Reverberations from WDS

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012 9

I was fortunate to be one of the 1,000 folks that attended the World Domination Summit last week. I know…what the hell is the “World Domination Summit” and why does it sound so pretentious, devious, and/or potentially evil? Well, it’s far from any of these things. The World Domination Summit, or WDS, is a “conference” that brings together an eclectic and diverse, yet like-minded group of people together who, for this year’s gathering, were contemplating the following question: how do you live a remarkable life in a conventional world? A worthy question I think I’ve been considering for some time, if not worded exactly in that way. After all, I began writing and sharing my photography here at Life Refocused with the express intention to use photography to build a creative life and focus on what matters.

The two days of WDS were inspiring, to put it ever so mildly. The presenters were nothing short of phenomenal and provided so much wisdom, encouragement, and inspiration. In thinking about what to share about WDS, I looked back at all the notes I took throughout my time there. I am quite certain I could write 10 blog posts (or more!) on what I learned from WDS. So, I’m taking a cue from my friend, Liz Lamoreux, and am going to share with you the pieces that are continuing to reverberate most for me.

1. Brené Brown (whom I admire beyond what I could write here) shared this new mantra of hers with us and I am loving it and adopting it as part of my regular internal repertoire: “No one belongs here more than me.”

2. Brené also said something that stopped me in my tracks. She stated that, “unused creativity is not benign.” Let me write that again: “Unused creativity is not benign.” Brené went on to share that such unused creativity leads to grief, rage, and a host of other negative emotions and consequences. This has made me contemplate whether part of my health crisis a few years ago was related to me storing up so much unused creativity as I sat on the creative sidelines for most of my life. After all, negative emotions certainly show up in the physical body as sickness. So perhaps my pent up creativity manifested as an illness. Something for me to reflect upon more.

3. Okay, I know I’m going on a bit with wisdom from Brené, but she is just so good. Last kernel I’ll share from her (for now) is this: “belonging is an essential human need.” Oh did that hit home for me. I have felt such a need and want throughout my life to belong. To be seen. And I’ve often felt annoyed by this desire. I felt like yearning for belonging was a weakness or character flaw. I know in my rational mind, and as a psychologist, that belonging and the desire to be part of a group, a tribe, is inherent in being human. But my heart and soul needed the reminder.

4. Chris Guillebeau, the mastermind behind WDS, reminded us in kicking off day 2 that “inspiration needs action.” Having good ideas means nothing if they just stay in your head or as a note to self on a sheet of paper. Another small statement with a big message.

5. Audrey Scott and Dan Noll, a couple who have been traveling the world together for the past 5 years, urged us to “embrace regret avoidance.” I love that. Regret is unequivocally in my list of top 5 emotions I least enjoy. Thus, I love the sentiment to live life, intentionally and mindfully, to avoid regret.

6. Danielle LaPorte shared so much in her Q&A session. Wow! It was great to hear her perspective on so many topics as the questions flew. I jotted down many notes during this workshop, but one that is really sticking with me is this: “surround yourself with ‘yes’ people.” I think many of us have gotten habituated to the naysayers in our lives who continually respond with a “no” that we forget how inspiring and energizing it is to be with “yes people.” As someone who’s personal mantra is embedded in the core belief of you have to ask, this piece of advice is still ringing in my ears.

7. And last but certainly not least, in a lightning round of quick 1-minute and 5-minute presentations from members of the audience, one woman shared this: “keep your eyes on your own paper.” That is, stay your course, follow your path. Above all, stop comparing yourself to others and do your own work. YES! I’m definitely the first “yes person” in line for that piece of advice. It’s such an important piece for me to hold on to: Follow my own path and show up and do the work.

Those are some of the most lasting reverberations for me from the World Domination Summit 2012. I’d love to hear if any of these resonate for you. And if you went to WDS, are there other pearls of wisdom you’re holding on to?

9 Responses

  1. I love this, Meghan! I didn’t attend the WDS, but I can safely say that what resonated with you is what would have likely resonated with me. We struggle with many of the same “demons,” and I have long been plagued with the question of how to live a remarkable life in a conventional world (and on the flip side, how to live a very ordinary life in the ways that the world asks it to be remarkable). In other words, I’ve felt like a fish swimming upstream most of my life, which is what I think this is getting at.

    You know, the more I read of your posts lately, the more I wonder if you don’t have some sort of a project percolating around being seen and belonging (creative or otherwise). It seems to strike at some sort of essential truth for you, some core mission.

    Thanks for sharing your wisdom for those of us who couldn’t be at the WDS!

    PS: That Joseph Campbell idea about “entering the forest at the darkest park,” where the path is totally obscured (and thus your own — you know you’re in trouble when you’re walking on already-treaded soil) keeps coming up for me lately. Something to pay attention to for sure, especially as I have a tendency to want to emulate others’ successful paths.

    • Meghan says:

      Thanks, E. I am not surprised that you resonated with much of what I shared here. Kindred spirits that we are. I think you would have loved WDS and I can’t recommend it enough for your 2013 calendar. I really am intrigued with your flipping things and asking “how to live a very ordinary life in the ways that the world asks it to be remarkable.” And YES, I’ve been mulling over a project regarding being seen and belonging. Not sure what that is exactly yet, but definitely percolating. And I can’t wait to see what that Campbell quote reveals to you. xoxo

  2. Oh, Meghan, this sounds incredible. I want to be there!!
    Brene Brown is amazing, and what she says about unused creativity – that really rings true. What a unique way of putting it! I had that experience for about 15 years (with really small spurts of creativity in there) – I felt helpless and lost. Thank you for sharing your experience! I would love to hear more.

  3. Thanks Meghan for sharing info from the summit. I’d seen various posts from other gals who had attended, but hadn’t had the time to research the purpose. So interesting and I’m looking forward to exploring more from the individuals you highlighted. Thank you!

    • Meghan says:

      Glad to help fill in the details, Robin. The people I mentioned in this post — Brene, Chris, Danielle, are so outstanding. Check them out!

  4. mary says:

    Thank you for sharing your WDS wisdom. There is so much goodness in this post.

  5. […] another over the course of the weekend in New Hampshire. We discovered that we both attended the World Domination Summit this past July, and that we’re both headed back this coming summer. We also shared our love […]

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