Back Through the Rabbit Hole

Following the World Domination Summit, I’m feeling a bit like Alice may have felt after leaving Wonderland now that I’ve landed with a ker-plunk right back into my life. Everything seems the same as it did, but it feels so different.

It’s hard to describe the conference to someone who wasn’t there—to me, it was an Imageintensely personal journey. The real magic of WDS is community: being surrounded by 2,800 like-minded people embracing change. We are all at different points in our journeys towards diverse things: some want to change the world, while others seek to change their lives. The conference is all about being embraced by a supportive community of people all feeling the unrest of maintaining the status quo in our lives. Our tribe.

ImageI had wondered if I might quit my 9-5 gig upon returning; it wouldn’t be my first time. “What’s amazing about a leap of faith is that everyone around you is so sure it’ll work out, and you’re pretty sure it won’t.” Thanks to Tess Vigeland for helping me process my feelings about that experience, and for letting me know that my fear of what is ahead, and the big doozy fear, that the best may be what I left behind me, puts me in extraordinary company. Her bravery, vulnerability and openness comforted me and I will be forever grateful to her for the experience. It was the very first time that I not only admitted my feelings to myself, but also shared them with others. What a powerful gift.

There were some incredible talks; each had beautiful pearls of wisdom to connect with. I’ll be processing my thoughts and feeling about them for some time, and will share those musings in the weeks to come. A lot of blogs posted recaps of the weekend, so I’m not going to do that. Instead, I’ll share what is top of my mind a week later, or as Nancy Duarte might say, what really resonates.

The best way to confront a fear of rejection is head-on with humor

Jia Jiang went on a ‘100 days of rejection’ quest, and asked strangers for all sorts of thing including permission to play soccer in their backyard, for $100, to drive a cop car, and to fly a plane. He quit his job 4 day before his daughter was born, and when he met with a crushing failure 4 month into his 6-month adventure to change his life, his wife told him, “I gave you six months, not four!” What a lesson to us all, to surround ourselves who people who support us.

The path to creation and success springs from the fertile ground of dreams

 Darren Rowse, creator of Problogger, shared the need to take responsibility of our future, as it’s not a place that we are going to, but a place that we are creating. He said to take time every day to dream, and notice the sparks that you create. Then follow those sparks. Share your dreams, as that creates an army of people who will help your dreams come true.

Image “The key to happiness is self-knowledge. We become too focused on how we should be that we forget who we are.” Gretchen Rubin

This amazing life that I can create is custom-made, not defined by the wants and obligations placed on me by others, but by my own unique definition of what a remarkable life can be for me.

 “What we think we want isn’t usually what makes us happy. Don’t expect your achievements to solve your problems.” Donald Miller


We are not our failures; we are not our successes either. I’ve spent so much of my life aspiring to achieve success to prove that I’m not defined by my past, that I lost track of me in the process. I really connected with this talk and you can bet you’ll be hearing more about it in upcoming weeks.

ImageMy biggest learning is that I don’t want to do it alone. I thought that by being forcefully independent I was being strong, but I now understand that I’m keeping the joy of knowing me from others while leveraging my past hurt to protect myself. I saw vulnerability as weakness, but the presenters were so brave and vulnerable to share stories of their rejection, failure and heartbreak. And that was when I realized: vulnerability is strength. In talking with many of them after the presentations I realized they are just ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

I even decided to practice a little bit and realized that when I shared those deep dark fears that I’ve shared with no one, a big hairy spider didn’t come up to eat me. My fear seemed to float away as it lost its power. Opening myself to another person didn’t kill me, and didn’t even hurt me; it empowered me.


So what is the World Domination Summit? I could try to define it, but that’s really missing a lot. What it is to me is the ability to step into the sun to harness its power, its energy, then to fall back to earth in the snuggly warmth of caring, supportive arms. It’s living life, and loving life, in the bonus round.


Images credit: Armosa Studios

6 thoughts on “Back Through the Rabbit Hole

  1. rachelcarrollwhalley

    What I saw of you during WDS was pretty cool, lady. I’ll remember you saying, “I don’t dance,” and “I don’t wear dresses,” and me pointing out to you that you were, emphatically and beautifully doing BOTH. All weekend long.

    Even though we have just met, I’m celebrating your reemergence into the sun!

    1. samglauser Post author

      Thanks for calling me on my sh#$. 🙂 I had such a blast dancing AND wearing girly sun dresses and look forward to enjoying both much more! I’m thrilled to have met you and am thrilled to explore our new friendship!! xoxo!

  2. Chanté

    Sam, we “clicked” before we even actually met in-person, because we are both so fiercely independent and guarded about those things that we feel make us (gasp) human. While I’m on a different path than you are, I believe we are on similar journeys. I loved this quote from your piece:

    “He said to take time every day to dream, and notice the sparks that you create. Then follow those sparks. Share your dreams, as that creates an army of people who will help your dreams come true.”

    It really IS through sharing our dreams that we find so many gracious, warm, and accepting people who are not only willing to listen to us, but in some shape, fashion or form, they actually help us achieve our goals. It is HARD to ask for help. I know, I get a tick in my neck when I do it, but I will say this, over the past 4 years of this journey I’ve begun, I’ve asked for more help than I ever had before in my life – thank goodness I did! I’m embarking on a side-winder path now, in order to reach one of my ULTIMATE goals of opening my wine bar. I know it’s going to be a crazy, circuitous journey, but it is because of wonderfully inspiring people like you, that I know I can make my dream a reality!

    As always, wishing you continued success on your fantastic journey. You truly are an inspiration to me, my dear friend.

    Thanks for continuing to share your journey with us.

  3. samglauser Post author

    Chante, I can’t thank you enough for all of your support along the way! You are such a wonderful friend, and I admire what you’re doing with your life: following your dreams! I’m honored to be part of your support network and can’t wait to celebrate with you!!


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