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
What excites me is just living. The craziest things happen every day. Not knowing what they’ll be when I wake up in the morning, not knowing the day’s outcome, is exciting. Even if I have a plan for the day, I still don’t know exactly what’s going to happen. Anything can happen. That’s what gets me up and excited to live the day. I think about this a lot.
In a three-month period, I lost three people I really loved. Before that, I went through my days doing what I did, living my routine. Now, I actually think about my life and focus more on the idea that anything could happen. Today could be my last day. I don’t take life for granted anymore. Life is a gift.
My grandpa, or papa was the heart of our family. A central theme of talk at his funeral was his round table. Every Friday night of my life, Papa would cook dinner and our entire family would get together at his round table to catch up on the week and spend time with each other. In all my 16 years, I’ve never missed one of those Friday night get-togethers. Even though he’s passed, we still keep that going. It was really hard in the beginning because we were there at his table, but he wasn’t cooking anymore. Now we sit at his table, cook from his recipes, and talk and spend time with each other. This has been going on for over 50 years.
My papa was one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. I never saw him upset. He was a loving person who really appreciated and loved life and his family. He didn’t take anything for granted and always looked into the meaning of things. If he had an opportunity to experience life in a certain way, he took it, but he never just did it – he also looked for the meaning in it. He loved everything he did. He was an amazing person who made an impact on many people’s lives. He’ll always be a good influence in my life.
As cheesy as this sounds, I really want to make myself a better person. I used to be very confused, but now things are settling down. I know I have family who love me. That’s important to me. My loved ones are what make me happy.
– Ethan Greenberg
Explore More Meaning
actress. book dweller. literature cheerleader.
Lauren is the Founder and Program Director of Reading Opens Minds (ROM), an organization that brings the Book Club experience across Los Angeles. A graduate of Juilliard, Lauren has appeared on numerous stages and television shows. [www.ReadingOpensMinds.org]
leadership consultant. author. storm chaser.
Deidre Combs provides leadership and cross-cultural conflict skills as a consultant, coach, author, mediator, and professor. She developed the core foundations course for Montana State University's Leadership Fellows Certificate Program. [www.combsandcompany.com]