In 2008, after the birth of his first child, Baker and his wife decided to sell everything they owned, pay off their consumer debt, and spend a year travelin…

Aired on Jan 16, 2014 The U.S. debt was more than .3 trillion during the so-called debt crisis of 2011, when the level of borrowing reached its statutory …

27 Responses to “TEDxAsheville – Adam Baker – Sell your crap. Pay your debt. Do what you love.”

  • tenderscootch:

    the majority of people who have ever had jobs had them first and foremost
    because they needed the money, because that is preferable to starvation. I
    get the sentiment, but I fundamentally disagree with the question “What job
    makes me happy?” (not his words) because it presupposes that a job is
    supposed to make one happy. If one is fortunate to find such a job, that
    is great. I’ve met a lot of people along the way that ask me what my major
    is, and why I picked that field. When I tell them “money” they seem
    disappointed. I don’t adhere to the pseudo spiritual notion that a job can
    give me any kind of fulfillment. Any job can fulfill you if you work hard
    and become master of your craft. The job is not the fulfillment, the job
    is a vehicle for fulfillment and no more than any other thing in life. I
    already have a religion; I have no need to find “god” in work, at least in
    the sense that any kind of work is inherently more spiritual because it is

    G-d forbid the day I should ever “arrive”, unless by “arrive” one means
    “arriving at not arriving” or as zen buddhists might say “the way of no
    way”. The “way” is in the art, but the way is not the art. If you
    understand this you can avoid decades of romanticizing these “ends” that
    cannot deliver. You cannot trade in the pursuit of “ends” for the
    “pursuing the end of ‘the pursuit of no ends’”. It seems better, but its
    the same trap.

    I agree with the primary point of the futility of materialism, just
    commenting on one leg of the presentation.

  • Thema inproblem:

    There are only so many slots available in the profession of my choice,
    which I also do not have the credentials for… So we all have to eat and
    survive even if that means doing a job that we really don’t like very much.
    I have no mortgage, no credit card debt and I just love my toys. I’m not
    getting rid of anything. 

  • Torben Rudgaard:

    I decided to NOT buy any crap, to live a simple frugal life and instead buy
    condos and houses and rent them out. Today I have $30,000 a month after
    taxes and I travel the world currently living at Wong Amat Beach in
    Thailand. I LOVE MY LIFE :) 

  • Natalie Banas:

    “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.”

    ― Nigel Marsh

  • Nice Blonde Girl:

    His talk could basically be presented by just realizing how to live a
    balanced life.

  • Charles Choi:

    The overall message of the speaker is correct. However, from an economics
    standpoint, if everyone did work that they wanted to do, who would drive
    container trucks, pickup trash, dig for coal, wait on you at fast food
    restaurant, etc. As a whole, it is very unlikely that the entire
    population will love their jobs/careers. Besides, in many parts of the
    world, work is a necessity to survive and eat, you don’t have the option of
    pondering whether this job is more fulfilling or that one.

    The idea of “keeping up with the jones” is nowhere more prevalent than in
    Japan and South Korea. With a relatively small land area, extremely dense
    population, fierce competition, educated population, relatively homogeneous
    gene pool, is comes as no surprise that stress and suicide rates are among
    the highest. Sure there are other places in the world just as dense (ie,
    Bombay, the country of Bangledesh, Mexico City, etc.), but their
    intellectual capacity (not intellectual potential) to stress over not
    having a big house, better car, etc. is reduced. People from poor
    countries don’t commit suicide, they want to live.

    Overall good presentation and will work for certain people. Every person
    has to find their own solution and answers.

  • Daryl Christensen:

    I am debt phobic. I have zero debt. I’ve also back packed to Australia and
    a few other places. And I don’t know what he’s talking about. 

  • Diego O' Land:

    Sell your crap, yes. Pay your debt, absolutely. Do what you love, only if
    you live in a country where this is possible and what you love generates
    income. This notion of “doing what you love” or “following your passion”
    is a nice idea until, as many have noted, the trash needs to be taken out,
    the toilet need to be cleaned, etc. So is everyone picking through a trash
    heap for scraps of food for a living just a chump not brave enough to “do
    what they love”? Or to turn it around, are some people really passionate
    about cleaning toilets and doing this meets their idea of following their

    Or maybe society limits a large number of people and following their dreams
    is just that, a dream.

    If you fly out of any airport in the US, someone has to clean the bathroom.
    If they are all off following their dreams, you are not going to like the
    public restroom much when they are gone.

  • Random Person:

    So this man with a child is living without a decent credit rating. So he’s
    never going to own a home, this means he would end up paying more money out
    in the long run to rent a house. Yeah he can move where he wants but not
    having stability and routine in that child’s life would probably cause more
    stress and trauma later in life than owning a few things you don’t need.

  • TheCarrotCognag:

    Diego O’ Land. That’s where we need submissive types who give up on their
    dreams and choose secure income, television, fridge, house, car, dishwasher
    and colour and fabric of their curtains instead of their freedom and dreams.

    If everyone chose life instead of retarded expectations of how one should
    dress, eat, work and live world would have to change to better.

  • Watermill Projekt:

    Besinnliches zur Weihnachtszeit: Haben oder Sein?
    Nicht nur seit dem Bestseller Buch von Prof. Erich Fromm aus den 20er
    Jahren des letzten Jahrhunderts, eine bedeutende Frage. Auch Heute stellen
    sich immer mehr Junge Menschen die Frage: Wie viel Freiheit verlieren wir
    durch unseren Besitz?! – Sehr interessantes Video zu diesem Thema! – Must
    See** #Philosophie #Ethik #Sozial 

  • Teambr00klyn:

    in a debt based economy doing what he is suggesting will cause economic
    collapse (not necessarily a bad thing)

  • Saki Kaskas:

    In the beginning, people started trade using raw commodities; i.e. 2
    potatoes for 2 eggs.
    Then money was invented and people started trading money for commodities;
    i.e. 2 potatoes for 2 coins.
    Then money lending was invented and people started trading money for money;
    i.e. 2 coins for 2% interest.
    What is peculiar with this picture? When money was invented, trading became
    more convenient. Why? Because, in one way, it allowed trade to occur
    between 2 parties that normally would not trade between each other. In
    turn, this gave birth to the banks. It gave birth to the concept of profit.
    Early on, money lending, or usury as some term it, was regarded as sinful
    by certain religions. Money lending is not so different than selling drugs.
    The consumer receives the quick high, which eventually wears off and the
    reality sinks in. What is freedom? To me, freedom is having the right to
    make the choice I want. Choose your decisions wisely. Think ahead. Know
    your limits and play within them.

  • Edotter:

    It’s an odd, odd thing. I live in a very nerdy multi-adult household. 75%
    of our “crap” is BOOKS. Somehow I never felt right being guilty about that.

  • MichaelMacosa:

    Dumb-ass Murican’s love to buy stuff…accumulate stuff…and die with
    their stuff. Murican’s are brainwashed by media, and corporate Murica.

    - No wonder that the Murican Dream is dead!

  • CutThisCity:

    Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes working jobs we hate so we can
    buy shit we don’t need.
    -Tyler Durden

  • GetRhythm2011:

    I’ve always had and shared the simple understanding that: “the more you
    own, the more owns you.” Hats off to all who simplify their life and
    answer the question proposed in this talk. Thanks, and happy parting with
    your stuff! Thanks Adam. Good job. It’s a start. A beginning point for
    many to incorporate in their daily mentality and way of life. SIMPLIFY!

  • Rene Rosales:

    I thought this was all established in fight club?

    “I see in the fight club the strongest and smartest men who’ve ever lived.
    I see all this potential and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire
    generation pumping gas, waiting tables, slaves with white collars,
    advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can
    buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of the history man, no
    purpose or place, we have no Great war, no Great depression, our great war
    is a spiritual war, our great depression is our lives, we’ve been all
    raised by television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires and
    movie gods and rock stars, but we won’t and we’re slowly learning that
    fact. and we’re very very pissed off.”
    ― Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

  • ChameleonArt:

    This man took a “vacation” to where all these people never make it, and die

  • Wolfgang M:

    Has he never watched fight club? 

  • Bret Moleta:

    Great video..Should be shown to every high school graduate before entering
    the work force.

  • Your Kidding:

    Advertising has us working jobs we hate to buy shit we don’t need.

  • Marty Ardagh:

    This guy is genius well done man

  • Banshee 24:

    I think I missed something, he and wife were broke and took a hugely
    expensive vacation?
    I guess he is not addressing folks that work 40-50+ hours per week at what
    used to be a real career job that now no longer pays a living wage. What he
    is talking about is the same theory of overweight folks lay off the soda.
    This is NOT a “world changing” thought just over simplification. “Don’t buy
    what you can’t afford” duh

  • Elizabeth Allbright:

    Simplify your life – then do what you love…or at least be aware of the
    choices you make.

  • FuRiOu$:

    it has reached

  • Norwegian733:

    It means the USD is pretty safe from the chinese. They wont dump it.
    It also means China are losing a lot of money as the interest rates are
    close to zero. 

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