Affectionately known as "America's #1 Success Coach," Jack Canfield is the originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and a leading authority in the areas of self-esteem, achievement motivation, and peak performance. [www.jackcanfield.com]
Arianna Huffington is the co-founder and Editor in Chief of the Huffington Post and the author of twelve books. [www.huffingtonpost.com]
Seth Godin is a prominent author, blogger and speaker. [www.squidoo.com/linchpin]
Krishna Kaur is the founder of YOGA for Youth, a program that takes yoga, meditation, and stimulating discussions on the philosophy of yoga to urban youth. [www.yogaforyouth.org]
Norman Lear has enjoyed a long career in television and film. He is also a political and social activist and philanthropist. [www.normanlear.com]
Leilani Münter is a professional race car driver and an environmental activist who uses her voice in the number one spectator sport in America as a catalyst for change. [www.leilanimunter.com]
By going undercover to meet slaves and slaveholders, Kevin Bales exposed modern slavery's penetration into the global economy. He co-founded Free the Slaves, which has helped to liberate thousands of slaves. [www.freetheslaves.net]
Sophie Chiche, lifebyme.com founder and curator, enjoys asking deep questions and living a life of meaning. Today she's launching Shape House, an urban sweat lodge, a place to melt away fears and fat. [www.shapehousela.com]
Entrepreneur and writer Mastin Kipp founded TheDailyLove.com, which merges pop culture with inspiration, and co-founded The Love Yourself Company, an apparel company that has started a global self-esteem movement. [www.TheDailyLove.com]
Liz Phair is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. [www.lizphair.com]
Archbishop Desmond Tutu is Chairman of The Elders, a group of world leaders who address some of the world's most pressing problems. He works energetically for human-rights and in his ministry. [www.tutu.org]
Zainab Salbi is the founder and CEO of Women for Women International, a group dedicated to helping women survivors of war rebuild their lives. [www.womenforwomen.org]
Despite his physical challenges, Sean Stephenson has taken a stand for a quality of life that has inspired millions of people around the world. He's a professional speaker, psychotherapist, and author. [www.timetostand.com]
Kia Miller teaches Yoga at Yoga Works in Los Angeles, leads teacher trainings, and runs retreats and workshops on meditation, chakras, pranayam, and mantras, and other practices. [www.kiamiller.com]
Simon Mainwaring is an ex-Nike/Wieden creative, former Worldwide Creative Director at Motorola/Ogilvy, branding/advertising writer, author/speaker/blogger, Australian, idea geek. [www.simonmainwaring.com]
Shannon Bindler is a style editor, life coach, and the co-founder of Get Up Girl, an empowerment company that inspires women to shine. [www.getupgirl.com]
Grammy-nominated art director/designer/photographer Mathieu Bitton has designed over 450 CDs and movie posters. He's a renowned collector of and authority on black films and their soundtracks. [www.candytangerine.com]
Opus Reps founder and agent-producer Jorge Perez travels the world producing photo shoots with great photographers and celebrities. He's also very involved with Meals on Wheels in Los Angeles. www.opusreps.com
I was taught from a very young age that the life I was given was due to no doing of my own. It’s a gift, a gift of chance and a gift of love. The chance of being able to grow up in the United States, with the freedoms and opportunities that go along with that, and the love of my family to support any endeavor I set my mind to. I was told that my duty was to live a life worthy of the gifts I’ve received, to go earn the life I was handed and to be accountable for my actions.
Every day when I wake up, instead of thinking about my day and stressing about things that don’t need to be thought about yet, I just breathe for a minute and say to myself, “I have my two arms, I have my two legs, and I have the chance to attack today. I’m living … holy cow, I’m living.”
Every day is meaningful because every day is so fleeting. The most important thing I’ve realized about being able to generate my ideas and flesh them out is that, galactically, I don’t matter and no one cares about me or my dreams more than I do. That realization liberated me to go ahead and do things that terrified me, like starting a company or getting an MBA in my free time.
Travel has also shaped me. It’s a constant reminder that we’re all connected. That’s why I find tremendous meaning in leaving my comfort zone and being vulnerable in a new country or city. I relish finding connections with strangers in what would otherwise have been a run-of-the-mill moment. In those small moments, I realize that what I do and how I treat people matters. In the end, we’re all looking for the same things: happiness, the respect of our peers, and creating a better life for ourselves and our families.
I find meaning in the absurd chances I get to chase my dreams. There is no why. All I can do is try to make my day and the days of those around me better than the last.
Whenever life’s stresses start taking their toll on me, I exhale and remind myself, “But I’m living … holy cow, I’m living!”
– Bassam Tarazi
Explore More Meaning
holistic helper. working mama. constant questioner.
Tara Hantske is a Board-Certified Holistic Health Counselor, a member of the American Association of Drugless Practitioners and Team Northrup, and, most importantly, a mom. She helps people, especially moms, create health and balance. [www.tarahantskewellness.com]