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
The focus of my work is on education and the passion I have for the richness of human talent and ability. We all have extraordinary capacities and the ability to identify a sense of purpose and passion in our lives, but we’re often not encouraged in this way. Human resources are like natural resources: they’re often buried deep. We have to look for them and create the circumstances in which they’ll show themselves.
What if we use an agricultural model for developing our human resources? Farmers know they can’t make anything grow – things grow themselves. Agriculture is not like machinery. You can have a great year one year and a terrible year the next, even though you’ve done the same things. You have to learn as you go along. The systems have to be constantly adapted and tended to and taken care of, encouraged, and supported.
If someone lives in hostile, adverse circumstances, they behave in certain ways, but if the conditions shift, they flourish. Knowing what those conditions are and learning how to help create them seems to me to be at the heart of helping people develop a sense of their own purpose and meaning.
Energy is a clue to developing our human resources. Human life, like all life, is simply energy. Some activities give you energy and some take energy away. If you’re doing something you love, you’re spiritually uplifted. And if you’re doing something you don’t care for, you can be physically exhausted and depressed. There’s such a difference in the energy of people who are only enduring – getting on with what they’ve wandered into – and people who really love what they do and couldn’t imagine doing anything else. People who are doing what they love to do uplift us by their own luminescence. They carry a certain energy. They’re in their element. They’re authentic. What they do isn’t just what they do; it defines them. It’s who they are.
Our systems, particularly our educational systems, need to change so we help people connect with their natural sense of purpose. Anaïs Nin wrote, “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
Our lives are not linear. They’re organic. You can’t plan the life you have, but if you invest in your own talents and passions, your life changes around you. It reconfigures. It grows into something different, something more like you.
-Sir Kenneth Robinson
Explore More Meaning
avid meditator. awareness expander. soulmate.
Brian Hilliard has developed, managed, and invested in commercial real estate, telecommunications, publishing, and entertainment. Currently, his primary focus is on humanitarian projects and assisting non-profits with fundraising and hands-on participation.
publishing pioneer. novelist. dot aficionado.
William Gladstone is a bestselling novelist, a literary agent for exceptional authors, and a publishing pioneer. He contributed to the creation of the first print-on-demand book publishing company and the first eBook publishing company. [http://12thebook.com]