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
as i am
I am forever in the process of becoming more of my true self. Each day I’m closer to finding personal fulfillment.
I used to do what I thought I was supposed to do. I’m a woman working in the entertainment industry, where beauty standards are extremely high. It took me a long time to realize that it’s okay to be exactly who I am. Not everyone has to be a size-two bikini model, willing to play the vacuous “hot chick” role. I now know that being an individual is what will make me stand out from the pack and give me longevity. These days, I’m accepting myself exactly the way I am, stretch marks and all.
Finding someone else who accepts me exactly as I am has been a big part of my journey. My wife, Karman, and I will be celebrating our fourth wedding anniversary in August. Her laugh has truly become one of the most meaningful things in my life. If she’s smiling, I know all is right in the world. Her face is the sun in my life.
Before I met Karman, I was working as a performer and feeling like I was running a race with no finish line in sight. Having her in my life reminds me that every moment in every day counts. It’s not about the destination. It’s about the journey to the destination. I now stop to smell the roses.
Fear is inside us all. If we can learn to manage that fear, we can take greater steps in aligning ourselves with who we truly want to be. As a comedian, I don’t often get to share the serious aspects of my life. I feel like I’m in uncharted territory here, but I’m also relishing the experience. It is part of growing and becoming more of who I am.
I continue to find meaning and add color to the world through my stand-up comedy, my painting, and my love of animals. (Though I’m vegetarian, I occasionally eat fish. So I love all animals, except fish. Fish and I are not friends.)
- Bridget McManus