World Domination Summit

Dominating the world

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You know how sometimes in life you have transcendent moments?  Your first kiss.  Walking through the departure gates on your first big trip.  Sky diving, bungy jumping, running a marathon.  Your heart is soaring, the adrenaline is pumping and the whole world around you seems so much more intense than usual.

In those moments you feel like anything is possible.  You tingle with the excitement of new possibilities.  Nothing seems too hard, your emotions are heightened and your passions are aflame.  These are the moments in which you feel completely alive.

Now imagine having those moments continuously for three entire days.  That, in a nutshell, was the World Domination Summit.  It was the most inspiring weekend of my life.

I had high expectations going into the summit.  Hell, I needed to – it’s a long way from Melbourne to Portland.  A full 24 hours before it even started, as I was chatting to the amazing Chris Guillebeau and having dinner with some new friends who were all doing incredible things with their lives, I knew the weekend wasn’t going to disappoint.

By the time I’d finished drinking beers with Leo Babauta and the last remaining stragglers in the small hours of Monday morning, my mind was officially blown.  I wanted the summit to never end – and yet I needed it to.  I needed time to stop, to think, to turn inspiration into action.  My brain was overflowing with awesome.

Being in a room with 500 wonderful, brilliant, inspiring people has a power all of its own.  At times it was difficult to focus on what the presenter was saying – my mind was buzzing with dozens of new ideas, crazy ideas, wonderful ideas.  The supportiveness, friendliness and openness of every single person I met is something that I’ve never experienced before, and it completely blew my mind.

Egos were left at the door.  Self-promotion didn’t exist.  From the biggest rock star blogger or artist to those who didn’t even know exactly what they wanted to do but knew that the status quo was not an option, everybody genuinely cared about each other and honestly wanted to help them achieve their dreams.  Put simply, in the museum, cafes, bars and streets, there was magic in the air in Portland last weekend.

World Domination Summit 2

There wasn’t a single presentation I didn’t enjoy – hugely.  Pam Slim taught us to trust our roots.  Leo gave amazing advice on simplicity and effectiveness (hint:: have no goals – counterintuitive, huh?).  Danielle LaPorte was simply mind blowing, with an incredibly powerful message and Q&A session on self-realisation.  She had many of the best quotes of the weekend, including advice on how to make the leap that you’re scared of (“You won’t die!”) and how to effect change within an organisation (“It is time to stop being polite to corporate America“).  Or corporate anywhere else, for that matter…

My awesome blogger buddy Jodi Ettenberg – who had never spoken in public in her life – totally rocked the place with a heartfelt, funny and inspiring talk on why and how she has travelled the world for the last three years, and how you can do it too.  And despite telling me beforehand that she was highly likely to puke on herself, she remained both vomit and birdshit free for the entire conference.  Karen Walrond left me speechless with her stunning photos and amazing life lessons.  And on, and on, and on it went…

It was everyone else I met and talked to, however, that left the biggest impact of all.  These are people you have probably never heard of who are rocking the world in amazing ways, often without much in the way of fanfare or noise.  My incredible new friend Chantelle, for instance, who founded and now remotely runs a non-profit that provides educational scholarships to girls in the poorest rural areas of Sierra Leone.  As the website says, when you educate a girl she’ll change the world.  Well, Chantelle is totally changing the world – and she’s only 26.  If that doesn’t inspire you, nothing will – and yet hers was just one of 500 similarly incredible stories that weekend.

Backpackers, CEOs, lawyers, sculptors, writers, speakers, coaches and so many more, all united by a single purpose: wanting to live a remarkable life in a conventional world.  It’s not an easy goal – but it’s the only one that will work for me.

After such an incredible weekend, now is the time to take this unbelievably powerful feeling and turn it into concrete, specific action.  That is what I’m doing, starting right now.  Make sure you come along for the ride, it is going to be freaking incredible.

Chris and his small army of volunteers will be running another World Domination Summit at the same time next year.  I have already pre-registered, and if you also want to live a remarkable life, you should sign up to do the same.  It will quite literally change your life.

It has already changed mine.

PS:  Somehow on Sunday night I managed to commit to running the Melbourne half-marathon in October.  In a school uniform.  A girl’s school uniform.  Yes, I’ll be supporting onegirl in their ongoing education campaign for underprivileged girls in Sierra Leone.  If you’d like to help, please make a donation to Do It In A Dress.  Thanks so much!

[Images courtesy of Armosa Studios]

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  1. Fantastic wrap up of an awesome weekend. You put in to words my sentiments exactly. Could not get over the vibe of the attendees while in awe of the organizers and speakers.

    I had the privilege of hiking Saddle Mountain with Chantelle on Monday and was similarly amazed and inspired. Looking forward to supporting you in your marathon. The photos will be awesome!

  2. Sounds like one incredible weekend. Now the secret is to build on it and not let ‘the cubicle’ dull the experience. You must have so many possibilities to work on. Maybe you could be one of the guest speakers next year with a story to match!!
    Somehow I must arrange to be in Melbourne in October with a camera.

  3. I, as a somewhat introvert, will never forget the experience of screwing up my courage to introduce myself to whomever was beside and, time and time and time again, being warmly received (often hugged) and intently listened to as I told my story. Connection, genuine interest, openness, love…it was a powerful, powerful weekend. Your words do a great job to describe it! And thank you for being one of those people who opened yourself to me. A pleasure.

    1. You are more than welcome – it was awesome to hang out with you at both at WDS and TBEX over the last couple of weeks. An incredibly powerful experience and I certainly hope to keep the excitement and motivation going…

  4. Pingback: Day 122- Leaving Portland, Grateful | Enso Photography
    1. Would you like me to write some more about it? I hadn’t necessarily planned to, but I could possibly be convinced otherwise… 😉

  5. From all accounts I’ve read, this was a life-changing experience for many. I love the ideas I’ve read from here- it’s motivation to start moving my own life in the direction I want it to go.