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

 

be open

Melissa Bradley Melissa Bradley grateful mom. connector. flexible traveler.

Melissa Bradley is the founder of Indagare, a member-based online community for sophisticated travelers, providing access to curated online archives, printed guides, and custom advisory and booking services. [www.indagare.com]

My grandmother was a huge influence in my childhood. She believed that the more we see of the world, the bigger we become as people. As our universe becomes wider, our world becomes richer.

The more open we are to diverse people, places, and ideas, the more we can connect with them. One of the best ways to create new connections is by traveling outside our everyday environment. By physically going to different and even uncomfortable places, we begin to look at life in new, more open-minded ways.

Connection means crossing boundaries and going deeper into an experience in a way that makes life meaningful. Through my work, I spend a lot of time connecting people to places, to other people, and to new experiences. My life is enriched as I enrich the lives of others. I feel enormously blessed that I have the opportunity to do something significant every day.

Almost daily, I say to my kids, “What was the best part of your day?” I want them to consider what they’re grateful for each day. If I can give my children the gift of appreciation, they’re guaranteed to have better lives. I also teach my children to find the lesson in each situation. Every problem we face is an opportunity to become wiser. Every challenge is a chance to learn to become more flexible.

I don’t believe there’s a right way to approach anything. Instead, it’s about being flexible, looking at things with a view toward solving problems and adapting. We don’t know what the world is going to hold 20 years from now. We don’t know what our living conditions are going to be like or where the opportunities will be. Creating people who possess wonder and joy and a flexible attitude is the best gift we can give.

We often spend too much time telling children what they should and shouldn’t do. By narrowing their options, we make them vulnerable to outside voices. The words should and must are dangerous, insidious words that have slipped into society and tend to trap us. What makes society in general comfortable isn’t necessarily what’s right for everyone. When we learn to listen to our own voice, we find our way. So get rid of the shoulds. Pay attention to the things that make you happy or curious. Happiness and curiosity are pretty good signs that you’re going in the right direction.

Melissa Bradley

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