Jack Canfield Jack Canfield author. speaker. motivator.

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 Arianna Huffington political powerhouse. media mogul. author.

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 Seth Godin author. speaker. linchpin.

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Krishna Kaur Krishna Kaur yogi. philanthropist. dynamic teacher.

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 Norman Lear producer. philanthropist. tv legend.

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 Leilani Münter race car driver. activist. carbon free girl.

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]

 
Kevin Bales Kevin Bales Freedom Fighter. Philanthropist. Game Changer.

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Sophie Chiche Sophie Chiche mom. big dreamer. lady in red.

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.

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 Liz Phair singer. musician. crier.

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Desmond Tutu Desmond Tutu archbishop. author. peaceful leader.

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Zainab Salbi Zainab Salbi author. ceo. humanitarian.

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Sean Stephenson Sean Stephenson speaker. psychotherapist. life embracer.

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 Kia Miller yogi. meditator. teacher.

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Simon Mainwaring Simon Mainwaring creator. writer. idea geek.

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Shannon Bindler Shannon Bindler Strategist. Writer. Life Coach.

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]

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

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]

 
Jorge Perez Jorge Perez Agent. Producer. Photography Enthusiast.

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if then else

Dmitri Leonov Dmitri Leonov father. entrepreneur. abc conceptualist.

Dmitri Leonov is an entrepreneur working to make the world a better place through technology at Sanebox.com. He spends his free time playing music and thinking about how to make the world a better place in general. [www.leonov.org]

dmitri_leonov_feature

There are things in our lives we control and things we don’t. Which is which? It can be very difficult to tell them apart and that causes confusion. I used to find myself stressing over things outside my control. At the same time, I’d blame someone or something for things that were clearly under my influence to change.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this and I’ve realized that there’s not much we can do about the things outside our control – what people call “fate” – other than realize what their implications are.

Luckily, most of the problems we face as individuals and collectively as a human race are due to the choices we make about things we can control. The main problem isn’t that we make a lot of wrong choices, but that we don’t understand that we have choices and that there are very specific outcomes attached to the choices we make.

When I was a kid, I dabbled in computer programming. A concept that has really stuck with me from that time is “If A, then B, else C,” which is a core concept in programming. It applies perfectly to life and to things that are within my control.

Here’s how it works. If we start with the desired outcome, which is the B that we want to get to, then A is the choice or the action we need to make to get to B. If A is not chosen, then we get C, an undesired outcome. If something is within our control, an effective change in A will make B happen … or an ineffective change in A will make C happen. We can make problems disappear by putting them through this equation and always making choices that go in the direction of B, the desired outcome.

The biggest thing that gets in the way of living a meaningful life is lack of thinking. If we lack the awareness that we can choose a meaningful life, if we’re stuck in a pattern that we don’t question, then we’re not thinking in a way that would make a meaningful difference in our lives.

What inspires people to expand their thinking? It helps when people who do think about the big picture are vocal about it. As more and more of us ask questions and inspire others to live meaningful lives, there’s going to be a tipping point.

– Dmitri Leonov

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