I recently returned from more than three weeks in Thailand which included 4 days at an event unlike any other I’ve ever been a part of. It is called Awesomeness Fest. I went to Awesomeness Fest thinking I was at least somewhat awesome – or at least that I would fit in with awesome people. I learned pretty quickly that I am not and I did not… The good thing is I have an idea about how to be awesome, and a plan to start achieving awesomeness.
So what is Awesomeness Fest?
I learned about Awesomeness Fest because I am constantly researching and connecting with people from the world’s best workplaces. MindValley is at the top of many work culture related lists like WorldBlu’s most democratic workplaces and Inc. Magazine’s Coolest Workplaces, so I’ve been following them for some time. At the end of this post is a great video showing a day in the life of MindValley. It definitely looks awesome.
Several years ago, MindValley began hosting Awesomeness Fest. It is a non-profit event with proceeds going to charity, and is aimed at people who want to change the world, and attracts a hugely diverse group. In one evening, I had discussions with a world-class ballerina from Argentina, a famously successful entrepreneur and investor from Belgium, a marketing manager from a London hotel chain, a tech startup entrepreneur from England, and a journalist from Namibia.
The audience, as expected, was awesome. In fact, they were so awesome that I immediately felt under-awesome. I had entered a world filled with people who were truly changing the world. Nothing was standing in the way of these people. They had been through tragedies (there were a few people who had experienced life-threatening accidents, a couple who’d actually been medically dead for minutes before coming back to life), they had put love and extaordinary life above anything monetary (there were people who had given up every possession they owned to travel the world and teach others about living a healthy life) and there were people who had been down and out on their luck and turned things around to change other people’s lives for the better. I felt like I needed to find a tragedy and bounce forward from it, or do something extraordinary ASAP! My life has been pretty boring for the most part. I knew that I was completely out of my element, and that I would learn a lot from these awesome people.
The content was what I wasn’t sure about. You see, while I love to think differently, explore new ideas, and challenge the status quo, I am a pragmatist. My career started in operations and I’ve kept that pragmatic mindset ever since. I tend to find a lot of personal development speakers, books and videos a little… fluffy… unrealistic… and at worst, flaky. Before you jump in and defend the Tony Robbins and Bob Proctors of the world, I’m happy to say this event has opened my eyes to some of the power of personal development. I realized quickly that although I get awesome results in business, and I get to do some awesome things because of my work, there are things missing in my life that will help me be even more awesome in business and to add awesomeness to my personal life.
Lisa Nichols changed me on Day One.
On day one, before the actual conference, we had a half-day workshop with Lisa Nichols. I had never heard of her, but she was touted as being “from The Secret”. I had seen The Secret movie, and had started to read the book, but put it down when I realized I didn’t really buy into it. It was one of those “fluffy” things I found a little too unrealistic for my tastes. I wasn’t expecting too much from this workshop, but I went with an open mind. I was rewarded by an amazing experience.
Lisa Nichols is the kind of speaker who draws you in deeper with each story. She involves the audience in affirming what she says and has the ability to make it feel genuine. Positive energy emanates from her. Within an hour, we were spilling our deepest secrets to each other, engaging with strangers in soul-searching. I cannot confirm or deny whether I shed tears… twice… This one workshop, for me, had made my trip to Awesomeness Fest worthwhile. I could see how some of my own personal “stories” and “hurdles” were getting in the way of my true intentions both personally and in business. I had a list of questions to answer, practices to put into place, and people to continue to talk with.
The event continued along this vein for the most part, with some speakers who fell a little short, others that were motivational without meat, and some that gave great practical advice. Plus there were epic parties better than you can even imagine… Lisa Nichols was back a couple more times throughout the event to continue what she started on day one, and I enjoyed every time she presented, learning more each time.
There are a few business-related practices and projects that I will be implementing based on what I learned and discussed with the fabulous people at Awesomeness Fest. I will share them here on this site. There are even more personal practices that I will be implementing – which I know will ultimately have an impact on the business as well. Stay tuned for a personal blog I’ll be writing about that journey, if you’re interested.
My first Step Towards Awesomeness in Business
To get started at developing more awesomeness in business, I am going to implement MindValley’s Vishen Lakhiani’s “Three Most Important questions”. We walked through it during the event, and I will be doing it again, in a more focused way, using MindValley’s Omvana app, this week. I am going to take the answers and apply them to business, and will share my business-related answers here. I look forward to becoming more intentional and mindful about what I am doing at work – and to affecting my clients in even more awesome ways! Do the Three Most Important Questions activity with me – you can get the background, video and pdf to collect your answers here.