Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Real Thing

My mind is still in an elevated state where more things seem possible than ever before. Since the 2013 Summit ended, I have taken some action steps to propel my learning and de-cluttering goals. The time I spent at World Domination Summit was valuable.

I was asked by a friend at work last week why I felt compelled to attend the conference in the first place. She wondered if World Domination Summit added value to my life, since she thought that I was already familiar with the influential authors who espouse embracing remark ability, and already living an exceptionally enlightened and adventurous life. She felt that I had transcended the mentality of an uninspired clock-puncher long time ago. I explained to my friend that attending the event took my passion for living an amazing life to another level--something that would be hard to do without an environment of supportive and like-minded participants.

I am familiar with the written works, inspirational videos, and articles by (or about) Seth Godin, Brené Brown, Daniel Pink, Gretchen Rubin, Tony Schwartz, and countless others. I regularly read Fast Company and 99U articles on leadership, creativity, innovation, and pursuit of excellence. These resources offer ideas for bringing community-building, empathy, and stellar customer service into the corporate workplace. I incorporate information learned from reading Experience Life magazine articles for adding tweaks to my fitness goals.

But reading about (or watching videos of) these influential figures and fully experiencing a purposeful life are two different things. Just like the difference between reading a script of a riveting theatrical play and participating in it yields different levels of engagement and meaning, participation transforms the ideas into an enriching personal experience.

Spending an intense week in company of other WDS participants transformed my learning to a new plateau. At WDS, I did not feel the need to make series of trivial talks before sharing big ideas or expressing vulnerability. I did not have to spend time having to explain the ideas behind customer-oriented missions, inclusion, or mutual accountability to others (regrettably, this was not the case once I returned to my day job several days after the Summit). It was refreshing to learn that WDS attendees also embraced the "Stop waiting for permission" mindset, and took initiatives to make things happen without seeking approval first.

During the WDS, I learned things that were not in the books or magazines that I had previously read about. I would have been unaware of various resources for writers or nuances of living a location-independent lifestyle. I would have missed out on the amazing projects of presenters and participants, including Jia Jiang's Rejection Therapy experiment, Good Life Project, Radio Enso, Global Table Adventure, Strong Inside Out, App Camp For Girls, and Gutsygeek. I would have never encountered the expression FOMO--"Fear of Missing Out."

Had I missed out on the WDS experience, I would have little or no awareness about the things I want to improve on, or my Pigeons of Discontent. Things like banishing self-doubt, improving how I relate to others, and overcoming limitations were all illuminated during the conference. And staying active in the online community of fellow attendees made me aware that I am surrounded by amazing people who take accountability very seriously.

The differences between reading about something and executing it enriches the experience. I can tell you the clinical definition of a strike zone in baseball, but nothing compared to the feeling of standing in the battery's box, with legs shaking, while facing the nastiest pitcher in my youth baseball league. I can read the score of the bass part for Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus," but learning how to make the part flow and meld with the tenor, alto, and soprano sections in a 60-person choir through repeated practice was a separate experience altogether. I can recite the rulebook definition of an "illegal block in the back" penalty in high school football, but experiencing the infraction in person--being plowed by a gung-ho linebacker and having my ass fly airborne five yards downfield before landing head-first in a mud-covered field--was a different experience altogether.

Being familiar with the works of remarkable thinkers, doers, and connectors brought me to the dance. Those works helped lay the foundation. Being immersed in the World Domination Summit event, however, led to absorbing ideas and inspirations that would make me dance more freely and build a more remarkable future.

1 comment:

  1. That sounds like a good conference. I'll look for it next year.