48 hours ago…
‘The Burglars’ by Animal Collective plays in my ears. Everyone on this flight (Calgary, Canada to Portland, USA) seems to be asleep already, but I can barely sit still. Waiting for the captain to switch off the seat-belt sign so I can retrieve my laptop and start writing is too much. iPhone notes it is.
It seems fitting that I would be writing this post on the way to my final and most important destination of this whole travel adventure. In fact, this particular destination is the reason the whole adventure happened at all.
World Domination Summit – Living a remarkable life in a conventional world.
World Domination Summit (WDS) is a week-long event in Portland, Oregon. Summing up what it actually is all about is quite challenging, I have discovered. This is the best description I’ve found, from seeknewtravel.com:
It’s a gathering of thousands of people – entrepreneurs, travelers, writers, activists, and artists – in one place to exchange cool ideas. Basically everyone comes and says what they’re working towards, and everyone else helps them achieve it in some small way.
WDS is the brain-child of best-selling author, Chris Guillebeau (The Art of Non-Conformity, $100 Start Up, The Happiness of Pursuit). If you haven’t heard of him, then the time has come. I stumbled across Chris’s blog by accident 12 months ago. Like so many others, I resonated with his honest writing style, his open introversion, and was sufficiently impressed by the feat of traveling to all 193 countries in the world, which he achieved by the age of 35.
At the time, I had just begun thinking seriously about creating an blogging platform of my own. Rather stupidly (but also involuntarily), I wasted no time playing the comparison game with Chris, where I became overwhelmed with the scale of his accomplishments and by comparison, felt rather small. Never mind the fact that my own adventure in writing had barely moved past the idea phase, let alone been uttered to single other human.
Through Chris’s blog, I quickly discovered information on WDS 2015, which was happening in Portland literally as I was reading about it. I knew I’d found something here, and I knew that one way or another, WDS 2016 would be attended by this particular Australian.
‘Imposter Syndrome’. Another dangerous game.
In the 1970’s, two American psychologists, Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes, coined the term ‘the impostor syndrome’. They described it as a feeling of “phoniness in people who believe that they are not intelligent, capable or creative despite evidence of high achievement.”
World Domination Summit attracts hundreds of the world’s best writers, thinkers, philosophers, artists and creators. The list of past speakers and attendees is impressive, and intimidating. Seriously, these people are rock stars, and all of them in some way or another are attempting (and largely succeeding) to make the world a better, happier place for us all.
‘Imposter syndrome’ has reared its ugly head numerous times for me over the 12 month lead up to this event and I strongly considered giving up every time. Proudly proclaiming myself a writer felt almost offensive to the writers and thinkers I admire so much. After all, who the hell did I think I was? What right did I—some random tap dancer guy from Queensland, Australia—have to be rubbing shoulders with the big-wigs?
However, over time my brain worked on it. It took a little while, but I got there eventually…
Creativity, and indeed ‘remarkable living’ is not reserved for the elite or some upper-echelon of the arts, despite what some may have us believe. We each have the right to bring forth the fire within us, however it manifests itself, and we must not forget that.
Here we go.
The plane has begun its descent, and Portland awaits. I have opted to approach World Domination Summit the only way I reasonably can at this juncture; with a child-like sense of excitement. There is simply no choice available in my mind but to fully immerse myself in the experience of the next 6 days; whatever they bring.
Drink it in as Anne Shirley would say.*
The Burglars by Animal Collective (wait for it…wait for it…[1:53] then just dance…at least a little bit silly. You know you want to.)
* Yes, I just referenced Anne of Green Gables. Yes, I’m comfortable with that.