Main stage inspiration, Part 2

For the last two weeks, I’ve been writing about the World Domination Summit in Portland, Oregon, in August. (If you missed either write-up, click here and here to read them online.) This is the final part of the event recap. The whole event gave off a happy, can-do energy. There were superheroes. In capes. In fact, a bunch of us dressed up in superhero costumes and headed out on The Hero’s Journey (which was a plenty fun scavenger hunt.) But there were serious parts to. Up on stage, speakers talked about life-changing moments, and what they do to make the world a better place.

  • Caroline Webb, author of How to Have a Good Day (find it here on Amazon), says tiny tweaks in how you already live can vastly improve your life. Batching tasks like email instead of multitasking and doing some email here there and everywhere while trying to do other things simultaneously, for instance, can give us more time in our day. Our brains filter everything, flagging as most important those things which match up to our aims, attitudes and assumptions. Why is she a superhero? She has shown us that being intentional about our starting point – resetting our filter to truly focus on our aims – can help us achieve them by allowing us to notice all the synchronicities and opportunities that can aid us along the way.
  • Pete Adeney, aka Mr Money Mustache, believes any money you spend that doesn’t make you happier is a waste. As he puts it, most people “suck at money.” Getting rich enough to retire only takes about 10 or 11 years – he and his wife retired at age 30. The catch, of course, is saving at least two-thirds of your take-home pay. And he’s a bit hard core about it. Ditch the car and use a bike. Ditch the fancy gadgets. Stop shopping at Whole Foods. Avoid convenience and comfort. He’s a superhero not just because he’s living the dream of an early, care-free retirement, but because he’s teaching thousands how to achieve “financial freedom through badassity.” Find out more at
  • Zach Anner, born with cerebral palsy, learned early on he couldn’t do things by himself. A natural comedian, he found he had a much better life when he surrounded himself with people who were concerned with where he was heading and not where he was. He recently released a memoir, If At Birth You Don’t Succeed, and regularly posts videos at He’s a superhero because he spreads the message that no one should allow limitations to derail their dreams. What will you chase?
  • Emiliya Zhivotovskaya, founder of The Flourishing Center in NYC, believes in harnessing the power of positive psychology. If you’re living a reality that doesn’t serve you, it’s time to change your thoughts. She’s a superhero because she knows humans are meant to flourish, and she helps them find ways to do that.
  • At age 24, Emily McDowell was diagnosed with Stage 3 Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It didn’t just change her life, it changed her relationship with all her friends. Suddenly, when she most needed their support, they didn’t know what to say. Later, as a survivor, she found that her new role was as a “cancer translator,” telling others how to help others stricken with cancer. But they still may not know what to say. In fact, there are many times in life when it’s hard to know just what to say. She saw that the greeting card industry simply didn’t make cards for real problems, that they didn’t make cards that spoke to people. She created a line of greeting cards for the lives we live. She’s a superhero because she’s helping people say what they want to say.
  • The Rev. Angel Kyodo Williams wrote Being Black: Zen and the Art of Living with Fearlessness and Grace and, more recently Radical Dharma, which explores racial injustice as a barrier to collective awakening. For years, she practiced meditation, but it didn’t still the helplessness she felt in the face of injustice. Part of her transformation was in learning that she had to stop fighting the pressure. When things go wrong, she says, your attention should not be on how to fix the problem but how to center yourself and be present, allowing the next step will show up on its own. She’s a superhero because she knows that how we feel is not our fault, but it is our responsibility.

What superpower will you use to change the world around you?

– Jennifer