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.

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 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.

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Liz Phair Liz Phair singer. musician. crier.

Liz Phair is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. [www.lizphair.com]

 
Desmond Tutu Desmond Tutu archbishop. author. peaceful leader.

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 Zainab Salbi author. ceo. humanitarian.

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]

 
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.

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 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.

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

 

exploration

Eric Hiss Eric Hiss writer. explorer. risk-taker.

Eric Hiss navigates the world in search of unexpected, entertaining, off-the-beaten-path stories. He's written about everything from spas to pop bands. Eric also co-founded wandermelon.com. [www.wandermelon.com]

We’re all here exploring what’s meaningful. For me, that exploration is about different things at different times. Writing is what I do first and foremost, because it puts me in contact with so many different and interesting people and situations. Right now, I’m pushing the boundaries of my profession, exploring the realm of travel and developing travel experiences. But it all comes back to pushing my own boundaries and finding out new things about myself.

I’ve always been an explorer, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to be a better explorer and a bigger risk-taker. I’ve developed skills that have helped me get into different places and record them, whether with my pen, a camera, or just my eyes. When we become better explorers, we take more away from our experiences. I try to cultivate that learning.

It helps to be mindful and able to realize that when I or my explorations are off track I need to do something about it. Then I make that a priority. What works best for me is getting out in nature. Going for a hike or doing something a little more challenging – like sailing or going out into the desert – always helps me and brings me back. I find being in nature very settling. It gives me perspective. It reminds me that there’s a big matrix and I’m part of it.

It’s seems to me that if we’re willing to explore, to be honest and dig down, we see that it’s fear that keeps us from doing meaningful things in our lives. Maybe we don’t recognize it as fear at first. Maybe it’s the fear of achieving something or having a breakthrough, or getting closer to someone, or it could even be a physical fear. We develop little fears as we grow.

That’s why courage is so important. If we have courage, everything else follows. It takes courage to live an honest life, to do what we really want to do. It’s not easy to go against other people’s opinions, to say, “I’m going to take this job because it’s what I really love, even though it pays less,” or “I’m going to leave school before I finish my degree, to do something that’s more interesting to me,” or “Even though everyone thinks I should, I’m not going to marry this person, because it’s not the right fit for me.”

We make courageous decisions every time we explore. That’s how we get close to what’s meaningful.

– Eric Hiss

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