I spent last weekend up in Portland for another World Domination Summit. I was there to take a bit of a break and recharge and listen to other people tell their stories. It was inspirational on many levels and I left not ready to "take over the world" but instead to "do better tending to my small corner of the world."
Here are some of my favorite take away points:
Bravery feels like you're going to throw up. One of my favorite speakers of the weekend was Jon Acuff. I appreciated his humor, his honesty about his flaws and connected well with his message. Probably my favorite line was about how we think of bravery as this bold and ambitious feeling but really, in the moment, "being brave sucks." In the moment, you'd do anything to NOT do what you're going to do. If it was possible you'd turn your back and run away. But you can't. You're committed or it's out of your control and so bravery is about taking the leap ANYWAY. It's only after that we think of what we did as "brave." In real time we think of it as terrible.
We can do hard things. I sobbed my way through Jeremy Cowart's entire presentation (honestly though, I don't think there was a dry eye in the audience). Surprisingly, WDS was the first I had heard of Jeremy and his talents and I was blown away. Jeremy talked about being diagnosed with severe learning disabilities as a child, then finding art - first paint, then Photoshop and finally photography - and turning it into a career (a crazy, successful, world-changing career). Growing up he was told over and over again bible verse Phil 4:13 "I can do all things through God who strengthens me." It became his mantra when things were hard. It continues to be his mantra when things are hard.
And things can be hard. Hard things happen. Earth shattering, senseless things happen. And from Megan Devine learned the value of bearing witness without trying to "fix" a problem. Some problems cannot be fixed. Grief can go on forever. It's really difficult to accept this - we don't (or I certainly don't) want to accept this. But to truly support one another, we must. The rawness of Megan and her story cracked my heart and reminded me again of the difference between real problems and fake problems.
Let go. This take-away was a reflection from many of the speakers and also from the book I was reading over the weekend, Essentialism (more on that later). "Be willing to course correct" said Asha Dornfest. "Stop trying to be a superhero" said Lewis Howes. "Don't let negativity drain your energy" said Vani Hari. Over and over we heard about letting go and how freeing and powerful that can be.
A year is a really long time. Last year, I sat in the theater Sunday afternoon and wondered what the hell I was going to do next career-wise. MAKE29 was almost half over and I had no plan. Not even an inkling of a plan. This year, I have a new business that I believe in and want to spend every day working on. A year is a really long time. A year makes you wonder what's really possible.
And then after WDS, you realize everything is.