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 attack a day. I’m like an animal getting out of a cage. It’s like there’s a tiger inside my chest and it can’t wait to get out and enjoy life and do what I do best and what makes me happy.
What makes me most happy is helping people. My parents were very active in charities, so at an early age I was helping dish out food to the homeless and do fundraisers. My parents instilled in me the ideas that every day you’ve got to take care of yourself and every day you’ve got to be kind to others. You’ll always feel like you’re riding on a rainbow if you help people.
There are a lot of housebound people too heavy or too sick to get around. All day, I talk to people who weigh 300 pounds, 500 pounds, 800 pounds. They never were able to complete the pieces of their health puzzle. For 10, 20, 30 years, I’ve been calling these people, singing to them, trying to give them hope, make them laugh, and hopefully make their day.
Every day, I ask God, “What more can I say to people? What better example can I be?” I don’t give up on people. I say, “You may have given up on you, but I haven’t.” Sometimes I’m the last person who talks to them before they die. I’m doing what I do because I don’t like people dying all alone, in pain, not feeling good about themselves, having no hope and no plan.
I’ll be 63 this year in July. I’ve had my exercise studio for 36 years. I’ll teach there tonight. The music will go on and I’ll weave a spell around people so they don’t even know they’re exercising. Before they know it, they’ll look down and say, “Oh, wow, I’m all sweaty.” For an hour and 15 minutes, I take them away from work, the credit card bill, their marriage, the kids. I say, “You’re going to get in here and concentrate on you, do good things for you, and not think about anyone else. You’re going to feel better.”
You have to nurture your energy, by not wasting it and by working on projects you love. God doesn’t want you to be down on this Earth depressed. He wants you to be resilient, to be able to get up and do what you have to do, what you want to do, and enjoy your life.
– Richard Simmons