Note: This is a repost from A Summer To Serve, my home for the next month.
Last year I attended the conference on a whim and it was like taking the red pill in The Matrix. There was no turning back to my life that had been running on autopilot for most of my life. Last summer two events rocked my reality so much that I knew I had to make some serious changes.
1. My mom died.
Literally five hours before the conference kicked off I got the call from my brother that she had passed away unexpectedly in her sleep. A month later David and I kicked off the Momstoski Road Trip and I started living every day on purpose.
2. I met my tribe.
I had always been the student or employee that got the best grades or best results but always got in trouble for not following the rules. Most of the rules simply didn’t make sense to me.
I wanted to do the most good in the world, be my authentic self all the time, or reduce inefficiency in the organizations that I worked in. Why didn’t other people want that as well?
After the first couple of hours of attending WDS last year I knew I was in a special place with special people. People who value growth, relationships, integrity, and being totally authentic. I wasn’t alone any more.
Fast forward to this year’s WDS and all I can think is, “Wow, what a difference a year makes.” Last year I didn’t know a single soul and I was a little intimidated by being in the same room as some of the bloggers and entrepreneurs that I looked up to.
Now many of those people are my best friends and we break bread together all over the world. For example, just in 2012 so far, Sean and I have shared meals together in Mexico, New York, Pittsburgh, Arkansas, Austin, and Portland.
This time around, David and I were on Chris’s volunteer crew and I rented a huge house in Portland that housed 8-10 of us at a time. The Wolverpad had some of the best family dinners, family breakfasts, after hours discussions, card games, and singalongs in Portland that weekend.
Looking at the major differences from last year to this year, it all stems from this incredible community of friends that we’ve created together. I’m so thankful to have them in my life and it’s nice knowing that we are all here to support each other.
Looking back at the weekend, my major takeaway is the power of truth.
I’ve been trying my hardest to implement radical honesty in everything I do. Sure, it’s painful at times but being totally honest, authentic, and truthful in all of my interactions this weekend deepened many of my relationships.
If I met a girl who was beautiful, I let her know.
If I met somehow who’s work I admired, I let them know.
If one of my friends weren’t showing up well at the conference, I let them know.
If I met someone who’s created an amazing life for himself and his family, I let him know.
And if I loved someone, I let them know.
You know those times when you talk to someone and you had something to say but you didn’t have the courage to say it? That never happened to me this weekend. If it was on my mind, I shared it. And the depth of my relationships grew tenfold.
What are you afraid of telling to those you love? What would happen if you just said what’s on your mind?
The truth will set you free.