Last week I had the opportunity to travel to Portland to meet up with fellow World Changers, and creators.
I’ve considered myself a creator for about 15 years. A few years back I was invited to be a panelist for a reading / discussion with 826valencia.org I had just written my first book and the panel was about being an author. I sat amongst real, paid, multi published authors and thought to myself, “How did I end up here?”. I had this thought because I never labeled myself as an author. One of the questions from the audience was, “When did you decide you were an author, and what were your first step?” I remember this question like it was yesterday; everyone else had these very drawn out answers ending with an exclamation of “I love being an author.” When it was my turn I answered the question very differently, I realized that I was not with my people, it was a little nerve wracking! I said something like this: “I don’t see myself as an author, I’m a creator”. In a long slow moment all of the panelists turned left to look at me with what seemed like a look of disappointment, I wasn’t one of them! I didn’t realize I was making a bold statement or that I was differentiating myself from this group of brilliant people, but that is exactly what happened. I was different, again.
For most of my career I have been very different, I have never been ordinary, or done the mainstream thing, I have never opted to stay at a cubicle job. I tried the ordinary job twice, once in a very large publishing house, and another dealing with stocks. I couldn’t stand either. I never understood how people could go to college, graduate and then have an office job (working in a cubicle for someone they didn’t like — I realize I’m being very general here) as their lifelong career, making subpar money! NO. No way, No thank you.
This past week at WDS I was welcomed and introduced to a tribe of people who are like me! Creators. Do you have a community of people that are like you, do you see them all the time, once a month, once a year?
It was so thrilling to wake up early on Saturday morning and practice yoga with 800 other people and complete a world record! I can now officially add WORLD RECORD HOLDER to my profile and check it off my bucket list. SO cool!
AJ Jacobs kicked off the event with his story of living a year biblically, he is incredibly insightful and funny, and ended his talk about our human connectedness, and how we are no longer 7 degrees to Kevin Bacon, but perhaps cousins with him! His research and studying has brought him closer to asking BIG questions, finding solutions to those questions and creating an event to benefit research for Alzheimer’s disease. I love him.
When I was listening to him I thought about how incredible it was to be sitting in a room where people were going after their dreams, and they were going after BIG dreams. WOW.
The second speaker was Jadah Sellner, or Simple Green Smoothies, if you were lucky to be in San Francisco with us a couple of months ago you might have been listening to her at one of my events. She is a dynamo! Young, vibrant, and an ambitious dreamer to the core. I love Jadah. Her message is so clear, and it’s the same as mine, BELIEVE you can do it, then do it!
All of the speakers were stellar! Here is a list of them if you would like to check them out:
Aj Jacobs http://ajjacobs.com/
Dee williams http://padtinyhouses.com/who-is-pad/
Gavin Aung Than http://zenpencils.com/
Jadah Sellner Simple Green Smoothies
John Francis is known the world over as the Planetwalker, and is the author of Planetwalker: 17-Years of Silence, 22-Years of Walking, and The Ragged Edge of Silence: Finding Peace in a Noisy World, published by the National Geographic Society.
Michael Hyatt MichaelHyatt.com
Elisa Blaha http://eliseblaha.typepad.com/
Scott Berkun www.scottberkun.com
While we were in line waiting to be let in to an event or walking around town we were encouraged to ask other WDS participants why they made the journey to Portland… it was fascinating to hear their answers, all inspiring. “I’m here to create a company with travelers, I’m here on a stopover of my world travels, I’m here with husband who I met at last WDS and it’s now our anniversary.” My answer was simple: “I’m here to be with my people, period!” I love community. I believe that it is one of the most important elements to our society’s successful growth.
I want to sign off with asking you what you are doing to create the community you crave and need? We are human beings and our nature is to be in community with others, not isolation. Are you taking risk and meeting other people? Are you joining crazy meetups? Are you taking the time to nurture the people who are around you, who push you, who ask you to do the hard things in life? Are you? Are you being accountable for all your actions? Are you growing with others to improve the quality of their life? Are you? Are you a creator?
World Domination pushed me to consider these questions, it pushed me to address what I don’t want too, it pushed me to ask this tiny question of myself… “Lane, are you dreaming big enough?”
I will ask you the same… Are you dreaming BIG enough?
Hit respond and let me know.
Make sure to RSVP to Chris Guillebeau for next years WDS2015, I purchase my ticket already. Its a game-changer!
All Pictures used in this post are from Chris and the WDS2014 Flickr stream and they are amazing!
Until next time