Sell Your Crap, Pay Your Debt, Do What You Love

Quite often, when I’m doing something in the kitchen, or editing images for the blog, or anything else when I can focus on two things at the same time, then I listen to TED talks while I work.  It’s a good way to listen, learn and be inspired when it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day!

There’s this one TED talk that I keep coming back to again and again, by Adam Baker.  In it Adam shares his powerful and inspiring personal account of how him and his wife found “freedom” by defying the ‘status quo’ of how people often perceive success.  Adam and his wife sold most of their possessions, paying off their $18,000 consumer credit and student debts in the process.  They also restructured their lives to minimise debt and get the most out of life by focusing on experiences and living in the moment instead of relying on possessions to make them happy.

Adam’s key point of the whole twenty minute talk is so succinct it hurts: “sell your crap, pay your debt, do what you love“.

adam baker man vs debt

One of the parts of the talk where I find myself nodding furiously to is when Adam quotes Nigel Marsh (speaker of another great TED talk), when he says “There are thousands and thousands of people out there leading lives of quiet, screaming desperation, where they work long, hard hours at jobs they hate to enable them to buy things they don’t need to impress people they don’t like.”

Another great moment is when Adam says “if you don’t answer this question [what does freedom mean to me] then there is a corporation, company or product that is happy to answer it for you

While the main focus of the talk is debt reduction, I think there are some very very strong parallels with sustainable living, such as being happy living with less, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it – it’s incredibly engaging:

Sell Your Crap, Pay Your Debt by Adam Baker

If you can’t see the video, you can watch it here.


 ps: the gist of the talk reminded me of the late comedian Bill Hicks.  I could watch his DVDs time and time again and never get bored!


  1. Great to have found your blog – thoroughly enjoying exploring it! I think we have like minds. We home educated our children (see my blog) and being environmentally friendly was so much part of our lifestyle. Charity shops are their favourite now! And reusing! x

  2. Great to have found your blog. Lovely to meet like minds. We home educated our two children and reusing and recycling and our connections to the earth was very much part of our daily lives. x

  3. Great blog. I am helping a friend declutter her home at the moment, she is in her 70 s, a born entertainer and very creative .After a straight forward knee replacement she had a serious problem with her other knee which prevented her going out,then her elderly dog died . At the time i was caring for my ill mum who then passed away, so could not visit my friend . After waiting two years in pain for a serious knee operation my friend had become rather depressed and had been ordering items from mail order catalogues very often just for the free gifts, her home was so full it was frightening but she was reluctant to part with anything.Suddenly two months ago she asked me if i would help her sort out her bedroom, at first very indecisive she has now become quite enthusiastic and is back to her old self. i am so pleased for her and we are having great fun , we have another wonderful friend who would gladly help but she finds her a bit too forceful. I find gentle encouragement and suggesting how grateful her favourite cat charity will be for items to sell in their shop, also reminding her she will have more money to spend on days out and her hobbies helps.

  4. Wish I had seen this before we packed to move,,,it’s crazy to have so much things that you forget what you really have When I get ready to unpack I’m getting rid of alot

  5. This has inspired me j. The wag that has been much long needed. So. U h clutter that could earn so much money. My mission for the next few months. Thank you. Xxx


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