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.

Seth Godin is a prominent author, blogger and speaker. [www.squidoo.com/linchpin]

 
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.

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 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.

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 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

 

peace

Joan Steffend Joan Steffend brilliance advocate. student of nature. peaceful storyteller.

Joan loves people and their stories. She's been working on hers for a long time and shares it in books, speeches, and through her inner peace organization. [www.peacebeginswithme.org]

joan_steffend_feature

I grew up in a Swedish culture and was taught early on not to think highly of myself. I can understand not wanting to be egotistical, but that wasn’t it. They never wanted me to see my own beauty. I’ve spent most of my life trying to recapture my own brilliant, unique self so I can make a difference. We can’t make a difference if we’re pretending to be someone else.

What’s motivated me my whole life is peace. Whenever I haven’t felt peaceful, I’ve wondered why and looked for it. Peace feeds me.

I’m rarely irritated anymore. I feel it’s my responsibility to bring energy to whatever space I’m in, whether on a highway or in a store. When I find myself being less than I want to be, I bring myself back. It’s a conscious decision. I want to promote kindness and peace in the world. How can I do that if I don’t make a decision to be that myself?

When I talk to people about finding purpose, I ask them who they were when they were very young, before the world got to them completely. As a child, how did they spend their time when they had no expectations put on them? When they designed their own day as a child, where was the joy? How did those days unfold? People often light up like Christmas trees when they talk about who they were as children before the world said, “No, you can’t be that.”

I’d love to get my hands on the educational system. I’d have the first two questions every child is asked be “Who are you?” and “How can we make you more of that?” In the meantime, we can question the stories we were told as children. What’s a different story that could be told? I was told I was stubborn, hot-tempered, and lazy. Now I see that I knew who I was when I came in. I was brilliant, just like everyone else, and I wanted to tell people what I knew for sure. I also liked to read books and be still.

My really meaningful moments usually involve silence. I feel a great connection when I’m silent in nature. Nature is my biggest teacher. In the past weeks I’ve been watching trees come to life and buds burst forth. Then come the seeds. Tree limbs grow bigger. I’m in awe of that. I want to be patient like that with my own life, listening for cues to open and grow.

Joan Steffend

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