My WDS Experience (aka: 3 Ways to Be Remarkable with What Life Is)


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“If you don’t take care of yourself, you’re of no use to anyone else” Michael Hyatt

On Friday, July 11th my remarkable friend Jill and I arrived in PDX at 1:45 pm. By ten past 2 were we in a cab on our way to downtown Portland. We checked into our hotel and made our way to the theatre. As soon as we walked in – only 15 minutes before our scheduled first event (RevolutionU with Jonathan Fields) – who was there to greet us? None other than the host of the World Domination SummitChris Guillebeau. “You made it!, Chris said warmly. “It is so good to see you.” Chris and a team of more than one hundred volunteers and world dominators (including magicians, unicyclists, and caring souls) would continue to make us – and the 2,500 attendees in this unconventional community – feel a sense of care. You know that feeling when you know deep down people are genuinely happy you are in their presence? Yeah, that one. ALL WEEKEND LONG!

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There were so many remarkable moments inside the Schnitzer Theatre, so there is no way to capture all of them here. Instead, here is my attempt to share three of the ideas that I have not been able to get off my mind and I passionately want to keep close to my heart.

Lesson One: Show you care

Being caring is one of the values I admire most in others and strive to be in my life and my work. No matter how successful, remarkable or notable someone becomes (at least by conventional metrics) if they only care about themselves and what’s in it for them, they will never come close to practicing WDS values:

Community – connecting and working with remarkable people

Adventure – taking risks and doing new things

Service – making the world a better place

The conference is built around community, adventure, and service. In their own unique way each of the speakers cared about meeting their own goals, using their special talents, as well as supporting others to do the same.  A prime example is Gavin Aung of Zen Pencils, who encouraged us to ask: How can you use your talents to help other people? The speakers reminded me how it is possible to dream big for ourselves AND hold space for others in pursuit of their own dreams.

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I inspire change. That is a bold statement, one of many that resonated during Elise Blaha Cripe’s presentation. The little lead in “will demonstrate the power in making a bold statement” had me intrigued. I could probably write an entire post about Elise’s presentation. Luckily, she wrote her own (actually two!), which you can read here enJOY. Confession: at first I didn’t like Parks and Rec,. but Amy Poehler? Come ON! Elise shared this wonderful bold statement of Amy’s and I know I’ll be using it for motivation:

“Great people do things before they’re ready. They do things before they know they can do it. Doing what you’re afraid of, getting out of your comfort zone, taking risks like that – that is what life is. You might be really good. You might find out something about yourself that’s really special and if you’re not good, who cares? You tried something. Now you know something about yourself.” – Amy Poehler

Lesson Two: Show you can – Be Bold

I am innately curious about the relationship between personal development and social transformation. Change is not always welcome, expected, or beneficial. But, if we can take a page from Jadah Selner‘s poetry book: “I encounter every lesson in life on purpose.” Jadah had so many gems, but it was her spoken word and the grace with which she told her messy, amazing, imperfect, and inspiring story that drew me in.

 One of the first things A.J. Jacobs said from the stage was: Be Bold. Yes, there were 2, 498 or so other people in the theatre, but it was like A.J. was talking directly to me and Jill.

Lesson Three: Show your (imperfect) self – Be Seen 

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Jadah’s words really spoke to me. I took imperfect action last week when I published a blog post on this very subject! This a bold statement about getting out of my perfection container.

Elise encouraged us all to complete the following open-ended statement.

I ______________________________. Please share in the Comments and put it somewhere you and others will see the message. Believe it! Believe in yourself and in the power of other people around you to support you in making what seems impossible happen.

My bold statement is:

I take care of people, *starting with me. 

*this is the really hard part to say out loud and declare.

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Be remarkable in a conventional world. After all, life is taking care of ourselves and each other, so why not do it bold and out loud. It’s not going to be perfect, but it sure can be special. Thanks, Jill, for the gift of friendship. Let’s make the “unreal” real together!

This entry was posted in Adventure, Care, Community, Connection, Courage, Creativity, Events, Service and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

8 Comments

  1. Rita
    Posted July 22, 2014 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    love this. Thank you for sharing this Joanne. xo

    • joanne
      Posted August 10, 2014 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      Thank you, Rita. How are you??

  2. Tara Hogue Harris
    Posted July 25, 2014 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Sounds inspiring! Hope you came home invigorated and ready to share what you learned!

    • joanne
      Posted August 10, 2014 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      I am invigorated. I am working on how to use my tools and inspiration from WDS for the “Bold Care Life Advance,” November 1/2, 2014. I hope you will join us!!

  3. Kelsey Ford
    Posted July 26, 2014 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Great post!. Love, love, love Portland and all it has to offer. Glad you were able to have such a wonderful experience!

    • joanne
      Posted August 10, 2014 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      Kelsey! Thanks for commenting here. Portland is awesome. WDS is such an opening experience. I am motivated and inspired to create an event for Cared Humanity that provides the same vibe of inclusiveness and caring community.

  4. Elena Charlebois
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    Wow! How awesome! What an incredible experience! Looking to hear more and learn through your sharing next time I see you!

  5. joanne
    Posted August 10, 2014 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Chris. I appreciate you sharing my blog post with the WDS community.

    Happy Travels!

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