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.

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Seth Godin Seth Godin author. speaker. linchpin.

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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.

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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.

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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

 

be specific

Brian Center Brian Center Writer. Philanthropist. Community Transformer.

Brian Center has worked on the issues of violence prevention and strengthening families from many angles. He's the Executive Director of A Better LA. [www.abetterla.org]

PostCENTER

I still remember feeling frustrated by vague dreams when I was younger. My parents told me, “You can be anything you want to be.” I wanted to be successful, happy, or just myself. But what the heck did that mean!?

Now I dream specific. For instance, I’ve always wanted to transform inner-city communities. When I close my eyes and dream, I see myself reading research, learning about gang violence, walking the streets of Los Angeles, raising money to fund programs. And when I do those things in real life, I live my dream. It’s the most energizing feeling in the world.

It’s fairly easy to be inspired for a few minutes by reading a great self-help book or hearing a moving speech. But it’s challenging to stay inspired when the pressures of life are upon us and we feel out of control or overwhelmed.

Dreaming specific shrinks life’s pressures and makes inspiration a daily occurrence. After all, dreaming specific is still dreaming – painting a beautiful picture in your mind that’s full of hope about the future. Dreaming is a great escape. It allows you to escape from the immediate past – over which you no longer have any control – and move into the future, over which you have much more control.

Tricks? I have two. First, I write specific goals on index cards and keep them with me at all times. When I lose focus, hope, or patience, I pull the cards out, close my eyes and picture myself accomplishing those goals. I engage in a brief, specific dream session, often about what I’m going to do over the next few hours.

Second, I recite my core values, the concepts I think should never be bent or broken – in the form of an elevator pitch to myself that reminds me of what’s most important in life. My elevator pitch is from the Bible: “To do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with thy God.” This is my three-part litmus test for almost any decision or thought process: Am I thinking clearly? Prioritizing well? Using my time wisely? I find that the answers are always yes if I’m consistent with my core values.

I dream in detail, then hold on to that image and never let go.

– Brian Center

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