04 Sep The Night Everything Changed & The Power of Human Connection
“Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.”
– Margaret Mead
On dreams coming true.
For years I’ve dreamed of being a part of a community that believed in possibility.
A group that believed and acted as if things could be different. A community of people that could inspire and support each other to do work they were truly passionate about and have the impact only they were capable of.
That has always been my deepest purpose for creating Live Your Legend.
Last Tuesday night that dream came true.
At 7:00 PM this community and our movement at Live Your Legend was brought to an entirely new level.
Over 100 of us joined together for the first ever live in-person Live Your Legend event.
While I had expected we’d have a San Francisco-only group, I was inspired to meet people from all over California and beyond. In fact the first person I met, Ben, told me he had just flown in from Seattle.
The venue was hosted by my good friend Jesse Jacobs, founder of Samovar Tea Lounge, at their flagship downtown Yerba Buena Gardens location.
Jesse is one of the most inspiring Living Legends I know, and as it turns out, Samovar’s mission is “to facilitate inspiration & positive human connection”. I could not imagine a more congruent or inspiring place to host such a group of people.
That’s also probably why his tea houses have become the go-to hang outs for the likes of Tim Ferriss, Kevin Rose, Leo Babauta, Chip Conley, the Twitter Founders and Seth Godin (when in town) – just to name a few (it’s also why it’s the only place I meet people in SF – often having lunch there 2-3 times a week :)).
What Jesse has created is truly a gift.
At 5pm 14 of us, including the core LYL support team: Janet (my mom), Bill (my dad) and Chelsea (my wife), met for a private dinner and exotic tea tasting including some deep Q & A about how Jesse built what he did. Best LYL case study ever!
Then at 7pm the other 90 joined us as we filled the rest of the night with connection, inspiration, enough tea to leave you buzzing for a week (I still am) and delicious locally sourced vegetarian food (the squash dumplings and scones are to die for!).
We were in the presence of greatness
Our community, all of you, is what makes Live Your Legend what it is. You are the only thing that makes this movement possible.
And throughout the night I was constantly reminded of how inspiring so many of your stories are.
Some attendee stories include…
- We had Casey, one of our Living Legends profiled last week, who’s a recovering lawyer helping other lawyers find a more passionate career path at Leave Law Behind.
- And Mark, another of last week’s spotlights, the ex-corporate finance guy who had just returned from running his first 8-day guided mountain biking trip through his recently launched Mountain Bike San Francisco tour company.
- Leo, a previously overweight pack-a-day smoker turned marathon running vegan, who has built one of the biggest personal change blogs on the planet at ZenHabits.
- Kim, a graphic designer who also happens to have a passion for open water swimming (without a wetsuit). Her next quest is to break a world record via a 300+ mile team swim from San Francisco to Santa Barbara while raising money for the Semper Fi Fund, to support wounded Marines and their families.
- Corbett, who left the high-flying corporate consulting world to dedicate his career to helping people build passion-based businesses by leveraging the web and today’s technology over at Think Traffic.
- The husband and wife with four kids who recently decided to leave the typical path and signed a lease for their first yoga studio.
- Jesse Jacobs, a washed-out corporate junkie who left the frantic life to create Samovar Tea Lounge, a place for connection, presence and slowing down, after being turned down by 71 banks for a business loan! His story of persistence will blow your mind.
- Ben, who used his engineering skills to create the first ever fully-contained personal energy unit to help families and businesses go off the grid.
- Loren, an ex event planner and wine guru who’s putting his energy into ending human trafficking in Africa.
And I promise you this was just a taste of the people among us last week.
The Power of Positive Action
My biggest goal for last week was to connect a passionate group of people in the real world so we could better hold ourselves accountable to having the impact we know we can have. To hold ourselves to a new standard simply as a result of our new surroundings.
This of course all comes back to action.
A night of connection, support and possibility is only useful to the extent that meaningful action and change comes as a result.
I plan to do plenty more follow up on this, but for now…
Here are a few inspiring actions taken as a result of our night:
- Stacy went out and wrote a powerful & heartfelt blog post about the event titled How Scott Dinsmore Made Me Cry (In this case crying was a good thing – reading this had about the same impact on me :))
- Theodore put his professional photography skills together and shot most of the amazing pics from the night and posted them on our FB page – huge thanks!
- Jodie and Hilary are repositioning their businesses to better focus on their Why’s
- Thomas is going to share more of his dreams with those around him
- Ananda put together an action timeline for getting out of a soul-crushing job
- Carrie’s going to start talking to everyone she sees, and Stephen is going to start filming videos for his blog
- Joy finally launched her Facebook page for her wedding photo and flower business Joyfully Blooming and has almost hit her 150 “like” goal!
- Cary and Sara offered our community an awesome 75% off deal on their Happiest Woman You Know course – I love seeing how much progress they’ve made in the past year!
- Marvin, Cary, Collin and EVERYONE else committed to take their surroundings seriously and only surround themselves with people who inspire and support them. We are off to a hell of a start!
- Oh, and I finally created our first private Accountability & Action Community for Live Your Legend on Facebook. Click here to come join us (and see all the pictures from last week)!
Responsibility + Possibility…
For the past few months, ever since attending the World Domination Summit in July, two words keep coming into my mind day after day: Possibility and Responsibility.
And it is because of these two words that I decided to bring us together last week.
I spend a lot of time around people who do very inspiring things (i.e. you guys). Things most might not expect could be possible. I do this, one, because I love it, but two, because of what it does to my mind.
Think about this concept of possibility. The time I spend around these people, the more they show me what could be possible. Having this site and this community wasn’t even a dream of mine four years ago – I just didn’t know it was the kind of thing that existed.
But then as I spent more time around the right people, without really knowing it, the feeling swept across my mind.
It infected my entire belief system.
It was this feeling that changed my thinking from ‘how could I’ to ‘how could I not?’. That was the beginning of a whole new world for me. And in turn for all of you.
That feeling can be distilled down into a simple word – Possibility.
Without knowing it I began to make the daily and moment to moment choice to believe in possibility.
To believe the things most say can’t be done, are simply mental.
To believe that limits can become milestones.
When you begin to believe in possibility your world begins to change.
You cast away the excuses and the reasons we all seem to find to keep us on that track we’re not too proud of.
When you begin to believe in possibility, by default, you are removing the legs on which the excuses stand.
You start to realize you are capable of so much more than you had given yourself credit for. And at this fine moment, is precisely when creativity starts to have a field day. When you finally release the shackles of what ‘they’ say you should do.
And you start to think of the crazy ideas you never gave your head room for in the past.
This is when the dreaming begins. The thinking of how many things could actually be possible now that you know there’s a path.
When we embrace this possibility, our new belief becomes contagious. Suddenly we’re not the only ones better off, but so are those around us.
And that’s when Responsibility sets in.
We start to realize that those ideas, those possibilities are not just there for us to casually dream.
We realize that dreams are only the beginning.
That we have this responsibility to embrace that possibility and do every single thing in our power to let that idea, that dream, see the light of day.
Because that reality, that energy, is what the world so desperately needs and it’s what you deserve. We all do.
But this is indeed a responsibility. Something we must hold ourselves, and those around us accountable for.
That is what this community is here for. Be it in-person, online or wherever – for us to hold each other to the greatest responsibility of all time.
You hold me to mine every day.
Look around you. Look at the people close to you. The strangers on the street. Everyone. They all, we all have this responsibility.
Once we’ve woken up to this, we realize this responsibility is our only real job. Not just for ourselves but for the world around us.
We have this responsibility to see to it that we find and do the work that makes us come alive – that makes our unique impact.
I feel it every day. It’s this responsibility, this community, and our duty to do what matters, that keeps me building towards something bigger each day.
It’s not just for us. In fact that’s just a side bonus.
Realize the impact you could have. Embrace the possibility, the insane possibility that makes the craziest ideas a part of everyday life. That brings a few thousand people together on a webpage or a hundred at a tea house to share in one simple commitment – to dream and live bigger.
Then embrace your responsibility. Use it as fuel. As inspiration to operate on this new level.
To build the things only you are capable of building. To help people in a way only you can.
Possibility and Responsibility – That’s what it all comes back to.
May we hold the world to the standard we know it’s capable of.
More than anything, that is what last week’s event was about.
And I assure you it was the first of many…
For those of you who were there, thank you for making the night what it was. And for all of you, thanks for making our impact possible.
P.S. On Weds I’m off to speak to an MBA finance class at UC Davis about our Passionate Work Framework. Should be a pretty interesting topic, especially in that crowd ;). If you’re in Davis, give me a shout and maybe you could join us!
P.P.S. And next week we have some really fun connection stuff coming up. We’re going to dive into the topic of online connecting as I share the Top Online Tools I Use for Connecting with Hard to Reach People – plus a special guest & announcement!
Speaking of online connecting…
Big News: I created a private Action & Accountability Community for all of us – come join us!
After the event I was dying for a way for us to continue the conversation and better interact and hold each other accountable going forward.
For now, I have created a private Facebook Group just for us- called the LYL Action & Accountability Team. At first I was going to open it only to those at the event, but then I realized how much all of you will add to it!
Please come join us by requesting access at this link. It will take you directly to our LYL Action Group on Facebook (Then I’ll quickly accept you!).
I really like the FB Group because it allows us all to join in as more of a conversation and everyone in the group can ask questions, share their work, upload photos, and it even has a tool to host your own event (anywhere in the world)! Most importantly it gives us a much more real-time communal way of interacting & staying accountable.
You asked for a community forum last month and this is my first step at giving it to you. This is our testing ground to learn how you all use it as I build something more robust.
I’ve also uploaded all the pictures from last week to the Group – Check them out here!
I’m super excited to see where this goes – as always, it’s nothing without you.
And because I never say it enough, Thank You.
Here are a few more pictures from last week: