Man, I love Portland. From the short city blocks, to the super nice people (everyone enthusiastically tells the driver “Thank You!” when they get off of the bus), to the awesome stranger who took me and a few friends to a small Mexican restaurant unexpectedly attached to a strip club… Examples of Portland being a cool quirky friendly town abound.
I recently spent five days in Portland hanging out with some of my favorite people in the world as we attended the second annual World Domination Summit. Sounds kind of ominous, doesn’t it? World Domination Summit? I assure you the conference has nothing to do with anything bad or unpleasant, and is full of people doing remarkable work:
Scott Harrison went from hard drinking morally bankrupt nightclub promoter to founding the amazing Charity:Water organization (Coda is already talking about giving up his birthday in November for the cause).
World Domination Summit founder Chris Guillebeau blew our minds by forgoing any profit from the event. Instead he took the profits plus a large sum from an anonymous donor and entrusted $100 (cash!) to each of the conference attendees in a social experiment to see what good could be done when the creativity of 1,000 people are unleashed.
Think about that… he gave away $100,000. In cash. With only the following instructions in the envelope that contained the crisp $100 bill:
“Thanks for making #WDS2012 a fantastic experience. We’d love to see how you can put these funds to good use. Start a project, surprise someone, or do something entirely different – it’s up to you.”
So what does this have to do with fitness and weight loss? For one, it holds me to a higher standard as someone who provides fitness and weight loss information. I’ve admittedly been down the dark side of the weight loss industry. I’ve had my name associated with sales copy like “3 weird secrets to lose belly fat” (there are no secrets and you can’t just target belly fat) and hitting people with upsell offers after their credit card numbers have been entered and they’re in full-on “buyers mode”.
I’ve seen all of the little tricks and psychological manipulation techniques that are used to market and sell weight loss information and have taken great financial risk by separating myself from those tactics. But when I see people making a difference in the health and fitness of people’s lives while still earning a living without succumbing to the dark side (like fellow WDS attendees Steve Kamb, Roger Lawson, Joel Runyon, Amy Clover, and Maria Brilaki), I know I’ve made the right choice.
WDS is also a great example of “who do you hang out with?”. Sure the event gives me an opportunity to hang out with other bloggers that I respect not only for their content but also for their integrity, but that can be applied to fitness and weight loss as well. Do you hang out with other people trying to get in shape? Do you spend time with anyone who is already in shape? If the only people you associate with are out of shape and unhappy, breaking out of that mold can be difficult. Actively seek out others who are striving to improve their health as well as those who already have good health and fitness habits, whether that be in person or online.
So you might be wondering what I am going to do with my $100… The truth is that I haven’t decided yet, although I am leaning towards a project in the legal field so you likely will not hear about it again on this blog. But more important than the $100, is knowing that there are people out there doing inspiring work. Wouldn’t it be great if those people actually dominated the world?
Who do you hang out with that keeps you motivated and holds you accountable? Where do you find examples of people doing work for the greater good? Share your thoughts in the comments below.