Another year of WDS has passed and although the lead up to it this year was different for me, the result seems to only get better.
There are many reasons why WDS is on my list each year as a “must budget for” conference. There are the amazing speakers, many of whom I don’t know until I get there, the academies by some of my favorite mentors and of course Portland, it is such a wild and amazing city, it’s a definite draw.
I will say though that when the stage darkens and the closing party is over, it is the people I have met that I carry with me from this experience.
Each year I am amazed at the number of people from all walks of life and with all different ideas and methods about how to make this world just a wee bit better. My spirit is always renewed that this many people care – just simply care about me, you and helping others live good lives doing nice things.
I spend the days, weeks and months after WDS reaching out to those I’ve met, following their progress on social media and supporting them in any way I can because we are now connected. I recognize faces even though I may not know their names or names that I can’t place the face to, but I feel a bond because I know we have a common ground through WDS.
I see people from this group soaring through the clouds doing amazing things and I am not jealous, I am grateful because I know a rising tide lifts all boats in the harbor. I reach out to those in the community with compatible projects or skills and look for ways to share or combine our gifts to create even bigger impact.
In this space I feel no competition; I feel unity and encouragement. I feel as though we have a common purpose with unique solutions that combined could really dominate the world in a great way!
The five people I spend the most time with are very important indeed, and I can say most of them are WDS attendees, but the 1,500 I spend a week with each year have an enormous impact on how I feel about what I can accomplish and how big I can dare to dream.
Thank you for the assembly of these stars in my life, they are a necessary beacon throughout the year. They are as reliable as nightfall and they often are there to help me through the inevitable storms to the next sunrise.