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为什么你不需要与众不同

Why You Don't Need to Be Exceptional

It’s a rather simple question that quickly gets to the core
有一个很简单的问题
of someone’s sense of well-being and legitimacy:
直击个人幸福感与存在合理性的核心:
did your childhood leave you feeling that you were –
总的来说 童年有没有让你觉得
on balance – OK as you were,
做自己就好
or did you somewhere along the way derive an impression
还是说你从某处获知
that you needed to be extraordinary in order to deserve a place on the earth?
你只有出类拔萃才有生存的资格?
And, to raise an associated question:
再提一个相关的问题:
are you therefore now relaxed about your status –
你对自己的现状满意吗?
or else either a manic overachiever
你会疯狂追求成就
or filled with shame at your so-called mediocrity?
还是对自己平庸感到羞耻?
Around twenty percent of us will be in the uncomfortable cohort,
大约有20%的人会感到不安
alternately refusing to believe that anything could ever be enough
要么无法满足于任何事情
or cursing ourselves as ‘failures’
要么痛斥自己是“失败者”
by which we in essence mean that we have not managed to beat insane statistical odds
也就是说 我们未能打破疯狂的统计概率
At school, we probably worked very hard,
可能我们在学校努力上进
not because we were drawn to the topics,
但这并不是出于对课题的兴趣
but because we felt compelled for reasons that were – at the time – not entirely clear;
而是因为我们受制于一些当时尚不明晰的原因
we just knew we had to come close at the top of the class and revise every evening.
只知道我们要做尖子生要每晚复习
We may not be exceptional right now,
可能我们现在还不够优秀
but we are seldom without an acute sense of pressure to be so.
但总是有沉重的压力迫使我们变得优秀
In childhood, the story might have gone like this.
可能童年时有过这样的经历
A parent needed us to be special
无论是在智力 相貌或声望方面
– by virtue of intelligence, looks or popularity –
父母都希望我们能出类拔萃
in order to shore up a floundering sense of their own self.
以此来支撑他们摇摇欲坠的自我意识
The child needed to achieve and could not, therefore, just be;
孩子要卓尔不群而不可平庸无能
their own motives and tastes were not to be part of the picture.
他们个人的想法和爱好不在考虑范围内
The parent was – privately – in pain, unable to value themselves,
这些父母身陷痛苦 无法珍视自身价值
battling an unnamed depression,
在莫名的沮丧中挣扎
furious with the course of their own lives,
对自己的生活感到愤怒
perhaps covertly tortured by their spouse.
可能私下里在遭受配偶的家暴
And the child’s mission,
孩子承担着使命
for which there was no option but to volunteer,
别无选择 只能挺身而出
was to make it all somehow better.
要让一切变得更好
It seems odd to look at achievement through this lens,
从这个视角看成就似乎很奇怪
not as the thing the newspapers tell us it is,
跟报纸上描述的不一样
but – very often – as a species of mental illness.
这一视角下的成就通常是一种精神疾病
Those who put up the skyscrapers,
那些摩天大楼的建造者
write the bestselling books,
畅销书的作家
perform on stage,
舞台上的演员
or make partner
或公司合伙人
may, in fact, be the unwell ones.
事实上可能并不健康
Whereas the characters who – without agony – can bear an ordinary life,
而那些无需纠结 过着平凡生活的人
the so-called contented ‘mediocrities’,
也就是所谓心满意足的“庸人”
may in fact be the emotional superstars,
可能在情感上是耀眼的明星
the aristocrats of the spirit, the captains of the heart.
精神上的贵族 以及心灵上的船长
The world divides into
世界分为两个部分
the privileged who can be ordinary
一类受到庇佑的普通人
and the damned compelled to be remarkable.
和另一类受到诅咒 被迫优秀卓越的人
The best possible outcome for the latter is to have a breakdown.
对后者来说 可能最好的结果就是崩溃
Suddenly, after years of achievement, they can
如果他们有幸功成名就
– if they are lucky- no longer get out bed.
突然就不需要再起床劳碌了
They fall into a profound depression.
他们陷入了严重的抑郁
They develop all-consuming social anxiety.
他们出现了会吞噬一切的社交焦虑
They refuse to eat. They babble incoherently.
他们绝食 胡言乱语
They in some way poke a very large stick in the wheels of day-to-day life
在某种程度上 他们的日常生活停滞了
and are allowed to stay home for a while.
获准在家休养一段时间
A breakdown is not merely a random piece of madness or malfunction,
崩溃不仅是一时的疯狂或差错
it can be a very real – albeit inarticulate and inconvenient – bid for health.
虽难以言喻 不好处理 但却是实在的健康诉求
It is an attempt by one part of our minds to force the other
这是心灵的一部分试图迫使另一部分成长
into a process of growth, self-understanding and self-development
自我理解 自我提高
which it has hitherto been too coward to undertake.
这些是它至今都还不敢去做的事情
If we can put it paradoxically,
或者吊诡地来说
it is an attempt to jumpstart a process of getting well,
这是尝试通过病入膏肓
properly well, through a stage of falling very ill.
来重新恢复健康的过程
In an apparently ill state, we might cleverly
身处病中 我们可能会动脑子
be seeking to destroy all the building blocks
设法摧毁旧事业的根基
of our previous driven yet unhappy careers.
毕竟这份事业催人奋进却乐趣全无
We may be trying to reduce our commitments and our outgoings.
我们可能会尝试减少工作与社交
We may be trying to throw off the cruel absurdity of others’ expectations.
试图摆脱他人粗暴荒谬的期望
Our societies – that are often unwell at a collective
社会的病态 不仅体现在个人层面
and not just an individual level –
也体现在集体层面
are predictably lacking in inspiring images
可以想见 这种社会病态
of good enough ordinary lives.
是没有提倡足够好的普通生活
They tend to associate these with being a loser.
他们试图把普通生活同失败联系起来
We imagine that a quiet life is something
我们认为只有别无选择的失败者
that only a failed person without options would ever seek.
才会追求平静的生活
We relentlessly identify goodness
我们执意认为
with being at the centre, in the metropolis, on the stage.
身处聚光灯下 大都市和舞台上才是最好的
We don’t like autumn mellowness
我们不喜欢怡人的秋季
or the peace that comes once we are past the meridian of our hopes.
也不喜欢热切希望过后的平静
But there is, of course, no center,
但显然聚光灯是不存在的
or rather the centre is oneself.
或者说光永远聚在自己身上
Occasionally an artist will make things
偶尔 艺术家的创作
that bring such bathetic wisdom home.
也会回归这一平凡的智慧
Here is Montaigne, capturing the point in the third volume of his Essays,
蒙田在他逝世的前几年 也就是16世纪末
written a few years before his death towards the end of the sixteenth century:
写了随笔的第三卷 其中表达了一些观点:
“Storming a breach, conducting an embassy, ruling a nation are glittering deeds.
“攻关 管理使馆 治理国家都是光辉业绩
Rebuking, laughing, buying, selling, loving, hating
笑骂 买卖 爱恨
and living together gently and justly with your household –
温和公正地对待自己和家人
and with yourself – not getting slack nor belying yourself,
不懈怠亦不自欺
is something more remarkable, more rare and more difficult.
是更非凡 更珍贵 更难做到的事情
Whatever people may say, such secluded lives sustain in that way duties
不管人们怎么说 过这种清静的生活
which are at least as hard and as tense as those of other lives.”
不会比他人的生活更艰难更紧张”
In the late 1650s, the Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer
17世纪50年代后期 荷兰艺术家约翰内斯·维米尔
painted a picture called The Little Street,
创作了一幅名为《小街》的画作
that continues to challenge our value system to this day.
至今仍在挑战我们的价值体系
Perhaps success might – after all – be nothing more than a quiet afternoon
也许 成功不过就是住在一条普通的街道上
with the children, at home, in a modest street.
在静谧的下午 跟孩子们待在家里
You catch a similar point in certain stories
在契诃夫或雷蒙德·卡佛的某些故事中
by Chekhov or Raymond Carver,
你会发现类似的观点
in Bob Dylan’s Time out of Mind,
在鲍勃·迪伦的《失智时期》
in Thomas Jones’s study of A Wall in Naples (1782)
托马斯·琼斯的《那不勒斯的墙壁研究》(1782年)
and in the films of Eric Rohmer, in particular Le Rayon Vert (1982).
埃里克·罗默的电影《雷恩·维特》(1982)中也有这种观点
Most movies, adverts, songs and articles,
然而 大部分的电影 广告 歌曲和文章
however, do not tend to go this way,
并不提倡这一观点
they continually explain to us the appeal of other things:
它们不断地向我们宣扬其他事物的魅力:
sports cars, tropical island holidays,
跑车 热带岛屿度假
fame, an exalted destiny, first-class air travel
名望 崇高的使命 头等舱旅行
and being very busy.
一刻也不得空闲
The attractions are sometimes perfectly real.
有时这些诱惑是真实存在的
But the cumulative effect is to instill in us the idea
但这种影响不断累积 让我们形成这样一种观念
that our own lives must be close to worthless.
我们自己的生活几乎是毫无价值的
And yet there may be immense skill, joy and nobility involved in what we are up to:
然而 我们所做的可能是欢乐和高尚的 需要技巧的:
in bringing up a child to be reasonably independent and balanced;
把孩子培养成一个独立沉稳的人
in maintaining a good-enough relationship with a partner
虽然有时候很难
over many years despite areas of extreme difficulty;
但还是能和伴侣常年保持良好关系
in keeping a home in reasonable order;
保持房间井然有序
in getting a lot of early nights;
晚上经常早早入睡
in doing a not very exciting or well-paid job responsibly and cheerfully;
积极负责地做一份不太刺激或报酬不高的工作
in listening properly to other people
总的来说 做一个认真的倾听者
and, in general, in not succumbing to madness
自相矛盾 充满妥协的生活
or rage at the paradox and compromises involved in being alive.
会带来愤怒和疯狂 但我们不能屈服
There is already a treasury to appreciate in our circumstances
当我们学着摒弃偏见和自我厌恶再来看待这些时
when we learn to see these without prejudice or self-hatred.
会发现生活中已经有了值得珍惜的财富
As we may discover once we are beyond others’ expectations,
我们可能会发现 一旦我们看透别人的期待
life’s true luxuries might comprise nothing more or less than simplicity, quiet,
生活中真正奢侈的无非就是简单 安宁
friendship based on vulnerability,
源自脆弱心性的友谊
creativity without an audience,
只为自娱的创造力
love without too much hope or despair,
平平淡淡的爱情
hot baths and dried fruits, walnuts and a little bit of dark chocolate.
热水浴 干果 核桃和一点黑巧克力
The School of Life is coming to New York
生命学院将于10月4日至6日
from the 4th to the 6th of October for a three-day conference.
在纽约开展为期三天的集会
Where you’ll have the chance to meet other like-minded individuals
在这里你有机会遇到志同道合的人
and embark on a journey of genuine self-discovery and self-transformation.
真正地开启一段探索与转变自我的旅程
We hope to see you there.
期待与你的相遇

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视频概述

普通人也有资格拥有平静幸福的生活

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

clyze

审核员

审核员VV

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvgfucVF5cU

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