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
I always felt, deep down, that I was called to be someone great and do something that would change the world, but I could never figure out what that something was. I wanted something to live for. Something to stand for. Meaning.
Then I realized it wasn’t one big, shouted-from-the-heavens calling I was predestined to fulfill, but rather a yearning in my heart that I was simply meant to follow. That meant forgetting about what made sense and what people were telling me to do, forgetting about money and success and what looked good. I decided to figure out what was most important to me and to have as much of that in my life as possible.
There are still days when I catch myself trying to impress others by doing something that looks good on the outside (and yet feels so wrong on the inside), when I’m trying so hard to be someone else that I completely lose who I am. Those are the days I fail. It feels wrong. It gets confusing. I try too hard.
To get back in line with the real me, I don’t think. I don’t plan. I don’t try. I just am. I feel what my next move should be. Sometimes it’s following up on a brilliant business idea and creating something phenomenal. Other times it’s simply making a hot cup of tea.
One of the biggest mistakes we can make is doing what makes sense or doing what we think we must do. We do stuff to impress other people or to follow the road we think is paved with the most money and prestige.
The only true way to a life of purpose is to feel. To follow the heart. We must do what moves us and what makes us come alive. Anything else is a show.
Forget about what people think. Forget about what salary you need to earn to pay the bills. Forget about logic and reasoning. Ask instead: What do I really want to do? What’s inside that I yearn to share with the world? What can I do today that will make me come alive?
Then do that.
When I’m making a decision, I feel the options: Which option makes me feel free and alive? Which one makes me feel tied down and stuck? I always go in the direction of free.
– Michelle Ainslie