Life will never be the same. It had been the main thought on my mind through the most remarkable weekend of my life, the weekend of the World Domination Summit 2013 that took place in Portland, Oregon.
For me, World Domination Summit 2013 stretched for four days from July 4th to July 7th.
July 4th was not yet an official WDS day, but it was already booked with various attendee-organized pre-summit activities. With my love of walking and transportation, I could not resist joining the 4T trail (train-trail-tram-trolley, unfortunately the tram was actually closed that day, leaving us with double trail). I continued hanging out with some of the people during lunch and the afternoon. And in the evening, we met again to have dinner and watch the Independence Day fireworks from a restaurant located on the thirtieth floor.
The morning of the second day was devoted to a world record attempt (successful!), regarding the longest chain of people floating in the water – the total number was around 620! Then, the day proceeded to registration, from which I went to a workshop on writing a book, then a meet-up of the Live Your Legend community. At the end of the day, we all gathered in the Oregon Zoo for the official opening.
On Saturday and Sunday, main sessions took place in the Arlene Shnitzer Concert Hall in the mornings and late afternoons. At all the other times various workshops, meet-ups and other activities were held throughout the city. As the extra activities on Saturday, I chose the interview with Chris Guillebeau in the afternoon and the Portland Spirit cruise on the Willamette river in the evening. On Sunday, I went to the book signing session to get my copy of The Art of Non-Conformity signed by Chris Guillebeau, and also to say hi to Gretchen Rubin, who had delivered a great talk on self-knowledge that morning. I relaxed for the rest of the afternoon. Sunday evening after the official closing was devoted to writing the first draft of this post instead of going to the party.
During WDS days, I found that I am not alone with all the ideas running through my head all the time. I had been sharing my dreams and my vision with other attendees, and nobody labeled me as crazy, nobody asked me to “think realistic”, nobody discouraged me from going for my dreams. All these people have their own visions, their own interests and seek their own ways of life that may be and are different from mine in most cases. However, when an idea or wish was expressed, people didn’t try to come up with all the possible causes for failure or thoughts why it might not be a very good idea. For the first time in my life, at WDS I was in an environment where others accepted me for being who I am, where they did not want me to be someone else, think some other thoughts or do something else. This was the all-praised like-mindness that I had been struggling to find for a long time at other places. At WDS, the people were open to learning about each other and their paths, they were engaged, and they were willing to offer their services to help each other. It was an incredible feeling of belonging, in the true sense of community.
Multiple times during the weekend, the main stage speakers and performers encouraged us to dream, to dream big, and to go for it. To act on our dreams, to be creative. I was touched to tears by some of the talks. I already knew that I would like to live life true to myself, to work on manifesting my dreams, to express myself and to help others. What WDS brought to me is a touch of a possibility. Seeing all these people coming together and hearing the words spoken from the main stage helped me to believe that it is possible for me to live that life.
What am I taking home from #WDS2013?
First of all, several new friends, several deep connections with people. Some of these people I have “met” online before, but nothing can replace the in-person interaction – being around them, talking, joking, or having a meal together. I am not sure if I can keep up with them during the year, if I can maintain and grow and deepen our connections, for us to continue to feel the friendship between us. I will do the best I can.
Second, the belief in the possibility of a remarkable life for me. Of the life I dreamed of, of the life true to myself. I know that most likely it will not be easy, that I have to put in some hard work and a substantial amount of effort. As Mindy Gibbins-Klein told us at her session on writing a book, to accomplish our goals despite all the challenges on the way, we need to have a driving force, a compelling reason to do it, and this driving force should be a MUST. I am ready to do it. I am willing to put in the effort, I am willing to devote my time and energy and money to it. Scott Dinsmore of Live Your Legend calls it “something that we can’t not do”.
Third, encouragements to go for our dreams and wildest desires, with the most inspiring example given by Darren Rowse and words sang and repeated by Steve Schalchlin – “Time to come out. Time to be yourself”. Plus, shocking discoveries from the rejection challenge by Jia Jiang.
I have been transformed by the experience of the event. I would like to be there next year, and I am very much inspired to make my own contribution to the world in alignment with the core values of the summit: community, adventure and service.
If you have attended #WDS2013 or some other event that is very special to you, share a short story on your experience in the comments below! What was your main takeaway?