U2 playing Canad Inns Stadium in Winnipeg (photo courtesy of Winnipeg Free Press)

If you follow my Twitter or Facebook streams, you probably know by now that I went to the U2 concert last night. That would explain why I’m wandering around the house a little like a zombie this afternoon, on a bit of a U2 hangover. Too much adrenalin and not enough sleep makes Heather a dull girl.

The concert was beyond amazing. The music was amazing, the stage was amazing, the light show was amazing, the planes flying over in formation before U2 took to the stage were amazing… all-in-all, an amazing night.

Watching Bono prance around on the circular walkway and bridges extending beyond the stage, I felt a big ol’ teenage swoon coming on. That man is sexy! Wow!

I was so inspired, I came up with this list of lessons we can all learn from Bono about how to be a rock star and have a significant influence in the world.

1. Confidence is sexy! Carry yourself with confidence, believe in the words that emerge from your deepest heart, express yourself in the way that feels truest to you, and you will attract people in a big way.

2. Don’t be afraid to live fully in your body. That man knows how to fully inhabit his body! Wow! He’s never afraid to make big gestures, swing from a cable over the stage, throw his body on the floor – you name it. And people EAT. IT. UP. We are drawn to people who radiate energy from a body fully inhabited.

3. Be passionate for your causes and do not apologize. Part of my swooning had to do with the fact that I just LOVE the social justice causes Bono gives his heart to. He is FEARLESS when it comes to believing in love and justice and compassion. Not only does he sing about it, but he lives it. At the concert, we sang Happy Birthday for Amnesty International’s 50th birthday, and listened to a special broadcast of Aung San Suu Kyi, who was just released from 15 years of house arrest in Burma after daring to win an election and stand up for democracy.

4. Being yourself is much more attractive than trying to be anyone else. This one’s pretty self-explanatory. U2 got where they are today not by trying to copy anyone else’s style but by daring to live by their own.

5. Dare to be BIG. I have never been to such a big, extravagant concert. There were even jets flying by in formation before U2 came on stage. Part of my social justice brain says “isn’t that crazy for a band that preaches about climate change”, but at the same time, I know that their big-ness is what attracts people to them and gives them a global voice for justice and positive change. 50,000 people heard some pretty important messages last night, mixed in with the music, and they wouldn’t have heard those if U2 didn’t dare to be big.

6. Don’t hide your faith, but don’t flaunt it either. Bono has this remarkable capacity to write deeply spiritual lyrics that are still accessible to crowds of 50,000. He never apologizes for his faith, but he doesn’t proselytize either. Sometimes people (myself included) hide their faith so as not to be offensive to people who don’t believe the same way. It doesn’t have to be that way. We can be honest about our faith while still being respectful of others.

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