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
One of my grandsons is staying with me for a week. He’s 14 and going to basketball camp. We’re hanging out and just enjoying ourselves. This means a lot to me – family and friends and love and how to express it.
A friend of mine works in a hospice center in San Francisco. He’s learned that when we’re about to die, we tend to ask ourselves these two things: Did I love well? and Was I well-loved? To me, those perspectives define what love and life are all about.
I’m fascinated by emotions and the nature of emotions and I enjoy exploring the mysteries of the deep, the ways our emotions manifest in our lives. I’ve always been very curious and interested in learning and I’ve learned a huge amount through the roles I’ve taken on in my life. Now I’m embarking on a new curiosity, through my role as a speaker and writer of books on the topic of the intersection of psychology and business and – especially – meaning.
An equation I use that helps, which I’ve used as a mantra, is: despair equals suffering minus meaning. Suffering is a constant in life. The variable is meaning. Knowing that can really rearrange your priorities.
What keeps people from living a meaningful life? One thing is conformity – trying to be like others. That’s about our external self, not our internal self. The fact that we’re brought up to have an external antenna that allows us to walk into a room and understand what’s expected of us says a lot about our culture. It’s different to connect using our internal antenna, which tells us what we’re supposed to be doing on this planet.
Fear can also get in the way of living a meaningful life. We distract ourselves with the superficial trivialities of life and use powerful mediums –our voice, our emotions, the Internet, email – in trivial ways. That’s partly because it’s easier to do than being intimate. The word intimacy has sometimes been broken down to into-me-see. The reasonable fear of intimacy, whether it’s intimacy with ourselves or intimacy with others, is the fear of looking inside ourselves.
Part of my role is to help people see that we can go deep, we can look inside, and also be effectively successful in day-to-day life.
– Chip Conley