It’s that time of year again! I’m in town for the World Domination Summit, which is once again sold out. I’ve got party costumes, I’ve got a new day planner, I’ve got exciting plans and a big bushel of anticipation. This has been the event around which I plan everything I do for several years now, and I’m making the most of it.
There’s a lot to be said for using the middle of the year as a planning break. One of the reasons that so many people bag on New Year’s Resolutions is that there’s no built-in checkpoint until the following New Year’s Eve. Another is that a lot of people would rather do nothing at all than be perceived as following a trend. Yet another is that there seems to be a sense that resolutions are about self-deprivation or joyless discipline. There’s also the problem that winter is bogus in and of itself.
I choose to frame it differently. This is my life, and thus it’s also my year. I want to fill every year with awesome things. If I don’t take steps to fit in my own plans, my time will be filled with other people’s priorities. All I will wind up doing is work, chores, errands, consumption of passive entertainment, news outrage, and listening to other people vent. Oh, and gaining five pounds, mustn’t forget that.
This is why I step away and why I do quarterly check-ins, which I could do even if there were no such thing as WDS and even if I had no vacation time and even if I couldn’t go anywhere. Anyone can still pause for breath and a moment to ask, Is this what I really want to be doing with my one wild and precious life? Is all this working for me? Do I have any better ideas?
It helps, of course, to be surrounded by a few thousand people who are doing the same thing. It helps to run around making new friends, taking classes, and listening to inspirational speakers.
It helps to ask, what would this look like if it were fun?
(What if the focus of my budget was travel or retiring early?)
(What if my workout involved hula hoop tricks or acrobatics?)
(What if I really could dye my hair in rainbow streaks and get away with it?)
The first year my husband and I signed up for WDS, it changed our life. We went home, got rid of 80% of our stuff, sold our car, and moved to the beach. We started saving half our income. My husband is working on his fourth patent and I’m about to file the final paperwork to become a Distinguished Toastmaster.
Throughout the year, I think to myself, what am I going to have to say for myself at WDS next year? When people ask me what I do, or what I got out of the event, what am I going to tell them?
This is challenging for me in a lot of ways, because I’m a shy person and I don’t really like to talk about myself. Icebreaker exercises are hard for me and I tend to get vapor-locked. “What is something interesting about you?” “Uhhhhh....” Who would want that in their eulogy, though?
One of the many possible motives for leading a more awesome life is that it proves to other people that it can be done. You don’t need permission. You can change jobs, move, make new friends, set new boundaries in your relationships, change your appearance, and even change your mind, your industry, or the world itself. You can learn new things. You can, in point of fact, change anything you want, and you can do it with delight and intrigue.
Now pardon me, I’m off to playland. Go out and dominate!
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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