Inspired by a few TED Talks, I have been putting a lot of thought into the idea of ridding myself of excess possessions and unnecessary stress. This topic was discussed in a powerful speech by Adam Baker called "Sell Your Crap. Pay Your Debt. Do What You Love". It begged the question that I think all of us should ask ourselves: what is the point of collecting and upgrading items that aren't increasing our happiness? Throughout his speech, Adam told his story about having a daughter three years earlier, saying that the day he brought his daughter home from the hospital was the day he and his wife decided to live the life they truly desired. For them, this meant abandoning nearly all of their possessions and paying off their outstanding debts that they had been accumulating. During what he called a "tough" year, the couple paid back their debts and sold EVERYTHING except for a what could be fit into two travel backpacks. Their next stop— Australia. They made the bold decision to abandon their current life to backpack down under for a year...with their newborn daughter! Adam went on to explain how liberated he felt without having to worry about their debt and excess possessions. While not being certain it was a smart decision, they embarked on a journey that some people would consider reckless or crazy. What this couple did took major guts. They did something that the majority of people would never attempt. Of course we have possessions that are necessary for our day-to-day lives, but our items are of no true value. Take a second to think about all the things in your home that are altogether pointless or just collecting dust. We are conditioned, especially in America, to look at a person's things as a sign of success or wealth. That's BULLSHIT! Our true wealth lies in our experiences and knowledge. Now, here comes the ultimate question: What are we to do with this wealth? The best and most logical response is to share this knowledge and those experiences with others in hopes that it will inspire them to do the same. Material wealth is simply an illusion that tricks us into seeking things to gain fulfillment in our lives. See through this facade, and I promise you will be one step closer to the innate desire within your soul. The most amazing thing about this concept is that everyone has their own unique path, waiting to be pursued, waiting to be trodden on. You just need to have the courage to take that first step, leaving a footprint on this fresh soil. If this path is centered around money and materialism, I implore you to reconsider your aspirations and find a new trail, one that is unimpeded by excess or distractions. What we need in this world is less focus on monetary attainment and more focus on forging a path filled with passion and connection with fellow humans, with the universe.
Here is that TED Talk I alluded to. I highly recommend it— take a look !
Another unbelievable TED Talk by Scott Dinsmore, titled "How to Find and Do Work You Love", inspired me in the pursuit of my true passions.
He goes on to state that 80% of people don't enjoy what they're doing to make a living. Scott explained that his friend told him to make job choices that would boost his résumé, He completely dismissed this idea, paraphrasing a great quote by Warren Buffet:
“There comes a time when you ought to start doing what you want. Take a job that you love. You will jump out of bed in the morning. I think you are out of your mind if you keep taking jobs that you don't like because you think it will look good on your resume. Isn't that a little like saving up sex for your old age?”
This quote was the spark that Scott needed to quit his job, a job that he hated. He then made the decision to "do the work he couldn't not do". Sometimes it's that simple for someone to get inspired. Everyone, and I mean everyone, needs inspiration. It's one of those things that needs to be refueled almost daily. This is precisely why, as Scott emphasizes, we must surround ourselves with positive people who inspire us to chase our dreams every day. If you attempt to live simply, relentlessly pursue your passion, and surround yourself with the right people, nothing is unattainable.
Break Your Boundaries.