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
Being happy requires being real. I went through many years of trying to plan too far into the future that I had lost sight of the basics. The basics for me meant using the day-to-day happenstances as the building blocks for a not too distant future. Today I have abandoned old ways of pining for such grandiose events to happen. I have gained this new humbling experience of not only accepting, but embracing the short term deliveries of life.
When I was young I was surrounded by friends and peers who were advancing in a way that was really uncommon in most circumstances. I do love my friends, but there was a point that I spread myself too thin trying to compete. I wasn’t able to focus on simple things. I was just constantly rushing. It finally hit me all at the same time when I found out my father had passed away, and several very close friends had cancer scares. It all directly related to being young and that incredibly cliché selfishness of thinking you are invincible.
Many jobs I had to work at ate at my soul. All that was meaningful to me was in shambles. Pretending to be happy wasn’t what I ever wanted. I needed to feel. I get satisfaction when I am at my most raw and emotive. Even in my toughest moments, my later self-reflections make it all worth it to know where I was and feel how I did. Living in LA, seeing others who never allowed themselves a subversive upbringing and are now driving around in $500,000 cars and grabbing hold of whatever young flesh they can in the twilight of their three-quarter life crisis speaks to me as a precautionary tale. Live your day like it’s your last, or else you shall bottle up resentment inside, and it will blow up when you are balding.
Don’t censor your emotions. That will be your biggest regret. Now I live in constant mindfulness. Allowing myself to be even more hypersensitive to my emotions has been wonderful as well as horrible, but in the end I sort myself out and get back on the right track. Sure, there are times when I think and behave in self destructive and vindictive ways, but it’s real and honest to how I feel in that moment. I live my life through my nerve endings.
– BJ Panda Bear