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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 Krishna Kaur yogi. philanthropist. dynamic teacher.

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Norman Lear Norman Lear producer. philanthropist. tv legend.

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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.

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Desmond Tutu Desmond Tutu archbishop. author. peaceful leader.

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Kia Miller Kia Miller yogi. meditator. teacher.

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

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love well

Chip Conley Chip Conley hotelier. author. inner seer.

Bestselling author Chip Conley is the founder and executive chairman of Joie de Vivre, America's second largest boutique hotel company. He writes about his company's techniques and transformational leadership practices. [www.chipconley.com]

chip_conley_feature

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

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