendence.
超然
Transcendent states are those rare moments
超然状态是一种罕见的瞬间
when you’re lifted above the hustle and bustle of daily life,
当你摆脱了日常生活的喧嚣
your sense of self fades away,
自我感觉不断消退
and you feel connected to a higher reality.
你感觉连接上了一种更高的现实
For one person I talked to, transcendence came from seeing art.
一个曾和我交流过的人认为 超然源自艺术欣赏
For another person, it was at church.
另一个人则认为 超然存在于教堂
For me, I’m a writer, and it happens through writing.
对我而言 我是一位作家 通过写作产生超然状态
Sometimes I get so in the zone that I lose all sense of time and place.
有时候 我太投入以至于进入了忘我状态
These transcendent experiences can change you.
这些超然经历能够改变你
One study had students look up at 200-feet-tall eucalyptus trees for one minute.
一项研究是让学生抬头去看200英尺高的桉树一分钟
But afterwards they felt less self-centered,
后来 他们便不那么以自我为中心
and they even behaved more generously
当有机会给人们帮助时
when given the chance to help someone.
他们甚至表现得更加慷慨
Belonging, purpose, transcendence.
归属感 目标 超然
Now, the fourth pillar of meaning, I’ve found,
我发现的第四根支柱
tends to surprise people.
往往会让人感到惊讶
The fourth pillar is storytelling,
第四根支柱就是讲故事
the story you tell yourself about yourself.
你讲给自己的关于你自己的故事
Creating a narrative from the events of your life brings clarity.
用生活中的事情创造一个故事 让你变得清晰
It helps you understand how you became you.
这帮助你明白你是如何成为你的
But we don’t always realize that we’re the authors of our stories
但我们通常意识不到 我们故事的作者就是自己
and can change the way we’re telling them.
我们能够改变讲故事的方式
Your life isn’t just a list of events.
你的人生不只是一张事件清单
You can edit, interpret and retell your story,
你可以编辑 诠释和重述自己的故事
even as you’re constrained by the facts.
即使自己受到现实的限制
I met a young man named Emeka, who’d been paralyzed playing football.
我遇到一个叫Emeka的小伙 因为踢足球而瘫痪
After his injury, Emeka told himself,
受伤后 Emeka告诉自己
“My life was great playing football, but now look at me.”
“我曾经足球踢得很好 但现在看看我”
People who tell stories like this —
像这样子讲述故事的人
“My life was good. Now it’s bad.” —
“我的人生曾经很棒 现在却很糟糕”
tend to be more anxious and depressed.
都更倾向于变得焦虑和沮丧
And that was Emeka for a while.
那就是Emeka一段时间的状态
But with time, he started to weave a different story.
但是随着时间的流逝 他开始编织一个不同的故事
His new story was,
他的新故事是
“Before my injury, my life was purposeless.
“在我受伤之前 我的人生漫无目的
I partied a lot and was a pretty selfish guy.
我参加了很多派对 我是一个非常自私的人
But my injury made me realize I could be a better man.”
但伤病让我懂得自己能成为一个更好的人”
That edit to his story changed Emeka’s life.
那样编辑自己的故事 改变了Emeka的一生
After telling the new story to himself,
在对自己讲述新故事之后
Emeka started mentoring kids,
Emeka开始辅导小孩
and he discovered what his purpose was:
他发现了自己的目标
serving others.
服务他人
The psychologist Dan McAdams calls this a “redemptive story,”
心理学家Dan McAdams称其为“救赎的故事”
where the bad is redeemed by the good.
用好的来弥补不好的
People leading meaningful lives, he’s found,
他发现 过着有意义生活的人
tend to tell stories about their lives defined by redemption, growth and love.
更倾向于讲述 用救赎 成长和爱来定义他们生活的故事
But what makes people change their stories?
但什么让人们改变了自己的故事呢?
Some people get help from a therapist,
一些人向治疗师寻求帮助
but you can do it on your own, too,
但你靠自己也能做到
just by reflecting on your life thoughtfully,
只需要仔细地思考你的人生
how your defining experiences shaped you,
你的决定性经历是如何塑造你的
what you lost, what you gained.
你失去了什么 你得到了什么
That’s what Emeka did.
那就是Emeka所做的事
You won’t change your story overnight;
你不可能一夜之间就改变自己的故事
it could take years and be painful.
这可能需要数年时间 过程也会很痛苦
After all, we’ve all suffered, and we all struggle.
毕竟我们都曾遭受痛苦 也曾不断挣扎
But embracing those painful memories can lead to new insights and wisdom,
但是拥抱那些痛苦的记忆 能带来新的洞察力和智慧
to finding that good that sustains you.
来找到支撑你的良善
Belonging, purpose, transcendence, storytelling:
归属感 目标 超然 讲故事
those are the four pillars of meaning.
这些是人生意义的四大支柱
When I was younger,
我年轻的时候
I was lucky enough to be surrounded by all of the pillars.
很幸运地能够被四大支柱围绕着
My parents ran a Sufi meetinghouse from our home in Montreal.
我父母在蒙特利尔的家附近开了一家苏菲会堂
Sufism is a spiritual practice associated with the whirling dervishes
苏菲教是一种与旋转舞僧
and the poet Rumi.
和诗人鲁米相联系的精神实践
Twice a week, Sufis would come to our home
一周两次 苏菲教徒会来我家
to meditate, drink Persian tea, and share stories.
冥想 喝波斯茶 分享故事
Their practice also involved serving all of creation
他们的修行实践也包括通过爱的小举动
through small acts of love,
来服务所有的生灵
which meant being kind even when people wronged you.
甚至别人误解你 也要宽容对待
But it gave them a purpose: to rein in the ego.
但这给了他们一个目标:约束自我
Eventually, I left home for college
最后 我离开家去上大学
and without the daily grounding of Sufism in my life,
生活中没有苏菲教徒的每日修行
I felt unmoored.
我感到自己无处停靠
And I started searching for those things that make life worth living.
我开始寻找那些让人生有意义的东西
That’s what set me on this journey.
是它让我踏上这段旅程
Looking back, I now realize
回首过去 如今我意识到
that the Sufi house had a real culture of meaning.
苏菲家庭是一种真正有意义的文化
The pillars were part of the architecture,
那些支柱是建筑体的一部分
and the presence of the pillars helped us all live more deeply.
支柱的存在帮助我们活得更加深刻
Of course, the same principle applies
当然 相同的原则也适用于
in other strong communities as well —
其他紧密联系的团体
good ones and bad ones.
无论是好的 还是坏的
Gangs, cults:
黑帮 邪教
these are cultures of meaning that use the pillars
它们也是用这些支柱来实现文化意义
and give people something to live and die for.
给人们生存或死亡的原因
But that’s exactly why we as a society
但那也确切表明为什么我们的社会
must offer better alternatives.
必须提供一些更优的选择
We need to build these pillars within our families and our institutions
我们需要在家庭和机构中搭建这种支柱
to help people become their best selves.
来帮助人们成为最好的自己
But living a meaningful life takes work.
但过着有意义的生活需要耗费精力
It’s an ongoing process.
这是一个持续的过程
As each day goes by, we’re constantly creating our lives,
日子一天天过去 我们持续创造着自己的生活
adding to our story.
并添加到我们的故事当中
And sometimes we can get off track.
有时我们会偏离轨道
Whenever that happens to me,
当我遇到这种状况时
I remember a powerful experience I had with my father.
我会想起和父亲的一段难忘的经历
Several months after I graduated from college,
大学毕业几个月后
my dad had a massive heart attack that should have killed him.
我的父亲患了严重的心脏病 这差点要了他的命
He survived, and when I asked him what was going through his mind
他最终活了下来 我问当他面对死亡时
as he faced death,
他脑袋里在想什么
he said all he could think about was needing to live
他回答说 他所想的只有活下去
so he could be there for my brother and me,
这样他才能一直陪伴着弟弟和我
and this gave him the will to fight for life.
这给了他努力活下来的希望
When he went under anesthesia for emergency surgery,
当他在接受紧急手术的麻醉时
instead of counting backwards from 10,
他没有从10开始倒数
he repeated our names like a mantra.
而是重复我们的名字 就像咒语
He wanted our names to be the last words he spoke on earth
如果他死了 他希望我们的名字
if he died.
是他在这个世界上说的最后几个字
My dad is a carpenter and a Sufi.
我的父亲是个木匠 也是个苏菲教徒
It’s a humble life,
他一生谦卑
but a good life.
却一生幸福
Lying there facing death, he had a reason to live:
当他躺着面对死亡时 他有活下去的理由
love.

His sense of belonging within his family,
在家庭里的归属感
his purpose as a dad,
身为父亲的目标
his transcendent meditation, repeating our names —
超然的冥想 不断重复我们的名字
these, he says, are the reasons why he survived.
他说 这些是他活下来的全部理由
That’s the story he tells himself.
那是他讲给自己的故事
That’s the power of meaning.
这就是意义的力量
Happiness comes and goes.
快乐来来去去
But when life is really good
但当生活真的很美好
and when things are really bad,
只是事情很糟糕时
having meaning gives you something to hold on to.
生命有意义会让你有可以紧握的东西
Thank you.
谢谢

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视频概述

人生仅仅追求快乐并不会让你真的快乐,找到人生的意义才会让你更好的生活。演讲中,找寻意义的四大支柱能够帮助你找到自己人生的意义

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

胡小雪

审核员

审核员 V

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9Trdafp83U

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