I was right! Ever since I found out that I would have the honor of attending World Domination Summit 2015, I knew that the talks given on the main stage of the Arlene Schnitzer Hall would be my favorite thing out of this whole experience.
Because I love to be inspired, learn, listen and empathize with others.
And the talks certainly didn’t disappoint.
The WDS Talks Are The Best Part of This Whole World Domination Summit Experience
Before sharing my list I would just like to say that I have a deep amount of admiration for everybody who gets on a stage and gives a talk.
I have worked on projects where I’ve been in present mode for days on end and I know how demanding public speaking is.
So even my least favorite speakers did well because although they didn’t connect as well with me, I have heard and read that they connected extremely well with other attendees.
My favorite speakers were as follows (in the following order):
I highly suggest that if you have an opportunity to listen to them or research them that you do so in the order that I recommend.
Not because I think that I’m the know-it-all, but if you’re like me, and are really heart-based, which I’m sure you are if you’re reading this, then trust me.
What pops into your mind when you think of the word hero? Someone who helps others in situations where other people might not, right?
Well, the best person who embodied a superhero in this conference is Jeremy. Although if you ask him, he would be so humble, that he would probably reject the title.
Usually I love to look at the speaker when I listen to their stories. However, Jeremy had created a presentation that spoke about his journey to falling in love with photography and then using it to spread some love to people who need it most.
The background images and colors used in the presentation were not my favorite (I’m a girly-girl)… but his voice made it all that more pleasant.
The background colors were a minor detail that was super irrelevant in the grand scheme of things because his presentation was a WOWZER! Jeremy’s presentation was my favorite!
I loved how Jeremy reminded us to use photography to cherish those we love. How he used it to tell stories of truth. Stories of authenticity. And used photography to find his way in life.
When he told the story about his recent loss. Forget it! I was about to burst out crying! Jeremy was eloquent. Powerful. An angel. Quite simply an angel. because he reminded us to cherish the moment. That passing moment that we think will repeat itself tomorrow and perhaps it wont.
Wooooh! I’m crying again right now as I’m typing this and thinking how very powerful Jeremy’s talk was.
Excuse me, I literally have to get up and grab a Kleenex to blow my nose.
Okay, I’m back.
While I was listening to Jeremy I had a huge aha moment. And that was that if there are people as magnificent as him in the world…. then it means that for all the “well-known” people we know like Oprah, Brené Brown, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay, etc., there are many other people as great as or even more magnificent than them. And I say this not to squash anybody’s virtue… but to highlight, recognize and honor the work that Jeremy has done.
Unbeknownst to me, Jeremy has been recognized as one of the top 100 and even 10 people according to some major publications…in various areas.
And you know what else I was thinking about as I was listening to him? I was thinking that I was embarrassed and ashamed of myself for not having known about Jeremy prior to writing the blog post series about my blog’s Love and Treasure The Most Loving People of Our Time Award. Jeremy would have CERTAINLY made the list.
Look, I dislike war greatly. I almost don’t want to come near it with my mere attention. But Jeremy, the superhero on the other hand, has gone to places where the stories seem dismal to extract stories of hope, forgiveness, new beginnings, true perspectives and love. That’s heroic!
And starting a movement to honor the beauty of the poor and give them portraits of themselves they most likely would have never otherwise had…. MAN, that’s…. kiss-the-ground-Jeremy-steps-on-good. The fact that other photographers have said that doing this has been the best use of their camera…. doesn’t surprise me.
After all, the main lens of most cameras faces outward… for us to see the world… instead of just seeing ourselves.
What Has Jeremy Inspired Me To Do?
- Reach out to him.
- Compliment him.
- Learn to use my camera better.
- I signed up for a course already.
- And as a matter of fact, I’m on the waiting list for another course that Jeremy himself teaches through http://seeuniversity.com/. Check it out! Do me a favor, scroll to the very bottom of the page. And you’ll see why Jeremy’s generosity, LITERALLY gives me chills. It’s the first time that I’ve said this about anybody.
- Learning from Jeremy would be an honor. In case I hadn’t made myself clear, Jeremy is a heck of a photographer, whose photographing skills are sooooo great that celebrities send him hand-written thank you notes for photo shoots, and he photographs photos for shows on the Oprah Winfrey Network.
- Most importantly, Jeremy has taught me to treasure my own photos even more.
- In this fast paced world… we treat photos… digital photos especially, like a given, a nice-to-have, with an I–hope-the-hard-drive-doesn’t-fail-but-if-it-does-oh-well. That’s wrong!
- Why? Because photos are much more beautiful, precious and valuable than we give them credit for.
- They’re keepsakes of the soul.
- Of our soul
- And of the souls that are with us now, but may one day get off of this train of life many stations before we do.
Grieving Is Part Of Our Beauty and Part of Our Healing
When Jeremy spoke of his loss, he cried on-stage.
Let me go on record saying that I L-O-V-E men who cry. Offstage or onstage.
I love men who are willing to be vulnerable. I think it’s sexy. I think it’s sweet. I think it’s admirable. And honestly, I think that a man who cries is truly a man. Men who don’t cry…. I don’t have a name for them.
Jeremy’s Contributions To The World
Jeremy is so much more than a photographer, he is a beautiful human being who reminds us how connected we all are.
Jeremy’s talk was a hit and touched everyone who listened to it, because he shared it from the heart, and he taught us to see, hear, feel, and tune into, perhaps for first time, the heart of the world. A world where nothing, absolutely nothing is more powerful than love.
The fact that Jeremy is married to a woman who had two kids of her own, and that they decided to adopt two other kids only proves that Jeremy is more heroic… more loving, more admirable than he already is.
What I Ultimately Have to Say About Jeremy
It’s always so inspiring to see a fellow introvert achieve so much and influence so much.
As for the intelligence that Jeremy thought he didn’t have…. I wish, with closed-knuckles, that everybody was at least 10% as smart as he is, to focus on what really matters and to realize that life is not a dress rehearsal, and that we need to have our camera, our awareness and our hearts open to what is in front of us today.
Life is not something that should be taken for granted. Love is not something that should be taken for granted. Life and love are either treasures we cherish or treasures that can be lost until it’s too late.
Jon Acuff was my second favorite speaker, because like me, he knows that the most important thing is family instead of chasing the next shiny thing we encounter.
He knows that having the integrity of our own voice is much better than any amount of fame and any amount of money.
He listens to his life…and is aware that busy work lives and busy lives in general are often our way of hiding…and of not hearing what the silence would tell us…. if we would simply take the time to listen.
Jon honors the wisdom in his daughter and the wisdom in his wife. Need I say more? I don’t have to because this guy’s already practically perfect, but I will.
When talking to many of the attendees, one word kept popping up to describe Jon was… Polished. And I agree. Jon was very polished. He knew his content inside and out. And I think I know why he could command the stage the way that he did… and that is, that he really lives his message. And he really wants to share them.
Since there were many writers in the WDS auditorium, we recognize that writing and speaking are two quite different things. So we truly appreciated the way that Jon spoke because he can write AND speak very well, like the best-selling author that he is.
I love that Jon’s talk was full of truth and that it had a strong love theme woven all throughout. I wanted to cheer as I was hearing him. Listening to him validated me and confirmed the importance of my writing’s central topic, which is love. Because in a world where many people are worried about chasing shiny things and having enough… it made my eyes sparkle to know that no matter how successful (or wounded) people become… Love will always be something that makes life worth it).
Jon set the bar really high during that first talk. What I realized after analyzing why I really liked his talk is that what I wanted to see in upcoming WDS speakers was lots of humility, lots of truth, lots of self-awareness, and they got extra brownie points if they focused on sharing how we could spread love collectively for the benefit of humankind.
Jon delivered in all of these areas and is definitely someone whom I will continue to follow.
There are people that you look at and think, “That person has it all.” Lewis Howes is like that. Smart, Athletic, Good-looking, Successful, Well-Positioned, a Social Media Celebrity.
So when you’re about to see him on-stage, you assume he’ll take you from where you are and take you higher…. Without looking back.
However, since Lewis chose the topic of masculinity, I knew things were going to be different.
At first, the feminist side in me said, “Cool, he’s going to address the annoying tendency that men have to show off their masculinity (not that they should be proud of it most of the time).”
But boy-oh-boy was I in for a surprise. Lewis pretty much told ladies that we, too, have a masculine side. The side in us that wants to appear perfect when we face the world. The side in us that thinks that we need to be tough sometimes, or more precisely, a lot of the time. The one who needs to take care of, instead of being taken care of.
So, Lewis asked us to remove our superhero and superheroine to ponder this question… “Who are you?”
And he shared stories of the men in his life that impacted him, of the woman who did, and how these interactions taught him to take a really good look at himself and his overly-masculine tendencies….the aggressive and cold kind… to truly get in touch with his reality and his goodness despite the injustices that he encountered.
Lewis’ storytelling ability was superb! You couldn’t help but feel what he was going through in the different scenes of his story that he was sharing. (In the words of Martha Shapur, through his story-telling you could feel that his neurons and your neurons were connected because that’s what good story does).
Lewis took you on his life journey, while inviting to simultaneously look at your life.
The way that he connected with the audience from a body language perspective was spot-on. He looked down at the people sitting in the first few rows and looked up at the people seated in the balcony.
I was seated in the third row from the stage, and I could have sworn that for a moment, Lewis looked straight into my eyes as he asked a question to his audience… but then again, I may be wrong. Regardless, in addition to my brain he connected with my heart.
The vulnerable story he shared which he had never shared with a live audience in a setting like this was touching, to say the least.
But it taught us all, females and males alike, that the point in life isn’t to be a superhero, it’s to be a superhuman.
And just like at the end of Jeremy Cowart’s talk, all you wanted to do after both of their talks was to hug them. Their raw emotion and vulnerability was palpable. But it was sooooo magical. Sooooo refreshing.
At WDS this year, there seemed to be more crying than in any of the prior World Domination Summits, and I suspect it was in part thanks to talks like Jeremy’s and Lewis’ that focused on what really matters: the relationship to self and the relationship to others…. and how those two form either a dynamic that makes us feel like we’re making progress in life, or that we’re already defeated.
Hearing Lewis share such a personal account made my admiration for him grow. He still has everything that I mentioned in the beginning, but he has an open-heart which is a prime example that events in our life don’t define us, only we can decide what does.
In my opinion, every superhuman needs a side-hick. And that sidekick is an open heart.
After some very emotional talks, we WDS attendees “needed” help in processing our pain points that had been touched as a result of listening to the talks.
Lissa was exactly what we needed to attempt to process our emotionality and for us to realize that we’re not alone.
I loved Lisa’s heart. I had heard seen her on some YouTube videos before and she had shared how difficult it was to be “heartless” in the medical profession.
Yet, when she spoke at WDS, her connection with the audience was even more powerful. Her heart was alight. Her stories were bright. The account of her life more relateable. She was present. And she invited us to be present.
Although I appreciate the work that they do, I’m not someone who over-idolizes doctors or depends on them too frequently. (Knock-on-wood). The thing is, I believe in preventative care more than I believe in waiting until we’re really messed up so that we can’t help but go to the doctor.
So to me, the fact that Lissa exposed some of the issues within the medical field… the cold-heartedness of the industry that one would expect to be more kind-hearted not only out of emotionality but for because caring implies more chances survival … was surprising.
At the same time, hearing Lissa’s story gave me perspective and allowed me to be more compassionate toward doctors. However, I’m still on the side of patients. When you’re ill or your body is going through changes…. especially during pregnancy (since Lissa’s specialty is OB-GYN), you really need someone who is excellent in listening and making you feel human. That’s all we want. Especially, when we have to set an appointment, wait till the appt. date arrives, make arrangements to attend the appointment, wait in the waiting room for God knows how long, feel vulnerable/exposed in a medical room and PAY to be able to participate in all of this ordeal (isn’t that ironic?), it’s important to note that as patients, we’re not there because we have nothing better to do and we LOVE being seen by a doctor. So being respected and being listened to and being given a treatment that’s tailored to us is important for us and our symptoms to feels ours… special, different and on the verge of being healed from the root rather of from the surface…. instead of being given a trite chemical solution written in the overly-used prescription pad.
You know what really, really, really scares me about doctors? Two things. Their ability to listen. And my ability to explain myself in a way that they can truly listen, understand and do the best thing about.
If they’re in a hurry, thinking about someone else, hungry, sleep-deprived, or waiting till I shut-up before moving on to the patient down the hall…. then their ability to fully listen to me gets less likely and less likely by the second. And I’m very perceptive and I read body language well. So tapping a pen, tapping their feet, not looking at me, holding the doorknob most of the time, and facial expressions… can give away the fact that they’re essentially saying “whatever” to me and that I’m just a number and an obstruction between them being able to receive their well-deserved rest.
So when a doctor like Lissa realizes that our heart as patients hurts, figuratively speaking, when doctors don’t show us that they care was magical. Thankfully, I have heard from Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor as well that the doctors of tomorrow are basically taking medical etiquette courses so that they realize that they energy that they as doctors bring to the patient…. impacts the patient emotional and physical state.
As a matter of fact, I once read a study, several years ago (and I’m not sure if it still applies), that the number one indicator that determined whether a patient got cured or not was whether or not the doctor believed that they could be cured. Talk about negative influence, huh?
That’s the “danger” about doctors. Their energy is contagious and sometimes, so are their expectations… and they can literally make the difference between life and death.
So to me, knowing that there are more conscientious doctors who have not forgotten in the hustle and bustle of their profession why they entered the profession in the first place is rewarding.
It’s beautiful to know that people like Lissa teach us that the dreams we follow are important ones as long as their outcome is of importance to us, and to the world which more than ever, needs our healing, our compassion, understanding, and our ear.
It is mind-boggling to me how people can be so opposed to someone who I think is doing so much good for our nation, for our generation and for the generations to come.
If we are what we eat and as the dear Drew Canole would say, what we absorb…. then you’re darn right that we should care about what we’re putting into our bodies.
How the U.S. has strayed so far from what a good nutrition should be is beyond me. But, thankfully, people are starting to speak, pay more attention and vote for what food is on our nation’s menu with our dollars.
Have you ever been to Trader Joe’s grocery store? What vibe do you feel? A positive one, right? It feels like there’s light in the room, joy in the room, and even love in the room. Because people who really value themselves often choose to buy the type of food that you would find there. I’m not saying that only people who go to Trader Joe’s love themselves. But what I am saying is that people who go to Trader Joe’s don’t end up at Trader Joe’s by mistake. And therefore the fact that they’ve chosen to care about what they put into their bodies makes it a more pleasant experience for everybody overall.
A couple of weeks before WDS, as I was on FB, I came across what was essentially an attack against Vani. Why? Because some people were supporting the fact that she took a selfie of herself in a bikini. Others, were TOTALLY opposed.
Has that ever happened to a guy you know? Has he been criticized for wearing a Speedo, a boxer or anything else, for that matter? It surely hasn’t happened to any guy I know.
So why does it happen often to ladies? Why does it happen to Vani?
Do you know how hard change is? Have you ever tried to lose the pounds, the bad habit or the handkerchief over your eyes making? Well, Vani not only lost many pounds and got herself healthy… she’s helping us get healthy and lose pounds. And in a world where many people still have their grandparents with them, it’s easy to say things like… “look at your grandma… she’s 82, and she’s doing just fine” although deep down you know that granny may have diabetes, high cholesterol or high pressure. So, even if granny is still alive, it doesn’t take away from the fact that many of the ingredients, chemicals, additives and dyes are good for you.
How can we dislike her for creating the good we’re not able to create in our own life?
The most difficult part of her talk was when she spoke about her haters. I had a huge lump in my throat because I was awed at how many nasty comments she had gotten and she was able to talk about them publicly. But, I realized, that she has nothing to be ashamed of, she isn’t doing anything wrong. As you hopefully know by now, whenever you point at somebody else… and say “that person is so and so” there are actually three fingers pointing back at you. Which means, that you’re not perfect, I’m not perfect….. and we really have no business in judging other people based on these or any types of things.
Vani, who’s name means “voice” is a brave, admirable, smart and beautiful woman.
If I admired her before for what she does, I admire her more than ever for who she is. You know what her main message was in sharing what she shared? That we gotta love the haters, but prevent them from causing you to take your eyes off the ball of what’s important to you. And you gotta love them, because the fact that you have haters is a sign that you’re succeeding, and that you’re creating changes that other people might be uncomfortable with because they might see it as an economic stability threat for them and their families.
Thankfully, there are many companies who are staying in business, continuing to employ their employees and are making changes (which also provide more jobs) that benefit everybody. If we could only simply see that although change is sometimes difficult, in the end, we can be much better off because of it.
I would like to thank Vani because several years ago, when my family and I came across her…. we started to make immediate changes. I’m not someone who likes to be influenced by fear. But I am someone who likes to be influenced by health. Upon becoming pregnant and having my son, I learned how sacred our bodies are. As a matter of fact, my family and I recently joined Thrive Market Place, which is a cross between Costco (since it’s a paid membership site- $59.95 is the annual cost) and Trader Joe’s.
The greatest benefit is that you get all non-perishable food items delivered to your home. Isn’t that amazing!!!??? And you can shop in several different way such as gluten-free, foods without sugar, foods without dyes, And it’s not just food! You can also buy bath and body products, beauty products, healthy products, baby and kid products and home goods.
You’re welcome to check Thrive Market out and spend $25.00 for free by clicking this special link which will also allow you to try Thrive market for free for 30 days.
Oh, and while you’re biggest con against buying healthy products may be that they’re too expensive… guess what? The healthy and often well-known products at Thrive Market are about 35% less than they would be in retail on average, although the savings themselves can be anywhere between 25%-50% off retail.
And as if that weren’t enough, like Vani, Thrive cares about others. For every paid Thrive membership, Thrive donates an annual membership to a low-income family.
In a small way, we too can help improve things for ourselves and things for our family.
Where to start?
What was interesting about this talk was how there seemed to be a fusion between a talk and a play.
Megan’s voice was low and dramatic all throughout the talk. She was wearing a black dress with some color on it. The dry ice that floated all around the stage and in the space between her and my front seat in the audience made me question if I was really there, hearing what I was hearing, or simply dreaming.
I am a very resilient person and I’ve gone through my share of pain, loss and heartache in life, but even for me, it was hard to listen to how Megan has and it seems that she continues to suffer after she lost her husband. Of course, losing your love partner must be truly tragic. Yet, I’m a little bit more optimistic and I think that loses create space for new things to enter your life. Losing someone you adore will never ever, ever feel great, but I do think that we can grow, share and love more even after a loss.
Megan did leave me thinking that many times, my inclination to help others has probably left them more unsatisfied than I would have though.
That’s something that I’ll be working on, because I also know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of trying to be fixed.
As ironic as it may seem, she was the speaker that I was most looking forward to listening to on the main stage I knew she is a parent and assumed she would talk about her role as a parent. I was looking forward to her sharing many touching parenting stories or at the very least, share her best parenting hacks. I needed to hear both. But she didn’t talk about either.
Instead she ensured that he message reached both parents and non-parents alike. In the end, her advice to take baby steps helped.
What I liked the most is that she encouraged us to make one promise to ourselves that when we got back home from WDS. I promised myself that I would spend that first full day back with my son. And I’m glad to report that I did keep my promise to myself. As a matter of fact, I over delivered since I spent a few entire days with him.
And you know what? It felt great. I assume that if she would have talked about parenting I would have wanted to do the same.
I will have to research Asha more to see what she has to say about parenting.
What I liked most about Derek was his open invitation to email him.
I just wish his presentation would have been a little bit more about how we can improve ourselves instead of how he attained success. Although I have to say that in essence, one of the primary factors that helped him attain the success he did at CD Baby was the fact that he was kind with his friends, and their friends. And helping others turned out to be very lucrative. That’s always nice to hear. When doing good can skyrocket to something awesome. So much so, that Apple contacted him.
I thought it was very wise of Derek to stand with such confidence at the end of his talk on order to get a standing ovation.
Prior to attending WDS I had never heard of or seen Kid President, even though I really love YouTube.
As I’ve shared before in my blog, my sense of humor is not one that is super easy to spark. I like it to be witty and have purpose, whenever possible. Wackiness for the sake of being wacky is not my thing.
And truth be told, I liked Brad Montague more than I liked Kid President. His responses to most of the Q & A questions were wonderful.
Although Kid President is cute and sometimes says the truth in a way that only kids can, I like to learn from the realities of people more than I like to learn from their fantasies. I know that Kid President will grow up and not be a kid or someone who likes to pretend that he’s the president. But I did like his “treat everyone like it’s their birthday,” advice. And what I liked the best about Kid President is that he’s a trooper when it comes to the health challenges he’s facing.
Now It’s Your Turn
When you get a moment look into the work of any of these speakers that intrigued you. And share with me what it is that you liked the most about them in the comments below.
I’m sure you’ll provide me with insights about them that will make me admire these speakers and feel blessed to have had the opportunity to meet them even more.