Collect “experiences” instead of “things”: how a new dad’s advice might be the ticket to kickstarting your own adventures.

December 10, 2014 in by Sue Braiden

Adam Baker - TEDx Asheville

Challenge: collect “experiences” instead of “things”.

“There are thousands and thousands of people out there living lives of quiet, screaming desperation who 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.

This video really resonated with me when it first came out awhile ago on TEDx, and I was grateful for the chance to reflect on it again. Good gut-check with a whole new crop of New Year’s resolutions waiting to be broken just around the corner again.

You’ve seen some iteration of this wisdom before:

“There are thousands and thousands of people out there living lives of quiet, screaming desperation who 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.”

It’s a quote from Nigel Marsh, shared by a young man name Adam Baker who has a whole lot of wisdom beyond his own 20-something years on the planet.

The day they brought their newborn baby home from the hospital, Adam and his wife sat down and asked themselves some really hard questions about the kind of life they wanted, and whether or not that was congruent with the one they had. Not surprising that the typical western cycle of mountains of student debt fueled by the hunger of consumerism and the need to “keep up with the Jones-es” takes many of us about as far away from our own ideals as we possibly could be. The Bakers made a really courageous decision, and while we kind of get bombarded with this stuff until it just feels like a whole lot of saccharine tripe, this isn’t that.

There was something in particular video that sat me back on my heels, and that was Adam’s challenge to start collecting “experiences” instead of “things”. It’s funny, because my business coach, Linda Lord, had me do an assignment not long ago asking me to prioritize what was of value to me. In a page full of words, I was only allowed to choose 4. The first thing I circled? Experiences. Receiving this reminder today reinforces it.

Adam nails it in less than 20 minutes, and it was this video that had me make a lot of my own tough choices when it first came out, at a time when I’d put the adventure I’m now embarking on with the Estrogen Army project on the back burner for more than a decade.

Worth sharing! Grab a mugga joe and settle in for a few, then head over and put your elbows on the kitchen table toshare your own ideas about and experiences.

Have you made the switch to collecting “experiences” instead of “things”? How did you do it? Was it hard? Exciting? What words of wisdom and resources might you share with your sister adventure divas who are thinking of taking the challenge to fuel epic new adventures?

I can’t wait to hear what you’ve got to share!