My favourite notes from WDS

These are some of the words I have taken away from WDS2015. They are notes I have written down, but I apologize if they are not exact quotes. So many good turns of phrase. Inspiration! My notebook feels like a little piece of gold, thought it might be nice to share.

  • “How do you live a remarkable life in a conventional world?”  -Chris Guillebeau
  • “If you stay in MOTION, you don’t have to face the things that make you EMOTIONAL.” -Jon Acuff
  • “Flip the epic switch.” -Asha Dornfest
  • “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” -Maya Angelou, (used in Vani Hari’s presentation)
  • “Be not a superhero, but a super human.” -Lewis Howes
  • “Real relationships cost you something.” -Jon Acuff
  • “We want painful emotions to be better and when they can’t be fixed we get the message that grief needs to be silenced.” -Megan Devine
  • “What if I was worthy of my own trust?” -Asha Dornfest
  • “Is there anything I could do that would make you not love me?” -Lewis Howes
  • “If you want to be awesome, treat people more awesomely.” -Kid President
  • “Give life permission to break your heart.” -Lissa Rankin
  • “Even elephants are born small.” -Derek Siver
  • “Sometimes the tapestry has to come completely apart in order to be re-woven.” –Tess Vigeland
  • Inspired by Kurt Vonnegut, “Karass – a group of incarnated beings whose job it is to bring into existence, a holy idea.” -Lissa Rankin
  • “Nobody knows the future.” -Derek Sivers
  • “I use WDS to remember who I am, not the roles I play.” -WDS2015 attendee from Japan
  • “Don’t be a know it all.” -Wes from Armosa Studios
  • “Creativity is the new literacy.” –Chase Jarvis
  • “Gen X is missing deep conversation today, long form communication.” -Jonathan Fields

I don’t suppose this qualifies as long form communication, but I very much agree with Jonathan Fields. Something I will be trying to do more of.

Thank you for WDS

Even though I had a 6 hour drive home yesterday, I couldn’t put words to my recent #WDS2015 experience. For those who were not in Portland, or have not heard me try to explain WDS, it is a conference. Properly named The World Domination Summit, aiming to achieve 3 main tenets – community, service and adventure. With a quest, how to live a remarkable life in a conventional world. Still don’t understand what the conference is about? Well that is part of the mystique, I think. The feelings you have while attending are different, moment to moment, for the same person and range widely between folks.

I attended last year, just the basics of the Main Stage conference. So I had a pretty good sense of what that was about. But this year I took in the academies and the world record attempt, (success). I wanted to have the whole experience. I’m an all-in kind of gal, I guess. But not without support. Last year my dear friend and my Aunt, this year my husband. I couldn’t muster up the courage to be one of the many, many people who were attending alone. They bravely went out there and met people, something I have classically been terrible at. With the help of my wing man, I met a few people this year, maybe some which will turn into lasting connections.

The experience of being surrounding by people who are supportive, welcoming and even willing to give of themselves to help another, almost 3,000 of them, people who have nothing personally to gain by reaching out, I can only use the word AMAZING. Maybe also delightful. Inspiring. Fantastic. Wonderful. It warms my heart and soul to know that people can come together and be so…..well WDS-like.

I may not be aware of other conferences which have the same vibe, (if anyone can tell me, please do). I can’t get enough of these “good-life” experiences. I went into the weekend with a pretty empty cup. My life seems to drain it out of me. I really needed the inspiration and fulfillment which I received. But I was prepared, I arrived with several spare cups, a deep reservoir with which I can draw on for some time.

WDS Globe Sign_web

So now, come this way with me….I’ll take you on a little summary tour of what I experienced at #WDS2015.

Thursday July 9, 2015:

  • Sean Ogle, the WDS Man About Town, lead an academy called – Location Rebel.
  • The famous Jonathan Fields, 5 time WDS attendee and former keynote speaker, talked about “The Art of Becoming Known”.
  • Dinner at Noble Rot – best meal for me, great sunset view of the city. Rooftop garden provides the vegetables to the restaurant.

WDS Academy_web

Friday July 10, 2015:

  • Started the morning with Worldwide waffles, a world record-breaking, mass participation of sitting in a bed, in our pjs, eating breakfast at the same time. My husband was not so comfortable walking through the streets of Portland in our “costume”, but this, I had no problem with. (The beds were all donated to families in need in Portland.)

WDS Waffles_web

  • Registration – picking up the loot! OMG, so much good stuff!

WDS Loot_web

WDS button

  • Button we got from a fellow attendee! I think she was using this as her business card.
  • Opening party at Pure Space, great venue.

Saturday July 11, 2015

  • Jon Acuff kicked off the main stage presentations with a super funny, high energy and charismatic talk.
  • The Food Babe, Vani Hari shared her struggles with corporate America food industry giants and the “haters” alike.
  • Lewis Howes talked about The Myth of Masculinity.
  • Kid President, (who I had never heard of), was in the house! Brad Montague and Robbie Novak shared the story behind the YouTube persona they have created. Very genuine. I even bought the book which explains their journey in detail. I think kids like that are great.
  • There was a bunch of other stuff added on the schedule that day, including Pamela Slim who spoke about knowing your 7 births.
  • Over to the marina for dinner at Thirst Wine Bar.

Sunday July 12, 2015 – this was a big day, lots of emotion.

  • Jeremy Cowart gave one of the most creative, inspiring and moving presentations I have ever seen. I could have excused myself and cried for a long time. He described his childhood and what he had to overcome in school which lead to his later success. It just broke my heart to hear yet another story of how the traditional education system is failing, particularly with boys. This was very close to home for me.
  • Megan Devine spoke of grief, another emotional session.

WDS words_web

  • On the lighter side, Asha Dornfest gave a humorous talk about reinventing yourself in a time of uncertainty.

WDS Adult speech

  • Lissa Rankin spoke of the “Hero’s Journey”, something my husband related to very strongly.
  • We finished up the main stage key-note speakers with Derek Sivers who asked us, “Why are you doing what you are doing?”
  • We learned about the WDS “Magician” who will be moving over to The Wayfinding Academy. Taking a bold step to change post secondary educations experiences.
  • The closing party – FUN.

WDS candle

WDS Closing party_web


Monday July 13, 2015

  • Our final academy, hosted by Pamela Slim and Rob Young. “How to take action after WDS”. Perfect ending.

There was so much else we did in Portland, more great food we ate, happy hour at The Paramount where I tried almost every one of the 7 they had on offer, etc. Of course we left some money at Powell’s Books, couldn’t be helped. And my mind comes back to the people, so many great people. The memories built over these days are precious.

Service, Community, Adventure – act#2

This is a re-post of the review I did for #WDS2014 last July. Wednesday, March 18, 2015 starting at 9am PST, the final round of tickets go on sale for #WDS2015. This is the 5th time ’round and if you have never been, or for some reason have not secured your spot in Portland for that weekend – get ready to speed type at the designated time on March 18th.

Theatre WDS_web

As we approached the US border control post on Friday morning, I hoped it would be an easy crossing. Standard questions and answers and we would be on our way.

  1. Where are you going? We would like to attend a conference in Portland.
  2. What is it called? (long pause) The World Domination Summit (another long pause).
  3. How long have you been with Amway? Huge relief, roaring laughter from all of us.
  4. BEST border crossing ever.

Skycats WDS_web

It was our first time attending WDS, (as it came to be known). We had no expectations, but hopes, both for the conference and our free time in Portland. As we drove down, after our enjoyable border crossing, we chatted about the usual stuff. We had no idea.

When we arrived at the hotel, we let the car go for the weekend, time to walk and experience the city. Sitting on the patio, we enjoyed the great surroundings, just like any other day. My mind kept wandering back to like experiences. People having a drink getting ready for a load of information compressed into a couple of days. However, we would come to find out, this was no ordinary meeting.

When people don’t know each other they tend to need some nudging to open up and introduce themselves. Particularly to share their stories. There was a bustle of conversation on the patio among people wearing their name badges. We assumed they knew each other previously. We were not included in the group yet, (maybe they thought we were with the Mormons, the other large group staying in our hotel for the weekend).

Over to registration, we got a whole load of goodies and were asked to create a short video of what we imagined to be doing in 2020. I’m not great at knowing what I’ll be doing next week and I didn’t think that stating my big year of 50 was a significant enough declaration. This was the first sign to me, the WDS folks want you to start thinking.


At the opening party we realized with every stranger who approached us, this was a friendly crowd. Genuinely interested in your story and ready to share theirs. Many of these exchanges involved other first timers. I was not prepared for this level of engagement. It was thrilling.

Over the next 3 days, we learned so many things. The guiding question: “How do we live a remarkable life in a conventional world?” That is a biggie. Then throw in the core values of community, adventure and service. I think this sets the stage for people to think differently, open their minds to new ideas, be creative. These kinds of events are lacking in our modern, busy and stressed world.

Meeting people at every turn, hearing their stories, amazing keynote speakers, fantastic venues, Portland glowed in the spotlight. When the offer went out to pre-register for next year, I accepted. I am going back, and I’m going to enjoy the whole wonderful experience even more. (I now have a year to figure out some of the answers to the questions people kept asking me.)

On another funny note, my husbands co-workers thought I was attending the world dominatrix summit.