I’ve always wanted to change the world. Leave my mark. Help others. You know, important stuff.
I just did it today! But it’s not what you think. I didn’t change anything “physical” in the world. I didn’t build a monument. I didn’t create a piece of art for the world to admire.
The “world” is mine. That is, the world I live in is the only world I know. The places I go, the things I see, the way I interpret the news, the people I see, meet, interact with. This is the world.
You also have a world. Is your world fantastic, happy, fulfilling, but you’re missing that one thing that completes it today? Maybe your world is dark, hard, evil, unfair, unfriendly. What if I told you it doesn’t have to be those things….this afternoon and tomorrow and the week after? What if I could show you a different world? Would you try it? One time? You know your Mom already told you that you have to try that new food! Can you hear her now? “You’ll never know if you like it if you don’t try it”.
Here’s what my world was like last week.
- Nobody seems to want to be friendly in public
- No one looks me in the eye anymore
- Society is just going downhill.
Before I tell you what I did today to change the world, let me back up to this last weekend. I attended a conference called the World Domination Summit 2013 in Portland, OR. I won’t bore you with ALL that goes on there. Here’s a list if you’re curious. http://list.ly/list/5yH-blog-posts-reflecting-on-wds-2013
My take away from the conference as it applied to this Change of the World comes from my paradigm shift after listening to Jia Jiang. His message deals with rejection. He’s had a fantastic journey from growing up in Bejing, seeing a talk by Bill Gates, wanting to accomplish even more than Mr. Gates by moving to the entrepreneur capital of the world, eventually landing in Houston, TX. He accomplish much, education, family, great paying job. Then, while venturing out on his own to obtain capital for his idea, all his dreams came crashing down with an ultimate and untimely rejection of funding. A feeling of rejection that devolved into a feeling of being rejected personally. But the most amazing thing happened to Jia, he embraced this concept of rejection and went out of his way to get even MORE rejection. What he found was rejection turned out to be his fear of the rejection, not the rejection itself. The rejection was now not a matter of not being worthy of what was being requested, it was just the other person’s opinion of what was being ask and it simply wasn’t in that person’s best interest at that time.
This got me thinking about my fears of rejection. I was acting like an introvert. I was scared of that rejection of connection. I didn’t want to approach people for fear that I might be rebuffed. And that would lead to my ultimate demise, well that’s what was going on in my head, I’d be a failure. By the way, this is really hard getting these thoughts out, stick with me!
During my weekend the WDS folks CHANGED my way of thinking about this. These people are the most open-minded, varied, positive, supportive group of people I’ve ever been near. I stop short of calling them the best group of people in the world because I simply do not have the background to make that assessment. But I’ve heard that comment from speakers at this conference who I believe do have that background. So we’ll go with these folks have got IT.
After that talk, I made the decision that I would attend a meet up of local folks attending this conference. I jumped right in. I met person after person. The first person I met was Lynn Conti. She was the person who put this meeting together , then meeting her amazing husband Ryan Bowen, I was off and running. I only have part of Ryan’s story, but he owns Raindrop Roofing NW and in our discussions, he treats his employees much the same as Bob Moore of Bob’s Red Mill and I resonated with him and his wife right away. I met Carol Routh, she operates an independent class for diversion on traffic citations. But she does it in an “unconventional” manner like none I’ve ever heard of. She actually makes her students become aware of their transgressions through her methods. No tests, no just showing up and getting off on the ticket. Change behavior, imagine that! I met Stephanie Zito. She was so nice. Engaging, present with another amazing story of her project #give10. She’s also a traveling nomad, been to exotic places, done things I only dream of. She’s like, “oh that’s no big deal”. Oh and I find out she spoke in front of WDS2012, no big deal. These stories just keep coming and coming.
I learned that I’m missing out if I don’t hear their story. I’m the one losing if I don’t take the risk of meeting them. If I didn’t “taste” this food, I would have never known how good it was!
This leads me to how I changed the world!
I know this is going to sound too easy, but I changed how “I” looked at the world. This ties into this movement I fondly call “Wave Once Today” and I never put the two together until today. Gretchen Rubin challenged our audience during WDS 2013 to examine what we lie to ourselves about. I lied to myself about how friendly I was. I didn’t look people in the eye in public. I was the one who wasn’t openly friendly in public. I wasn’t waving. So even though I had made these great connections in that small world of WDS, I hadn’t broken out to the public.
I noticed that fact today. I changed the world.
Today, people looked me in the eye…and smiled! The whole world looked friendly today.
The amazing people at WDS 2013 helped me through this fear and to all of you I met, I’m eternally grateful. To those I haven’t yet met, I’m looking forward to meeting you.
Did the world just decide to be more friendly and engaging on July 12th, 2013? Nope…. I did.