I’m writing this on a plane from Portland back home to San Francisco after joining 3000 visionaries and thought leaders who attended Chris Guillebeau’s World Domination Summit. This very inspiring conference was peopled with those inspired by Chris’s manifesto “A Brief Guide To World Domination,” which is less about colonization and more about saving the world.
Gretchen Rubin is saving the world by teaching people how to be happier, Don Miller is helping people rewrite the stories of their lives, Nancy Duarte is helping people tell stories that can change the world, Bob Moore is changing the world by putting people before profit, Jia Jiang is changing the world by helping people learn to take risks by getting comfortable with rejection.
Pretty much everyone I met was either on a mission to fulfill a calling or on a quest to find one. After the conference ended with a tear-jerking sparkling apple juice toast, I found myself reinvigorated in my own mission to heal health care, and everyone I spoke to felt inspired to change the world in their own small or big way.
It was awesome.
But as the afterglow of the post-WDS Bollywood dance party wore off, I found myself pondering what motivated all of us to try to make the world a better place.
I wound up posting this on Facebook:
After spending the weekend with 3000 visionaries committed to changing the world, I find myself reflecting upon on what motivates visionaries. Are we motivated by a pure, unadulterated desire to leave the world better off than we found it? Or are we operating from a place of deep unworthiness, of not being enough unless we make the world a better place? Or is it some combination of both?
So many people are desperate to find their calling, their reason for existence, their meaning of life. And many others, like myself, feel they have found it- and are now on a quest to fulfill a vision. But is the quest driven by the right motives?
What made Martin Luther King, Jr campaign for civil rights? What made Nelson Mandela take a stand? What made Abraham Lincoln free the slaves? What made Evita and Mother Teresa fight for the rights of the poor?
Is it a deep-seated sense of unworthiness that needs to be healed? Is it ego? Do we need to feel like we’ve contributed big things so we know we are valuable? Is it karmic? Are we trying to pay off some debt for wrongs committed in past lives? Are we craving love, acceptance, external validation?
Or is it noble? Are we just caring, committed souls devoted to service without any self-serving motives? Are we clear vessels for Divine work in the world moving through us?
What do YOU think?