The short answer to why you need to go to the World Domination Summit in Portland, OR next year (2012) is simply that: The people there will change your life.
Not just anyone you might know that happens to be there, but every single person you talk to has an interesting story to share and wants to hear yours too. You can expect genuine compassion from everyone you interact with. To help demonstrate the mood of the weekend more in depth, I have two experiences from “the day after” that demonstrate the feeling of being at the conference.
As I was driving into work this morning I made the normal commute as I drove away from downtown Seattle. Usually, I would be in the zone, listening to a podcast, driving the speed limit, and focused on the road. But as I was driving, I looked at opposing traffic headed towards their 9 to 5 grind just like me.
There was a huge difference between them and me though. All of suburbia was stuck in gridlock traffic, while I had an open road.
I simply smiled and thought, “You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing.”
I’ve known for a while that I need a big change in my life and I’m choosing to work towards it everyday to get there. To me, being “different” is really just about being the real you.
The other thing that has continually happened to me today (probably because I am exhausted and need a nap) is I keep hearing an alarm going off. It’s the same sound that wakes me up each morning, but there is no actual alarm going off. Every time I hear it, it reminds me that its time. Time for action.
When I was at the World Domination Summit, alarms were going off in my head all weekend. I met so many amazing people that are living their lives how they want to live them, not how they are expected to. Immediate feelings of support were shared with me when I told them of my future plans for adventure. They’d ask, “how soon?” and I wanted to say tomorrow. The time for action is now.
Expectations & Inspirations
I had high hopes for the World Domination Summit. I bought the ticket even before I started this site or knew anyone online. Chris Guillebeau’s writing and especially his book have radically changed how I view the world and my place in it. I was really looking forward to meeting people that refused to be “normal” and conform to society.
In every way, my expectations were exceeded. I talked with people that are huge inspirations for major successes and changes in my life like J.D. Roth, Leo Babauta, and Pamela Slim. When I talked with them and told them my story, the genuine interest and care they placed in our discussions warmed me greatly.
To sum up WDS in a single sentence:
The World Domination Summit is where real leaders inspire real people to quit faking it.
Leave what makes you miserable and go do what makes you happy. If you have done something for ten years and hate it, that doesn’t mean you have to do it for ten more. The world needs people that slow down and come alive, not rush till they're dead.
Did I get answers to all my questions over the weekend? No. The conference gave me more questions than I could have ever thought up on my own.
Why am I so afraid to follow my dreams? What am I waiting for? How long until this conference grows from 500 to 50,000 people?
My generation has always been told they can do anything, but so many of us settle. We do what we think we are supposed to do and build a comfortable life with a mortgage and 2.6 kids. We have the burden of debt, possessions, and obligations that weigh us down. But the truth of it is:
We don’t have to fit in. We have to get out.
Too Hard to Leave
On Sunday night at the after party, I didn’t want to leave. I had to work first thing in the morning Monday and pre-WDS Caleb would have left in plenty of time to make it home for seven hours of sleep and jump right back in to “being normal” again. I didn’t leave early though. Even after two straight days of connecting with great people, I didn’t want to miss out connecting with just one more person.
If I had left at the responsible time of 6pm I would have missed connecting with Jenny Leonard for a discussion on how physical pain affects our deeper psych. I would have missed bro-ing out and destroying two man sized pizzas with Steve Kamb, Joel Runyon, Sean Ogle, Adam Baker, and Grant Pelle. I wouldn’t have realized in person how much confidence and genuine joy Nina Yau carries with her everywhere. I wouldn’t have had so many laughs with Devon Mills. Mikell Sloan and I wouldn’t have started the impromptu dance party at The Woods. And more connections than I have space to write.
Even though I had to take power naps at two rest stops around 1 AM to keep from falling asleep at the wheel on the way back to Seattle, it was worth it.
The five-minute walk from my car into work on the day after the summit felt longer and harder than the four hour, mini nap infused drive coming back to Seattle from Portland in the dead of night. Leaving a place and event filled with people that aren’t content with being normal or simply fitting in, brought a tinge of culture shock upon me.
The walk to my cubicle brought me back to normal, but because of WDS, I had a renewed vigor to be different and make my dreams become a reality.
It further motivated me to continue on the journey towards following my passion of living a life filled with “wants” and not with “shoulds”.
I’m already looking forward to next year’s World Domination Summit (June 2012) and can’t wait to continue to connect with the people I met this year. If you want to make sure you are first to hear about when registration opens up, sign up here.
I know I’ll be there.