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Items filtered by date: July 2014
Monday, 28 July 2014 07:32

WDS 2014. Where Magic Happens

At 9pm on July 10 2014 my WDS Adventure finally took flight. 

This adventure had started 2 years earlier when I stumbled on 2 websites. 

"It Starts With' and "The Art of Non-Conformity" 

Chris’ Gillebeau’s AONC blog, not only confirmed a lot of things that I had been thinking, it opened me up to the possibility of doing things differently. Drastically differently. Via his blog I read about Travel Hacking; about visiting all 193 countries; about people starting creative businesses and thriving; and I read about living an unconventional life in a conventional world. 

But it was the “It Starts With” website and Sarah Kathleen Peck that I first discovered the World Domination Summit (WDS).  Her honesty came through the screen and touched me, her words a mirror. In one particular blog post she revealed the pledge that she had made post the 2012 WDS and the $100 challenge. 

Not least amongst the other incredible things she continues to do. I've watched in admiration at her progress over the last 2 years and what you can really do with focus and the art of asking and consistently putting your work out there into the world. 

I'm a self confessed magpie, distracted by shiny things, and both websites gave me pause. 

  • What am I focussed on? 
  • What could I really achieve if I was not distracted by shiny things? 

Inspired by both Sarah and Chris I made a commitment to myself to go to WDS.

2103 was the year of my significant birthday and my trip to India. Home to the place of my spirit, a place that had been calling to me for 8 years.  So I had to wait a whole year more to travel to Portland and join the rest of the Unconventional Army. I eagerly awaited the announcement of the 2014 ticket release. When it came I was devastated - I was going to be on my Indian adventure with no idea as to the availability of internet services. In fact I had no idea where I was going to be physically. As you can probably imagine, when I discovered that I was going to be in my hotel room in Delhi, pre-tour, and that I had (patchy and somewhat unreliable) internet. I was ecstatic! 

I could get my ticket!

9pm September 25, sitting in a hotel room in Delhi, iPad in one hand, iPhone in the other desperately hoping that the internet would stay steady while I purchased my ticket. Tickets were being released via Eventbrite - awesome! 

First hurdle leapt with ease - I had an account. 

Second hurdle, also sailed over. Tickets left? Yes. I’ll have one please. 

Third hurdle, time for check out and payment. Here is where it gets interesting…

Visa or Paypal. Paypal.

Password - not accepted. Check out. Fail. 

Reset password on my iPhone

Try again. Fail

Arrraggghhh!!!

For some reason unknown to us mortals, iPad and PayPal don't work well together. 

Try again. Fail.

In a mad panic I sent an email to Chris. Poor chap he really must have thought I was some crazed person. His response, which was almost immediate, was very calm and reassuring. Keep trying. And so I did. 

In the end, I opted for Visa. The good old reliable credit card. 

Finally, success.

I had a ticket.

I did my own little dance in my hotel room in Delhi and felt a little like Charlie when he discovers he has the last Golden Ticket to the Great Chocolate Factory.  I had not even told work that I would be disappearing to a conference on the other side of the world, and to be honest I did not care. I was sure that it would all work out as it was meant to...

So here I was nearly a year later boarding a plane for Portland, Oregon. Questions played over and over in my head. Would it live up to my expectations? Would I get the reinvigoration for my own work that I needed? Would I be able to get a decent cup of coffee? Would I learn anything new? Would it be worth the money that I had invested?

I am not going to write about the conference and the speakers. There are plenty of others who have covered that in other write ups.  Here are a sample of them. 

http://chrisguillebeau.com/wds-2014-attendee-reviews/

For me it was all about the moments. The moments that affirmed my journey to this place of creative unconventional people:

The moment I found out I was going to be able to get my ticket for WDS.

The moment I actually purchased my ticket for WDS.

The moment my leave was approved so I could travel.

The moment I got great accommodation in a gorgeous studio apartment in the Pearl district so I could walk everywhere.

The moment I met a kindred spirit in the cue for the Great Namaste.

The moment when I realised that I was going to person 697 in the Great Namaste to break the record;  

The moment I made a last minute decision to go to a meet up that created a connection that reasserted itself time and time again during the conference;

The moment a gift (a guitar pick) from one the the speakers landed in my open palm.

The moments words of speakers moved me to tears or to reflection.

The moment I knew I was exactly where I was supposed to be and this was it.

Now I am back in the ‘real world’. The world of deadlines, of routine of everyday responsibilities and of conformity, and I’m struggling.  Struggling to mould my life back to what is expected, to go back to being the responsible corporate citizen when my heart and soul are flying elsewhere. It is a hard thing to ‘come down’ from the high of such a great weekend, to take out the drip of creative energy that flows among the attendees and step back into the 9-5 world of the corporate rat race. All the while desperately trying to cling to the excitement and joy de vivre of the some 3000 conference attendees. 

Not only did the WDS met my expectations it reignited my spark. It was one of the best conferences that I have been to. I left reinvigorated and reenergised determined to live a more designed life. I know I am heading in the right direction.  I know I need to keep making good choices, honouring myself and my creative soul, to do my brave thing, to take imperfect steps, and mostly to open my heart, turn off the noise and act in spite of my fear.

So for the time being, my life is lived in 2 parts.

The one that currently pays the bills and the one that feeds my soul

 

Published in Blog
Polls

Unconventional Army

Pink - Bad Influence - 100%
ACDC - Breaking the Rules - 0%
Steppenwolf - Born to be Wild - 0%
David Bowie - Rebel Rebel - 0%
Status Quo - Break the Rules - 0%

Total votes: 2
The voting for this poll has ended on: 28 Aug 2014 - 07:55
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