Have you ever met someone who made such an impression, it made you want to re-evaluate yourself and the way you live your life?

Last week I attended the Association of Women in Communication’s annual conference.  The closing keynote speaker was someone I hadn’t heard of, but someone I’m not likely to forget.  With her raw honesty and edgy humor, Stephanie Klein made quite an impression.

It was refreshing, and I wanted to share the main points I took away.

1.  Tragedy + Time = Comedy.  We’ve all gone through (or might be in the process of going through) really crappy stuff.  I would use more eloquent vocabulary, but it is what it is.  It is not until we look back long after the pain has ended that we’re able to laugh at ourselves.  The key is to remember that life comes in waves.   Sometimes it’s great, and sometimes you get sucked under and have to stick it out until it passes.

2.  We too often give up authenticity for likeability.  I certainly can’t speak for everyone, but I will admit (reluctantly) that in an effort to fit in, belong, and be liked, I have been guilty of this, as I’m sure many are.  One would think that after the judgmental relationships and clicks we had when we were younger, we could let go and truly be ourselves.  Every once in a while, I totally feel like I’m still in seventh grade.

3.  Any time there is an ending, there is also an exciting adventure waiting to begin.  As much as I like to maintain control and predictability, life just doesn’t work that way.  Just as painful times come to an end, sometimes good ones do as well.  Rather than dwell on what is being lost, we could get excited about what is in the process of becoming.

4.  We’re more likely to regret what we don’t do.  Regrets don’t usually happen because of what we do (minus the coconut bra, Jimmy Buffet concert, and broken foot episode of 2005), they come because of what we wish we would have done.  It’s hard to remember in the day-to-day, but we only get one shot at this!

5.  Live as if.  While it’s true that in order to get different results, you have to not only change the way you act, but the way you think as well, sometimes, you have to behave your way into results and live as if you are already there.  In other words, faking it until you make it really can work.

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