Small Steps and the World Domination Summit

by Tanya Geisler on · 4 comments

There are about a mil­lion dif­fer­ent ways to begin a jour­ney. You can dream, plan, plot, map. This is inte­gral to the process.

And just like you, my head is filled with dreams, plans, plots and maps. Places I want to go, meals I want to pre­pare, books I want to write, can­vasses I want to adorn, audi­ences I want to thrill, lives I want to touch and bel­lies I want to fill.

But there is no step is more cru­cial to the jour­ney than tak­ing the actual first step. You know: old-school. Foot on the ground. The next one in front of the other. Rinse and repeat.

Ear­lier this month, I had the good for­tune to be in Port­land, Ore­gon attend­ing the World Dom­i­na­tion Sum­mit. A heav­enly place for a sub­lime con­fer­ence. It’s the brain­child of Chris Guille­beau who is a well-loved and admired author, explorer and a kind and gen­er­ous soul.

The pur­pose of the event is to gather folks with shared val­ues of adven­ture, com­mu­nity, and ser­vice. The “world dom­i­na­tion” lan­guage speaks to world ser­vice: con­tri­bu­tion, engage­ment and influ­ence. The theme cen­ters around this deli­cious question:

“How do you live a remark­able life in an uncon­ven­tional world?”

This ques­tion was the spring­board for the speak­ers: authors, TED Talk-ers, activists and other Super Stars all doing truly remark­able things. It was also, of course, the gen­e­sis of con­ver­sa­tion amongst atten­dees, and before any of us allowed our­selves to com­pare our­selves to each other and judge our­selves harshly with whether we were doing “enough”, Brené Brown offered this in her keynote:

“The oppo­site of scarcity is not abun­dance, it is enough.”

So, we all self-managed, didn’t keep score of what we were (or weren’t doing), enjoyed sum-zero judg­ment, good con­ver­sa­tion and tons of inspiration.

Con­text: 2011 was the WDS’s first year with 500 in atten­dance. In 2012, 1000 attended (5000 were on the wait­ing list). Incred­i­ble, really.

How in the world can I pos­si­bly be talk­ing about Chris’s mas­sive feat in the con­text of “small steps” here at The Jun­gle of Life?

Because the World Dom­i­na­tion Sum­mit, like every book, mas­ter­piece, song, project and jour­ney began with an idea first, and then a step.

So here I am, back in my home, time zones and worlds away from the WDS expe­ri­ence, inspired and awed by the sto­ries of feats and suc­cesses that I was treated to in Port­land and a whis­per of a quote haunts me:

Inspi­ra­tion with­out action is called enter­tain­ment.”

I know I for one didn’t travel 2000+ miles away from my fam­ily just to be entertained.

It’s time for action. It’s time to get those dreams, plans, plots and maps out of my head and into my life. And here’s what I know:

1) Any step is a step: declare the goal and claim it. The honey lies in between com­mit­ment and activation.

2) It won’t be per­fect. WDS wasn’t per­fect and moreso, Chris KNEW it wouldn’t be per­fect. In the very first moments of the con­fer­ence, he offered this: “for best results, just add flex­i­bil­ity.” Per­fec­tion­ism is really and truly just another way to procrastinate.

3) We don’t need to go it alone. Ask for the help. WDS came together with the love, sup­port and hard work of a ded­i­cated team of ambas­sadors and volunteers.

4) Do not judge the length of your step. It is enough. I am enough. You are enough.

5) Your step will inspire the same in oth­ers. Action ampli­fies inspiration…just like magic.

6) Be gen­er­ous. Look around you, and notice where you can sup­port oth­ers with YOUR help as they take their own baby steps.

The love story starts with a wave.

The epic tome starts with a “There”.

The mas­ter­piece starts with a dipped brush.

The jour­ney starts with a step.

Just start. From here.

Clar­ity. Action. Achieve­ment. Joy. Tanya Geisler is a CTI-certified coach (a.k.a. “cat­a­lyst, not ther­a­pist”) and speaker who believes that life is a grand production…and it’s time for you to step into your star­ring role. And radi­ate. Right now.
Tanya Geisler
View all posts by Tanya Geisler

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer Richardson July 22, 2012 at 8:05 am

wonderful wisdom… good to read!
glad and grateful,
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Amit Amin July 23, 2012 at 5:27 pm

I was one of those 5000 on the waiting list :).

I read a similar article a few weeks ago: “Kaizen: Accomplishing Big Goals with Tiny Steps,” but you add an interesting point – inspiration without action is entertainment.

The book the Willpower Instinct makes the sad point that more often than not the point of inspiration is not action, but to feel good. That the optimal short to mid-term pleasure strategy is to repeatably fail but get hits of pleasure every time we feel inspired.

I suppose that means it’s time for me to make a step as well :)
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Lara July 24, 2012 at 12:03 am

Inspirational text, I definitely like your point on the importance of small steps. I used to make big resolutions before, and I always felt disappointed when I couldn’t reach my big goals. My husband suggested me to plan with baby steps, which also can lead to a big goal.
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Greg July 24, 2012 at 5:51 am

What a good read! Grateful.


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