July 9th, 2012
Tina Turner. And The Recipe For Dominating The World.
I haven’t known exactly what I wanted to write this week, mostly because so much has happened since Wednesday, when I got to Portland for the World Domination Summit. A “business” conference put on by Chris Guillebeau, who asks the question “How do we live a remarkable life, in a conventional world?”
As you know, I like to find life lessons in everyday situations. The too small boots, or the gum chewing yoga instructor, or the inability to find my one missing sock, until of course, that moment when I stop looking and it magically appears.
And although I found a ton of amazing value in the messages of the speakers, and the people I met here, I naturally, found the most value in one particular instance that had nothing to do with the conference at all.
It was Sunday morning. The last day of this conference and Chris Brogan takes the stage. A jovial 40 something, self-proclaimed comic book geek, and writer. He starts his speech talking about super heroes, and their powers (thus ultimately relating it to each of us, and our own unique super powers kinda thing). Well, as soon as the room got quiet and Chris started talking, the girl behind us automatically became a self-proclaimed commentator on the entire speech.
The chatter became so distracting for me that I was having a hard time concentrating on the speech, and instead I was having an easier time being mad at her, and annoyed, and frustrated. A couple times I looked back, hoping to send the message that her talking wasn’t appreciated. A couple other people in my row had the same idea, but all three of us failed at our intentions. The talking continued.
Now…if you read my post last week you might think that I’m totally neurotic my next move would have been to say something to her. But this time, I knew there was a different lesson to learn.
Being an introspective person, nothing can be taken at face value. An annoying situation can’t just be an annoying situation. An annoying situation becomes a lesson. An entry point for some self-awareness. So I was rolling around possibilities in my mind. What is there for me to learn here? I thought. And two things came to mind.
The first…simple. The amount of annoyance I experienced was directly related to the amount of focus I placed on the situation. Done. Don’t focus as much on the behavior/person = be less annoyed.
But the second one took a little more effort. I imagined what it must like to be this girl. Why she might feel the need to share so much. What her purpose for speaking loudly was.
I imagined that maybe she really wanted to experience connection in the sharing of her stories. Perhaps she wanted to be seen. Maybe she was craving some acknowledgement or maybe she was hurting and she wanted someone to appreciate her quirks. Maybe she was looking for fellow comic book lovers. Or perhaps she wanted to entertain the people around her. Or maybe, she had no motivation and just had a different way of approaching speeches than me.
No matter what her motivations were, putting myself in her imaginary shoes shifted things for me. It was still distracting for me, but not nearly as much, and eventually, it went away. Instead, I imagined myself loving her.
And I realized…that this is compassion.
The ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, and approach them differently because of it.
And that’s what happened. As soon as I shifted, the situation shifted. My energy shifted towards her. I saw something beautiful in her that I wasn’t able to see before. And I don’t know if she continued to talk, but if she did, I didn’t hear it.
So the question still remains…how do you live a remarkable life in a conventional world? And in these moments, I decided that one way is to look inward. To ask yourself, “in what ways can I change in order to make this situation better?” To take life in, in a holistic way and be curious, explore, wonder what it all means, strive to be better and do better. And ultimately be compassionate. Tina Turner once asked “What’s love got to do with it?” And the answer is EVERYTHING. Love and compassion has everything to do with everything. We aren’t perfect beings, but we can try to be better. We can try to approach everyone with love and compassion even especially when we don’t want to. Change starts here.
I learned a lot at this conference. But I think I learned the most important thing I could have learned here. Compassion feels good. Compassion shifts energy. Compassion creates change.
Try it. And see what happens.
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Have you ever had an experience like this? What did you do? Where in your life can you approach something differently, in hopes for a new outcome? Share in the comments below and share with your peeps that might appreciate this message.
LOVE THIS SALLY! It’s totally true! I had this same experience when I observed particularly “clique-y” groups of people. They were probs. overwhelmed, scared to reach out and be in the moment with people and afraid to be vulnerable. Operating from a place of compassion for the motivations behind the actions is always the first place to go!
Wow…YES! What a great correlation and I absolutely agree. I think cliques are definitely a physical manifestation of insecurity. And because of that, people in them tend to project exclusion, when in reality, what they probably want is to feel loved and accepted and not alone. It’s so interesting. I can’t wait to see what you write about all this! Thank you for sharing and for commenting. Love you lady!
Absolutely YES Sally! Love is everything, compassion is everything, and I’m so grateful you were able to learn AND share that beautiful lesson the comic loving gal taught you!
Miss Sabrina…thank YOU for that lovely comment and popping over to say hello. You better stay in touch, ya hear?? Xo, S
Preach it, sister. LOVE IT! It takes a second to take another perspective and in that one second, everything changes. What a magical world we live in! :-)
YES! It’s so magical and thanks for bringing that up! And you’re so right. It doesn’t take much time, and it’s fairly easy to do, and it changes EVERYTHING. Thank you so much for your comment and your eyeballs on the site. Keep in touch!
Sally, thanks for writing this….I love this perspective especially because I was annoyed too. Coming from a big family, it often happens that my siblings (including myself) keep talking and chattering when someone else was speaking because they want to be heard. The philosophy that the louder you “talk” the more “correct” you are was often the mantra growing up (and I hate to admit it, but still happens today. Compassion is key and I am going to use this the next time all 30 of my family members are together. xo
Hey lady!!! Oh gosh, you bring up such a good point that I hadn’t considered. The family training side. And the wanting to be heard. And the belief that the only way to do that is to talk loudly. It’s so funny how many different reasons could be present in all our behaviors. So fascinating. Thank you for being my partner in crime this weekend. Learning these lessons beside you was so much fun. :)
I love you. I love this lesson. And I love the comic-book girl for inspiring this lesson. That’s a lotta love today! :)
Sally Hope. This post, my love, rocks. I will be sharing this with everyone in my current group coaching program. Many are struggling with forgiveness, expectations they hold for other people, and how to overcome them. You’ve offered a great perspective here. Thanks for the info! Hope to meet you at one of these amazing events soon.
Hey Miss Amber…I’m so glad this resonated with you and thank you so much for sharing it with your peeps. I think it is SO common and so easy to want other people to change when things aren’t going well. Like “how RUDE! How could she be talking. She needs to stop it right now!” (which is actually how I felt at first). But seeing as how (we all know) we can’t change anyone, this is another option. Thanks for commenting and sharing and YES! We better meet soon!!
Love this story Sally, such a hard thing to do and go you for learning it in this situation where it’d be so much easier to go the other way! And SO going to this next year! Hope you had fun :)
Liz!!!! You definitely need to go next year! There was a massive B-School Babe representation there. First round tickets go on sale in September so get on the list!!
Great story. I’ve been at conferences and experienced something similar. Wayne Dyer was speaking and had been introduced as one of the most enlightened men this person had known. The women next to me was making disparaging comments about this. Just before the start I’d introduced myself to her (as you do when you sit next to someone at a conference) and there had been a bit of tension because she worked with trauma using the five stages of grief and I had commented that I didn’t find them beneficial and evidence suggested there was far more effective approaches to grief (this was my expertise at the time). Our conversation dried up after that and I’m sure there was one or two other comments made throughout Wayne Dyer’s speech. To be honest I didn’t really pay attention as I was enjoying it so much. Yet afterwards I kept bumping into this woman again and again. Reading this makes me realise I had an opportunity to practise compassion there which I missed. Hmm. Thanks for the awareness :)
Hey Tabitha! What a rich learning experience. I believe that everyone is in our lives for a reason, and that reason is for us to grow as a human being or learn about the human condition. Even though you didn’t get a chance to practice compassion back then, you get to now. And even thinking about it right here is a form of practicing. YAY!! Thank you so much for writing and sharing. Have a wonderful day.
Wow, Sally thank you; I didn’t get the lesson until you laid it out all pretty because I was coming from my insecurities: “Who does she think she is?” I am important and I need to hear this message. What a great lesson in perspective and response-ability.
Ahhhh “response-ability!!” I absolutely LOVE that and it’s exactly what this is about. Turning inward, and seeing where we can make things different, just by being different. The response is “no response.” Thank YOU for that new perspective and for sharing. I think so often we are just unaware of what happens. We are reactionary beings, and we react FAST. Without ever a thought. Even considering this is a big step, I think. So thanks for taking the walk with me. Much love.
Hopefully you won’t hold this against the other comic nerds of the world…like yours truly…
I’ve learned a good portion of wrestling geeks are also comicbook geeks, as well.
As far as the experience…yeah, tuning out people works…or the direct approach (the one I usually favour due to my image) is also good.
I read this twice to find the question. “How do you live a remarkable life in a conventional world?” My answer is an Audioslave song. “Be Yourself”. In “The Mask”, when Stanely Ipkiss goes to the doctor who was speaking on TV about masks as a metaphor, and asked if he should go see Tina as himself or The Mask, and the doctor told him, “Go as yourself AND as The Mask, because they are the same beautiful person”. I was also recently (re) watching the CMT Crossroads with Taylor Swift and Def Leppard, and Rick and Joe had said to Taylor basically to do what FEELS right.
I think that’s the key to living a remarkable life, is to do what you want to do. Do what feels right, do what you want to do, do what you enjoy doing, and what makes you happy. I’ve managed to take some things that I enjoy and make some money buying and selling them, and making other fans happy. Of comics; of wrestling; of Mixed Martial Arts; of music; of Playboy…what could be better? Sometimes I struggle, sometimes not. Sometimes I need to get a day job; sometimes not. However, for me, the bottom line is that I’m always working on something I like, and keeping busy and even with MessyWorks, I am helping others to do something utilising my particular knowledge of how to market the product (the shows) to the intended audience (which in the case of MessyWorks is pretty much everyone!), but also how to appeal to the talent involved so that they will want to perform in the shows and being able to reach out to those who might not fit a particular mold, whether it be a lack of acting experience, or not being a size -20.
That’s my recipe for World Domination, to take opportunities when they come my way (like when MessyWorks was first presented to me), and while giving those ladies a push in the right direction when needed, also working on other projects I enjoy and continuing to make a name for myself (the company).
The other “secret ingredient” is a good dose of arrogance. I’m a firm believer in arrogance being a good thing. Believe in what you are doing to the extent that you cannot possibly go in any direction other than up. Get plenty of people to tell you, “no”, so you can prove otherwise. Use every experience you can to try to figure out how it can be used to better what you are doing.
More than diet or exercise, what one needs most to be healthy is EGO. That’s what will drive you to eat right and exercise, and one needs to look good in tights if you want to conquer the world. You simply cannot go and be taken seriously as a card-carrying super-villain (the membership card comes within 6-8 weeks after registering with your local super-villain union) if you have little spindly chicken legs. Ladies, your costume requires those thigh-high boots, and a costume with a stylish sash is always hot. A cape isn’t necessary for you.
Per usual, my dear, this comment is full of insight and wisdom and I couldn’t agree with you more about the secret ingredients of World Domination. Be yourself. Do what you love and what FEELS right. Be confident in your endeavors (almost to the point of arrogance). And care for that ego. Man. That’s a book right there, my dear. If you don’t write it, I will. So much love and gratitude for your wisdom and support here. Sending hugs your way!
Tell ya wut, doll…I’ll be your ghost writer. So it’ll be like, “book title” by Sally Hope (with Greg Dennis).
I’m so sorry that I annoyed you. I was so excited by Chris and I had no idea I was being irritating. I appreciate your compassion and will learn, in the future, to tone it down.
Amanda!!!! You’re YOU! Goodness…it’s great to be in touch. (ps I just read your latest post and so appreciate the points you make…comment coming). Thank you so much for commenting and you know, these things are so funny. You weren’t doing anything wrong, it just happened to affect me a certain way, and I took that as MY lesson to learn. I often think about people and how we naturally are and sometimes walk the line between feeling all like “I should be loved and accepted exactly the way I am,” and “I can be more aware of the impact I have on others and strive to be the best version of myself possible.” I think both concepts can exist at the same time. And just so you know…I think your extroversion is beautiful. I think your (self-proclaimed) nerdiness is awesome. And I also think that you get to be exactly who you are. I hope this is the start of a budding friendship. Perhaps you can teach me a thing or two about comics. :)
what it seems we have here are two people who care more about speaking their minds than to consider how those thoughts (spoken at a conference, or typed on a computer) will impact those around them. it’s a fundamental question, really. should we be unabashedly US? with no apologies to the people around us? or should we CENSOR ourselves, that we might not offend others?
i think this is the true lesson here..i love compassion and everything…but, sally, you must admit that doing the very thing you were annoyed about is slightly ironic…no? while you were not disrupting anyone’s conference experience, if we look at the blogosphere as one big virtual gathering, then…calling out another contributor, reader, participant, is just as disruptive as someone commentating during a talk.
is it WRONG, though? i don’t know. i can’t really tell. my gut is telling me nobody is WRONG here. just looking at things from one perspective. maybe two, if we count the compassion perspective.
i just find it funny when people have issues with other people and then do the same thing! oh, to be human. we are a funny bunch…aren’t we?
Dear Anonymous…indeed. I think you make some really great points here. And I’ve been thinking of such things all week. Thanks so much for your comment.
While I respect your desire to turn an experience into a lesson to share with your readers, I find no evidence of compassion in your telling of the story. In fact, your statement calling her a “self-proclaimed commentator on the entire speech” is both dispariging and disrespectful. This characterization of a stranger as someone annoying, disruptive, and worth strangling shows me that, while you may have arrived at compassion after a while, you are not showing compassion to this woman in your descriptions of her. Or by making an example of her in such ways that she could be identified by others (such as me, a random reader, who happens to be best friends with this woman.)
I would encourage you, as someone who proclaims life coaching as your profession, to discover a way to change the condescension and hurt you caused a complete stranger by publicly humiliating her, and find the lesson in this reparation.
Because we extroverts, who loudly enjoy conversations and speeches that inspire creativity and excitement and awesomeness and world domination, we’re never going to shut up or go away.
Hey Sara…thank you so much for writing and for your feedback. I completely understand where you are coming from. Email already sent to your bestie.
Ahh! SO jealous that you got to go to WDS in Portland! I tried to get tickets but I guess it was not my year to go (will work on my jealousy issues instead). Hehe. Great post. LOVE the story. I was getting irritated with the girl behind you too. Good to remember to shift my energy. Thanks again!
Miss Amber…you should TOTALLY go next year. It’s really amazing. Also…I checked out your site and it is so awesome! I hope you get on my list so I can make sure to keep in touch with you on the regular.
Deep, good stuff here.
Hey Nathalie…thanks so much for reading and for commenting. What resonated with you the most?
Something else that resonated with me was the belief in yourself. The ego, the confidence.
I recall in the documentary, “Beyond The Mat”, a part of the film focused on the struggle of the original Extreme Championship Wrestling promotion to get their shows on pay per view. Promoter Paul E. Dangerously was backstage telling the crew before the show began that, “THIS is the dance!”. He talked about the opportunity to tell the people that didn’t believe in them that, “F—you, you’re wrong; F— you, we’re right”. Minus the cursing, I definitely believe that kind of confidence in yourself is what leads to a remarkable life.
Bottom line, of course, is that each person has their own definition of “remarkable”.
So right on!.. That was happening to me yesterday when a woman was singing on the bus and it was so annoying… I would have rather listened to alien cats having sex than hear her awful high-pitched, off-key voice. But, I realized she wanted to call attention to herself.. so she could pick a fight with the first person that turned around to look at her, which happened to me (I couldn’t help it… and from your post, you know what I mean). Without going into the rest of the story, I’ll just say that I love your advice and agree that compassion and love have everything to do with it.
AHHAHAH! Girl. I hear you. Trust me. In these moments it’s super hard for me to get to compassion to, right away. But ultimately, it’s the only thing that calms me down. :)