Keynote: Life is a Playground

November 14, 2017

Becky Brinkerhoff

Becky Brinkerhoff is a copywriter and manic pixie meme girl at Hill Holliday in Boston. She’s a diversity & inclusivity activist in all things and hasn’t been “chill” a single day in her life.

Kyle Cease—transformational comedian and New York Times bestselling author—opened day two of the conference with a keynote that aimed to have the audience rethink everything and everyone in their orbit...for better.

Being a day-two speaker of a 9:00 am keynote provides formidable challenges. The crowd isn’t warmed up. The collective caffeination hasn’t kicked in. Everyone is still reeling from day one. People are still coming in and out of the auditorium. There’s breakfast in the back of the room.

Kyle Cease put all this on the table when he introduced himself. He acknowledged his in-moment worries and how they made him feel, all while making the audience crack-up laughing. It was the perfect lead-in to his interactive presentation on awareness and self-doubt.

Kyle Cease speaks

Cease is a transformational comedian that mixes comedy, guided meditation, and Eckart Tolle-style self-help to call audiences to overcome fear by accessing authenticity and vulnerability.

He took the audience through a live guided meditation that worked them through two types of thoughts: what if and yeah but. The what if thoughts were aspirations. The yeah but thoughts were what stops you from trying to reach those aspirations. Each type of thought drove different feelings in the body, which Cease asked the audience to label and acknowledge. According to Cease, bringing awareness to both negative and positive feelings keeps them from controlling you.

Later in the presentation, Cease brought up a brave member of the audience to work through her "yeah but" in life. It was powerful to watch her work through her choice to stay in school while working full time. The audience was able to see a transformation in real time. 

Kyle Cease coaches a member of the audience.

Judging by post-session tweets, it seemed that everyone was able to take something away. In the midst of focusing on industry-wide problems, each audience member had the chance to connect with themselves and check in on their personal progress.

Key Takeaways:

  • Delete the "Yeah Buts" from your vocabulary. They keep you from reaching your true potential.
  • Your creativity is infinite because you are the apple tree, not just an apple. Your gifts are not finite.
  • Be aware of your in-the-moment feelings, both positive and negative.