Here is the full transcript of author Kerry Thomas’ TEDx Talk: From Clutter to Clarity at TEDxAshburn conference.
Overwhelmed! That doesn’t feel pleasant hanging in the air, does it? The word itself brings up feelings of failure and isolation. It’s also the word, sadly, that I hear the most from new clients.
I have a friend and client who is successful, runs a great business, is very active in the community, and is, honestly, the most positive person you will ever meet. And yet, at our first coaching consultation, she told me that not only did she feel overwhelmed, she felt paralyzed. When I asked her to elaborate, she brought up words like shame, failure, fear, and isolation. I assured her that she is not alone.
In fact, in homes, and businesses, and relationships everywhere, “overwhelm” has become our society’s dirty little secret. We fill everything. We fill our houses, we fill our cars, we fill our offices, we fill our smartphones, we fill our storage units, we fill our minds, and we fill our hearts with more than we can manage. We think that the “more” will lead to happiness, but all it does is perpetuate the overwhelm. Because of this “dirty little secret,” the word “clutter” has exploded in our nation’s vocabulary.
From books to TV shows, to magazines, you can’t even check out at the grocery store without seeing the word “clutter” plastered over every single magazine cover. But what people don’t realize is clutter is not just our stuff. It can be those physical things that clog up our homes, but it can also be digital, mental, emotional, or even spiritual.