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  • 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.

  • The physical clutter is the typical that we think of:

  • the closets that are overflowing, the garages that can't hold cars,

  • the storage units that have become a billion-dollar industry in this country.

  • Digital clutter

  • are things like the ten, twenty, fifty, eighty thousand emails in inboxes

  • that I see on a very regular basis.

  • It's also things like files saved on your computer

  • without naming conventions, so you don't know what you have,

  • and you spend a lot of time looking for things.

  • Mental clutter can be fears.

  • It can also be voices

  • whether it be from a boss, or a spouse, or the news,

  • or just anything that bombards us.

  • Emotional clutter can be from patterns,

  • negative patterns that you don't even realize that you have.

  • It can also be all those "I can't" voices:

  • "I can't lose weight."

  • "I can't quit my job and go out on my own in business."

  • Now, spiritual clutter isn't talked about as much,

  • but it can be caused from things like a lack of forgiveness or a lack of peace.

  • Those last two, the emotional and the spiritual clutter,

  • they can be very subtle; those can also be the most paralyzing.

  • Basically, clutter is anything that keeps you from living the life

  • that you were meant to lead,

  • anything that keeps you from living the life that you want to lead,

  • anything that stops you from accomplishing your work and enjoying your life.

  • Now, it may not seem possible, but all types of clutter,

  • all the ones I listed, have one main cause.

  • I have a wonderful friend, mentor, and business coach, Barbara Hemphill,

  • and she trademarked a phrase that sums up this universal truth:

  • Clutter is postponed decisions.

  • Think about that for a minute, it fits in every circumstance.

  • The physical stuff - you walk into your closet,

  • or if you can walk in, maybe you try to walk in,

  • and there's a whole section of clothes.

  • And perhaps the postponed decision is:

  • "Am I really going to put forth the effort or the time

  • to try to lose that last ten pounds and fit into this whole shelf?"

  • Or perhaps the postponed decision is:

  • "Am I going to clean out my storage area so I can take these things,

  • and put them in bins, and then rotate by season?"

  • Paper - paper's a huge one that I deal with.

  • We pick something up, we put it back down. We pick something up, we put it back down.

  • One pile becomes ten piles, and then your boss is coming in,

  • or you have friends coming over for dinner,

  • and you push them all in a bag and put them in the closet.

  • Digital - you do the same thing with email that you do with paper.

  • You open it, open it, but you're not making decisions.

  • Sometimes the decisions are easy, just delete, or reply, or put in a folder,

  • but for some reason, we postpone them,

  • and then we get to the point we don't even want to open up our computer.

  • Now, I always had a very good handle on the first two,

  • the physical and the digital clutter.

  • And I understood how the other ones worked with my clients

  • because very often there's an underlying reason

  • that things got to the point that they did.

  • But I didn't truly understand how those affected you in your life

  • until I got stuck.

  • In 2012, I had heart surgery.

  • I had a valve defect that I'd had my whole life,

  • and I had been told "You'll live into your 80s,

  • no medical intervention, go, you're fine, everything's great."

  • Well, the year leading up to my surgery,

  • my father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer,

  • given a very short time to live,

  • and my oldest son was hospitalized for suicidal thoughts.

  • My heart figuratively and then literally broke.

  • So by April of 2012, I was in heart failure and I had surgery.

  • Now, I flew through. I was the model patient.

  • I was only in the hospital 48 hours, I was up walking, I was doing fun things,

  • I completed a half marathon 11 months after heart surgery.

  • So everything looked great and I was getting a lot of compliments,

  • but I was stuck.

  • I had massive amounts of mental and emotional clutter.

  • My mental clutter was fears.

  • "What if it didn't work?"

  • "What if it breaks again?"

  • "Why am I having these stupid, crazy disease spells?"

  • "Why do I still need a nap every single day a year later?"

  • My emotional clutter was guilt.

  • "Why am I still here and other people aren't?"

  • And let me tell you, those two roll together

  • to make some really nice spiritual clutter along the way.

  • So, now don't hate me when I tell you this part,

  • but my house is very, very neat and clean almost all the time.

  • And I had a client who was quite the opposite.

  • She was depressed by her townhouse.

  • She hadn't had people over in years, except for me, to try to work on it,

  • and we became very close very quickly.

  • And so, one day I was commenting to her

  • that besides this stuff that was dragging her down,

  • she had a vibrant life, and she was doing fun things,

  • and learning, and continuing her education, and going on trips,

  • and I sort of prompted her a little bit,

  • and I said, "Imagine what you could do without all this stuff weighing you down."

  • And man, did she zing me.

  • Because she said, "Look who's talking."

  • And she said, "You keep telling me about ideas that you have for your business

  • and things you want to do," and she said, "and you're not doing any of them.

  • You are staying stuck also."

  • So, we challenged each other,

  • and I must say, she got through her issues a lot faster than I did,

  • but I started facing it,

  • I stopped postponing the decision to look at the fear,

  • and postponing the need to deal with that guilt,

  • and so a shift was made.

  • Now, I don't know what all of your postponed decisions are

  • in some of those areas,

  • perhaps you also have a fear that you're not facing.

  • Perhaps there's someone that you need to give forgiveness

  • and you haven't extended that forgiveness yet.

  • But what's the answer?

  • The key is, make a decision, right?

  • Some are easy: Two weeks from today we are cleaning out this garage.

  • Some are grand.

  • I'm going to drop out of school, move to California, and write a novel.

  • Some are minuscule: Every week I'm going to delete two sales emails -

  • or unsubscribe from two sales emails.

  • But the key is, it's for you.

  • Your clutter of any type is not a moral sentence.

  • Guilt is not going to help whether from someone else or from yourself.

  • So everything you do in these areas needs to be for you and for your sanity.

  • There's a saying:

  • "Change is a result of action, and action is the result of a decision."

  • So that means that you have the power,

  • even in the midst of that horrible overwhelm,

  • to the point of being paralyzed,

  • you have the power to affect change by making a decision.

  • Now, it has to have an action, just like with the physical stuff:

  • you've got to box it up, bag it up, take it to the donation center,

  • take it to the curb, whatever.

  • For the others, you need to take an action also

  • whether it's talk to a good friend, get out in nature and meditate, journal,

  • whatever it is, but there needs to be an action tied to it.

  • I heard something years ago, and I love how it applies here,

  • and that is "Give God something to bless."

  • In other words, do something, move forward, make a decision,

  • take an action, even if it's tiny,

  • and the universe will reward you with momentum.

  • The bottom line is,

  • ultimately, the quality of your life is determined by the decisions you make,

  • about your stuff,

  • and about yourself.

  • So do something, move forward.

  • Some clutter is going to come back,

  • both the physical kind, the emotional kind,

  • that's called life, it's going to keep coming back.

  • But if you make those decisions along the way and don't postpone them,

  • you will ultimately move from overwhelm towards what we all want:

  • peace.

  • Thank you.

  • (Applause)

Overwhelmed.

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B1 中級 美國腔

【TEDx】從雜亂到清晰 (【TEDx】From Clutter to Clarity)

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    阿玟 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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