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别做美国梦了,去冒险吧

更新时间:2016-5-26 6:27:39 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Choose Experiences Over Stuff, and Maybe Over Security Too
别做美国梦了,去冒险吧

You’ve heard of the American dream, right? The American dream was this machine we built to get rid of uncertainty and create security. It’s the white picket fence, the job and the minivan. You watch Dan Rather and a sitcom. You go to bed, go to sleep and repeat.

你肯定听说过美国梦吧?美国梦就是那个我们造出来对抗不确定性和创造安全感的机器。它是雪白的尖桩篱笆,是工作,是厢式旅行车;看完丹·拉瑟(Dan Rather)的新闻节目和情景喜剧,上床睡觉,如此一天天周而复始。

It may not be that exciting, but hey, at least it’s stable. For years — for as long as we can remember — that’s been the end goal: stability and security. And millions of us work really hard to get there each year.

听上去可能不怎么刺激,但是,嘿,至少它稳定啊。多年来——从我们能记事起——稳定和安全就是终极目标。每一年,我们成百上千万的人都在为此拼命努力。

There’s nothing wrong with that if it’s what you’re into. But there’s a whole group of people — and this group is growing, by the way — who have said, “Forget that. I want to focus on experiences instead.”

如果那就是你想要的,当然也没什么不好。但也有这么一群人会说:“忘了那回事吧,我想更关注自己的体验。”——顺便说一句,这个群体的人数还在增加。

You probably know the refrains by now: Experiences trump stuff. Experiences tend to bring us happiness. More stuff tends to breed discontent. There’s a wealth of research to back up these ideas up.

如今,你可能已经知道那句被人一再重复的话了:体验胜于物质;体验能带来幸福;更多物质只会令人欲壑难填。有大量研究都支持这些理念。

So people go out and spend a bunch of money to participate in adventure races like the Tough Mudder, just to have an experience. Instead of buying a new television, people buy skis and lift tickets. People pay to go to the rock climbing gym instead of paying to go to the movies. More and more, the economy is moving in this direction.

于是为了获得体验,人们就走出门去,花费大把金钱参加“最强泥人”(Tough Mudder)国际障碍大赛之类的冒险竞赛。人们有了钱不是买一台新电视,而是购买滑雪和缆车的票。人们花钱去攀岩馆,而不是买电影票。整个经济愈来愈向着这个方向发展。

But the idea that you can leave a stable job, a 401(k), sell your house, retrofit your van and spend a couple of years living out of it by yourself, or with your spouse, or even with your kids, is something completely different. Not only is it different, it’s mind-blowing.

但是如果你辞掉稳定的工作、放弃401(k)养老金、卖掉房子、改装你的面包车,今后一两年以车为家,甚至带上伴侣和孩子,那又是完全不同的另一回事了。不仅是完全不同,根本就是彻底颠覆。

This mind-blowing concept is not the choice of experience over stuff. It’s not even experience over stability. It’s experience over security. And that is a very fascinating development in our culture.

这种彻底颠覆的观念不是要把体验摆在物质之上,也不是把体验摆在稳定之上,它根本就是把体验摆在安全之上。这是我们的文化中发展起来的一种非常有趣的现象。

Consider the professional baseball player Daniel Norris, who was making $2 million but living in a Volkswagen van. Who told him he could do that? At its extreme, choosing experiences over stuff isn’t just about making these kinds of value-based decisions about recreation on your weekends. It’s also choosing experience over security and making the same decisions on a life-size scale.

想想职业棒球手丹尼尔·诺里斯(Daniel Norris)吧,他能赚200万美元,但还住在一辆大众面包车里。是谁告诉他可以这么干的?推演到极致,把体验摆在物质之上,不仅意味着为周末如何消遣所做的这类基于价值的决定。这同样是选择把体验置于安全之上,并且要在人生的尺度上做出同样的决定。

Once I began framing it this way, I kept learning about more and more people doing this. There is Jeremy Collins deciding to pursue a life of art and climbing after getting laid off from a comfortable office job, or the writer Brendan Leonard, leaving a copywriting job at IBM (arguably the definition of security) to follow his dreams of being a freelance writer and starting a blog.

自从我开始这样看待这件事,我不断了解到,有越来越多的人在这么做。比如杰里米·柯林斯(Jeremy Collins),他离开一份舒适的办公室工作,决定在艺术与登山中度过人生。还有作家布兰登·莱昂纳德(Brendan Leonard),他离开了IBM公司的文案工作(可以说是典型的铁饭碗),追随自己的梦想,成了自由撰稿人,并且开始写博客。

The more I learn about people completely bucking convention and living these incredibly interesting alternative existences, the more I find myself wondering, “If they can do it, can I?”

越是了解到有人这样彻底打破传统,过着有趣的另类生活,我就越发开始扪心自问:“他们能做到,我能吗?”

Do I dare open that bulletproof, fireproof combination safe where I’ve locked up my dreams and say, “Oh, I’ll do that later, when life is more stable, when I’m more secure”? What if I try to make this really creative vision, one that I’ve always dreamed of, come true and I fail? Do I even dare to ask, “What if?”

我的梦想锁在一个防火防弹的密码锁保险箱里。我总是会说:“噢,以后再去做吧,等生活再稳定一些,等我更有安全保障的时候。”但是,我敢不敢打开那个梦想的保险箱?如果我真的尝试实现这个充满创意的场景,这个我一直以来的梦想,但是结果却失败了,那会怎么样?我到底敢不敢问自己一句:“如果做了,会怎么样?”

As for you, O.K., so you don’t want to live in a van. Maybe you don’t have a dream locked up inside your own little Pandora’s box. That’s fine.

至于你,好吧,你可能不想住在厢型车里。也许你自己的那个小潘多拉盒子里也没有锁着一个梦想。这也很好。

But if you do — and my gut tells me that for most people reading this, what I’m writing rings true — I am telling you to at least consider that one, simple question, “What if?”

但如果你有——直觉告诉我,大多数读到这篇文章的人会和我写的东西产生共鸣——我想告诉你,至少问问自己这个简单的问题,“如果做了,会怎么样?”

In considering the possibilities, consider also that according to this new set of values, the uncertainty and the insecurity that you feel trying something adventurous and new is all part of the very reason for doing it. That’s part of the tangible benefit. That’s the hard part of the adventure race, the mud in your face and the suffer-fest.

在考虑各种可能性的时候,也要考虑到,根据这种新的价值体系,你在尝试冒险事物与新事物时所感受到的那些不确定性与不安全感,正是你要做这件事的一部分理由。那是有形收益的一部分,是冒险竞赛的实质内容:脸上的泥巴与痛苦的狂欢。

As the Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard famously said, “It’s not an adventure until something goes wrong.” Maybe you’ll lose some money in selling the house. Maybe you’ll make less income if you quit your job. But that’s part of the adventure.

户外运动品牌Patagonia的创始人伊冯·乔伊纳德(Yvon Chouinard)说过这样一句名言:“没有意外,不算冒险。”卖掉房子你可能会损失一些钱。辞去工作你的收入可能会减少。但那就是冒险的一部分。

If you would make the same experience-over-stuff choice weekend after weekend, maybe it’s time to start thinking about making the experience-over-security choice for your life. At the very least, you might want to ask yourself, “What if?”

如果你每个周末都打算做这种把体验放在物质之上的选择,或许你可以开始考虑选择一种把体验置于安全之上的人生了。至少,你可以问一问自己:“如果做了,会怎么样?”

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