Chris Guillebeau, world traveler and pro non-conformist, brings up two essential life questions on the path to “World Domination”: #1: What do you really want to get out of life? and #2: What can you offer the world that no one else can? Trying to live out and utilize the answers to these questions becomes a sort of ultimate goal in Guillebeau’s manifesto, “A brief guide to world domination.” Having useful and implementable answers to these questions is key to separating yourself from the unremarkable average and becoming part of the average few. A good way to find answers to what’s important to you is to imagine your ideal Saturday, without any requirements. Put what you would ideally want to be doing on a priority list and “quarantine” the requirements that don’t provide happiness. Once you take this first step to chasing your dreams and doing something incredible, realize that in order to take over the world, you have to do what you really want while also radically helping others. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”
Story-telling, simple and true stories, are at the heart of the journey to the greatness. To break through our noise-filled world, stories must have poignant, piercing meanings that can touch people’s hearts and minds. And once you get something, remember to give back. The world needs people who are givers and takers, to keep the cycle of goodness going. It’s like the paying it forward movement, a chain reaction of kindness. (Side note: If you’ve never seen this, google it. It’s incredible but rather sad.) Connections can take people the extra mile further. Reaching out to people builds strong rapport, which can help you surmount obstacles and critics that attempt to stop your progress. These critics will try their hardest to tear you down, but the important thing is not to let their negativity get to you. Stay positive and focused on doing what you enjoy.
Mediocre has come to be the new “good-enough” or “high standard” (current airlines anyone?), but you don’t have to accept that as constant. The good thing about this level of mediocricity, according to Guillebeau, is that whenever someone does something extremely unaverage, it’ll come across as uncommonly excellent and draw more positive attention. To achieve this pinnacle of excellence and, you know, conquer the world, you need a few more things alongside your passion and story. Your connections form a small army of supporters, promoters and friends of those friends who, like I said, help boost you upwards. And of course like in every venture, money and time are important assets: Money to fund the venture and time to devote to pursuing it.
Once you have the tools you need, you need a plan of action; you need to plot the course you wish to take. Guillebeau prefers the ready-set-fire method, with minimal deliberation and rapid action. He says, “the choice doesn’t matter—just do something.”
With that, I’m off to take over the world, one small army at a time.