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  What I thought I would do is I would start with a simple request. I'd like all of you to pause for a moment, you wretched weaklings, and take stock of your miserable existence. (Laughter)

  我原本想 以一个简单的请求开场。 我请求在座的各位 思考片刻, 你们这群可悲的懦夫, 扪心自问,审视一下自身可怜的存在。 (笑声)

  Now that was the advice that St. Benedict gave his rather startled followers in the fifth century. It was the advice that I decided to follow myself when I turned 40. Up until that moment, I had been that classic corporate warrior -- I was eating too much, I was drinking too much, I was working too hard and I was neglecting the family. And I decided that I would try and turn my life around. In particular, I decided I would try to address the thorny issue of work-life balance. So I stepped back from the workforce, and I spent a year at home with my wife and four young children. But all I learned about work-life balance from that year was that I found it quite easy to balance work and life when I didn't have any work. (Laughter) Not a very useful skill, especially when the money runs out.

  其实这正是 5世纪时圣本笃给信众的建议, 可以想见,当时他们必定相当惊诧。 而在我40岁的时候 我也决定采纳并实施这个建议。 在那之前,我绝对是个典型的业务精英—— 我吃的太多,喝得太多, 工作太努力, 我忽视了自己的家庭。 于是我决定 试着改变我的生活。 而且我决定 我要尝试处理一个棘手的问题: 即工作与生活的平衡。 于是我递交辞呈, 赋闲在家, 与妻子和四个儿子相处了一年。 但是在那一年中 关于工作与生活平衡这个问题,我唯一的收获是: 如果我不工作, 这个问题 就会迎刃而解。 (笑声) 这的确不怎么管用, 尤其是缺钱的时候。

  So I went back to work, and I've spent these seven years since struggling with, studying and writing about work-life balance. And I have four observations I'd like to share with you today. The first is: if society's to make any progress on this issue, we need an honest debate. But the trouble is so many people talk so much rubbish about work-life balance. All the discussions about flexi-time or dress-down Fridays or paternity leave only serve to mask the core issue, which is that certain job and career choices are fundamentally incompatible with being meaningfully engaged on a day-to-day basis with a young family. Now the first step in solving any problem is acknowledging the reality of the situation you're in. And the reality of the society that we're in is there are thousands and thousands of people out there leading lives of quiet, screaming desperation, where they work long, hard hours at jobs they hate to enable them to buy things they don't need to impress people they don't like. (Laughter) (Applause) It's my contention that going to work on Friday in jeans and [a] T-shirt isn't really getting to the nub of the issue.

  所以我回到工作岗位, 七年以来 我的挣扎,学习 与写作都围绕着工作与生活的平衡这个主题。 今天我想跟各位分享 四点心得。 第一, 如果在这一问题上想要获得实质性的进展, 那么我们需要一个诚恳的探讨。 但问题是 在这一问题上, 人们大多沉浸在毫无意义的争论之中。 无论是弹性时间 还是星期五的休闲装政策 亦或是育儿假, 这些都只是进一步掩盖了核心问题, 即 某些职业和某些职业选择 从根本上讲就与 每天与自己的家庭 亲密相处 这一生活方式水火不容。 要解决任何问题, 都必须首先认清自己所处的境况。 而现实社会中的情况是 成千上万的 人们 都在无声的绝望中煎熬。 他们夜以继日的 从事他们痛恨的职业 目的只是为了购买无用的商品 以博得无关痛痒的邻人的艳羡。 (笑声) (掌声) 我的观点是,星期五穿牛仔体恤 并不能解决关键问题。



  The second observation I'd like to make is we need to face the truth that governments and corporations aren't going to solve this issue for us. We should stop looking outside. It's up to us as individuals to take control and responsibility for the type of lives that we want to lead. If you don't design your life, someone else will design it for you, and you may just not like their idea of balance. It's particularly important -- this isn't on the World Wide Web, is it? I'm about to get fired -- it's particularly important that you never put the quality of your life in the hands of a commercial corporation. Now I'm not talking here just about the bad companies -- the "abattoirs of the human soul," as I call them. (Laughter) I'm talking about all companies. Because commercial companies are inherently designed to get as much out of you [as] they can get away with. It's in their nature; it's in their DNA; it's what they do -- even the good, well-intentioned companies. On the one hand, putting childcare facilities in the workplace is wonderful and enlightened. On the other hand, it's a nightmare -- it just means you spend more time at the bloody office. We have to be responsible for setting and enforcing the boundaries that we want in our life.

  我想分享的第二点心得是 我们必须面对现实: 政府和公司 不会为我们解决这一问题。 我们不能再寻找外援, 而应该作为个人 承担起掌控 自己生活轨迹的重任。 如果你不规划自己的生活, 那么别人就会为你规划, 而他们对于平衡的处理 你往往并不认同。 最重要的是—— 这东西不会传到互联网上吧,要不然我可要被解雇了—— 最重要的是 你绝不能让商业公司 来掌控你生活的质量。 我指的并不仅仅是那些糟糕的公司—— 我把那些公司叫做人类灵魂的屠宰场。 (笑声) 我指的是所有的公司。 因为商业公司 本质上就是为了 尽可能多的榨取你的价值 而同时尽量逃避责任。 这是深植于商业公司之中的基因。 它们以此立足—— 包括那些好的,有善心的公司。 一方面, 在工作场所开办儿童保育中心 是个很妙的,具有启发性的好主意。 另一方面,这同时是个噩梦; 因为这意味着你得在万恶的办公室里耗上更多时间。 我们自己得担起责任 去设定并强化 我们生活中的各种界限。

  The third observation is we have to be careful with the time frame that we choose upon which to judge our balance. Before I went back to work after my year at home, I sat down and I wrote out a detailed, step-by-step description of the ideal balanced day that I aspired to. And it went like this: wake up well rested after a good night's sleep. Have sex. Walk the dog. Have breakfast with my wife and children. Have sex again. (Laughter) Drive the kids to school on the way to the office. Do three hours' work. Play a sport with a friend at lunchtime. Do another three hours' work. Meet some mates in the pub for an early evening drink. Drive home for dinner with my wife and kids. Meditate for half an hour. Have sex. Walk the dog. Have sex again. Go to bed. (Applause) How often do you think I have that day? (Laughter) We need to be realistic. You can't do it all in one day. We need to elongate the time frame upon which we judge the balance in our life, but we need to elongate it without falling into the trap of the "I'll have a life when I retire, when my kids have left home, when my wife has divorced me, my health is failing, I've got no mates or interests left." (Laughter) A day is too short; "after I retire" is too long. There's got to be a middle way.

  第三点是 我们得好好考虑 以什么样的时间单位 来衡量我们试图实现的平衡。 在一年赋闲时 就在我回到工作岗位之前, 我坐下来 细细地 一步一步地勾勒了一幅 我向往的完美一天的 理想蓝图。 具体如下: 充足的睡眠之后, 精神抖擞的醒来。 做爱。 遛狗。 与妻儿共进早餐。 做爱。 (笑声) 上班的途中送孩子去学校。 工作三小时。 午休时和朋友玩玩体育。 再工作三小时。 下午和老伙计们在酒吧喝两杯。 回家, 与妻儿共进晚餐。 花半个小时静修思考。 做爱。 遛狗。做爱。 上床睡觉。 (掌声) 你觉得我多久能享受如此的一天? (笑声) 我们当然要实际一些。 你不可能在一天内实现这一切。 我们得把时间单位拉长 来衡量我们期望的平衡, 但是这一拉长也不是没有限度的 比如,你最好别说: “我会享受生活的,当我退休了, 当子女也都独立, 当妻子已弃我而去,当我的身体大不如前, 当我已没有朋友,也没有任何兴趣爱好。” (笑声) 一天太短,退休又太长。 肯定会有折中的办法。

  A fourth observation: We need to approach balance in a balanced way. A friend came to see me last year -- and she doesn't mind me telling this story -- a friend came to see me last year and said, "Nigel, I've read your book. And I realize that my life is completely out of balance. It's totally dominated by work. I work 10 hours a day; I commute two hours a day. All of my relationships have failed. There's nothing in my life apart from my work. So I've decided to get a grip and sort it out. So I joined a gym." (Laughter) Now I don't mean to mock, but being a fit 10-hour-a-day office rat isn't more balanced; it's more fit. (Laughter) Lovely though physical exercise may be, there are other parts to life -- there's the intellectual side; there's the emotional side; there's the spiritual side. And to be balanced, I believe we have to attend to all of those areas -- not just do 50 stomach crunches.

  第四点心得: 要实现平衡, 我们得采取“平衡”的办法。 去年我有个朋友来找我—— 她不介意我公开这个故事——去年她来我这儿, 她说:“奈吉尔,我看了你的书。 我意识到我的生活完全没有平衡可言。 它完全被无休止的工作占据。 我每天工作10小时,路上就要花2小时。 我的人际关系总是失败。 在我生活中 除了工作,没有别的。 所以我决定得振作起来改观我的生活。 于是我加入了健身俱乐部。” (笑声) 我不是要嘲笑她, 但是一个“健康”的每天工作10小时的办公室职员 并不会让她更“平衡”,而只能更“健康”。 (笑声) 健身运动的确是不错, 但生活的含义其实很丰富。 知性生活,情感生活, 精神生活。 如果想达到平衡, 我觉得我们得 关照以上的各个方面—— 仅仅50个仰卧起坐是不够的。

  Now that can be daunting. Because people say, "Bloody hell mate, I haven't got time to get fit. You want me to go to church and call my mother." And I understand. I truly understand how that can be daunting. But an incident that happened a couple of years ago gave me a new perspective. My wife, who is somewhere in the audience today, called me up at the office and said, "Nigel, you need to pick our youngest son" -- Harry -- "up from school." Because she had to be somewhere else with the other three children for that evening. So I left work an hour early that afternoon and picked Harry up at the school gates. We walked down to the local park, messed around on the swings, played some silly games. I then walked him up the hill to the local cafe, and we shared a pizza for two, then walked down the hill to our home, and I gave him his bath and put him in his Batman pajamas. I then read him a chapter of Roald Dahl's "James and the Giant Peach." I then put him to bed, tucked him in, gave him a kiss on his forehead and said, "Goodnight, mate," and walked out of his bedroom. As I was walking out of his bedroom, he said, "Dad?" I went, "Yes, mate?" He went, "Dad, this has been the best day of my life, ever." I hadn't done anything, hadn't taken him to Disney World or bought him a Playstation.

  这可能看起来相当艰巨。 人们会说:“拜托伙计,我连锻炼的时间都没有, 你却要我去教堂、给老妈打电话。” 我很理解。 我真的很理解,对人们来说这的确挺艰巨。 但两年前有件小事 却给了我一个崭新的视角。 我妻子就坐在下面 一天她给我的办公室打电话说 “奈吉尔,你得去学校 接我们的小儿子哈里。” 因为那天晚上她和其他三个孩子在一起。 于是那天下午我提前一小时下班 在校门口接到哈里。 我们去了公园, 在秋千上闹了一阵,做了些傻傻的游戏。 然后我带他上了一座小山到了当地的一家咖啡馆, 我们点了茶和比萨, 吃完就下山回家, 我给他洗了个澡, 给他穿上蝙蝠侠睡衣。 然后我给他读了一章 Roald Dahl的《詹姆斯与飞天巨桃》。 然后我铺好床,安顿好他, 吻了他的额头,说了声“晚安,伙计。” 然后走出他的卧室。 正当我走到门口的时候, 他叫了声老爸。“什么事,伙计?” 他说,“老爸,这是我一生中 最棒的一天,最棒的。” 其实我什么也没做。 我没带他去迪斯尼乐园,也没给他买游戏机。

  Now my point is the small things matter. Being more balanced doesn't mean dramatic upheaval in your life. With the smallest investment in the right places, you can radically transform the quality of your relationships and the quality of your life. Moreover, I think, it can transform society. Because if enough people do it, we can change society's definition of success away from the moronically simplistic notion that the person with the most money when he dies wins, to a more thoughtful and balanced definition of what a life well lived looks like. And that, I think, is an idea worth spreading.

  我想说的是, 小事并非无关紧要。 在生活中实现平衡 并不意味着你要大张旗鼓的颠覆你的生活。 在适当的地方 做些小小的投资, 你就能极大地改善你的人际关系 和生活质量。 不仅如此,我认为 这还能改变整个社会。 因为,如果很多人都如此生活, 那么我们就可以重新对社会上的所谓“成功”进行定义: 成功不再是以死后财产的多少 来愚蠢地衡量; 成功应该有一个更具平衡性和思想性的定义, 即一个美好的生活的实现。 我认为 这的确是一个值得与众人分享的点子。



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