When you are a kid, you get asked this one particular question a lot, it really gets kind of annoying. What do you want to be when you grow up? Now, adults are hoping for answers like, I want to be an astronaut or I want to be a neurosurgeon, you’re adults in your imaginations.
Kids, they’re most likely to answer with pro-skateboarder, surfer or minecraft player. I asked my little brother, and he said, seriously dude, I’m 10, I have no idea, probably a pro-skier, let’s go get some ice cream.
See, us kids are going to answer something we’re stoked on, what we think is cool, what we have experience with, and that’s typically the opposite of what adults want to hear.
But if you ask a little kid, sometimes you’ll get the best answer, something so simple, so obvious and really profound. When I grow up, I want to be happy.
For me, when I grow up, I want to continue to be happy like I am now. I’m stoked to be here at TedEx, I mean, I’ve been watching Ted videos for as long as I can remember, but I never thought I’d make it on the stage here so soon. I mean, I just became a teenager, and like most teenage boys, I spend most of my time wondering, how did my room get so messy all on its own.
Did I take a shower today? And the most perplexing of all, how do I get girls to like me? Neurosciences say that the teenage brain is pretty weird, our prefrontal cortex is underdeveloped, but we actually have more neurons than adults, which is why we can be so creative, and impulsive and moody and get bummed out.
But what bums me out is to know that, a lot of kids today are just wishing to be happy, to be healthy, to be safe, not bullied, and be loved for who they are. So it seems to me when adults say, what do you want to be when you grow up? They just assume that you’ll automatically be happy and healthy.
Well, maybe that’s not the case, go to school, go to college, get a job, get married, boom, then you’ll be happy, right? You don’t seem to make learning how to be happy and healthy a priority in our schools, it’s separate from schools. And for some kids, it doesn’t exists at all? But what if we didn’t make it separate? What if we based education on the study and practice of being happy and healthy, because that’s what it is, a practice, and a simple practice at that?
Education is important, but why is being happy and healthy not considered education, I just don’t get it. So I’ve been studying the science of being happy and healthy. It really comes down to practicing these eight things. Exercise, diet and nutrition, time in nature, contribution, service to others, relationships, recreation, relaxation and stress management, and religious or spiritual involvement, yes, got that one.
So these eight things come from Dr. Roger Walsh, he calls them Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes or TLCs for short. He is a scientist that studies how to be happy and healthy. In researching this talk, I got a chance to ask him a few questions like; do you think that our schools today are making these eight TLCs a priority? His response was no surprise, it was essentially no. But he did say that many people do try to get this kind of education outside of the traditional arena, through reading and practices such as meditation or yoga.
But what I thought was his best response was that, much of education is oriented for better or worse towards making a living rather than making a life.
In 20__, Sir Ken Robinson gave the most popular Ted talk of all time. Schools kill creativity. His message is that creativity is as important as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status.
A lot of parents watched those videos, some of those parents like mine counted it as one of the reasons they felt confident to pull their kids from traditional school to try something different. I realized I’m part of this small, but growing revolution of kids who are going about their education differently, and you know what? It freaks a lot of people out.
Even though I was only nine, when my parents pulled me out of the school system, I can still remember my mom being in tears when some of her friends told her she was crazy and it was a stupid idea.
Looking back, I’m thankful she didn’t cave to peer pressure, and I think she is too. So, out of the 200 million people that have watched Sir Ken Robinson’s talk, why aren’t there more kids like me out there?
Shane McConkey is my hero. I loved him because he was the world’s best skier. But then, one day I realized what I really loved about Shane, he was a hacker. Not a computer hacker, he hacked skiing. His creativity and inventions made skiing what it is today, and why I love to ski. A lot of people think of hackers as geeky computer nerds who live in their parent’s basement and spread computer viruses, but I don’t see it that way.
People returning to work after a career break: I call them relaunchers. These are people who have taken career breaks for elder care, for childcare reasons, pursuing a personal interest or a personal health issue. Closely related are career transitioners of all kinds: veterans, military spouses, retirees coming out of retirement or repatriating expats. Returning to work after a career break is hard because of a disconnect between the employers and the relaunchers. Employers can view hiring people with a gap on their resume as a high-risk proposition, and individuals on career break can have doubts about their abilities to relaunch their careers, especially if they've been out for a long time. This disconnect is a problem that I'm trying to help solve.
有些人经过离职长假之后 重新投入到工作中来， 我称他们为“再从业者”。 这些人选择休离职长假， 有些是要照顾老人， 有些是要照顾孩子， 也有些是追求个人爱好， 或是健康因素。 各行各业转业的人 都与之紧密相关： 退伍军人、军嫂， 退休返聘的人， 或遣返回国者。 离职长假后重返工作 是非常困难的， 因为雇主和再从业者之间 有了隔阂。 雇主们认为，雇佣这些 简历上工作时间不连贯的人 是风险极高的决策， 而正在离职长假中的人 可能对自己再从业的能力产生疑虑， 特别是那些离职时间较长者。 两者间的缺乏联系 是我在尝试解决的问题。
Now, successful relaunchers are everywhere and in every field. This is Sami Kafala. He's a nuclear physicist in the UK who took a five-year career break to be home with his five children. The Singapore press recently wrote about nurses returning to work after long career breaks. And speaking of long career breaks, this is Mimi Kahn. She's a social worker in Orange County, California, who returned to work in a social services organization after a 25-year career break. That's the longest career break that I'm aware of. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor took a five-year career break early in her career.
如今，我们在各行各业 都能见到成功的再从业者。 这位是萨米·科法拉， 他是英国的一位核物理学家， 因为要在家照顾五个孩子 而度过了五年的离职长假。 新加坡的媒体最近发表了文章， 内容是有关离职长假后再从业的护士。 提到长时间的离职假期， 这位是米米·卡恩, 她是加州奥兰治县的一位社工， 她在度过20xx年的离职长假后 回到了一个社会服务组织工作。 这是据我所知最长的离职假期。 最高法院法官桑德拉·戴·奥康纳， 在其职业生涯早期 度过了五年离职长假。
And this is Tracy Shapiro, who took a 13-year career break. Tracy answered a call for essays by the Today Show from people who were trying to return to work but having a difficult time of it. Tracy wrote in that she was a mom of five who loved her time at home, but she had gone through a divorce and needed to return to work, plus she really wanted to bring work back into her life because she loved working. Tracy was doing what so many of us do when we feel like we've put in a good day in the job search. She was looking for a finance or accounting role, and she had just spent the last nine months very diligently researching companies online and applying for jobs with no results.
这位是特蕾西·莎碧罗， 她度过了20xx年的离职长假。 特蕾西答复了从“今日秀”节目观众中 征集到的问题， 他们想要重返工作， 却发现很难做到。 特蕾西写道：自己是五个孩子的母亲， 也很享受居家的时间， 但是她历经了一次离婚， 并且急需回到工作状态， 另外，她很想把工作 带回她的生活中， 因为她也很享受工作。 特蕾西也曾做过 我们很多人所做的事， 每天不停的搜寻合适的工作。 她找过财经、会计领域的职位， 她在那之前花掉了九个月时间， 很努力地调查网上的公司， 然后投放简历，却一无所获。
I met Tracy in June of 20xx, when the Today Show asked me if I could work with her to see if I could help her turn things around. The first thing I told Tracy was she had to get out of the house. I told her she had to go public with her job search and tell everyone she knew about her interest in returning to work. I also told her, "You are going to have a lot of conversations that don't go anywhere. Expect that, and don't be discouraged by it. There will be a handful that ultimately lead to a job opportunity."
我在20xx年六月见到了特蕾西， 那时“今日秀”节目 问我可否与她合作， 看我能不能帮她走出困境。 我告诉特蕾西的第一件事， 就是她必须走出家门。 我告诉她，她必须 公开自己求职的想法， 然后告诉她认识的所有人， 自己再从业的强烈意愿。 我还告诉她， “有很多你参与的对话 是对你完全没有帮助的。 你要做好心理准备， 别因为那些而灰心丧气。 找到工作机会之前， 确实要经历很多琐事。”
I'll tell you what happened with Tracy in a little bit, but I want to share with you a discovery that I made when I was returning to work after my own career break of 11 years out of the full-time workforce. And that is, that people's view of you is frozen in time. What I mean by this is, when you start to get in touch with people and you get back in touch with those people from the past, the people with whom you worked or went to school, they are going to remember you as you were before your career break. And that's even if your sense of self has diminished over time, as happens with so many of us the farther removed we are from our professional identities. So for example, you might think of yourself as someone who looks like this. This is me, crazy after a day of driving around in my minivan. Or here I am in the kitchen. But those people from the past, they don't know about any of this. They only remember you as you were, and it's a great confidence boost to be back in touch with these people and hear their enthusiasm about your interest in returning to work.
我稍后再告诉你们 特蕾西是如何处理的， 我想先跟大家分享 我的一个发现， 那时我刚刚回到工作中， 结束了自己离开全职工作大军 20xx年的长假。 这个发现就是， 人们对你的印象凝固在过去。 我的意思是， 当你再次开始与人打交道， 与曾经合作过的人重新接触， 例如跟你一起上学、工作过的人， 他们对你的印象是 离职长假之前的你。 我们的自我意识 随着时间推移逐渐淡化， 我们很多人都会这样， 我们距离我们的职业身份 也就越来越远。 举个例子， 你可能把你自己看成这样。 这就是我，开了一天小面包车， 整个人感觉很疯狂。 这是我在厨房里的样子。 但是从前的那些人， 他们对这些一无所知。 他们只记得你曾经的样子， 当你重新与这些人沟通时， 真是大大的增强了自信心， 而且他们对你有再从业的兴趣 感到非常的开心。
There's one more thing I remember vividly from my own career break. And that was that I hardly kept up with the business news. My background is in finance, and I hardly kept up with any news when I was home caring for my four young children. So I was afraid I'd go into an interview and start talking about a company that didn't exist anymore. So I had to resubscribe to the Wall Street Journal and read it for a good six months cover to cover before I felt like I had a handle on what was going on in the business world again.
我还清晰地记得发生在 我离职长假中的一件事。 那时我几乎完全不关注经济新闻。 我曾是财经行业出身， 然而我在家照顾四个孩子时， 我几乎不关注任何的新闻。 所以我很害怕， 自己去参加面试的时候， 会讲到一个不复存在的公司。 所以我重新订阅了华尔街日报， 然后连续看了六个月， 之后我才觉得自己对经济 又有了点解了。
I believe relaunchers are a gem of the workforce, and here's why. Think about our life stage: for those of us who took career breaks for childcare reasons, we have fewer or no maternity leaves. We did that already. We have fewer spousal or partner job relocations. We're in a more settled time of life. We have great work experience. We have a more mature perspective. We're not trying to find ourselves at an employer's expense. Plus we have an energy, an enthusiasm about returning to work precisely because we've been away from it for a while.
我相信再从业者是 劳动大军中的精英， 原因如下。 想想我们人生的阶段： 对于那些因为要照顾孩子 而休离职假期的人， 大都没有产假，或是产假很短。 我们早就做过这些了。 我们离婚率较低， 也很少因伴侣而调整工作。 我们的生活更稳定。 我们有很棒的工作经历， 更成熟的眼光， 我们不会成为雇主的牺牲品。 此外，我们有一种能量 - 重返岗位的热情， 正是因为我们离职一段时间了。 另外，我也跟雇主讨论，
On the flip side, I speak with employers, and here are two concerns that employers have about hiring relaunchers.
The first one is, employers are worried that relaunchers are technologically obsolete. Now, I can tell you, having been technologically obsolete myself at one point, that it's a temporary condition. I had done my financial analysis so long ago that I used Lotus 1-2-3. I don't know if anyone can even remember back that far, but I had to relearn it on Excel. It actually wasn't that hard. A lot of the commands are the same. I found PowerPoint much more challenging, but now I use PowerPoint all the time. I tell relaunchers that employers expect them to come to the table with a working knowledge of basic office management software. And if they're not up to speed, then it's their responsibility to get there. And they do.
其一，雇主担心这些再从业者 技术方面比较落后。 我可以告诉各位， 虽然有段时间我自己技术确实落后， 但那只是暂时的。 很早以前我用“莲花123”软件 来做财经分析， 我不知道有没有人还记得 那么早以前的事了， 这些技能我得在 Excel上重新拾起。 其实这并并非难事， 很多的操作指令是一样的。 我发现PowerPoint更具挑战性， 但现在我对PowerPoint驾轻就熟。 我告诉再从业者们， 雇主希望找工作的人 对基本的办公管理软件 有实践经验。 如果他们操作速度不够快， 那他们就必须变得更高效。 而他们确实做得到。
The second area of concern that employers have about relaunchers is they're worried that relaunchers don't know what they want to do. I tell relaunchers that they need to do the hard work to figure out whether their interests and skills have changed or have not changed while they have been on career break. That's not the employer's job. It's the relauncher's responsibility to demonstrate to the employer where they can add the most value.
雇主对再从业者的第二种忧虑， 就是他们担心再从业者 不清楚他们想要做什么。 我告诉再从业者， 他们必须仔细研究， 了解自己的爱好或者技能 在离职长假的过程中 是否发生了变化。 这不是雇主的职责。 这个是再从业者的责任， 把自己展现给雇主， 来充分展示自己可创造的价值。
Back in 20xx I started noticing something. I had been tracking return to work programs since 20xx, and in 20xx, I started noticing the use of a short-term paid work opportunity, whether it was called an internship or not, but an internship-like experience, as a way for professionals to return to work. I saw Goldman Sachs and Sara Lee start corporate reentry internship programs. I saw a returning engineer, a nontraditional reentry candidate, apply for an entry-level internship program in the military, and then get a permanent job afterward. I saw two universities integrate internships into mid-career executive education programs.
20xx年，我开始注意到一件事。 我从20xx年开始追踪 人们重返岗位的情况， 然而在20xx年，我开始注意到， 一种短期、带薪的工作机会开始出现， 不论它是不是名叫“实习”， 但总之是一个很像实习的经历， 这为重回岗位的专业人士 开辟了一条道路。 我看到高盛和莎莉集团 都开始了此类 二次从业的实习项目。 我看到一个再从业的工程师， 算是不太传统的再从业人士， 申请了一个 军方的初级实习项目， 后来他获得了一个永久的工作。 我看到两所大学 将实习项目整合到 职业中期管理学教育项目中。
So I wrote a report about what I was seeing, and it became this article for Harvard Business Review called "The 40-Year-Old Intern." I have to thank the editors there for that title, and also for this artwork where you can see the 40-year-old intern in the midst of all the college interns. And then, courtesy of Fox Business News, they called the concept "The 50-Year-Old Intern."
于是，就我所观察到的现象， 我写了一篇报告， 后来它发表在了 《哈佛商业评论》中， 名字叫《40岁的实习生》。 我必须得感谢编者拟的标题， 还有这个很棒的配图， 你们可以看到那个40岁的实习生 出现在一群大学实习生中。 后来，还得感谢福克斯商业新闻， 他们把这个概念称为 “50岁的实习生”。
So five of the biggest financial services companies have reentry internship programs for returning finance professionals. And at this point, hundreds of people have participated. These internships are paid, and the people who move on to permanent roles are commanding competitive salaries. And now, seven of the biggest engineering companies are piloting reentry internship programs for returning engineers as part of an initiative with the Society of Women Engineers. Now, why are companies embracing the reentry internship? Because the internship allows the employer to base their hiring decision on an actual work sample instead of a series of interviews, and the employer does not have to make that permanent hiring decision until the internship period is over. This testing out period removes the perceived risk that some managers attach to hiring relaunchers, and they are attracting excellent candidates who are turning into great hires.
五家最大的金融服务公司 都设立了再从业实习项目， 专为重回岗位的金融精英。 截至目前，数百人参与了这些项目。 这些实习项目是带薪的， 而且那些晋升到永久岗位的人， 都有极具竞争力的薪资。 现在，七家最大的工程公司， 也在推行再从业实习项目， 来帮助重返岗位的工程师， 这也是女性工程师协会 新方案的一部分。 那么，为什么这些企业 大力支持再从业实习呢? 因为这种实习可以让雇主 基于参与者实际工作成效 来做出雇佣决策， 而非一系列的面试， 而且雇主不必在实习结束之前 就做出永久雇佣的决定。 这段试验期消除了一定的风险， 这关乎某些经理人 对雇佣再从业者的担忧， 同时，这也吸引了大量再从业人士， 他们成为了出色的雇佣对象。
Think about how far we have come. Before this, most employers were not interested in engaging with relaunchers at all. But now, not only are programs being developed specifically with relaunchers in mind, but you can't even apply for these programs unless you have a gap on your résumé.
各位,想一想我们取得的进步， 在此之前，大多数雇主 根本没兴趣与再从业者打交道。 然而现在，有许多项目在开展实施， 特别是针对再从业者的项目， 如果简历上没有一段空档期， 你根本不能申请这些项目。
This is the mark of real change, of true institutional shift, because if we can solve this problem for relaunchers, we can solve it for other career transitioners too. In fact, an employer just told me that their veterans return to work program is based on their reentry internship program. And there's no reason why there can't be a retiree internship program. Different pool, same concept.
这标志着一种实质变化， 一种真正的制度变革， 因为如果我们可以 为再从业者解决这个问题， 我们亦可为其他的职业转型者 解决同样的问题。 事实上，一位雇主刚刚告诉我， 他们的“退伍军人再从业项目”， 就是基于他们的再从业实习项目。 我们也没有理由不去设立 一个“退休人士实习项目”。 不同的对象，相同的概念。
So let me tell you what happened with Tracy Shapiro. Remember that she had to tell everyone she knew about her interest in returning to work. Well, one critical conversation with another parent in her community led to a job offer for Tracy, and it was an accounting job in a finance department. But it was a temp job. The company told her there was a possibility it could turn into something more, but no guarantees. This was in the fall of 20xx. Tracy loved this company, and she loved the people and the office was less than 10 minutes from her house. So even though she had a second job offer at another company for a permanent full-time role, she decided to take her chances with this internship and hope for the best. Well, she ended up blowing away all of their expectations, and the company not only made her a permanent offer at the beginning of 20xx, but they made it even more interesting and challenging, because they knew what Tracy could handle.
让我告诉你们特蕾西·莎碧罗 最后发生了什么。 各位回想一下， 她必须告诉她认识的每一个人， 自己对重返工作岗位很有兴趣。 结果，她与自己社区里的长辈 进行了一次关键的谈话， 这让她找到了一份工作邀请。 那是一个金融部门的会计工作。 但那是临时的。 公司告诉她， 有可能有岗位晋升的机会， 但是不能保证。 那是20xx年的秋天。 特蕾西很爱那个公司， 而且她喜欢那里的员工， 从办公室去她家只需10分钟。 所以即使她后来得到了 第二份工作邀请， 来自另一家公司， 而且有永久、全职的保证， 她决定在这份实习项目中冒冒险， 尽人事，听天命。 最后，她的业绩 远远超出了所有人的期望值， 公司不但提供了她永久岗位， 那是在20xx年初， 而且他们还让她的工作 更加有趣、有挑战性， 因为他们知道特蕾西可以办得到。
Fast forward to 20xx, Tracy's been promoted. They've paid for her to get her MBA at night. She's even hired another relauncher to work for her. Tracy's temp job was a tryout, just like an internship, and it ended up being a win for both Tracy and her employer.
时间快进到20xx年， 特蕾西获得了晋升。 公司为她的夜校工商管理课程买单。 她甚至雇佣了 另一位再从业者为她工作。 特蕾西的临时工作像是一个试验， 就像实习项目， 而最终，特蕾西和她的雇主 达到了双赢局面。
Now, my goal is to bring the reentry internship concept to more and more employers. But in the meantime, if you are returning to work after a career break, don't hesitate to suggest an internship or an internship-like arrangement to an employer that does not have a formal reentry internship program. Be their first success story, and you can be the example for more relaunchers to come.
我的目标是将这种 再从业实习的概念 推荐给越来越多的雇主。 但是与此同时， 如果你在离职长假后重返岗位， 别犹豫向雇主提议设立实习项目， 或者类似实习项目的想法， 特别是那些没有 正式的再从业实习项目的公司。 争当他们的第一个成功故事， 而你们都可以成为 未来更多再从业者的楷模。
I'd like to share with you a discovery that I made a few months ago while writing an article for Italian Wired. I always keep my thesaurus handy whenever I'm writing anything, but I'd already finished editing the piece, and I realized that I had never once in my life looked up the word "disabled" to see what I'd find.
Let me read you the entry. "Disabled, adjective: crippled, helpless, useless, wrecked, stalled, maimed, wounded, mangled, lame, mutilated, run-down, worn-out, weakened, impotent, castrated, paralyzed, handicapped, senile, decrepit, laid-up, done-up, done-for, done-in cracked-up, counted-out; see also hurt, useless and weak. Antonyms, healthy, strong, capable." I was reading this list out loud to a friend and at first was laughing, it was so ludicrous, but I'd just gotten past "mangled," and my voice broke, and I had to stop and collect myself from the emotional shock and impact that the assault from these words unleashed.
You know, of course, this is my raggedy old thesaurus so I'm thinking this must be an ancient print date, right? But, in fact, the print date was the early 1980s, when I would have been starting primary school and forming an understanding of myself outside the family unit and as related to the other kids and the world around me. And, needless to say, thank God I wasn't using a thesaurus back then. I mean, from this entry, it would seem that I was born into a world that perceived someone like me to have nothing positive whatsoever going for them, when in fact, today I'm celebrated for the opportunities and adventures my life has procured.
So, I immediately went to look up the 20__ online edition, expecting to find a revision worth noting. Here's the updated version of this entry. Unfortunately, it's not much better. I find the last two words under "Near Antonyms," particularly unsettling: "whole" and "wholesome."
So, it's not just about the words. It's what we believe about people when we name them with these words. It's about the values behind the words, and how we construct those values. Our language affects our thinking and how we view the world and how we view other people. In fact, many ancient societies, including the Greeks and the Romans, believed that to utter a curse verbally was so powerful, because to say the thing out loud brought it into existence. So, what reality do we want to call into existence: a person who is limited, or a person who's empowered? By casually doing something as simple as naming a person, a child, we might be putting lids and casting shadows on their power. Wouldn't we want to open doors for them instead?
One such person who opened doors for me was my childhood doctor at the A.I. duPont Institute in Wilmington, Delaware. His name was Dr. Pizzutillo, an Italian American, whose name, apparently, was too difficult for most Americans to pronounce, so he went by Dr. P. And Dr. P always wore really colorful bow ties and had the very perfect disposition to work with children.
I loved almost everything about my time spent at this hospital, with the exception of my physical therapy sessions. I had to do what seemed like innumerable repetitions of exercises with these thick, elastic bands -- different colors, you know -- to help build up my leg muscles, and I hated these bands more than anything -- I hated them, had names for them. I hated them. And, you know, I was already bargaining, as a five year-old child, with Dr. P to try to get out of doing these exercises, unsuccessfully, of course. And, one day, he came in to my session -- exhaustive and unforgiving, these sessions -- and he said to me, "Wow. Aimee, you are such a strong and powerful little girl, I think you're going to break one of those bands. When you do break it, I'm going to give you a hundred bucks."
Now, of course, this was a simple ploy on Dr. P's part to get me to do the exercises I didn't want to do before the prospect of being the richest five-year-old in the second floor ward, but what he effectively did for me was reshape an awful daily occurrence into a new and promising experience for me. And I have to wonder today to what extent his vision and his declaration of me as a strong and powerful little girl shaped my own view of myself as an inherently strong, powerful and athletic person well into the future.
This is an example of how adults in positions of power can ignite the power of a child. But, in the previous instances of those thesaurus entries, our language isn't allowing us to evolve into the reality that we would all want, the possibility of an individual to see themselves as capable. Our language hasn't caught up with the changes in our society, many of which have been brought about by technology. Certainly, from a medical standpoint, my legs, laser surgery for vision impairment, titanium knees and hip replacements for aging bodies that are allowing people to more fully engage with their abilities, and move beyond the limits that nature has imposed on them -- not to mention social networking platforms allow people to self-identify, to claim their own descriptions of themselves, so they can go align with global groups of their own choosing. So, perhaps technology is revealing more clearly to us now what has always been a truth: that everyone has something rare and powerful to offer our society, and that the human ability to adapt is our greatest asset.
When Dorothy was a little girl, she wasfascinated by her goldfish. Her father explained to her that fish swim byquickly wagging their tails to propel themselves through the water. Withouthesitation, little Dorothy responded, "Yes, Daddy, and fish swim backwardsby wagging their heads."
In her mind, it was a fact as true as anyother. Fish swim backwards by wagging their heads. She believed it.
Our lives are full of fish swimmingbackwards. We make assumptions and faulty leaps of logic. We harbor bias. Weknow that we are right, and they are wrong. We fear the worst. We strive forunattainable perfection. We tell ourselves what we can and cannot do. In ourminds, fish swim by in reverse frantically wagging their heads and we don'teven notice them.
I'm going to tell you five facts aboutmyself. One fact is not true. One: I graduated from Harvard at 19 with anhonors degree in mathematics. Two: I currently run a construction company inOrlando. Three: I starred on a television sitcom. Four: I lost my sight to arare genetic eye disease. Five: I served as a law clerk to two US Supreme Courtjustices. Which fact is not true? Actually, they're all true. Yeah. They're alltrue.
At this point, most people really only careabout the television show.
I know this from experience. OK, so theshow was NBC's "Saved by the Bell: The New Class." And I playedWeasel Wyzell, who was the sort of dorky, nerdy character on the show, whichmade it a very major acting challenge for me as a 13-year-old boy.
Now, did you struggle with number four, myblindness? Why is that? We make assumptions about so-called disabilities. As ablind man, I confront others' incorrect assumptions about my abilities everyday. My point today is not about my blindness, however. It's about my vision.Going blind taught me to live my life eyes wide open. It taught me to spotthose backwards-swimming fish that our minds create. Going blind cast them intofocus.
What does it feel like to see? It'simmediate and passive. You open your eyes and there's the world. Seeing isbelieving. Sight is truth. Right? Well, that's what I thought.
Then, from age 12 to 25, my retinasprogressively deteriorated. My sight became an increasingly bizarre carnivalfunhouse hall of mirrors and illusions. The salesperson I was relieved to spotin a store was really a mannequin. Reaching down to wash my hands, I suddenlysaw it was a urinal I was touching, not a sink, when my fingers felt its trueshape.
A friend described the photograph in my hand, and only then I could seethe image depicted. Objects appeared, morphed and disappeared in my reality. Itwas difficult and exhausting to see. I pieced together fragmented, transitoryimages, consciously analyzed the clues, searched for some logic in my crumblingkaleidoscope, until I saw nothing at all.
I learned that what we see is not universaltruth. It is not objective reality. What we see is a unique, personal, virtualreality that is masterfully constructed by our brain.
Let me explain with a bit of amateurneuroscience. Your visual cortex takes up about 30 percent of your brain.That's compared to approximately eight percent for touch and two to threepercent for hearing. Every second, your eyes can send your visual cortex as manyas two billion pieces of information. The rest of your body can send your brainonly an additional billion. So sight is one third of your brain by volume andcan claim about two thirds of your brain's processing resources. It's nosurprise then that the illusion of sight is so compelling. But make no mistakeabout it: sight is an illusion.
Here's where it gets interesting. To createthe experience of sight, your brain references your conceptual understanding ofthe world, other knowledge, your memories, opinions, emotions, mentalattention. All of these things and far more are linked in your brain to yoursight. These linkages work both ways, and usually occur subconsciously. So for example, what you see impacts how you feel, and the way you feel can literally change what you see.
Numerous studies demonstrate this. If you are asked toestimate the walking speed of a man in a video, for example, your answer willbe different if you're told to think about cheetahs or turtles. A hill appearssteeper if you've just exercised, and a landmark appears farther away if you'rewearing a heavy backpack. We have arrived at a fundamental contradiction.
What you see is a complex mental construction of your own making, but you experienceit passively as a direct representation of the world around you. You createyour own reality, and you believe it. I believed mine until it broke apart. Thedeterioration of my eyes shattered the illusion.
You see, sight is just one way we shape ourreality. We create our own realities in many other ways. Let's take fear asjust one example. Your fears distort your reality. Under the warped logic offear, anything is better than the uncertain. Fear fills the void at all costs,passing off what you dread for what you know, offering up the worst in place ofthe ambiguous, substituting assumption for reason. Psychologists have a greatterm for it: awfulizing.
Right? Fear replaces the unknown with theawful. Now, fear is self-realizing. When you face the greatest need to lookoutside yourself and think critically, fear beats a retreat deep inside yourmind, shrinking and distorting your view, drowning your capacity for criticalthought with a flood of disruptive emotions. When you face a compellingopportunity to take action, fear lulls you into inaction, enticing you topassively watch its prophecies fulfill themselves.
When I was diagnosed with my blindingdisease, I knew blindness would ruin my life. Blindness was a death sentencefor my independence. It was the end of achievement for me. Blindness meant Iwould live an unremarkable life, small and sad, and likely alone. I knew it.This was a fiction born of my fears, but I believed it. It was a lie, but itwas my reality, just like those backwards-swimming fish in little Dorothy'smind. If I had not confronted the reality of my fear, I would have lived it. Iam certain of that.
So how do you live your life eyes wideopen? It is a learned discipline. It can be taught. It can be practiced. I willsummarize very briefly.
Hold yourself accountable for every moment,every thought, every detail. See beyond your fears. Recognize your assumptions.Harness your internal strength. Silence your internal critic. Correct yourmisconceptions about luck and about success. Accept your strengths and yourweaknesses, and understand the difference. Open your hearts to your bountifulblessings.
Your fears, your critics, your heroes, yourvillains -- they are your excuses, rationalizations, shortcuts, justifications,your surrender. They are fictions you perceive as reality. Choose to seethrough them. Choose to let them go. You are the creator of your reality. Withthat empowerment comes complete responsibility.
I chose to step out of fear's tunnel intoterrain uncharted and undefined. I chose to build there a blessed life. Farfrom alone, I share my beautiful life with Dorothy, my beautiful wife, with ourtriplets, whom we call the Tripskys, and with the latest addition to thefamily, sweet baby Clementine.
What do you fear? What lies do you tellyourself? How do you embellish your truth and write your own fictions? Whatreality are you creating for yourself?
In your career and personal life, in yourrelationships, and in your heart and soul, your backwards-swimming fish do yougreat harm. They exact a toll in missed opportunities and unrealized potential,and they engender insecurity and distrust where you seek fulfillment andconnection. I urge you to search them out.
Helen Keller said that the only thing worsethan being blind is having sight but no vision. For me, going blind was aprofound blessing, because blindness gave me vision. I hope you can see what Isee.
Bruno Giussani: Isaac, before you leave thestage, just a question. This is an audience of entrepreneurs, of doers, ofinnovators. You are a CEO of a company down in Florida, and many are probablywondering, how is it to be a blind CEO? What kind of specific challenges do youhave, and how do you overcome them?
Isaac Lidsky: Well, the biggest challengebecame a blessing. I don't get visual feedback from people.
BG: What's that noise there? IL: Yeah. So,for example, in my leadership team meetings, I don't see facial expressions orgestures. I've learned to solicit a lot more verbal feedback. I basically forcepeople to tell me what they think. And in this respect, it's become, like Isaid, a real blessing for me personally and for my company, because wecommunicate at a far deeper level, we avoid ambiguities, and most important, myteam knows that what they think truly matters.
BG: Isaac, thank you for coming to TED. IL:Thank you, Bruno.
I want you to， for a moment， think about playing a game of Monopoly， except in this game， that combination of skill， talent and luck that help earn you success in games， as in life， has been rendered irrelevant， because this game's been rigged， and you've got the upper hand。 You've got more money， more opportunities to move around the board， and more access to resources。 And as you think about that experience， I want you to ask yourself， how might that experience of being a privileged player in a rigged game change the way that you think about yourself and regard that other player？
So we ran a study on the U。C。 Berkeley campus to look at exactly that question。 We brought in more than 100 pairs of strangers into the lab， and with the flip of a coin randomly assigned one of the two to be a rich player in a rigged game。 They got two times as much money。 When they passed Go， they collected twice the salary， and they got to roll both dice instead of one， so they got to move around the board a lot more。 （Laughter） And over the course of 15 minutes， we watched through hidden cameras what happened。 And what I want to do today， for the first time， is show you a little bit of what we saw。 You're going to have to pardon the sound quality， in some cases， because again， these were hidden cameras。 So we've provided subtitles。 Rich Player： How many 500s did you have？ Poor Player： Just one。
Rich Player： Are you serious。 Poor Player： Yeah。
Rich Player： I have three。 （Laughs） I don't know why they gave me so much。
Paul Piff： Okay， so it was quickly apparent to players that something was up。 One person clearly has a lot more money than the other person， and yet， as the game unfolded， we saw very notable differences and dramatic differences begin to emerge between the two players。 The rich player started to move around the board louder， literally smacking the board with their piece as he went around。 We were more likely to see signs of dominance and nonverbal signs， displays of power and celebration among the rich players。
We had a bowl of pretzels positioned off to the side。 It's on the bottom right corner there。 That allowed us to watch participants' consummatory behavior。 So we're just tracking how many pretzels participants eat。
Rich Player： Are those pretzels a trick？
Poor Player： I don't know。
PP： Okay， so no surprises， people are onto us。 They wonder what that bowl of pretzels is doing there in the first place。 One even asks， like you just saw， is that bowl of pretzels there as a trick？ And yet， despite that， the power of the situation seems to inevitably dominate， and those rich players start to eat more pretzels。
Rich Player： I love pretzels。
PP： And as the game went on， one of the really interesting and dramatic patterns that we observed begin to emerge was that the rich players actually started to become ruder toward the other person， less and less sensitive to the plight of those poor， poor players， and more and more demonstrative of their material success， more likely to showcase how well they're doing。 Rich Player： I have money for everything。 Poor Player： How much is that？ Rich Player： You owe me 24 dollars。 You're going to lose all your money soon。 I'll buy it。 I have so much money。 I have so much money， it takes me forever。 Rich Player 2： I'm going to buy out this whole board。 Rich Player 3： You're going to run out of money soon。 I'm pretty much untouchable at this point。
PP： Okay， and here's what I think was really， really interesting， is that at the end of the 15 minutes， we asked the players to talk about their experience during the game。 And when the rich players talked about why they had inevitably won in this rigged game of Monopoly —— （Laughter） — they talked about what they'd done to buy those different properties and earn their success in the game， and they became far less attuned to all those different features of the situation， including that flip of a coin that had randomly gotten them into that privileged position in the first place。 And that's a really， really incredible insight into how the mind makes sense of advantage。
Now this game of Monopoly can be used as a metaphor for understanding society and its hierarchical structure， wherein some people have a lot of wealth and a lot of status， and a lot of people don't。 They have a lot less wealth and a lot less status and a lot less access to valued resources。 And what my colleagues and I for the last seven years have been doing is studying the effects of these kinds of hierarchies。 What we've been finding across dozens of studies and thousands of participants across this country is that as a person's levels of wealth increase， their feelings of compassion and empathy go down， and their feelings of entitlement， of deservingness， and their ideology of self—interest increases。 In surveys， we found that it's actually wealthier individuals who are more likely to moralize greed being good， and that the pursuit of self—interest is favorable and moral。 Now what I want to do today is talk about some of the implications of this ideology self—interest， talk about why we should care about those implications， and end with what might be done。
Over the next five minutes, my intention is to transform your relationship with sound. Let me start with the observation that most of the sound around us is accidental, and much of it is unpleasant. (Traffic noise) We stand on street corners, shouting over noise like this, and pretending that it doesn't exist. Well, this habit of suppressing sound has meant that our relationship with sound has become largely unconscious.
There are four major ways sound is affecting you all the time, and I'd like to raise them in your consciousness today. First is physiological. (Loud alarm clocks) Sorry about that. I've just given you a shot of cortisol, your fight/flight hormone. Sounds are affecting your hormone secretions all the time, but also your breathing, your heart rate -- which I just also did -- and your brainwaves.
It's not just unpleasant sounds like that that do it. This is surf. (Ocean waves) It has the frequency of roughly 12 cycles per minute. Most people find that very soothing, and, interestingly, 12 cycles per minute is roughly the frequency of the breathing of a sleeping human. There is a deep resonance with being at rest. We also associate it with being stress-free and on holiday.
The second way in which sound affects you is psychological. Music is the most powerful form of sound that we know that affects our emotional state. (Albinoni's Adagio) This is guaranteed to make most of you feel pretty sad if I leave it on. Music is not the only kind of sound, however, which affects your emotions.
Natural sound can do that too. Birdsong, for example, is a sound which most people find reassuring. (Birds chirping) There is a reason for that. Over hundreds of thousands of years we've learned that when the birds are singing, things are safe. It's when they stop you need to be worried.
The third way in which sound affects you is cognitively. You can't understand two people talking at once ("If you're listening to this version of") ("me you're on the wrong track.") or in this case one person talking twice. Try and listen to the other one. ("You have to choose which me you're going to listen to.")
We have a very small amount of bandwidth for processing auditory input, which is why noise like this -- (Office noise) -- is extremely damaging for productivity. If you have to work in an open-plan office like this, your productivity is greatly reduced. And whatever number you're thinking of, it probably isn't as bad as this. (Ominous music) You are one third as productive in open-plan offices as in quiet rooms. And I have a tip for you. If you have to work in spaces like that, carry headphones with you, with a soothing sound like birdsong. Put them on and your productivity goes back up to triple what it would be.
The fourth way in which sound affects us is behaviorally. With all that other stuff going on, it would be amazing if our behavior didn't change. (Techno music inside a car) So, ask yourself: Is this person ever going to drive at a steady 28 miles per hour? I don't think so. At the simplest, you move away from unpleasant sound and towards pleasant sounds. So if I were to play this -- (Jackhammer) -- for more than a few seconds, you'd feel uncomfortable; for more than a few minutes, you'd be leaving the room in droves. For people who can't get away from noise like that, it's extremely damaging for their health.
And that's not the only thing that bad sound damages. Most retail sound is inappropriate and accidental, and even hostile, and it has a dramatic effect on sales. For those of you who are retailers, you may want to look away before I show this slide. They are losing up to 30 percent of their business with people leaving shops faster, or just turning around on the door. We all have done it, leaving the area because the sound in there is so dreadful.
I want to spend just a moment talking about the model that we've developed, which allows us to start at the top and look at the drivers of sound, analyze the soundscape and then predict the four outcomes I've just talked about. Or start at the bottom, and say what outcomes do we want, and then design a soundscape to have a desired effect. At last we've got some science we can apply. And we're in the business of designing soundscapes.
Just a word on music. Music is the most powerful sound there is, often inappropriately deployed. It's powerful for two reasons. You recognize it fast, and you associate it very powerfully. I'll give you two examples. (First chord of The Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night") Most of you recognize that immediately. The younger, maybe not. (Laughter) (First two notes of "Jaws" theme) And most of you associate that with something! Now, those are one-second samples of music. Music is very powerful. And unfortunately it's veneering commercial spaces, often inappropriately. I hope that's going to change over the next few years.
I'm a lifelong traveler. Even as a little kid, I was actually working out that it would be cheaper to go to boarding school in England than just to the best school down the road from my parents' house in California.
我这辈子都是个旅行者。 即使还是一个小孩子的时候， 我便了解，事实上， 去读英国寄宿学校会比 去加州父母家附近 最好的学校就读还来得便宜。
So, from the time I was nine years old I was flying alone several times a year over the North Pole, just to go to school. And of course the more I flew the more I came to love to fly, so the very week after I graduated from high school, I got a job mopping tables so that I could spend every season of my 18th year on a different continent.
所以，当我 9 岁时， 我在一年中，会独自飞行几回， 穿越北极，就只是去上学。 当然，飞得越频繁， 我越是爱上旅行， 所以就在我高中毕业后一周， 我找到一份清理桌子的工作， 为了让自己可以在 18 岁那年， 在地球不同的大陆上， 分别待上一季。
And then, almost inevitably, I became a travel writer so my job and my joy could become one.
接着，几乎不可避免地 我成了一个旅游作家， 使我的工作和志趣 可以结合在一块儿。
And I really began to feel that if you were lucky enough to walk around the candlelit temples of Tibet or to wander along the seafronts in Havana with music passing all around you, you could bring those sounds and the high cobalt skies and the flash of the blue ocean back to your friends at home, and really bring some magic and clarity to your own life.
我真的开始发觉 如果你可以幸运地 漫步于西藏的烛光寺庙， 或者在音乐的缭绕间 悠然信步于哈瓦那海岸， 你便能将那声音、天际 与靛蓝海洋的闪烁光芒 带给你家乡的朋友， 真确地捎来些许神奇， 点亮自身生命。
Except, as you all know, one of the first things you learn when you travel is that nowhere is magical unless you can bring the right eyes to it.
除了，如你们所知， 当旅行时，你学到的第一件事情是 你必须以正确的视角看世界， 否则大地依然黯淡无光。
You take an angry man to the Himalayas, he just starts complaining about the food. And I found that the best way that I could develop more attentive and more appreciative eyes was, oddly, by going nowhere, just by sitting still.
你带一个易怒的男人爬喜马拉雅山， 他只会抱怨那儿的食物。 我发现，有点怪异的是， 最好的让自己可以培养 更专注和更珍惜世界的视角的诀窍是 哪儿都不去，静止于原处即可。
And of course sitting still is how many of us get what we most crave and need in our accelerated lives, a break. But it was also the only way that I could find to sift through the slideshow of my experience and make sense of the future and the past.
当然呆在原地正是我们许多人 寻常所得到的东西， 我们都渴望在快速的生活中获得休息。 但那却是我唯一的方法， 让自己可以重历自身的经验幻灯， 理解未来与过去。
And so, to my great surprise, I found that going nowhere was at least as exciting as going to Tibet or to Cuba.
如此，我惊异地发现， 我发现无所去处 和游览西藏或古巴一样，令人兴奋。
And by going nowhere, I mean nothing more intimidating than taking a few minutes out of every day or a few days out of every season, or even, as some people do, a few years out of a life in order to sit still long enough to find out what moves you most, to recall where your truest happiness lies and to remember that sometimes making a living and making a life point in opposite directions.
无所去处，只不过意谓着 每天花几分钟， 或每季花几天， 甚至，如同有些人所做的， 在生命中花上几年 长久地静思于某处， 寻找感动你最多的一瞬， 回忆你最真实的幸福时刻， 同时记住， 有时候，谋生与生活 彼此是处于光谱线上的两端的。
And of course, this is what wise beings through the centuries from every tradition have been telling us.
It's an old idea. More than 2,000 years ago, the Stoics were reminding us it's not our experience that makes our lives, it's what we do with it.
这是一个古老的概念。 早在两千多年前， 斯多葛学派提醒我们 并不是我们的经验 成就了我们的生命， 而是我们用那经验做了什么。
Imagine a hurricane suddenly sweeps through your town and reduces every last thing to rubble. One man is traumatized for life.
想象一下，一阵飓风 迅速扑向你的城市， 将所有一切化为废墟。 某个人身心遭受终身顿挫
But another, maybe even his brother, almost feels liberated, and decides this is a great chance to start his life anew. It's exactly the same event, but radically different responses. There is nothing either good or bad, as Shakespeare told us in "Hamlet," but thinking makes it so.
但另一个人，也许甚至是他的兄弟， 却几乎感觉释怀， 并认定，这是一个可以 使自己重获新生的重要机会。 这是同样的事件， 截然不同的回应。 没有什么是绝对的好坏， 正如莎士比亚 在《哈姆雷特》中所告诉我们的， 好坏由思维决定。
And this has certainly been my experience as a traveler. Twenty-four years ago I took the most mind-bending trip across North Korea. But the trip lasted a few days.
When I was nine years old I went off to summer camp for the first time. And my mother packed me a suitcase full of books, which to me seemed like a perfectly natural thing to do. Because in my family, reading was the primary group activity. And this might sound antisocial to you, but for us it was really just a different way of being social. You have the animal warmth of your family sitting right next to you, but you are also free to go roaming around the adventureland inside your own mind. And I had this idea that camp was going to be just like this, but better. (Laughter) I had a vision of 10 girls sitting in a cabin cozily reading books in their matching nightgowns.
当我九岁的时候 我第一次去参加夏令营 我妈妈帮我整理好了我的行李箱 里面塞满了书 这对于我来说是一件极为自然的事情 因为在我的家庭里 阅读是主要的家庭活动 听上去你们可能觉得我们是不爱交际的 但是对于我的家庭来说这真的只是接触社会的另一种途径 你们有自己家庭接触时的温暖亲情 家人静坐在你身边 但是你也可以自由地漫游 在你思维深处的冒险乐园里我有一个想法 野营会变得像这样子，当然要更好些 (笑声) 我想象到十个女孩坐在一个小屋里 都穿着合身的女式睡衣惬意地享受着读书的过程
Camp was more like a keg party without any alcohol. And on the very first day our counselor gathered us all together and she taught us a cheer that she said we would be doing every day for the rest of the summer to instill camp spirit. And it went like this: "R-O-W-D-I-E, that's the way we spell rowdie. Rowdie, rowdie, let's get rowdie." Yeah. So I couldn't figure out for the life of me why we were supposed to be so rowdy, or why we had to spell this word incorrectly. (Laughter) But I recited a cheer. I recited a cheer along with everybody else. I did my best. And I just waited for the time that I could go off and read my books.
野营这时更像是一个不提供酒水的派对聚会 在第一天的时候呢 我们的顾问把我们都集合在一起 并且她教会了我们一种今后要用到的庆祝方式 在余下夏令营的每一天中 让“露营精神”浸润我们 之后它就像这样继续着 R-O-W-D-I-E 这是我们拼写“吵闹"的口号 我们唱着“噪音，喧闹，我们要变得吵一点” 对，就是这样 可我就是弄不明白我的生活会是什么样的 为什么我们变得这么吵闹粗暴 或者为什么我们非要把这个单词错误地拼写 (笑声) 但是我可没有忘记庆祝。我与每个人都互相欢呼庆祝了 我尽了我最大的努力 我只是想等待那一刻 我可以离开吵闹的聚会去捧起我挚爱的书
But the first time that I took my book out of my suitcase, the coolest girl in the bunk came up to me and she asked me, "Why are you being so mellow?" -- mellow, of course, being the exact opposite of R-O-W-D-I-E. And then the second time I tried it, the counselor came up to me with a concerned expression on her face and she repeated the point about camp spirit and said we should all work very hard to be outgoing.
但是当我第一次把书从行李箱中拿出来的时候 床铺中最酷的那个女孩向我走了过来 并且她问我：“为什么你要这么安静?” 安静，当然，是R-O-W-D-I-E的反义词 “喧闹”的反义词 而当我第二次拿书的时候 我们的顾问满脸忧虑的向我走了过来 接着她重复了关于“露营精神”的要点并且说我们都应当努力 去变得外向些
And so I put my books away, back in their suitcase, and I put them under my bed, and there they stayed for the rest of the summer. And I felt kind of guilty about this. I felt as if the books needed me somehow, and they were calling out to me and I was forsaking them.But I did forsake them and I didn't open that suitcase again until I was back home with my family at the end of the summer.
于是我放好我的书 放回了属于它们的行李箱中 并且我把它们放到了床底下 在那里它们度过了暑假余下的每一天 我对这样做感到很愧疚 不知为什么我感觉这些书是需要我的 它们在呼唤我，但是我却放弃了它们 我确实放下了它们，并且我再也没有打开那个箱子 直到我和我的家人一起回到家中 在夏末的时候
Now, I tell you this story about summer camp. I could have told you 50 others just like it --all the times that I got the message that somehow my quiet and introverted style of beingwas not necessarily the right way to go, that I should be trying to pass as more of an extrovert. And I always sensed deep down that this was wrong and that introverts were pretty excellent just as they were. But for years I denied this intuition, and so I became a Wall Street lawyer, of all things, instead of the writer that I had always longed to be -- partly because I needed to prove to myself that I could be bold and assertive too. And I was always going off to crowded bars when I really would have preferred to just have a nice dinner with friends. And I made these self-negating choices so reflexively, that I wasn't even aware that I was making them.
现在，我向你们讲述这个夏令营的故事 我完全可以给你们讲出其他50种版本就像这个一样的故事-- 每当我感觉到这样的时候 它告诉我出于某种原因，我的宁静和内向的风格 并不是正确道路上的必需品 我应该更多地尝试一个外向者的角色 而在我内心深处感觉得到，这是错误的内向的人们都是非常优秀的，确实是这样 但是许多年来我都否认了这种直觉 于是我首先成为了华尔街的一名律师 而不是我长久以来想要成为的一名作家 一部分原因是因为我想要证明自己 也可以变得勇敢而坚定 并且我总是去那些拥挤的酒吧 当我只是想要和朋友们吃一顿愉快的晚餐时 我做出了这些自我否认的抉择 如条件反射一般 甚至我都不清楚我做出了这些决定
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See, us kids are going to ansatically be happy and healthy.
es doe from Dr. Roger e of those parents like mine counted it as one of the reasons they felt confident to pull their kids from traditional school to try something different. I realized Im part of this small, but groputer hacker, he hacked skiing. His creativity and inventions made skiing munity, and through a net around the nation, and that sparked my love of e basic physics concepts like kinetic energy through experimenting and making mistakes.
My favorite munity organizations play a big part in my education, High Fives Foundations Basics program being aizing hats and selling them. The people cliff-to-cliff. Skiing to me is freedom, and so is my education, its about being creative; doing things differently, its about community and helping each other. Its about being happy and healthy among my very best friends.
So Im starting to think, I know what I might want to do when I grow up, but if you ask me what do I want to be when I grow up? Ill always know that I want to be happy. Thank you.
I want to start by doing an experiment. I'mgoing to play three videos of a rainy day. But I've replaced the audio of oneof the videos, and instead of the sound of rain, I've added the sound of baconfrying. So I want you think carefully which one the clip with the bacon is.
Raise your hand if you've ever been asked the question "What do you want to be when you grow up?"
Now if you had to guess, how old would you say you were when you were first asked this question? You can just hold up fingers. Three. Five. Three. Five. Five. OK. Now, raise your hand if the question "What do you want to be when you grow up?" has ever caused you any anxiety.
Any anxiety at all.
I'm someone who's never been able to answer the question "What do you want to be when you grow up?"
See, the problem wasn't that I didn't have any interests -- it's that I had too many. In high school, I liked English and math and art and I built websites and I played guitar in a punk band called Frustrated Telephone Operator. Maybe you've heard of us.
This continued after high school, and at a certain point, I began to notice this pattern in myself where I would become interested in an area and I would dive in, become all-consumed, and I'd get to be pretty good at whatever it was, and then I would hit this point where I'd start to get bored. And usually I would try and persist anyway, because I had already devoted so much time and energy and sometimes money into this field. But eventually this sense of boredom, this feeling of, like, yeah, I got this, this isn't challenging anymore -- it would get to be too much. And I would have to let it go.
But then I would become interested in something else, something totally unrelated, and I would dive into that, and become all-consumed, and I'd be like, "Yes! I found my thing," and then I would hit this point again where I'd start to get bored. And eventually, I would let it go. But then I would discover something new and totally different, and I would dive into that.
但之后我可能又会对另一些事感兴趣，跟之前完全不同的领域，我又会一头扎进去，认真钻研，然后说，“太棒了!这就是我的菜!”之后我又会达到那个阶段，开始觉得无聊。最后，我又会放弃。 之后我又会发现新的兴趣，不同的领域 然后一头扎进去。
This pattern caused me a lot of anxiety, for two reasons. The first was that I wasn't sure how I was going to turn any of this into a career. I thought that I would eventually have to pick one thing, deny all of my other passions, and just resign myself to being bored. The other reason it caused me so much anxiety was a little bit more personal. I worried that there was something wrong with this, and something wrong with me for being unable to stick with anything. I worried that I was afraid of commitment, or that I was scattered, or that I was self-sabotaging, afraid of my own success.
这种模式让我非常焦虑，原因有两点。 一是我不确定 如何才能将这些兴趣变成我的职业。 我觉得自己最终会从 (这些兴趣)里面挑一个，而对其他爱好忍痛割爱， 做好将来一定会无聊的心理准备。 让我非常焦虑的第二个原因， 跟我自身有关。 我担心自己的这种行为模式是错的， 自己这么朝三暮四，是不是错了。我是不是害怕做出承诺， 或者自由散漫，破罐子破摔， 惧怕成功。
If you can relate to my story and to these feelings, I'd like you to ask yourself a question that I wish I had asked myself back then. Ask yourself where you learned to assign the meaning of wrong or abnormal to doing many things. I'll tell you where you learned it: you learned it from the culture.
如果你能理解我的故事和我的感受，请你们问自己一个问题，这个问题我早就该问自己的。就是，你是从哪里学到该如何判断我们的所作所为是错误的或者不正常的。 我来告诉你答案： 是从我们的文化中学到的。
We are first asked the question "What do you want to be when you grow up?" when we're about five years old. And the truth is that no one really cares what you say when you're that age.
It's considered an innocuous question, posed to little kids to elicit cute replies, like, "I want to be an astronaut," or "I want to be a ballerina," or "I want to be a pirate." Insert Halloween costume here.
But this question gets asked of us again and again as we get older in various forms -- for instance, high school students might get asked what major they're going to pick in college. And at some point, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" goes from being the cute exercise it once was to the thing that keeps us up at night. Why?
然而这个问题，在我们成长的过程中会不断被问到形式多种多样，比如，高中生会被问到，你们在大学准备选什么专业。突然有一天， “你长大之后想干什么?” 从原本一种秀可爱的方式 变成了让我们寝食难安的难题。为什么会这样?
See, while this question inspires kids to dream about what they could be, it does not inspire them to dream about all that they could be. In fact, it does just the opposite, because when someone asks you what you want to be, you can't reply with 20 different things, though well-meaning adults will likely chuckle and be like, "Oh, how cute, but you can't be a violin maker and a psychologist. You have to choose."
This is Dr. Bob Childs -- and he's a luthier and psychotherapist. And this is Amy Ng, a magazine editor turned illustrator, entrepreneur, teacher and creative director. But most kids don't hear about people like this. All they hear is that they're going to have to choose. But it's more than that. The notion of the narrowly focused life is highly romanticized in our culture. It's this idea of destiny or the one true calling, the idea that we each have one great thing we are meant to do during our time on this earth, and you need to figure out what that thing isand devote your life to it.
这位是鲍勃·柴尔兹博士，他是一名弦乐器工匠和心理医生。这位是艾米·恩，之前是杂志编辑，后来成为插画作家，企业家教师和创意总监。但大部分孩子都没听说过他们。他们听到的只是要他们进行选择和取舍。 事情远不止这么简单。 一生都心无旁骛的这一观念， 在我们的文化中被过分浪漫化了。 这种命运论或者说 “命中注定的职业”的概念， 意思是我们每个人都有一份 命中注定的伟大事业，我们需要找到它， 并为之奋斗一生。
But what if you're someone who isn't wired this way? What if there are a lot of different subjects that you're curious about, and many different things you want to do? Well, there is no room for someone like you in this framework. And so you might feel alone. You might feel like you don't have a purpose. And you might feel like there's something wrong with you. There's nothing wrong with you. What you are is a multipotentialite.
A multipotentialite is someone with many interests and creative pursuits. It's a mouthful to say. It might help if you break it up into three parts: multi, potential, and ite. You can also use one of the other terms that connote the same idea, such as polymath, the Renaissance person. Actually, during the Renaissance period, it was considered the ideal to be well-versed in multiple disciplines. Barbara Sher refers to us as "scanners." Use whichever term you like, or invent your own. I have to say I find it sort of fitting that as a community, we cannot agree on a single identity.
It's easy to see your multipotentiality as a limitation or an affliction that you need to overcome. But what I've learned through speaking with people and writing about these ideas on my website, is that there are some tremendous strengths to being this way. Here are three multipotentialite super powers.
One: idea synthesis. That is, combining two or more fields and creating something new at the intersection.Sha Hwang and Rachel Binx drew from their shared interests in cartography, data visualization, travel, mathematics and design, when they founded Meshu. Meshu is a company that creates custom geographically-inspired jewelry. Sha and Rachel came up with this unique idea not despite, but because of their eclectic mix of skills and experiences. Innovation happens at the intersections. That's where the new ideas come from. And multipotentialites, with all of their backgrounds, are able to access a lot of these points of intersection.
The second multipotentialite superpower is rapid learning. When multipotentialites become interested in something, we go hard. We observe everything we can get our hands on. We're also used to being beginners, because we've been beginners so many times in the past, and this means that we're less afraid of trying new things and stepping out of our comfort zones. What's more, many skills are transferable across disciplines, and we bring everything we've learned to every new area we pursue, so we're rarely starting from scratch.
多重潜力者的第二种超能力是快速学习。当多重潜力者对某件事产生兴趣时， 我们会全身心投入。 我们仔细观察，勤于实践。 我们已经习惯于当初学者，因为我们过去曾当过无数次初学者， 我们不怕尝试新事物， 勇于走出舒适区。 除此以外，很多能力在各个学科都是通用的， 我们将之前所学用于新领域， 而不用从零开始。
Nora Dunn is a full-time traveler and freelance writer. As a child concert pianist, she honed an incredible ability to develop muscle memory. Now, she's the fastest typist she knows.
Before becoming a writer, Nora was a financial planner. She had to learn the finer mechanics of sales when she was starting her practice, and this skill now helps her write compelling pitches to editors. It is rarely a waste of time to pursue something you're drawn to, even if you end up quitting. You might apply that knowledge in a different field entirely, in a way that you couldn't have anticipated.
The third multipotentialite superpower is adaptability; that is, the ability to morph into whatever you need to be in a given situation. Abe Cajudo is sometimes a video director, sometimes a web designer, sometimes a Kickstarter consultant, sometimes a teacher, and sometimes, apparently, James Bond.
第三种“超能力”是适应性。 也就是说，如果有需要， 你能变成任何角色， 以适应不同的情况。 艾比·卡胡多有时候是视频导演， 有时候是网站设计师， 有时候是众筹顾问， 有时候是老师， 有时候，很明显，是詹姆斯·邦德。
He's valuable because he does good work. He's even more valuable because he can take on various roles,depending on his clients' needs. Fast Company magazine identified adaptability as the single most important skill to develop in order to thrive in the 21st century. The economic world is changing so quickly and unpredictably that it is the individuals and organizations that can pivot in order to meet the needs of the market that are really going to thrive.
Idea synthesis, rapid learning and adaptability: three skills that multipotentialites are very adept at, and three skills that they might lose if pressured to narrow their focus. As a society, we have a vested interest in encouraging multipotentialites to be themselves. We have a lot of complex, multidimensional problems in the world right now, and we need creative, out-of-the-box thinkers to tackle them.
产生创意，快速学习和适应性是多重潜力者非常擅长的三种能力，如果强迫他们缩小自己的关注范围，这三种能力也许就会丧失。作为一个社会，鼓励多重潜力者保持本色对我们有利。我们如今面临许多复杂问题，涉及许多方面， 我们需要有创意的、能破除思维定式的 思想者来解决这些问题。
Now, let's say that you are, in your heart, a specialist. You came out of the womb knowing you wanted to be a pediatric neurosurgeon. Don't worry -- there's nothing wrong with you, either.
In fact, some of the best teams are comprised of a specialist and multipotentialite paired together. The specialist can dive in deep and implement ideas, while the multipotentialite brings a breadth of knowledge to the project. It's a beautiful partnership. But we should all be designing lives and careers that are aligned with how we're wired. And sadly, multipotentialites are largely being encouraged simply to be more like their specialist peers.
So with that said, if there is one thing you take away from this talk, I hope that it is this: embrace your inner wiring, whatever that may be. If you're a specialist at heart, then by all means, specialize. That is where you'll do your best work. But to the multipotentialites in the room, including those of you who may have just realized in the last 12 minutes that you are one --
所以，如果你从今天的演讲中学到了一件事的话，我希望会是： 接受你内心的真实想法。 如果你是专家型的人， 那就用尽一切办法，成为专家。你会干得非常不错。 但对于在座的多重潜力者们， 包括那些在过去的12分钟里 刚刚意识到自己是多重潜力者的人。
To you I say: embrace your many passions. Follow your curiosity down those rabbit holes. Explore your intersections. Embracing our inner wiring leads to a happier, more authentic life. And perhaps more importantly -- multipotentialites, the world needs us.Thank you.