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.