Jack Canfield Jack Canfield author. speaker. motivator.

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 Arianna Huffington political powerhouse. media mogul. author.

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 Seth Godin author. speaker. linchpin.

Seth Godin is a prominent author, blogger and speaker. [www.squidoo.com/linchpin]

 
Krishna Kaur Krishna Kaur yogi. philanthropist. dynamic teacher.

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 Norman Lear producer. philanthropist. tv legend.

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 Leilani Münter race car driver. activist. carbon free girl.

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]

 
Kevin Bales Kevin Bales Freedom Fighter. Philanthropist. Game Changer.

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 Sophie Chiche mom. big dreamer. lady in red.

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]

 
Mastin Kipp Mastin Kipp Writer. Entrepreneur. Daily Lover.

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 Liz Phair singer. musician. crier.

Liz Phair is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. [www.lizphair.com]

 
Desmond Tutu Desmond Tutu archbishop. author. peaceful leader.

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 Zainab Salbi author. ceo. humanitarian.

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]

 
Sean Stephenson Sean Stephenson speaker. psychotherapist. life embracer.

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 Kia Miller yogi. meditator. teacher.

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 Simon Mainwaring creator. writer. idea geek.

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 Shannon Bindler Strategist. Writer. Life Coach.

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]

 
Mathieu Bitton Mathieu Bitton Designer. Art Director. Passionate Creator.

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]

 
Jorge Perez Jorge Perez Agent. Producer. Photography Enthusiast.

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

 

drive

Benjamin Roman Benjamin Roman pop star. mentor embracer. dream pursuer.

After surviving in L.A. doing everything from being a celebrity personal assistant to dancing on a box for tips, recording artist Ben Roman is also the Special Events Manager of the world-famous Magic Castle. [www.benromanonline.com]

In my early 20’s, I made the decision to leave a stable job, move to Los Angeles, and pursue my dreams. Things got tough. At my lowest point, I was working several random jobs that weren’t even making ends meet, and I didn’t have much drive for anything else.

Meanwhile, I was dating someone who really had his life together. At first I felt inadequate, but then a light went on in my head. It was my turn to get to that place.

Through hard work, networking, and a guardian angel, I found a career that let me pursue all of my passions. Four years later, I was promoted to head of my department. Now I’m out of debt and have a rewarding career. Most importantly, I’m able to give back to my communities with my time, talent, and treasure.

So often we get in our own way and prevent ourselves from leading meaningful lives. We all have fears of failure, insecurities, and things passed down from our parents that keep us from pushing forward. We stifle our drive and become too afraid to take the chances that could lead us to the life we desire.

I’ve learned that finding a mentor is the best thing we can do to get past our own insecurities. When I was new to this crazy city, I met a successful voice-over actor. He had built an amazing life, career, and close inner circle of friends, while also being an activist, and humanitarian. He took me under his wing and showed me first-hand the hard work, dedication, and drive that it takes to make it. He has been my mentor, my lifesaver in tough spots, and, all throughout, my dear friend. His life and work have inspired me to have a meaningful, driven, and abundant life of my own.

We are who we are because of teachers and examples that influence our lives. So befriend or start a dialogue with someone you admire. Who lives a life that you’d like to see reflected in your own. Pick their brains. Ask their advice. See what they say and how they say it. Practice mimicking their drive, their choices, and their reactions.

Then, once you’ve started down your meaningful path, invest in others. The more we invest in those around us – make them better and build them up – the stronger our sense of purpose, drive, and accomplishments grow.

– Benjamin Roman

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