After the World Domination Summit, one of the things I heard myself and other attendees saying again and again was how great it was to be surrounded by people who want to live remarkable lives.
People who want to live differently. Who have great stories to tell. Who see the world through a lens that’s tinted with opportunity.
But when I really got to thinking about it, I realized it was probably our approach, how we saw the people around us, that created that perception, rather than the actual makeup of the attendees.
Here’s what I mean. Whenever I sat down in that big theater to hear our next speaker, I turned to the person in the chair next to me, introduced myself, and asked what they were up to in life. Those were some of my favorite moments from the weekend, so much so that I usually tried to enter the theater alone, rather than with a friend, so I would be more likely to meet someone new.
Why did I feel comfortable introducing myself? Because I knew the person next to me probably had an alternative career or loved backpacking around the world or chose to live mindfully. I knew we probably had something big in common. And I knew they probably wanted to be inspired by my story, too.
In the Real World, I’m far less likely to introduce myself to the person sitting next to me. Partly because it requires guts, and partly because I figure the person next to me probably doesn’t share my outlook on life.
But what if we pushed ourselves outside our comfort zone to say hello? Sure, we’d meet some duds, and some people would judge us for being too friendly. But I’m willing to bet we might also be surprised to meet others who are doing cool things and living remarkable lives.
What I’m saying is, the person next to you might be WDS-caliber, and you don’t even know it. You wouldn’t know it, of course, from looking at them. It takes a little bit of conversation — and perhaps a little bit of feeling uncomfortable — to figure that out.
So next time you sit next to someone on a flight or at a coffee shop or wherever you hang out, try looking at them with new eyes. You might not want to start the conversation with, “So, what’s your passion project?” but give them the benefit of the doubt that we gave every WDS attendee.
You never know who you might meet or how you might be inspired.
5 Replies to “A New Way to See the Person Next to You”
Very inspirational. I am trying to do same. Thank you so much
Love this! I’m going to start trying it out instead of putting on my headphones.
It’s been pretty long since I read something like this.
Great work Alexis!
Alexis, I think this is so powerful! I’m going to try to give the person next to me the benefit of the doubt and strike up some conversations. Everyone has the potential to be WDS material, I think. 🙂
Thanks for this reminder. I usually see/read “getting out of your comfort zone” in a “business” context :-). In the sense: be assertive, you’re the best! But talking to people requires so much courage too. This post is awesome.