Earlier in July I attended the awesome experience known as the World Domination Summit, often referred to as WDS. When telling people about this I would get asked “What is WDS?” and “Why are you going?”
The first question is surprisingly hard to answer, and I know that fellow attendees struggle with it too. I will say that over time it’s gotten easier, but the first year I felt awkward with my answers. Before I even attended I could only repeat what I had read online, and did not feel very genuine although conceptually it was accurate.
Now I typically lead with “WDS stands for World Domination Summit, but it’s not as intimidating as it sounds.” I describe it as a forum for creative and entrepreneur types to connect, be inspired, and live life on purpose.
Chris Guillebeau started WDS with 3 principles: adventure, community, and service. Those values are easy to stand behind and resonate for me. And apparently thousands of other people feel the same way.
Take risks, be a little uncomfortable, choose adventure. There’s nothing like being among people who get you and believe in the same values, andare supportive–that’s what community is about. Make a positive difference in the world, no matter how big or how small; try to change things when you believe change is needed–be of service.
So why did I go to WDS?
I’m going to lead with a recap of last year’s WDS (2013) as a primer to my answer below:
Video produced by Armosa Studios
I read and hear about people ‘being called’ to do something. I’ve never really felt that. I’ve wanted it, but struggle with its absence.
However, with WDS I can honestly say I now know what that means and feels like. I knew what the concept meant, which is to say that my analytic mind understood it. But I never felt it.
With WDS I have felt that calling. Almost immediately upon attending my first year I knew I had found ‘my people’. Before that, I just knew that I had to go but couldn’t explain it. It reminds me a bit of Field of Dreams where Kevin Costner sees and hears signs that point him in the right direction although he doesn’t know why. Only Chris Guillebeau didn’t turn out to be my long, lost father.
What I found were an extraordinary group of people, a community, who I fit in with immediately. Almost everyone would strike up conversations with others nearby, and these conversations felt way more genuine and deeper than typical introductory conversations in everyday life.
I don’t think words can fully convey just how awesome the WDS community. But I will say that they (we) are an amazing group of creative types, entrepreneurs, and adventurers, who want to make a positive impact on the world. Sometimes it takes the shape of big projects and movements, and sometimes it’s smaller or more individualized.
Now that it’s been over a year since my first World Domination Summit, I believe it has helped me find my path in life. That path is not as clear as I might hope, and I don’t know where it’s leading, but I’m heading in a new direction and it feels right.
I had some doubts over the year about whether or not I should return, but that was my analytical mind. When I stopped thinking, I just knew I had to return. I was definitely being called to return.
Coming out of this year’s WDS I’m absolutely sure that I’m going back next year. The closing speaker this year (2014) was John Jantsch and one of the things he said has become more profound as I’ve fully digested it. He told us about the importance of choosing who you do business with, of selecting the right clients and customers.
John told us a personal story about how he learned this point. He also explained how it’s important to broadcast exactly who you are and what you’re about, and then the people who that resonates with and are about that too will come to you. He told us we think that we chose WDS, but WDS actually chose us.
I returned to the world domination manifesto, and I saw what John meant. Chris had a very specific vision, and the people who believe in that same vision have become the WDS community. Adventure, community, and service. Living a remarkable life in a conventional world.
That’s how I was called. That’s why I went. And I’m really looking forward to attending next year. I came away determined to design my life, and have big goals by the next time WDS comes. Each year gets better, I get more determined, and start living more purposefully.
This year’s going to be great. I hope so great that I have a wonderful story to tell next July. Stay tuned.