This is technically our fifth World Domination Summit, a placeholder until we can hopefully hold the 10th and final WDS next year. Our first event in 2016 completely changed our marriage and our life. Ever since then, we’ve done all our goal-planning around what has become the center of our year.
Since our first WDS, we paid off all our debt, radically downsized, started living on half our income, went car-free, packed up everything to move to the beach, we both have our dream job, my hubby has just filed for his sixth patent, and now I’m planning to go to grad school.
It’s hard to imagine where we’d be without WDS as an energetic recharge and such a big part of our strategic planning.
This year, rather than a full week including a family visit, running around Portland at all hours, going to Powell’s Books, and all that... we managed to condense the event into two days of volunteer-led Zoom calls.
Starting off the day at 9 am was a treat, a fascinating view into Chris Guillebeau’s living room. We also started seeing names and faces we recognized from previous years, and every time we’d be like HEY!!!
The next meetup I did was on the “Eight Play Personalities.” It started on a somewhat downbeat note, as people related about all the activities we can no longer do during the pandemic. We missed each other, we felt cheated to have to postpone WDS, some of us were very isolated indeed and not getting human contact.
Ahh, but THEN! WDS magic kicked in as everyone started sharing ways we played when we were kids. Instantly the mood swiveled to excitement and hilarity, especially as one person’s favorite childhood activity was ‘playing in the mud.’ We started remembering that once upon a time, we knew how to enjoy ourselves. We all had dozens of ways to bring those feelings back into our stressed adult lives, usually without spending money or having to leave the house. As we started brainstorming how we could fit more of these once-cherished frolics into our workaday lives, it seemed so simple.
Note that creativity, joy, curiosity, awe, and laughter can’t share the same space with stress, anxiety, dread, or boredom. Which one is going to be the default?
What did you do for fun as a kid? Are you still doing it sometimes? Are you making time for the things you enjoy now that you’re a grown-up? If not, what are you going to do and when?
I chose hula hooping as a break, something I can probably only do for a minute or two anyway right now.
We ended on a high note, just in time for QT to pick us up, grab curbside lunch, and take us over to her place.
The first meetup we did as a quaranteam was “Celebrating Failure to Skyrocket Success.” At first we were trying to parse the title with the emphasis on “failure to skyrocket” - which seems like an issue common to overachievers and also something particularly relevant to the aerospace industry.
For an event on failure, the mood was mostly cheerful. The main theme seemed to be someone judging themselves extremely harshly for a personal standard that didn’t necessarily matter to anyone else. This is what makes fail stories so funny and relatable, because it reminds us of our own overreactions to our own petty mis-steps.
I shared how I accidentally unmuted myself at my new job while I was picking up my parrot. Roughly 35 people got to hear me saying, in cutesy pet voice: “Come here, baby” followed by smooching sounds. Including my new boss and my HR rep. Which is even funnier considering that everyone on the call knows that my husband and I both work at home, in the same department. I only just now realized they might have thought I was talking to him.
How would things be different if we focused more on our strengths and enjoying what we do well, rather than beating ourselves up for minor mistakes that other people might not even notice or care about?
Our next meetup was “Visioning for Leaders.” We did breakout sessions with a partner. We clicked so well with our partner, who lives on the East Coast, that we traded email addresses and she wrote back to us right away! Love this idea: a manager in the staid field of finance who wants her entire team to go paperless and have flexible schedules - because she wants to work on the beach! We were like, If you can do it in your industry, anyone can, and guess what, you are exactly the person with the power to shrug and say, Why the heck not.
What if *your* boss secretly wanted everyone to have desk independence and wasn’t sure if everyone would be on board?
We suggested that she start by telling her team about her vision of herself working from a beach chair, then ask everyone what their motivating image was. Now, how do we work backward from there, and can we do it by next year?
We didn’t have anything else between this meetup and the closing ceremony, so we hung out and talked about our goals.
Last week I was wrestling with impostor syndrome and feelings of inadequacy in my new job, perhaps exacerbated by the fact that I am now surrounded by people with doctorates, patents, and academic publications.
After just one day of World Domination Summit, I am reminded that I was hired for my considerable gifts in ideation, one of the things I find most fun and awesome in life. My job is literally a wish come true. I have tons of positivity that I should be bringing with me.
What are you best at? What do you enjoy the most? If you aren’t living your wish right now, what would that look and feel like?
I've been working with chronic disorganization, squalor, and hoarding for over 20 years. I'm also a marathon runner who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and thyroid disease 17 years ago.
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