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
When pulling together a story, my job is to bring my subjects to life from the two-dimensional page. This transcends stringing words together and goes toward giving my subjects multiple dimensions and souls that readers will find palpable.
Writing has been not only a vocational calling, but a personal one. As a kid, I was diagnosed as being on the Asperger’s spectrum and have been on the receiving end of bullies and teachers who tried to stifle my ambitions. Writing gave me a voice that led me to build a life worth living. I advise others with any kind of disability – visible or otherwise – to develop their skills at writing, art, or another medium, to provide themselves with a voice for pushing through prejudice, bias, and other barriers.
I do what I can to push stories that have meaning for me, because they have the potential to better people’s lives in one way or another. A lot of the stories I’ve written not only encourage others to give of themselves in some fashion, but also teach me a lot about inner strength and rising to the occasion when life delivers a blow.
In many cases, when we hear a “No,” it’s not a final answer but a call to action. “No” simply means you have to take a fresh approach to a goal or problem and try something new to get what you want. Other times, “No” means that what you thought you wanted may not be right for you and there’s something better out there that will be more meaningful to your soul, mind, and heart.
My mother is living proof of that “No” theory. An avid Katharine Hepburn fan, Mom was 13 when she devised a way to meet her idol. When my mother’s family was on their annual summer visit to New York City, Ms. Hepburn was playing in the Stratford Festival in Connecticut. After taking the train out to the festival grounds, my mother learned that the show was sold out, but used her burgeoning negotiating finesse to buy a front-row ticket that hadn’t been claimed. She made friends with some of the teen ushers who were about her own age, so she could watch the show being set up and then go backstage to meet Ms. Hepburn. Though the formidable actress had made it clear she wanted no guests, she had a change of heart when she noticed my smitten mom in the front row, and had an usher fetch her after the show. She signed my mother’s program and said, “Isn’t this just a fairy tale come true?” Years later, my mom learned that Katharine Hepburn never signed autographs.
If you want something badly enough, you can make it happen … as long as you do it with poise.
– Elyse Glickman