What is the World Domination Summit?
This is a question that I have struggled to answer in the weeks and months preceding my trip to Portland this weekend. Having never attended I had little more insight than hear-say accounts from friends and bloggers. I decided to go after merely reading and watching the recaps from last year. Still understanding very little of the purpose or goal of the weekend (if those can even be distilled into words), I knew it was something that I needed to be a part of.
I am still reeling from the positivity and emotional depth of the weekend but I'll do my best to describe my experience.
World Domination Summit (WDS) is a gathering of like-spirited people, deeper and entirely different than like-minded. The attendee population comes from every corner of the globe, has an incredibly vast array of goals, ideas, vocations, and passions, yet we all vibrate on the same frequency. We are allies on the same deeper path. We are beacons of the same light and antennae for the same message.
A golden thread of motivation to do remarkable things weaves the entire group together. The details and message are different for each of us, yet a similar fire burns within all.
Like me, many in attendance had just enough glowing embers to know that they needed to connect with the WDS community. Our fires burn bright enough for us to embark on our individual journeys but we came to WDS to stoke the flames. Boy is my fire blazing now!
I met many people who's fires were already roaring as they took massive steps the change the world. Michaela is a teacher and self-professed "world-changer" who feels discontented with the current state of our public education system. She found there to be little-to-no science educational material available to children under six, so she's creating it. One book down and a whole series to come. Selena is a life-coach, speaker, and consultant who battles against the severe discontent that most corporate employees feel. She changes the corporate paradigm one company at a time by helping employers connect in a more intimate way so that their employees experience better quality of life and a deeper connection and investment in their positions and the company. Oliver has his dream job as a Cal-Trans civil engineer and his impact and investment to the WDS community seems unmatched. He has been to all five WDS's and is one of the first friends I met after checking in. He was so friendly and warm in welcoming me to the experience and introduced me to many of his friends from the past five years. I knew I belonged at WDS but Oliver's warmth and friendship set the stage for my entire experience! I came to find out that my experience in meeting Oliver was far from unique. A Japanese girl who has also attended all five WDS's used much of her allotted stage time to sign his praises and left us with a parting message to "be an Oliver" to the people in our lives.
Struggling to find words to describe the purpose and aim of WDS, I defer it's three pillars: Community, Adventure, Service, and the defining question "How do you live a remarkable life in a conventional world?" All I can tell of the experience are the gifts that I left with. WDS is about people, community, and connection. I come home with so much more than tons of great books, fun experiences, and overflowing motivation and inspiration. I come home with an army of allies in my journey. I come home connected to a community overflowing with positivity and support. I am so grateful for all the connections that I made this weekend and I cannot wait to see what we can do together!
The greatest lesson: My voice matters.
Not only does it matter, but the world needs my voice. The driving force behind the great leaps I've taken in my life is a feeling that I have important message to share. I am uncertain of the details and medium of how I will present it but I know that I need to broadcast it. In the early stages of a journey it is easy to feel that everything you want to say has been said, and everything you want to put forth is already available. This weekend reaffirmed for me that these myths could not be further from the truth.
All of the keynote speakers discussed different topics - from taking action, to dealing with the pain of loss, to the myth of masculinity - and shared their voice in drastically different ways. Beneath their words, all shared the same message. A message to look within, connect deeply with yourself and people around you, and find what you truly are. Find what you truly are and seek to understand what you are truly meant for.
Seeing all of the different branches of this giant movement, I found the imperative to share my voice. I cannot remember the people and influences that lit this fire within me but I can be sure that the unique way that they shared their voices were the exact way that I needed to receive the message. I know that the unique way that I share my voice is the exact way many others will need to receive the message. Whether 10 or 10 million people need my voice, I do the world a disservice in not sharing it. I am a link in the chain of growing, and eternally important movement. The links ahead pull me forth and I must pull those links that come next.
WDS Community, thank you for some of the bet gifts I could ever hope to receive.
Find your voice and always strive to share it.