幸福的本质
I live in Hollywood. You may think people in such a glamorous, fun-filled place are happier than others. If so, you have some mistaken ideas about the natu re of happiness. 我住在好莱坞。你可能认为住在这样一个魅力四射、充满欢笑的地方要比其他人更幸福。倘 若如此,你就误解了幸福的本质。 Many intelligent people still equate happiness with fun. The truth is that fun and happiness have little or nothing in common. Fun is what we experience duri ng an act. Happiness is what we experience after an act. It is a deeper, mor e abiding emotion. 许多聪明人依旧将幸福与娱乐等同起来。事实上,娱乐与幸福很少、甚至毫无共同之处。娱 乐是某个活动进行中的体验,而幸福则是活动之后的体验。幸福是更深刻、更持久的情感。 Going to an amusement park or ball game, watching a movie or television, are fun activities that help us relax, temporarily forget our problems and maybe e ven laugh. But they do not bring happiness, because their positive effects end when the fun ends. 去游乐场或去看球赛,看电影或看电视,这些都是娱乐活动,有助于我们放松身心,暂时忘 却自己的难题,甚至让我们放声大笑。但是,这一切并不能带来幸福,因为娱乐一结束,它 们的正面效应亦随之终结。 I have often thought that if Hollywood stars have a role to play, it is to tea ch us that happiness has nothing to do with fun. These rich, beautiful individu als have constant access to glamorous parties, fancy cars, expensive homes, e verything that spells "happiness". 我常常这样想, 如果好莱坞明星起到某种作用的话, 那就是向我们昭示幸福与娱乐毫无关系。 作为个人,他们富有,楚楚动人,可以随时出席令人神往的宴会,拥有顶尖级汽车、昂贵的 宅第--这一切似乎意味着“幸福”。 But in memoir after memoir, celebrities reveal the unhappiness hidden beneath all their fun: depression, alcoholism, drug addiction, broken marriages, troubl ed children, profound loneliness. 然而,在一部又一部的回忆录中,名流们揭示了隐藏在这一切娱乐活动背后的不幸:忧郁、 酗酒、吸毒成瘾、失败的婚姻、饱受困扰的孩子、极度的孤独。 The way people cling to the belief that a fun-filled, pain-free life equates ha ppiness actually diminishes their chances of ever attaining real happiness. If f un and pleasure are equated with happiness, then pain must be equated with u nhappiness. But, in fact, the opposite is true: More times than not, things th at lead to happiness involve some pain. 人们执迷不悟,以为充满欢笑、没有痛苦的生活就等于幸福;这实际上减少了他们真正臻于
幸福之境的可能性。如果娱乐和快乐等同于幸福的话,那么痛苦必然等同于不幸福。可事实 正相反:导致幸福的一切常常蕴含着些许痛苦。 As a result, many people avoid the very endeavors that are the source of tru e happiness. They fear the pain inevitably brought by such things as marriage, raising children, professional achievement, religious commitment, civicor charit able work, and self-improvement. 因此,许多人不愿努力,而这些努力恰恰正是真正幸福的源泉。诸如婚姻、抚育子女、职业 成就、宗教信仰、公共及慈善事业、自身修养等必然带来痛苦,他们因而对于这一切心怀畏 惧。 与死神擦肩而过 When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each d ay as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in th e mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the an swer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change so mething. 17 岁的时候,我读到了一句格言,好像是:“如果你把每一天都当作生命中最后一天去生 活的话,肯定有一天你会是正确的。”这句话给我留下了深刻的印象。自那以后,在过去的 33 年中我每天早晨都会对着镜子问自己:“如果今天是我生命中的最后一天,我会去做今 天打算做的那些事吗?”每当答案连续多日都是“不会”的时候,我知道我该做些改变了。 Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everythin g -- all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure -- these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is trul y important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know t o avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already nake d. There is no reason not to follow your heart. 提醒自己我即将死去, 是帮我做出人生中许多重大抉择的最重要的工具。 因为几乎所有 的一切??所有他人的期望、 荣耀、 面子问题和对失败的恐惧??这些在死亡面前都会消失 殆尽, 留下的是真正重要的东西。 提醒自己我将要死去, 我认为是避免患得患失的最好办法。 你本来就一无所有,没有理由不顺心而为。 About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7∶30 in ∶ the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn't even kno w what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than t hree to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in o rder, which is doctor's code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your
kids everything you thought you'd have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it wi ll be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes. 大约一年前, 我被诊断出得了癌症。我在早晨 7 点半做了扫描, 扫描结果清楚地显示 我的胰腺上长了一个肿瘤。我当时甚至都不知道胰腺是什么东西。医生告诉我,这基本上是 一种无法治愈的癌症, 我活在世上的时间不会超过 3~6 个月。医生劝我回家,安排后事, 这是医生让病人等死的婉言。这意味着你要尽量把本来想在未来 10 年内对孩子们说的话在 几个月里说完;意味着你要把一切安排妥当,让你的家人尽可能地轻松一点;意味着你要说 “再见”了。 I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, whe re they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I'm fine now. 诊断结果让我想了一整天。那天晚上晚些时候,我做了活组织切片检查。医生将一个内 窥镜从我的喉咙伸进去,通过我的胃, 进入我的肠子, 然后用一根针刺进我的胰腺,在肿 瘤上提取了一些细胞。我当时注射了镇定剂,但在场的妻子后来告诉我,医生在显微镜下观 察这些细胞的时候,忽然叫了起来, 因为我患的竟然是一种非常罕见的、可以用手术治愈 的胰腺癌。我做了手术,现在痊愈了。 This was the closest I've been to facing death, and I hope it's the close st I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely inte llectual concept: 那是我与死神擦肩而过的一次, 我希望这也是以后几十年最接近死神的一次。以前死 亡对于我只是一个有用但抽象的概念,有了这次经历后,我现在可以更加确信地对你们说: No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too lon g from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true. 没有人愿意死, 即使人们想上天堂, 也不会为了去那里而死。但是死亡是我们每个人 共同的归宿,无人幸免。也应该如此,因为死亡很可能是生命惟一最好的发明。它是生命变 化更替的推动力。它破旧立新。你们现在是新人,但是不久的将来,你们会慢慢变老,然后 被清除掉。我很抱歉这很戏剧性,但事实就是这样。
Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma -- which is living with the results of other people's thinkin g. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They so mehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is second ary. 你们的时间很有限, 所以不要把时间浪费在重复他人的生活上。不要受教条的束缚, 因为那就意味着你依据别人的思想在生活。 不要让他人喋喋不休的意见淹没掉你自己内心的 声音。最重要的是, 要勇于听从你内心的直觉。可以说,内心的直觉早已知道你想要成为 什么样的人,而其他一切都是次要的。
爱情像断臂要敢于再次尝试
"But what if I break my arm again?" my five year-old daughter asked, her lo wer lip trembling. I knelt holding onto her bike and looked her right in the ey es. I knew how much she wanted to learn to ride. How often she felt left ou t when her friends pedaled by our house. Yet ever since she'd fallen off her bike and broken her arm, she'd been afraid.
"Oh honey," I said. "I don't think you'll break another arm." "But I could, couldn't I?" "Yes," I admitted, and found myself struggling for the right thing to say. At times like this, I wished I had a partner to turn to. Someone who might help find the right words to make my little girl's problems disappear. But after a disastrous marriage and a painful divorce, I'd welcomed the hardships of bei ng a single parent and had been adamant in telling anyone who tried to fix me up that I was terminally single. "I don't think I want to ride," she said and got off her bike. We walked away and sat down beside a tree. "Don't you want to ride with your friends?" I asked. "And I thought you were hoping to start riding your bike to school next year, " I added. "I was," she said, her voice almost a quiver. "You know, hon," I said. "Most everything you do comes with risks. You could
get a broken arm in a car wreck and then be afraid to ever ride in a car aga in. You could break your arm jumping rope. You could break your arm at gymn astics. Do you want to stop going to gymnastics?" "No," she said. And with a determined spirit, she stood up and agreed to try again. I held on to the back of her bike until she found the courage to say, "Let's go!" I spent the rest of the afternoon at the park watching a very brave little gir l overcome a fear, and congratulating myself for being a self-sufficient single parent. As we walked home, pushing the bike as we made our way along the sidewalk, she asked me about a conversation she'd overheard me having with my mothe r the night before. "Why were you and grandma arguing last night?" My mother was one of the many people who constantly tried to fix me up. Ho w many times had I told her "no" to meeting the Mr. Perfect she picked out for me. She just knew Steve was the man for me. "It's nothing," I told her. She shrugged. "Grandma said she just wanted you to find someone to love." "What grandma wants is for some guy to break my heart again," I snapped, a ngry that my mother had said anything about this to my daughter. "But Mom." "You're too young to understand," I told her. She was quiet for the next few minutes. Then she looked up and in a small vo ice gave me something to think about. "So I guess love isn't like a broken arm." Unable to answer, we walked the rest of the way in silence. When I got hom e, I called my mother and scolded her for talking about this to my daughter. Then I did what I'd seen my brave little girl do that very afternoon. I let g o and agreed to meet Steve.
Steve was the man for me. We married less than a year later. It turned out mother and my daughter were right.
爱的力量
Many years ago, my dad was diagnosed with a terminal heart condition. He was put on permanent disability and was unable to work at a steady job. He would be fine for quite a while, but would then fall suddenly ill and have to b e admitted to the hospital. He wanted to do something to keep himself busy, so he decided to volunte er at the local children hospital. My dad loved kids. It was the perfect job f or him. He ended up working with the terminally and critically ill childr
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