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
The most meaningful thing to me is my happiness. What’s even more valuable to me is my ability to be happy.
Sometimes I get attached to my issues or reactions and am separated from my happiness. My father, Don Miguel Ruiz, tells us that when that happens, when we feel unhappy, first let the thought finish, because if we try to stop the thought or the reaction, it’s going to be difficult. As soon as the thought ends, do something else. Whatever’s bothering you is something. So distract yourself with something else. It’s very simple.
The main thing is to be aware of needing to do something else. Once I catch myself and realize what’s happening, I redirect my focus. There are many ways to do that. I can do it by simply looking at my kids or my wife, by going out for a run, or by singing. I do whatever I’m able to in the moment to change direction. Redirecting attention takes practice, but as time goes on it becomes easier.
The key to changing direction is to refocus attention on something that’s wanted. Otherwise, the new something will cause upset and require a need to redirect again. It’s best to choose something that’s a positive motivator, something we choose for ourselves. Doing something to appease someone else, to gain acceptance, to avoid guilt, or because we feel like we have to doesn’t focus awareness on happiness.
Everyone sees the world a little differently. People see the truth in different ways. It helps to understand that people say and do what makes sense to them based on their own perspectives. And they’re free to choose. Their life is a reflection of them. It’s only a reflection of me if I agree with it. For happiness, we choose our own perspective. An expectation of me that I don’t agree with is someone else’s perspective.
If I’m upset because I hold an expectation of what I’m supposed to be, an image of who I am that doesn’t fit, that keeps me from being happy. The moment I sacrifice my authentic self and become more interested in the persona I’ve created than in the real me, I can catch myself, redirect my focus, and find happiness.
– Don Miguel Ruiz Jr.
Explore More Meaning
bird-girl searcher. poetic papa. avery-catcher.
William Henderson lives outside Boston with his children. He blogs about love and other unexplainable forces, tweets about books and parenting, and rarely reads directions. He still wanders in cemeteries, and often gets lost. [www.hendersonhouseofcards.com]