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“.
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:
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!