April 29, 2013

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Imagine on your deathbed you were able to see two films of your life: One showed highlights of what you actually achieved. And then the other showed highlights of what you could have achieved with your ability, your talent, the opportunities that came your way etc.

It would probably bring you to tears to know what else you could have done. The heights you could have climbed. The people you could have met. The races you could have run. The ideas you could have made happen. The change you could have made.

If only when you had come to the edge, you hadn’t taken that step back to safety. If you had just kept going after failing that one time. If only you had believed in that crazy dumb idea enough to tell the world about it.

Yes, if only you hadn’t, well, played so damn small.

So that’s why The Do Lectures were started. To narrow the distance between the Two Films. The piece above was written by David Hieatt, co-founder of The Do Lectures.

The Do Lectures just took place on the sprawling coast of West Wales at a brilliant place called the fforest which I’m pretty sure Robin Hood should have lived in at one time. Imagine Coachella meets Learning. The lectures are held in a huge tipi and the delegates sleep in tents. For 72 hours 120 adults head into the woods, rain or shine, and camp under the stars, eat in the elegant mess hall. They learn by doing, developing solutions for real world problems sans sponsor logos, product pitches and the typical conference egos. This appears to be nature’s vacation spot. The attendees were split into groups and worked tirelessly, sometimes in the pub made of stone, to solve problems like the extinction of manufacturing, getting kids to play outdoors instead of playing video games and housing shortages. Everyone was granted the getaway green light to defect to different groups if they didn’t want to help solve the problem they were assigned to originally. At the end of The Do timeframe, each group presented their solution for a real world problem. Turns out, three of the seven groups were funded and one of them launched yesterday.

It’s safe to say The Do created Doers.

I was fortunate to be asked to deliver a Do Lecture which happened to be on the last day. After spending the first 48 humbling hours among nature and this group, I rethought my talk the night before. This wasn’t just about the tactical “how to” talk, this was about the process of choosing to “Do” versus talking and watching. Vulnerability is the new courage so I stepped up to the podium, which was literally a tree stump. If I’ve helped even one person under that tipi add something to their life’s highlight reel, then I’m a happy camper.

The Do Lectures are coming to the U.S. in September of this year. Check ’em out. The camp leader of this event is a guy named Duke. You can fully expect a similar, yet warmer, scene at Do USA. As Duke says, “Our goal at DO is not to create magic, but rather our goal is to create the conditions for magic to happen. Quiet your cleverness. (and Just Do)” Kinda ironic coming from a humble, wise man who spent more than a decade at Nike? Nah.

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