Sometimes I refer to improv as an alternate reality. Where in our every day worlds can we mix it up with people who have our backs, people who put “we before me,” people who support us in moving forward – together? There’s one place I’ve experienced this improv mindset only most of the group aren’t even improvisers. They are dreamers and creators and non-conformists using their skills and passions to make the world just a little bit better. These people are the attendees of the World Domination Summit (WDS) – an un-conference in Portland, Oregon where people from all over the world congregate to explore what living a remarkable life in a conventional world — through three pillars – service, adventure and community — can look like.
This was WDS year #5 for me. After five years, I’ve made wonderful connections and had amazing experiences and felt all the feels. And it can still feel like a bubble of five to seven days filled with positivity, kindness and support while “real life” waits around the corner. The very first friend I made at my very first WDS was living in Denver at the time and so was I. We’d get together and wonder how we could recreate the magic of the event. We never figured it out.
This year, however, I did.
On the flight home to Florida from my Pacific Northwest adventures, I read an article in the Southwest Airlines magazine that was in the “play” section of the publication. Already I was intrigued … and then I read the headline:
“It takes 50 hours to make a friend.”
Time spent together at leisure, at home or at play moves a person from acquaintance to “casual friend.” So this means intentionally reaching out to spend time together, outside of Facebook groups, could in fact turn the WDS experience into an ongoing life experience. There is no magic involved. The only elements required are time + attention.
And so, I’ve challenged myself. I’ve targeted ten people from the WDS community to check in with regularly via text, messenger, video chat, phone and in person meet ups. I’m anxious to see who will become the first official friend from this lot, and, I’m enjoying the process along the way – so much so that I lost my voice from tons of chatting over a five-day period when I first returned!
Now, I keep a little notebook with all the names and the amount of time we’ve logged together. As the hours are logged I’m realizing that there actually is a little bit of magic – it’s not on the WDS stage. It’s not even in Portland. It’s inside all of us. As we mix and mingle and connect and ask each other deep questions, the magic inside comes out to play and becomes bigger and brighter when it joins forces with each other.
So tell me … what’s your alternate reality and how can it come out to play? Here’s to sharing our magic – together!