Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Ted Talk Wisdom Meets Yom Kippur Observance

Earlier this morning, I'm hacking away, and happen to stumble over Adam Baker's Ted Talk that suggests simply: "Sell your crap. Pay your debt. Do what you love."

Adam's an excellent storyteller, and his story is now almost cliche: he and his wife have this moment of clarity and realize that they're on the hamster-wheel of life, and more importantly, that they can get off. Within a year, they've quit their jobs, sold their possessions, and are backpacking (with a 1 year old!) through Australia.

He actually covers quite a bit in his 20 minute talk, much of it about the perils of being in debt. But what really struck me was this notion of your Life Script. He realized that he was moving along the classic American Dream Script (college, wife, job, house, etc.) without ever really questioning whether this is what they wanted. Or, as he put it: "we didn't choose the script, the script chose us."

His advice: Break the Script. For him and his family, that meant selling their stuff and creating a new non-conventional life. For others, breaking the script may not be quite so dramatic. For us, in many ways, becoming Foster Parents broke our script, if only because of the unpredictable nature of that life.

Tonight starts the holiday of Yom Kippur, and it strikes me that one of the holiday's goals is to give you a chance, in a small way, to Break the Script. You do everything differently (you don't eat or drink for 24 hours, you spend most of the day in prayer, you don't work, heck you don't even wear regular shoes) with the hope of being able to have your own little moment of clarity. And it's not just Yom Kippur - the whole period from Rosh Yashanah to Hoshana Rabbah (what is that, 20 days or so?) is filled with opportunities to do this.

This video made me realize how thankful I am for these opportunities.

So, here's my wish for you this year: find a moment to examine the path your life is on, and if you're not satisfied with it, change it. Simple enough, right?

Here's Adam's talk:

And here's a little comic relief to go along with the notion that all your problems can be solved by selling everything and living out of a backpack:

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