Undergraduate Blog / Defining Your Babson

The World Domination Summit

Post by Ryan Elcock ’18

Thanks to the Undergraduate Professional Accelerator Fund I had the opportunity to attend the highly recognized ‘World Domination Summit’: an annual conference held in Portland Oregon which presents itself as the ultimate convention for the unconventional person; being a full-time student at Babson College, this obviously sounded right up my alley. The conference took place over the course of 5 days, but the focal point of the convention occurred over the weekend in which a series of main stage TED-style speakers touched on topics that included ideas surrounding fear and the discovery of the true meaning of happiness. Interstitial group activities also took place throughout the conference which were led by attendees of the summit, and they included lessons on everything from self-guided meditation to how to live a well-balanced life out of a van.

Overall, I think the conference provided a great opportunity for self-reflection – in that it forced everyone to question certain aspects of life that one would not typically devote much to. One of the event’s main focuses was liberating yourself of self-imposed fears and limitations: an idea which I have spent much time wrestling with both in business and in my career at Babson. I have always been a firm believer in the idea that the only limitations are the ones that we accept as a reality, and the speakers at this conference did a great job of reaffirming this concept through the actions they took in the real world – be it quitting their jobs to travel the world, continuing to live a thriving life after the death of a spouse, or succeeding in life with a crippling disability.

Another dominant focus of the summit was examining the process through which we find happiness – and something that struck me was what Jonathan Fields, creator of the Good Life Project, had to say about how the physiology of happiness. During his speech Jonathan mentioned that “it’s not the reality that shapes us, it’s the lens through which your brain views the world which shapes your reality – thus, happiness is not predicted by your external world, but instead it’s predicted by how your brain views the external world”. I think it’s a fairly universal belief that the formula for success is: hard work leads to more success which then leads to happiness – when in reality the reverse is true. The problem with the previous view is that every time you experience a success, the goal posts for what it means to succeed are moved – making the target on the other side of “more success” nearly impossible to achieve and sustain. The idea of focusing on altering happiness levels in the present has had a resounding effect on the way I try to view the world – and through gratitude and reflection, making it a point to find more happiness in the present has led to a noticeable increase in my day to day happiness. Ultimately, I think that the World Domination Summit lived up to its reputation – and the unconventional thoughts and ideas shared throughout the weekend definitely helped for me to change the way I view the world on a daily basis.