Reverberations from WDS
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?
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