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
Beyond a doubt, what’s most meaningful to me and gives me absolute joy is giving to others. I first experienced the true power of giving over a decade ago, after separating from my husband of 20 years. I was experiencing a lot of grief, and my mentor, Millard Fuller, the Founder of Habitat for Humanity, recommended that I get my mind off of myself by doing something for others. He’d just gotten back from Nepal, where he’d met many families in need of homes. I thought, “Great! I’ll start there.”
I considered something I already knew, that when you have a great pain in your life, you need a greater purpose. So I asked myself, How many houses would I need to build to offset this pain in my life? What came to me was that 100 houses felt bigger than my pain. Even though I’d never embarked on such a project, I said yes and went into action. Everywhere I went and with every audience I spoke to, I shared this project with absolutely no attachment to who would say yes. I believed it was my responsibility to share this opportunity and the right people would contribute.
A year later, I had raised $200,000. I took a team of 18 people with me to Nepal to work on the first 3 of the 100 homes that were built that year.
Let’s just say I became hooked.
I’ve continued to integrate giving as THE key strategy for my life and business.
The way I stay engaged with giving is through a daily practice. First, every day I look for ways I can give to myself – to my mind, my body, and my spirit. Then I look for ways I can give to at least one other person. In doing so, I get to experience heaven on earth. That’s the miracle of giving: The giver AND the receiver both get a slice of heaven.
– Cynthia Kersey