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TED演讲: 20岁光阴不再来

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shangzening

2016年05月13日

随身学
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  When I was in my 20s, I saw my very first psychotherapy client. I was a Ph.D. student in clinical psychology at Berkeley. She was a 26-year-old woman named Alex. Now Alex walked into her first session wearing jeans and a big slouchy top, and she dropped onto the couch in my office and kicked off her flats and told me she was there to talk about guy problems. Now when I heard this, I was so relieved. My classmate got an arsonist for her first client. (Laughter) And I got a twentysomething who wanted to talk about boys. This I thought I could handle.

  我20多岁时,遇见我第一位心理治疗病患。我当时是柏克莱大学临床心理学博士生,她是名叫Alex的26岁女子。第一次会谈时,Alex穿着牛仔裤和宽大上衣,一屁股坐在我办公室的沙发上,踢掉她的平底鞋,告诉我她是来谈男性问题的。听见这句话时,我松了一口气;我同学的第一位病人是纵火犯(笑声),我的则是一位想谈男性的二十多岁女子。我以为我能搞定这件事。

  But I didn't handle it. With the funny stories that Alex would bring to session, it was easy for me just to nod my head while we kicked the can down the road. "Thirty's the new 20," Alex would say, and as far as I could tell, she was right. Work happened later, marriage happened later, kids happened later, even death happened later. Twentysomethings like Alex and I had nothing but time.

  事实却不然。听着Alex在会谈中所说的有趣故事,只需点头、对真正问题避而不谈,对我来说十分轻松。「三十世代是新二十世代,」Alex说。据我所知,她说的没错。工作、结婚都是之后的事,孩子是之后的事,甚至死亡也是之后的事,像Alex和我这样的二十世代有的是时间。

  But before long, my supervisor pushed me to push Alex about her love life. I pushed back.

  但不久后,指导教授催促我,督促Alex积极面对爱情生活,我不以为然。

  I said, "Sure, she's dating down, she's sleeping with a knucklehead, but it's not like she's going to marry the guy."

  我说,「没错,她有固定约会对象,她和一个蠢蛋上床,但不代表她会和那个家伙结婚。」

  And then my supervisor said, "Not yet, but she might marry the next one. Besides, the best time to work on Alex's marriage is before she has one."

  于是指导教授说,「目前是如此,但或许她会和下一个对象结婚。此外,让Alex经营婚姻的最佳时机,就是在她结婚前。」

  That's what psychologists call an "Aha!" moment. That was the moment I realized, 30 is not the new 20.

  这就是心理学家所谓的「啊哈!」时刻。那一刻,我领悟到三十世代并非新二十世代。

  Yes, people settle down later than they used to, but that didn't make Alex's 20s a developmental downtime. That made Alex's 20s a developmental sweet spot, and we were sitting there blowing it.

  没错,人们比以往更晚成家立业,但不代表二十世代是Alex的发展停滞期,而是Alex的最佳发展时机,我们却坐视这段时光白白流逝。

  That was when I realized that this sort of benign neglect was a real problem, and it had real consequences, not just for Alex and her love life but for the careers and the families and the futures of twenty somethings everywhere.

  此时我才明白,所谓善意的忽视确实是个问题,将造成严重后果。不仅对Alex和她的爱情生活来说如此,对所有二十世代的事业、家庭和未来亦然。

  There are 50 million twenty somethings in the United States right now. We're talking about 15 percent of the population, or 100 percent if you consider that no one's getting through adulthood without going through their 20s first.

  目前美国有五千万名二十世代人口,大约占总人口的15%,或者说100%,如果考虑到任何迈入成年期的人都经历过二十世代。

  Raise your hand if you're in your 20s. I really want to see some twenty somethings here. Oh, yay! Y'all's awesome. If you work with twenty somethings, you love a twenty something, you're losing sleep over twenty somethings, I want to see — Okay. Awesome, twenty somethings really matter.

  现场的二十世代请举手,我非常希望在现场见到二十世代听众。太好了!你们都棒极了。如果你和二十世代共事、如果你的恋人是二十世代、如果你关心二十世代,我想看到-好,棒极了!二十世代十分重要。

  So I specialize in twenty somethings because I believe that every single one of those 50 million twenty somethings deserves to know what psychologists, sociologists, neurologists and fertility specialists already know: that claiming your 20s is one of the simplest, yet most transformative, things you can do for work, for love, for your happiness, maybe even for the world.

  因此我专门研究二十世代,因为我认为这五千万名二十世代中的每一位,都该知道心理学家、社会学家、神经学家及生育专家都知道的事:二十世代是最单纯、但最具可塑性的阶段,对工作、爱情和幸福来说,也许甚至对全世界来说

  This is not my opinion. These are the facts. We know that 80 percent of life's most defining moments take place by age 35. That means that eight out of 10 of the decisions and experiences and "Aha!" moments that make your life what it is will have happened by your mid-30s. People who are over 40, don't panic. This crowd is going to be fine, I think. We know that the first 10 years of a career has an exponential impact on how much money you're going to earn.

  这并非我个人的观点,而是事实。我们知道,人生中80% 最具决定性的时刻发生于35岁前,这意味着定义你人生的决定、经历和「啊哈!」时刻,10个中有8个发生于30岁中旬前。超过40岁的人别慌,我想在座听众应该没问题。

  We know that more than half of Americans are married or are living with or dating their future partner by 30. We know that the brain caps off its second and last growth spurt in your 20s as it rewires itself for adulthood, which means that whatever it is you want to change about yourself, now is the time to change it.

  我们知道,一份职业的最初十年对你未来的收入影响甚巨;我们知道半数以上的美国人,30岁前即和终生伴侣结婚、同居或约会;我们知道大脑于二十世代历经第二次及最后一次成长高峰,以转型为成人期。这意味着无论你打算如何改变自己,此刻正是最佳时机。

  We know that personality changes more during your 20s than at any other time in life, and we know that female fertility peaks at age 28, and things get tricky after age 35. So your 20s are the time to educate yourself about your body and your options.

  我们知道性格于二十世代的变化胜于人生其他阶段;我们知道女性生育高峰期是28岁,35岁之后则每况愈下,因此二十世代正是了解自我身体状况及选择的最佳时机。

  So when we think about child development, we all know that the first five years are a critical period for language and attachment in the brain. It's a time when your ordinary, day-to-day life has an inordinate impact on who you will become. But what we hear less about is that there's such a thing as adult development, and our 20s are that critical period of adult development.

  因此,当我们谈到儿童发展,我们都知道,最初五年是大脑发展语言和情感依附的关键期,是日常生活对未来发展影响甚巨的阶段,但我们较少听说的是所谓的成人发展。二十世代正是成人发展关键期。

  But this isn't what twentysomethings are hearing. Newspapers talk about the changing timetable of adulthood. Researchers call the 20s an extended adolescence. Journalists coin silly nicknames for twentysomethings like "twixters" and "kidults." It's true. As a culture, we have trivialized what is actually the defining decade of adulthood.

  但二十世代不曾听过这一点,报纸谈论的总是成人阶段的改变。研究人员称二十世代为青春期的延续,新闻记者赋予二十世代一些愚蠢的称号,例如「啃老族」和「大孩子」,确实如此。文化使然,我们轻忽了成人阶段的决定性十年。

  Leonard Bernstein said that to achieve great things, you need a plan and not quite enough time. Isn't that true? So what do you think happens when you pat a twentysomething on the head and you say, "You have 10 extra years to start your life"? Nothing happens. You have robbed that person of his urgency and ambition, and absolutely nothing happens.

  伦纳德‧伯恩斯坦(着名指挥家)说,欲达成伟大成就,需要一个计画和不甚充裕的时间。确实如此吗?因此,当你拍着一位二十世代的头说:「你的人生还有十年才开始。」你认为会发生什么事?什么也不会发生。你剥夺了那个人的迫切感和雄心,不会发生任何结果。

  And then every day, smart, interesting twentysomethings like you or like your sons and daughters come into my office and say things like this: "I know my boyfriend's no good for me, but this relationship doesn't count. I'm just killing time." Or they say, "Everybody says as long as I get started on a career by the time I'm 30, I'll be fine."

  日复一日地,聪明、有趣的二十世代,如同你们或你们的子女,前来我办公室说类似以下的话:「我知道我男友不适合我,但这段感情不能当真,只是打发时间罢了。」或是,「每个人都说,我只要在30岁前展开事业就没问题。」

  But then it starts to sound like this: "My 20s are almost over, and I have nothing to show for myself. I had a better résumé the day after I graduated from college."

  但之后他们开始这么说:「我的二十世代即将结束,却一事无成,我最好从大学毕业那天就开始投履历表。」

  And then it starts to sound like this: "Dating in my 20s was like musical chairs. Everybody was running around and having fun, but then sometime around 30 it was like the music turned off and everybody started sitting down.

  然后他们开始这么说:「二十世代的约会就像玩大风吹,大家四处游荡、乐在其中,但30岁左右音乐逐渐停止,大家开始就座。

  I didn't want to be the only one left standing up, so sometimes I think I married my husband because he was the closest chair to me at 30."

  我不想成为唯一站着的人,因此有时我觉得和丈夫结婚,只因为他是30岁时离我最近的椅子。」

  Where are the twentysomethings here? Do not do that.

  在座的二十世代?千万别这么做。

  Okay, now that sounds a little flip, but make no mistake, the stakes are very high. When a lot has been pushed to your 30s, there is enormous thirtysomething pressure to jump-start a career, pick a city, partner up, and have two or three kids in a much shorter period of time. Many of these things are incompatible, and as research is just starting to show, simply harder and more stressful to do all at once in our 30s.

  好,听起来像是说笑,但别误会,其中的风险极大。当许多事延宕到三十世代,将造成三十世代极大的压力。展开事业、选择居住地、寻找伴侣、在极短时间内生两三个孩子,这些事大多无法同时兼顾。如近期研究结果显示,在三十世代同时完成这些事,难度和压力都将变得更大。

  The post-millennial midlife crisis isn't buying a red sports car. It's realizing you can't have that career you now want. It's realizing you can't have that child you now want, or you can't give your child a sibling. Too many thirtysomethings and fortysomethings look at themselves, and at me, sitting across the room, and say about their 20s, "What was I doing? What was I thinking?"

  千禧年后的中年危机不在于是否买辆红色跑车,而在于意识到无法拥有现在渴望的事业,意识到无法生出现在想要的孩子,或无法替孩子生出兄弟姊妹。太多三十世代及四十世代看看自己,然后望着坐在房间另一头的我,开始谈论他们的二十世代:「我当时在做什么?在想什么?」

  I want to change what twentysomethings are doing and thinking.

  我希望改变二十世代的做法和想法。

  Here's a story about how that can go. It's a story about a woman named Emma. At 25, Emma came to my office because she was, in her words, having an identity crisis. She said she thought she might like to work in art or entertainment, but she hadn't decided yet, so she'd spent the last few years waiting tables instead. Because it was cheaper, she lived with a boyfriend who displayed his temper more than his ambition. And as hard as her 20s were, her early life had been even harder. She often cried in our sessions, but then would collect herself by saying, "You can't pick your family, but you can pick your friends."

  以下是关于如何着手的故事。这是关于一位名叫Emma的女子的故事。25岁时,Emma来到我办公室,因为她-根据她的说法-正经历身份危机。她说,她认为自己或许想从事艺术或娱乐工作,但尚未下定决心,因此过去几年她暂时担任餐饮服务生。为了省钱,她和脾气的展现更胜于抱负的男友同居。尽管她的二十世代充满艰辛,她之前的生活更是困难重重。她经常于会谈时哭泣,但恢复平静后,她说,「你无法选择家庭,但可以选择朋友。」

  Well one day, Emma comes in and she hangs her head in her lap, and she sobbed for most of the hour. She'd just bought a new address book, and she'd spent the morning filling in her many contacts, but then she'd been left staring at that empty blank that comes after the words "In case of emergency, please call ... ." She was nearly hysterical when she looked at me and said, "Who's going to be there for me if I get in a car wreck? Who's going to take care of me if I have cancer?"

  某天,Emma走进办公室,把头倚在膝盖上哭了将近一个小时。她刚买了一本新通讯录,花了整个上午填写连络人资料,但接着,她茫然地盯着以下文字后的空白:「发生紧急情况时,请拨打…」她几乎是歇斯底里地看着我说,「如果出车祸,谁会陪在我身边?如果得癌症,谁会照顾我?」

  Now in that moment, it took everything I had not to say, "I will." But what Emma needed wasn't some therapist who really, really cared. Emma needed a better life, and I knew this was her chance. I had learned too much since I first worked with Alex to just sit there while Emma's defining decade went parading by.

  当时,我费尽心力才忍住说「我会」的冲动。但Emma需要的并非一位对她关怀备至的治疗师,Emma需要更好的生活,我知道这是她的机会。自从治疗Alex后,我学到很多,我不会坐视Emma的决定性十年白白流逝。

  So over the next weeks and months, I told Emma three things that every twentysomething, male or female, deserves to hear.

  因此,接下来几周、几个月中,我告诉Emma三件每位二十世代-无论男女-都该聆听的忠告。

  First, I told Emma to forget about having an identity crisis and get some identity capital. By get identity capital, I mean do something that adds value to who you are. Do something that's an investment in who you might want to be next. I didn't know the future of Emma's career, and no one knows the future of work, but I do know this: Identity capital begets identity capital. So now is the time for that cross-country job, that internship, that startup you want to try.

  首先,我要Emma忘了她的身份危机,累积一些身份资本。至于累积身份资本,我指的是进行某些增加自我价值的事,进行某些有助于达成理想中的自己的投资。我不知道Emma的工作前景,没人知道任何工作的前景,但我确实知道这一点:身份资本将衍生身份资本。因此,此时正是接受那份跨国工作、实习职位和你想尝试的创业的时机。

  I'm not discounting twentysomething exploration here, but I am discounting exploration that's not supposed to count, which, by the way, is not exploration. That's procrastination. I told Emma to explore work and make it count.

  我并非反对二十世代进行探索,但我不赞同无意义的探索。顺带一提,那并非探索,而是浪费时间。我要Emma进行有意义的工作探索。

  Second, I told Emma that the urban tribe is overrated. Best friends are great for giving rides to the airport, but twentysomethings who huddle together with like-minded peers limit who they know, what they know, how they think, how they speak, and where they work. That new piece of capital, that new person to date almost always comes from outside the inner circle.

  其次,我告诉Emma,人们高估了城市部落(Urban Tribes)。好友是载你去机场的绝佳人选,但二十世代群聚的对象在于志同道合的同龄族群,侷限于相识者、彼此知道的事、相似的思考模式、相仿的说话方式和相近的工作地点。新资本、

  New things come from what are called our weak ties, our friends of friends of friends. So yes, half of twentysomethings are un- or under-employed. But half aren't, and weak ties are how you get yourself into that group. Half of new jobs are never posted, so reaching out to your neighbor's boss is how you get that un-posted job. It's not cheating. It's the science of how information spreads.

  新约会对象几乎总是来自圈外,新事物来自我们所谓的弱连结,例如朋友的朋友的朋友。因此-没错,半数二十世代并未就业或拥有全职工作,但其中一半并非如此,弱连结正是使你加入那个族群的方式。半数新职位不曾公布,因此,接触邻居的老板正是得到那份未公布工作的方法。这并非投机,而是资讯传播原理。

  Last but not least, Emma believed that you can't pick your family, but you can pick your friends. Now this was true for her growing up, but as a twentysomething, soon Emma would pick her family when she partnered with someone and created a family of her own. I told Emma the time to start picking your family is now. Now you may be thinking that 30 is actually a better time to settle down than 20, or even 25, and I agree with you.

  最后,同样重要的是,Emma认为你无法选择家庭,但可以选择朋友。以她的成长经历来说确实如此,但身为二十世代,Emma很快就得选择自己的家庭,当她和某人结为连理、建立属于自己的家庭时。我告诉Emma,此时正是她选择家庭的时机。你或许认为,相较于20岁、甚至25岁,30岁是较适当的成家时机,我同意这一点。

  But grabbing whoever you're living with or sleeping with when everyone on Facebook starts walking down the aisle is not progress. The best time to work on your marriage is before you have one, and that means being as intentional with love as you are with work. Picking your family is about consciously choosing who and what you want rather than just making it work or killing time with whoever happens to be choosing you.

  但是当所有Facebook上的朋友开始步入礼堂时,套牢某个和你同居或上床的人,这并非完成某项进展。经营婚姻的最佳时机正是结婚前,这是指如同看待工作般用心看待爱情。家庭的选择是有意识的选择;选择你想要的人和生活,而非仅是达成目标或打发时间-与恰巧选择你的人。

  So what happened to Emma? Well, we went through that address book, and she found an old roommate's cousin who worked at an art museum in another state. That weak tie helped her get a job there. That job offer gave her the reason to leave that live-in boyfriend.

  Emma的后续情况如何?好,我们翻阅那本通讯录,她发现一位前室友的亲戚任职于他州的艺术博物馆,那个弱连结协助她在当地找到一份工作,那份工作给了她离开同居男友的理由。

  Now, five years later, she's a special events planner for museums. She's married to a man she mindfully chose. She loves her new career, she loves her new family, and she sent me a card that said, "Now the emergency contact blanks don't seem big enough."

  5年后的今天,她成了博物馆特殊活动规划者,她和一位用心选择的人结婚。她爱她的新职业,她爱她的新家庭。她寄给我一张卡片,上面写着:「现在紧急连络人一栏似乎不够大了。」

  Now Emma's story made that sound easy, but that's what I love about working with twentysomethings. They are so easy to help. Twentysomethings are like airplanes just leaving LAX, bound for somewhere west. Right after takeoff, a slight change in course is the difference between landing in Alaska or Fiji. Likewise, at 21 or 25 or even 29, one good conversation, one good break, one good TED Talk, can have an enormous effect across years and even generations to come.

  Emma的故事使这件事听来轻而易举,但这就是我喜爱与二十世代共事的原因-帮助他们十分容易。二十世代就像刚离开洛杉几国际机场的飞机,准备前往西岸某处,起飞后,航线稍微偏移,即降落阿拉斯加或斐济的差别。同样地,在21或25岁,甚至29岁,一场有益的谈话、一次充分的休息、一场卓越的TED演讲,对未来几年、甚至几代都有极大影响。

  So here's an idea worth spreading to every twentysomething you know. It's as simple as what I learned to say to Alex. It's what I now have the privilege of saying to twentysomethings like Emma every single day:

  因此,这是一个值得分享给每一位你认识的二十世代的想法。这就像我于Alex的会谈中所领悟到的道理一样容易,这就是我现在有幸能时时给予像Emma一样的二十世代的忠告:

  Thirty is not the new 20, so claim your adulthood, get some identity capital, use your weak ties, pick your family. Don't be defined by what you didn't know or didn't do. You're deciding your life right now. Thank you. (Applause)

  三十世代并非新二十世代,因此,掌握你的成年时期、累积一些身份资本、利用你的弱连结、选择你的家庭。别受限于你不知道或不曾做过的事,此刻你正在决定你的人生,谢谢。(掌声)


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