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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.

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Krishna Kaur Krishna Kaur yogi. philanthropist. dynamic teacher.

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Norman Lear Norman Lear producer. philanthropist. tv legend.

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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]

 
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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.

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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.

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Zainab Salbi Zainab Salbi author. ceo. humanitarian.

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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.

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Shannon Bindler Shannon Bindler Strategist. Writer. Life Coach.

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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.

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letting go

Rama Hughes Rama Hughes illustrator. roughhousing dad. unhurried achiever.

Two truths and a lie about Rama Hughes: He dropped out of school to work on a farm. About 15 years before they met, he described his wife accurately in a letter. He wrestled bear cubs while working as a zookeeper. [www.ramahughes.com]

rama_hughes_feature

I always thought I’d be a really great dad, but parenting is a lot harder than I realized. I may want to be great, but there’s a good chance I’m going to blow it. The most important thing is that I’m present for my children. When I stop trying so hard, I can relax and enjoy the moment.

I don’t worry about being great at things any more. I don’t need to be the best artist, or the best teacher. I want to be good and dependable, but I don’t want my whole identity to be caught up in trying to be amazing. I’m learning how to just be myself.

When I’m stressed, everything around me starts to move fast. My thoughts are consumed by what needs to get done. Since I have more control over my physical body than my mind, as soon as I notice the stress I start to move my physical body really, really slowly. I tell myself to slow down, to write slower, walk slower, type slower. In doing this, I slow down my breath and my mind. Then I’m able to focus on one thing at a time.

Everything is better when I’m just where I am. Everything is harder when I’m trying to do two things at once. On resumes, people often brag about being great multitaskers, but if we aren’t here in the present moment, then in a very real way we aren’t here at all.

My happiest times are when I’m with my family and not thinking about other things. I’d rather be with them than anywhere else, yet often when I’m with them I’m thinking about all the other things I need to do. Being present doesn’t come naturally to me. It’s something I continually work on. The more I think about it, the more I want it. The more I want it, the easier it becomes.

The other day I was playing with my son and my daughter. We were roughhousing and laughing together. About 45 minutes passed before my adult brain finally asked how much time had gone by. Then I realized I hadn’t thought of anything else that whole time. I’d only been me being happy with my children. Those experiences are still rare, but when I can achieve them and just be in the moment, it’s beautiful. That’s all I need. I don’t need anything else.

Rama Hughes

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