Last year, after the Broad Summit, the organizers got on the phone to talk about whether we wanted to do it again. We all had a great time, but of course it was a lot of work. Even though the event was a success none of us were sure we wanted to re-up.
We got to talking about why, because it didn’t make much sense, until we realized there had been no real intention behind the Broad Summit. We mostly just wanted to see if we could do it. Personally, I wanted to check “organize a retreat” off my Mighty Life List, provide a fun weekend for girls who have given each other lots of support through the years, and find out whether we could plan something on that scale without losing our shirts in the process (first-year events tend to lose money). Once the event was over, the general feeling among the organizers was sort of, “Check. Did it.”
We realized that if we were going to do the Summit again, we needed a stronger reason. At the time, my new emphasis was on my Mighty Life List — building my site around it, making my living from living my dreams, helping other people start thinking the same way. So we decided to change the name to Mighty Summit, and use the event as a way to encourage attendees to dream bigger.
We wanted to make the concept of goals explicit in the event to make it more meaningful for everyone. Boy did it ever.
This year, we asked attendees to write life lists and made sure everyone had copies of all the lists before they arrived. On the first day, I said that I’d had an amazing outpouring of support from all of you when I first posted my list. Many of you asked how you could help, offered to let me stay with you while I traveled, or to loan me something I needed to make my dreams go.
That experience made me realize how often our grandest dreams are someone else’s day to day life. You want to write a book? I’m a publisher! You want to go on a cruise? I’m the publicity director for a cruise line! At the Summit, we asked everyone to talk to one another about their lists, and see where we could help each other. Everyone got started on the little stuff right away.
Helen Jane taught us how to saber open a champagne bottle with a knife. (Holy crap, that is easy, you guys. Margaret made a video, so go watch and try it with a $5 bottle of Cava. You will feel superhuman.)
On the third day, after we’d had a chance to get to know one another, we did a group meditation on our life lists over lunch. We asked everyone to choose five things they thought they could accomplish in the next year, and choose one area where they needed help.
We asked for little things, like help learning to use our cameras.
And huge things, like help starting foundations.
We had a chance to be vulnerable with each other.
To offer our own talents, and to lift each other up.
We talked about how all boats rise together in the tide, and what we could do to make that tide a little stronger.
As for me, I went into this year wondering if I wanted to do the Mighty Summit at all, and came out of it planning for next year before we’d even hugged everyone goodbye.
I made some great new friends, and learned a little bit about how powerful it can be to ask for help. And now I think it’s time to ask for help from all of you.
I will always love the intimacy of the Summit, but for me the Life List concept is much bigger than 14-room hotel. For a long time, I’ve been wanting a place for all of us to share our lists and help each other cross things off, but I’ve been a little perfectionist about it (imagine!), and needing things “just so” is keeping me from doing anything at all. Here are the three things I’m committing to:
1. Starting a real community.
I want: A place on Facebook where we can all start talking about what’s going on with our lists. What’s on them, what we need help with, how we can find each other geographically and start planning meetups.
I need help with: Advice on the best way to do this. I’m kind of stumbly with Facebook to say the least.
2. Giving everyone a simple way to track their Life Lists.
I want: A Facebook app that would give us an easy way to write our lists, cross things off, and link out to the info we’ve posted online — just like I do with my own list. I have some really specific ideas of how I want it to look and what I want it to do.
I need help with: The contact info for a smart app developer who has done this kind of thing with Facebook before.
3. A space for everyone.
I want: Sometime in the next year or so, I’d like to have a campout/meetup/conference open to everyone where we do the same kinds of things we do at the Summit, but on a larger, more-inclusive scale. The downside will be no free massages, the upside will be that everyone will be there.
I need help with: Getting you there. You should come.