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, founder of lifebyme.com, is the single mom of an amazing 16-year-old, Leah, and wicked step-mom of 22-year-old, Sarah. They all live in LA. You can find them boxing, cooking, collaging, hosting brunches, laughing their head off or bickering over who’s washing and who’s drying the dishes.
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
We have to pursue our dreams with reckless abandon sometimes to get to the place where we’ll be happiest. Living life to my fullest potential is definitely the most meaningful and important thing to me.
This came to the forefront for me pretty early on in life. Around the same time I started playing and writing music, my parents divorced. That’s when I decided to start living my life to my fullest potential. I soon discovered that helping others and using my abilities with music to benefit others is my passion. I haven’t stopped since! Most of my music and talents are used to benefit non-profits and causes.
In college, I almost stopped playing music. I took a year off from school and ended up doing relief work on the Gulf Coast after hurricane Katrina. I wanted to be a relief worker the rest of my life. But I couldn’t avoid playing guitar and writing music for long, and when I picked it back up I was encouraged to keep going with using my gifts to help others, as I’d initially set out to do. That’s the best way I know of to be of benefit to others.
I do get off track sometimes. When we lose our sense of awareness about ourselves and our lives, we stop paying attention. We lose track of what real meaning is. Sometimes it’s because our perspective of self is identified too much with what’s on the outside. Most things are meaningless outside of the meaning we put into them. In that case, if we’re not paying direct attention to what meaning we put into things, we’re getting lost in the reflections of life and not life itself.
Even though I wrote a book about living the life I’ve been describing, it’s still easy sometimes to forget why I’m here and what I’m doing. At the end of the day, I remember to take my mom’s advice. She says, “Josh, you should take your own advice.” Ha! She’s my biggest fan and one of my biggest inspirations, and she’s right. You have to follow your own heart and remind yourself to keep on doing it. Just live, wholeheartedly, the way you know is most healthy and beneficial to you.
I’m constantly pursuing new perspectives. Changing our own perspectives is one of the hardest things to do. I’m always looking for new ways of doing it – and finding new ways of living.
- Josh Smith
Explore More Meaning
genius finder. de-compartmentalizer. mind-heart mixer.
Gina Rudan is an author, thought leader, and the president of Genuine Insights Inc., a contemporary professional development and training practice with the mission of leveraging the genius within every individual and organization. [www.genuineinsights.com]
possibility enthusiast. forward mover. creative renegade.
Using her psychology background and experiences – in settings as diverse as jails, middle schools, and boardrooms – Michelle Welsch founded Project Exponential, a series of curated networking experiences delighting people into personal growth. [www.projectexponential.com]
avid creator. free time scheduler. man of action.
Richard Arthur is a Navy commander, filmmaker, and self-described “opinionated bastard.” He has worked on NCIS, Commander in Chief, Hawaii Five-O, several features and he has just returned from a humanitarian mission to Southeast Asia aboard the hospital ship, MERCY. [www.ricarthur.com]
Do you consider the Earth and all of its inhabitants?