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
My purpose has its own life force. It pulls me up out of bed every morning. It drives me, propels me. Like a tree deeply rooted in the earth, I’m clear and strong when I’m connected to my purpose. When I forget why I do what I do, I wobble, waver, and stagnate.
During childhood, I had fleeting thoughts about my purpose – it was still a seed, planted deep in my belly. I couldn’t see it, yet I knew it was there. In high school, with the seed still underground, my purpose was to finish school and escape my hometown. During my college years, my purpose was survival. In my early 20s, my purpose was to learn the ways of the adult world.
Once I gained my footing in the real world and established a professional career, my purpose began to sprout. The seed that had been growing in my belly pulled me to find meaning in life and a heart-centered career. Two years of searching brought me to life coaching. My purpose became helping other women find meaningful careers – quite apropos.
Following the pull of my purpose, I needed to learn the skills of running and growing a Web-based business. I needed to learn how to make a living doing what I love. After all, starting a life coaching business from scratch didn’t yield the immediate financial gains that my fat corporate management job had accustomed me to.
My purpose has grown more since then, and it’s stronger than ever. Right now, the pull from the center of my belly urges me to help purpose-driven women entrepreneurs create authentic, thriving business. Authenticity and financial success can go hand in hand. We don’t need to sacrifice food on the table to follow our creative, soul-filled passions. We thrive fully when we’re supporting ourselves financially with our gifts and talents. It’s my purpose to do this in my own life and to help other women do the same.
There’s no doubt in my mind that my purpose will continue to grow and strengthen – just as trees do. All I need to know is that following the pull in my belly leads me exactly where I’m meant to go. I’ll always have that pull of my purpose to get me out of bed each morning.
– Jenny Shih
- If your connection with your purpose were rooted in your body, where in your body would that be for you?
- Can you identify a physical feeling that you have when you’re doing something that you don’t enjoy?
- What can you do today to experience more of that physical feeling of connecting with your purpose?