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
My life is about connection at the heart – first to my own voice and then connecting authentically with those I love and serve. By connecting to my authentic self, I amplify my positive impact on the world.
My first six years were happily spent connecting to the dolls I inherited from my sister. In first grade I took my dolls to school for show-and-tell. It was my first experience in humiliation. I took the dolls home and put them in a box for the next 20 years. I spent the next two decades trying to be the kind of person I thought the world wanted, becoming depressed and suicidal in the process. At 26, I found those dolls and made a decision to spend the rest of my life learning how to be true to myself and helping others do the same.
Everyone I work with has their own version of a “doll story,” when they were vulnerable, when their authentic self was exposed and rejected. That authentic self is what connects us to the life we’re meant to live. For me, it’s a daily practice to come back to that self.
When I disconnect with my authentic self, I’m prevented from living the most meaningful life I can live. When that happens, I have several ways of reconnecting:
- S-l-o-w d-o-w-n. I make time for daily silence, for just being, and for connecting with my inner guides.
- Spend time communing with nature.
- Develop a community of people who support and guide me to my own truth.
- Become known as someone who’s accountable, a person who can be counted on. Accountability without authenticity is drudgery, but authenticity without accountability is fantasy. Authenticity with accountability is destiny.
- Allow time to face the darker side of my nature – my fears, doubts, and insecurities – and get support and guidance for working through those aspects of myself, turning them from sawdust to gold.
- Make uncertainty and gratitude essential ingredients in my life.
My journey is to evolve and contribute, to make the world a better place than when I came into it.
– David Irvine
Explore More Meaning
appreciative son. moment cogitator. lesson learner.
Jeff Semigran is a senior at UC Berkeley studying environmental and civil engineering. He is an alumnus of the Teen Insight Seminars and Leadership series. This piece is part of the Insight University and Life By Me week of giving back. www.givingtuesday.org/insight-university
former dieter. current helper. self acceptance discoverer.
Julie M. Simon, MA, MBA, MFT is a psychotherapist, life coach, personal trainer, speaker and author of The Emotional Eater’s Repair Manual: A Practical Guide for Putting an End to Overeating and Dieting, based on her 12 Week Program. [www.overeatingrecovery.com]
question asker. superhero maker. broccoli activist.
Understanding what a busy lifestyle can do to both your emotional and physical state, Mark Leruste is passionate about creating radical shifts in people’s lives by empowering them to drop toxic habits, adopt healthy mindsets, and achieve breakthroughs. [www.lifeinshape.co.uk/about]
happy mom. adventure planner. champion of family.
Jenny Solar is married to Josh and they have three kids, Max, Ava, and Lia. They created The Happy Family Movement to encourage and inspire family togetherness through memorable family experiences and simple ideas for happy family living. [www.thehappyfamilymovement.com]