The Only Way To Reach Your Personal Summit In A Weekend

Something unique has just happened in Portland, Oregon that will forever go down in history. A small army (500 non-conformists) transcended to this beautiful city to partake in the first ever World Domination Summit.

Chris Guillebeau, an inspiring game changer, world traveler, author, good friend and truly remarkable man pulled off a summit that has left lives changed.

In one stunning weekend I believe I met some of the most amazing people ever, brought together by one commonality – a desire to live our best life, doing what we love, in a way that is truly unique to our own personal values, and that touches others lives at the same time.

While this may sound `woo-woo’ to some (a common word that came up during the weekend that I personally have a new found affection for), if you had the honour of being there you’d agree with me that –

When you put that much energy, love, compassion, intellect, humour and openness into one room, you’re bound to come away enlightened.

Just follow the tweet stream for #WDS to see the outpouring of gratitude, new found friendship and key takeaways still going on. This one from my friend Andy sums it up perfectly:

I’m not sure I can do justice in words to what this weekend meant to so many people. It’s the only event I’ve been too where there was so much listening and hugging, and so little tweeting or talking on cellphones or typing on laptops.

This was beyond special.

This was about being in the moment and soaking it all up. This was about REAL connections, new friendships and generosity.

As Baker Lawley so rightly put it The Whole Point Is To Be More Fucking Awesome – that’s what so many of us took away from this weekend.

For those who attended wanting to figure out how they can do their own thing and on their own terms and escape from cubicle nation as the amazing Pam Slim wants us to do, I believe they found the strength and courage to do so after WDS.

Caleb who I had the pleasure of meeting wrote a touching post on why he will do this in Why You Need To Go To The World Domination Summit Next Year. I expect great things of Caleb as he steps into his own freedom seeking role in the coming months.

As I do from the wonderful energy ball and strategically architectural mind of Sarah Peck. During Pam Slim’s excellent Content Planning workshop we drew out pretty diagrams and visual charts to explaining our perfect customer avatars. She has touched on the people behind the WDS and the general intent of this summit in How to meet amazing people, do awesome work and get anything you want.

I loved meeting Dagmar all the way from Denmark with her trademark green Mad Hatters Hat who’s inspiring story of a Google search led her to finding Tyler Terveroon’s site. From which she discovered Chris’ site and led her to buying her ticket to World Domination! In Conquer The World. Gently she puts into words beautifully how we all felt and still feel:

We felt the impact to the very core of our beings, and the fire in our soul still burns, stronger than ever, with the inspiration, compassion, and excited energy that ignited us.

So what was it all about?

Freedom. Truth. Insight. Fun. Connections. World Domination baby!

I can’t possibly do a better job than Jason Kallsen who has summarized almost everything that went on during the weekend and the workshops in his fantastic posts Highlights from Day One and Highlights from Day Two.

I do know that the ladies at Mondo Beyondo inspired a room to write a word on their arm that summed up ‘What makes you feel alive?’ and for the rest of day you could connect with people based on one word alone.

Leo Babuta who is a truly grounded, generous soul and wonderfully approachable wrote about what his word JoyFear meant to him.

And a quick personal recap (I know I’m missing many out here)

  • Danielle LaPorte radiated her bold truth and grace from the stage, and continues to rock my world.
  • Jonathan Fields, in addition to being an incredible thinker and great presenter is really funny on stage – who’d have known :)
  • Leo Babuta is the master of changing habits and living without goals and confused by his left and right which makes him an adorable Bolliwood dancer
  • Pam Slim is a shining goddess with an unbelievable knack to seeing into your soul.
  • Chris and Jolie Guillebeau are two of the most special people on the planet – even if their last name is hard to spell.

My personal reflections

While I could type up all the notes I took from the workshops and keynotes I attended, what I really want you to know is this:

  • The ability to listen is one of the most important abilities you can develop.
  • There is power in simplicity.
  • Generosity breeds more generosity. Give freely. Receive in droves*
  • A smile is a beautiful thing to give that spreads like wildfire
  • Hugs are a thing of wonder (especially those given by Pam Slim, Jonathan Fields, Chris G and Pace and Kyeli)
  • You can be whatever you want to be – just believe so strongly in your purpose and it will be fulfilled
  • Nothing is more beautiful than a room full of Bolliwood dancers in (somewhat unison)
  • Awareness of yourself leads to awareness of all the possibilities available to you – now
  • You have superpowers – use them!
  • You are not alone in your desire to be free, to be an individual, to feel fear, to start that thing you have always wanted to do – so go do it
  • World Domination is a right and privilege and together we shall make it happen

*Note that also applies to shouting a round of tequila shots and then receiving drinks in return – my demise on Monday morning…

Surround Yourself With Amazing People

This was not hard to do at all at WDS. Within moments of turning up to the volunteer meeting (I was late, yes I know Chris, thank you for your forgiveness) I received hugs after a moment’s recognition from Colleen Wainwright and Tyler T and got go hang with Tammy Strobel, JD Roth, Adam Baker and Sean Ogle and just too many incredible individuals.

This is what truly set the World Domination Summit apart- the quality of the individuals who made the trip to Portland, from all around the world. Congrats to lovely fellow Wellingtonian Lisa Belkin who won the prize for being person to travel the farthest, closely beating out the inspiring Nick White.

I was blessed to have finally met so many people I’ve been connecting with online in person including the Luna Pad ladies, Tara Gentile, Kate Northrup, Manisha Thakor, Sherold Barr, Jenny Blake, Andy Drish, Corbett Barr, Leo Babauta, Ambassador Mike, Laura Roeder, Nick Reese, Mark Powers, Kiwi Dave, Matt Gartland, Jonathan Mead, Jen Louden, Chantelle Baxter, Benny the Irish Polyglot, Joel Runyon, Dave Ursillo, Ross Collicutt, Joy, Terry Starbucker, David Fugate, Bekka Scott, Marie Jeanne, Desiree Adaway – pretty sure I missed people here but you know who you are.

And since a picture says a thousand words take a good look at the beautiful photos now on Chris G’s Flickr stream – this will surely give you a better idea of why you need to attend this event next year – we need more non-conformists in this world.

Oh and you can also catch my Flickr stream for more shenanigans.

  • andrewghayes

    Great wrap up. Not sure what else to say. Still slightly speechless.

  • andydrish

    10 people… 1 station wagon.

    Enough said. :P

  • ArmiLegge

    Natalie you totally rocked it out!

    I couldn’t agree more about having superpowers- EVERYONE IS A SUPERHERO!

    They just have to learn how to use their powers and rule THEIR world.

    I think simplicity is one of our greatest powers. Everything has a clutter tax. When we speak too much-words lose meaning. Buying too much crap has the same effect.

    Being concise is a true skill

    What a great way to bring World Domination to those who couldn’t attend.

    -Armi

  • NatalieSisson

    @andrewghayes

    You speechless – never. I know. I’m not sure this was my best work but had to get it out there and capture others’ thoughts while it was in my head. Actually writing helped. So lovely to finally meet Andy – here’s to the next meeting

  • NatalieSisson

    @andydrish Yes indeed. Enough said.

  • NatalieSisson

    @ArmiLegge Thanks Armi. Superheros rule although @mattgartland would say Anti-Heroes are even better. Everyone has their own special sauce that’s for sure.

  • Pingback: Day 122- Leaving Portland, Grateful | Enso Photography

  • a_creative_life

    What a great post, Natalie. You did a beautiful job summing up an amazing, impossible-to-sum-up event. Hope to see you at WDS2012!

  • driftingkiwi

    Thanks for the mention Natalie, and a *rocking* article! Loved WDS, loved meeting you, loved meeting the 498 other life changingly amazing people that were there as well. Now to go and dominate the freaking world!!

  • NatalieSisson

    @driftingkiwi Alrightly Dave if you say so! ;) Loved your post too, and here I was thinking Kiwi men were all staunch and non romantics. You break the mold my friend

  • NatalieSisson

    @a_creative_life ha ha, why thanks. I’m pretty sure it was a jumble of emotions but I appreciate your opinion and thank you for visiting, reading, participating and helping change the world with the other summit goers. To next year indeed!

  • baker.lawley

    Natalie, this is a great post and a real fitting tribute to a very powerful gathering. Thanks very much for mentioning my article on WDS along with it! It’s so amazing to connect with people that understand the need for nonconformity, and now we get to go out and spread that awesomeness to everybody in our lives. Thanks for the post!

  • http://www.dbfotografy.com/ Dharmesh

    Natalie, I enjoyed reading about WDS.. Didn’t know anything about it until I read your post. I recently started my own blog (http://ataracticmind.blogspot.com) with the idea to track my journey and my thoughts, but was always looking out for some more inspirational people. This post helped me follow some very interesting characters..

  • NatalieSisson

    @baker.lawley Baker no problem. I’m all about sharing other peoples’ great works, ideas and thoughts. Spreading awesome is what it’s all about. Have you made your World Domination Plan yet?

  • NatalieSisson

    @Dharmesh Hey Dharmesh – great another WDS convert in the works. You should definitely check out next year. Just tracking your journey is a great way to get started, it’s exactly how this blog emerged

  • bite4size

    Great meeting you at WDS Natalie! Glad we were able to connect for one crazy car ride!

  • SarahKathleenPeck

    Natalie – It was absolutely phenomenal to meet you. Your energy and sparks fly off the page and in person – BAM! You are something else! Thanks for the beautiful recap and I’m so honored to be mentioned in your post! Can’t wait to connect again many times in the future. :)

  • Pingback: #WDS: Sunday Recap (Day 3) | it starts with …

  • NatalieSisson

    @bite4size I think we should go for 12 in the car next time for good measure. So great meeting you too!

  • NatalieSisson

    @SarahKathleenPeck Abso-frickin-lutely chica. You are my new girl crush. A San Fran visit is in order now I believe!

  • Pingback: I didn’t attend the World Domination Summit, but I should have. « Idealist Cafe Blog

  • wysiwit

    A flutter of butterflies through my stomach as I saw myself qouted in your post, thank you so much! It was a pleasure and a treasure to meet you. You summed up the WDS really well, though it seems there’ll always be more to say about it – inspiration enough to last us till next year for sure! Hope to see you out there, somewhere.

  • NatalieSisson

    @wysiwit oooh I like giving people butterflies – how magical. So lovely to have you here and you’re so right – a summit like this can not be summed up in one post no matter how hard you try. I think that’s the point. It will live on in all of us.

  • http://www.securitycamera-ny.com camera-ny

    how to find ”
    Amazing People” hope more post for that

  • https://plus.google.com/+Intercomrepairny/about?hl=en ryan

    great and help post

  • Pingback: [TSE 4] The Art of Not Doing Everything Yourself With Laura Roeder |The Suitcase Entrepreneur