As many first-time attendees expressed over the weekend, I didn't really know what to expect from the World Domination Summit. I respect and identify with much of Chris Guillebeau's work and believed that, in the least, it would be an interesting experience.
So what is World Domination Summit?
While there, I heard people describe it as "Ted talks meets Burning Man". Chris shared a story of a local hotel manager pulling him aside to note, "this is the friendliest group of nonconformist I've ever come across."
In a recent blog post, he described it as "an annual gathering of creative, unconventional people from all over the world." But my favorite analogy was to that of a good ol' summer camp. After a few intense days, we each found ourselves exhausted, super-charged, and reluctant to leave all of our new friends.
A week after WDS, I find myself home full of inspiration, ideas, and optimism. The crowd of 2800 entrepreneurs, travelers, bloggers, coaches and go-getters gathered in Portland, Oregon with one question in mind:
"How do you live a remarkable life in a conventional world?"
We each sought out our unique answers through speakers, workshops, activities and the opportunity to mingle and connect with some of the most amazing and inspirational people that exist.
So, how do you live a remarkable life in a conventional world?
Adventure, Community, and Service.
I strongly believe the answer is found within the three expressed, core values of WDS. These are values that we at Escape Project immediately associate with ourselves and actively strive to build into the lives of our travelers.
We all define adventure differently, but there was no shortage of it among the WDS crowd. We heard from Bo Cordle, who will be sailing around the world next year. We met handfuls of people who had lived in some of the most remote parts of the world, many donating their time to work on humanitarian projects. We heard from many who had let go of their conventional career path to do something they were more passionate about, an adventure in and of itself. Collectively, no matter the adventure, it was a crowd who seemed fearless. A group that was determined to better themselves, challenge others and to strive to live a meaningful life that they could enjoy.
Bob Moore stood as an example to all. After years of owning and operating Bob's Red Mill, he decided to give the business to the community that helped build it, his employees. He knew that the amazing people he surrounded himself with allowed him to celebrate his successes.
Without a doubt, one of the most valuable aspects of attending WDS is becoming a part of the community it creates. By sharing, believing, supporting and investing in each other we quickly establish a community that can knowingly accomplish more. The WDS community is one that I will forever be connected to, turn to and believe in.
We must create and empower communities around our beliefs and dreams. They become our most trusted advisors, the shoulder to lean on and a support system through it all.
What better way to maximize the potential of a community than to have them join hands and commit to making the world a better place. If we each stick to our values and continually strive to serve the causes that are most dear to us, we continually keep our own lives in perspective.
At Escape Project, we help people take remarkable vacations that combine adventure with the chance to make a difference. We help strengthen communities by building awareness around their local causes and connect travelers with opportunities to serve that community.
The values of WDS are reflected in everything that we do. It was truly refreshing to be surrounded by people from all over that are each determined to make the world a better place in their own way. They understand what drives us. They know that our mission is so much bigger than our individual successes.
I'm excited to use this event as a catalyst for progress. I want to leverage the motivation and energy provided by WDS to dream bigger and accomplish more. And with that I challenge each of you:
Don't wait to live your remarkable life.