07:19
TED2014

Elizabeth Gilbert: Success, failure and the drive to keep creating

エリザベス・ギルバート: 成功と失敗と創り続ける力について

Filmed:

かつてはエリザベス・ギルバートもまた「作品を出版してもらえない食堂のウェイトレス」の1人で、掲載不可の手紙に落ち込む日々を送っていました。ところが『食べて、祈って、恋をして』が大成功を収めた時、成功に翻弄され道を見失っている自分の姿が昔の売れなかった頃の自分に重なって見えたのです。見事な洞察力を駆使して、彼女はなぜ成功が失敗と同じくらい人を惑わせるのかを考えます。そして結果に関わらず進み続けるためのシンプルだけど難しい方法を紹介します。

- Writer
The author of 'Eat, Pray, Love,' Elizabeth Gilbert has thought long and hard about some big topics. Her fascinations: genius, creativity and how we get in our own way when it comes to both. Full bio

So, a few years ago I was at JFK Airport
何年か前に
ケネディ国際空港で
00:12
about to get on a flight,
搭乗を待っていると
00:15
when I was approached by two women
女性が2人やって来ました
00:17
who I do not think would be insulted
年配で小柄な
押しの強い
00:19
to hear themselves described
イタリア系の女たち—
00:21
as tiny old tough-talking Italian-American broads.
そう呼んでも気を悪くは
しないと思います
00:22
The taller one, who is like up here,
背の高い方が
といってもこれくらいですが
00:26
she comes marching up to me, and she goes,
ずかずか近づいて
話しかけてきました
00:29
"Honey, I gotta ask you something.
「ちょっと聞くけど
00:31
You got something to do with that whole
あんた近頃話題の—
00:33
'Eat, Pray, Love' thing that's been going on lately?"
『食べて、祈って、恋をして』の
人じゃない?
00:35
And I said, "Yes, I did."
私は「ええ」と答えました
00:38
And she smacks her friend and she goes,
すると友人の肩を叩いて言うのです
00:40
"See, I told you, I said, that's that girl.
「だから言ったじゃない
この子だって
00:42
That's that girl who wrote that book
あの映画を元に
00:44
based on that movie."
本を書いたのは」
00:46
(Laughter)
(笑)
00:48
So that's who I am.
確かに私です
00:50
And believe me, I'm extremely
grateful to be that person,
でも自分がその本人で
本当によかったと思っています
00:52
because that whole "Eat, Pray, Love" thing
『食べて、祈って、恋をして』は
00:56
was a huge break for me.
大きな転機だったからです
00:58
But it also left me in a really tricky position
ただ同時に
作家を続けていくには
01:00
moving forward as an author
難しい立場に立たされました
01:02
trying to figure out how in the world
誰かに喜んでもらえる本を
01:04
I was ever going to write a book again
どうしたら再び書けるのか
01:06
that would ever please anybody,
わからなかったのです
01:07
because I knew well in advance
あの作品を気に入ってくれた人は
01:09
that all of those people who
had adored "Eat, Pray, Love"
次回作がどんなものだろうと
01:11
were going to be incredibly disappointed
絶対がっかりするでしょう
01:14
in whatever I wrote next
だって次の作品は
01:15
because it wasn't going to be "Eat, Pray, Love,"
『食べて、祈って、恋をして』では
ないからです
01:17
and all of those people who
had hated "Eat, Pray, Love"
一方で あの作品が嫌いな人は
01:19
were going to be incredibly disappointed
私が何を書こうと
01:21
in whatever I wrote next
絶対がっかりします
01:22
because it would provide evidence that I still lived.
私がまだ生きていたと
わかるから
01:24
So I knew that I had no way to win,
どのみち うまくいく
見込みがないのです
01:26
and knowing that I had no way to win
もし見込みがないなら
01:30
made me seriously consider for a while
もうこんなことはやめて
01:32
just quitting the game
田舎に引っ込んで
01:34
and moving to the country to raise corgis.
コーギー犬でも育てようかと
本気で考えました
01:35
But if I had done that, if I had given up writing,
でも もし書くのをやめたら
01:39
I would have lost my beloved vocation,
愛する天職を失ってしまいます
01:41
so I knew that the task was that I had to find
だから自分がすべきだと思ったのは
01:43
some way to gin up the inspiration
何とかひらめきを取り戻し
01:45
to write the next book
避けがたい失敗を恐れず
01:48
regardless of its inevitable negative outcome.
次の本を書くことでした
01:49
In other words, I had to find a way to make sure
つまり成功に耐えられる ―
01:52
that my creativity survived its own success.
創造力を維持するということです
01:53
And I did, in the end, find that inspiration,
最終的にひらめきを手に入れたのは
01:56
but I found it in the most unlikely
自分でも意外な
01:58
and unexpected place.
予期しないものから —
02:00
I found it in lessons that I had learned earlier in life
若い頃に経験から学んだ
02:01
about how creativity can survive its own failure.
失敗しても創造力を
維持する方法からでした
02:04
So just to back up and explain,
少しさかのぼって説明すると
02:08
the only thing I have ever wanted to be
生まれてこのかた
私が夢見てきたのは
02:09
for my whole life was a writer.
作家になることだけでした
02:11
I wrote all through childhood,
all through adolescence,
子どもの頃からずっと書き続け
02:13
by the time I was a teenager I was sending
10代になると
ひどい作品を
02:15
my very bad stories to The New Yorker,
ニューヨーカー誌に送りつけては
02:17
hoping to be discovered.
見出されることを
夢見ていました
02:19
After college, I got a job as a diner waitress,
大学を卒業すると
食堂で
02:20
kept working, kept writing,
ウェイトレスをしながら書き続け
02:23
kept trying really hard to get published,
必死に出版を目指しましたが
02:25
and failing at it.
失敗ばかりでした
02:27
I failed at getting published
およそ6年もの間 —
02:29
for almost six years.
何も出版できませんでした
02:30
So for almost six years, every single day,
その6年間 毎日
02:32
I had nothing but rejection letters
郵便受けで私を待っていたのは
02:34
waiting for me in my mailbox.
断りの手紙だけでした
02:35
And it was devastating every single time,
手紙を受け取る度に絶望し
02:37
and every single time, I had to ask myself
負け続けるのは終わりにして
02:39
if I should just quit while I was behind
書くのをあきらめ
02:41
and give up and spare myself this pain.
苦痛から逃れるべきかと
悩みました
02:43
But then I would find my resolve,
それでも私はいつも
02:47
and always in the same way,
こう考えて決意を新たにしました
02:48
by saying, "I'm not going to quit,
「私はやめない ―
02:50
I'm going home."
自分の居場所に戻るんだ」
02:52
And you have to understand that for me,
誤解しないで
02:54
going home did not mean
returning to my family's farm.
家族が住む農場に
帰るわけではありません
02:55
For me, going home
私にとって「戻る」とは
02:58
meant returning to the work of writing
作家の仕事に戻ることです
03:00
because writing was my home,
私の居場所は書くことだから
03:01
because I loved writing more
than I hated failing at writing,
書いて失敗する辛さより
書くことへの愛情が勝っていました
03:03
which is to say that I loved writing
結局 私には自尊心や
03:06
more than I loved my own ego,
もっと言えば
03:08
which is ultimately to say
自分自身よりも
03:09
that I loved writing more than I loved myself.
書くことの方が大事だったのです
03:11
And that's how I pushed through it.
こうやって乗り切ったのです
03:13
But the weird thing is that 20 years later,
ところが不思議なことに20年経って
03:15
during the crazy ride of "Eat, Pray, Love,"
『食べて、祈って、恋をして』の
03:17
I found myself identifying all over again
騒動の渦中にいる自分と
本も出せない ―
03:19
with that unpublished young diner waitress
ウェイトレス時代の自分が
重なったのです
03:21
who I used to be, thinking about her constantly,
その頃の自分が
いつも頭にあり
03:24
and feeling like I was her again,
当時に戻ったようでした
03:26
which made no rational sense whatsoever
合理的な説明などできません
03:28
because our lives could not
have been more different.
人生は一変していましたから
03:30
She had failed constantly.
昔の私は失敗ばかり
03:32
I had succeeded beyond my wildest expectation.
今は想像を絶する
成功を収めていて
03:33
We had nothing in common.
共通点は一つもない
03:36
Why did I suddenly feel like I was her all over again?
なぜ急に昔の自分に戻った
気がしたのでしょう?
03:37
And it was only when I was trying to unthread that
その謎を解こうとしてようやく
03:40
that I finally began to comprehend
理解し始めたのです
03:43
the strange and unlikely psychological connection
大きな失敗と大きな成功との間には
03:44
in our lives between the way
we experience great failure
不可思議で想像を超えた ―
03:47
and the way we experience great success.
心理的なつながりがあるのだと
03:49
So think of it like this:
考えてみてください
03:51
For most of your life, you live out your existence
皆さんは人生の大部分を
03:53
here in the middle of the chain of human experience
平凡で平穏な
いつも変わらない ―
03:55
where everything is normal
and reassuring and regular,
経験の連鎖の中を生きています
03:57
but failure catapults you abruptly way out over here
でも失敗すると
突如 先の見えない
04:00
into the blinding darkness of disappointment.
絶望の淵へと投げ出されます
04:04
Success catapults you just as abruptly but just as far
一方 成功した場合にも
同じくらい遠くへ
04:06
way out over here
投げ出され
04:10
into the equally blinding glare
名声と評価と賞賛で
04:11
of fame and recognition and praise.
周りが見えなくなります
04:13
And one of these fates
一般的には
04:16
is objectively seen by the world as bad,
2つのうち片方は悪いこと
04:17
and the other one is objectively
seen by the world as good,
もう片方は良いこととされています
04:20
but your subconscious is completely incapable
ところが潜在意識のレベルでは
04:22
of discerning the difference between bad and good.
2つはまったく
見分けがつかないのです
04:24
The only thing that it is capable of feeling
唯一 感じとれるのは
04:27
is the absolute value of this emotional equation,
感情という方程式の絶対値
すなわち
04:29
the exact distance that you have been flung
本来の自分から どれほど遠く
隔たっているか
04:33
from yourself.
ということだけです
04:35
And there's a real equal danger in both cases
どちらの場合にも
04:37
of getting lost out there
心の深みの中で
04:39
in the hinterlands of the psyche.
道を見失う危険が伴います
04:40
But in both cases, it turns out that there is
ただ どちらの場合でも
04:42
also the same remedy for self-restoration,
同じ方法で 自分を
取り戻せることに気付きました
04:44
and that is that you have got to
find your way back home again
その方法とは できるだけ
早く スムーズに
04:47
as swiftly and smoothly as you can,
自分の居場所に戻ることです
04:50
and if you're wondering what your home is,
自分の居場所が
わからなくても
04:52
here's a hint:
手がかりがあります
04:54
Your home is whatever in this world you love
あなたの居場所とは
04:55
more than you love yourself.
自分よりも大事なものです
04:57
So that might be creativity, it might be family,
それは何かを作ることかも知れないし
04:59
it might be invention, adventure,
家族や発明や冒険や —
05:01
faith, service, it might be raising corgis,
信仰や奉仕や
コーギー犬を育てることかも知れません
05:03
I don't know, your home is that thing
とにかく あなたの居場所とは
05:06
to which you can dedicate your energies
情熱をもって
05:08
with such singular devotion
全精力を注ぐことができ
05:10
that the ultimate results become inconsequential.
結果など もはや重要ではない
というようなものです
05:12
For me, that home has always been writing.
私の居場所はいつも
書くことでした
05:15
So after the weird, disorienting success
『食べて、祈って、恋をして』で
目が眩むような
05:18
that I went through with "Eat, Pray, Love,"
成功を収めてわかりました
05:20
I realized that all I had to do was exactly
私に必要なのは
05:22
the same thing that I used to have to do all the time
めまいがする程の失敗をした時に
05:23
when I was an equally disoriented failure.
必要だったのと同じもの
05:25
I had to get my ass back to work,
また書き始める
ということだったのです
05:27
and that's what I did, and that's how, in 2010,
そうやって 2010年に
05:29
I was able to publish the dreaded follow-up
恐れていた『食べて、祈って、
恋をして』の
05:32
to "Eat, Pray, Love."
続編を出せました
05:34
And you know what happened with that book?
その本がどうなったか?
05:35
It bombed, and I was fine.
失敗でしたが 気になりませんでした
05:37
Actually, I kind of felt bulletproof,
もう何にでも耐えられそうでした
05:39
because I knew that I had broken the spell
呪縛から解き放たれ
05:41
and I had found my way back home
書くことが好きだから書くという
05:43
to writing for the sheer devotion of it.
自分の居場所に戻れたからです
05:45
And I stayed in my home of writing after that,
その後も作家として その場所に留まり
05:48
and I wrote another book that just came out last year
2013年には新しい本が出て
05:50
and that one was really beautifully received,
好意的に受け入れられましたが
05:51
which is very nice, but not my point.
それは重要ではありません
05:53
My point is that I'm writing another one now,
重要なのは
今も新作を書き
05:55
and I'll write another book after that
その後も次々と
05:57
and another and another and another
書いていくことなのです
05:58
and many of them will fail,
失敗作も多いでしょう
06:00
and some of them might succeed,
何冊かは成功するかも知れません
06:01
but I will always be safe
でも自分が生きるべき場所さえ
06:03
from the random hurricanes of outcome
忘れない限り
06:04
as long as I never forget where I rightfully live.
目まぐるしく変わる結果に
左右されることはないでしょう
06:07
Look, I don't know where you rightfully live,
生きるべき場所は
人それぞれですが
06:10
but I know that there's something in this world
誰でも この世のどこかに
06:13
that you love more than you love yourself.
自分より大切なものがあるはずです
06:14
Something worthy, by the way,
耽溺や幻想ではない
06:16
so addiction and infatuation don't count,
価値のある何かです
06:18
because we all know that those
are not safe places to live. Right?
何かに溺れてしまっては
安心して過ごせませんから
06:20
The only trick is that you've got to identify
秘訣は自分が一番気に入っている ―
06:24
the best, worthiest thing that you love most,
価値のあるものを見つけ出し
06:26
and then build your house right on top of it
そこに自分の場所を作って
06:28
and don't budge from it.
決して動かないことです
06:31
And if you should someday, somehow
もしある日突然
06:33
get vaulted out of your home
失敗や成功が原因で
06:35
by either great failure or great success,
そこから閉め出されてしまったら
06:37
then your job is to fight your
way back to that home
居場所を取り戻すために戦うのです
06:39
the only way that it has ever been done,
それが唯一の方法です
06:42
by putting your head down and performing
死に物狂いで
06:43
with diligence and devotion
努力を惜しまず熱心に
06:46
and respect and reverence
深い敬意をもって
06:47
whatever the task is that love
取り組んだなら
それが何であれ
06:49
is calling forth from you next.
愛情が呼び覚まされます
06:51
You just do that, and keep doing that
ただひたすらやり続けること
06:53
again and again and again,
繰り返し 繰り返し・・・
06:55
and I can absolutely promise you,
from long personal experience
私の長年の経験から
断言しますが
06:57
in every direction, I can assure you
そうすればきっと
07:00
that it's all going to be okay.
問題は解決するはずです
07:02
Thank you.
ありがとう
07:04
(Applause)
(拍手)
07:06
Translated by Kazunori Akashi
Reviewed by Yasushi Aoki

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About the Speaker:

Elizabeth Gilbert - Writer
The author of 'Eat, Pray, Love,' Elizabeth Gilbert has thought long and hard about some big topics. Her fascinations: genius, creativity and how we get in our own way when it comes to both.

Why you should listen

Elizabeth Gilbert faced down a premidlife crisis by doing what we all secretly dream of -- running off for a year. Her travels through Italy, India and Indonesia resulted in the megabestselling and deeply beloved memoir Eat, Pray, Love, about her process of finding herself by leaving home.

She's a longtime magazine writer -- covering music and politics for Spin and GQ -- as well as a novelist and short-story writer. Her books include the story collection Pilgrims, the novel Stern Men (about lobster fishermen in Maine) and a biography of the woodsman Eustace Conway, called The Last American Man. Her work has been the basis for two movies so far (Coyote Ugly, based on her own tale of working at the famously raunchy bar in New York City), and Eat, Pray, Love, with the part of Gilbert played by Julia Roberts. Not bad for a year off.

In 2010, Elizabeth published Committed, a memoir exploring her ambivalent feelings about the institution of marriage. And her 2013 novel, The Signature of All Things, is "a sprawling tale of 19th century botanical exploration."

Gilbert also owns and runs the import shop Two Buttons in Frenchtown, New Jersey.

More profile about the speaker
Elizabeth Gilbert | Speaker | TED.com