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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.

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]

 
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Mastin Kipp Mastin Kipp Writer. Entrepreneur. Daily Lover.

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Liz Phair Liz Phair singer. musician. crier.

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Desmond Tutu Desmond Tutu archbishop. author. peaceful leader.

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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.

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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.

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Jorge Perez Jorge Perez Agent. Producer. Photography Enthusiast.

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curiosity

Susannah Charleson Susannah Charleson wondering author. canine specialist. student of shirley.

Susannah Charleson is the author of New York Times bestseller Scent of the Missing and, recently, The Possibility Dogs. She is a flight instructor, canine search-and-rescue specialist, and service dog trainer.

susannah_charleson_feature

When I was in my twenties, I remember reading a magazine article about actor/author/activist Shirley MacLaine celebrating her fiftieth birthday. MacLaine had just published her controversial “Out on a Limb” and had recently won Best Actress for “Terms of Endearment.” The interview filled her with some wonder. Still beautiful and vibrant (one commentator remarked that if she was fifty, she wore it well: “Twenty-five each leg,” he said appreciatively). Why did I, a very young adult, pay attention to that article so particularly? Decades later, I still remember this comment she made:

“Just when people think I should be settling down, I like to shake things up.”

MacLaine in midlife was more, not less, alive.  She was voraciously curious, unwilling to be bored.

That good energy carries. I’m lucky in my life working beside dogs, a career begun when I was 40 (Late, said one friend, unsure if she approved this odd departure. Timely, said another, who did). Restless and inquiring, my canine provocateurs show me the wider world that they inhabit.

My dogs are also unwilling to be bored. One might expect this from the nine-month-old puppies, with their new-minted brains, but the seniors in my house are just as quickly curious even in spaces they know very well. A neighbor passes with the same dog along the same sidewalk at virtually the same time every morning, and my dogs—who are no fools, they know this pair—pay great attention every time. That easy fascination could read as simplemindedness, but I watch their thoughtful watching, the semaphore of ears across sound, the nose-work that maybe tells them what the human had for breakfast and whether her dog caught that squirrel or not. They know so much more in a moment than I do. And I want to know!

I have run next to a search-trained dog that can translate scent and indicate to me whether the missing person we approach is distraught, calm or wounded, even before we have even seen that soul trapped in a ravine! I know that animals use all their senses to gain a wealth of story we humans may miss. My dogs have taught me to shake things up by staying curious, by assuming less, by using every sense I can bring to bear. Now in my fifties, I find renewal in that—right brain, left brain—twenty-five each side.

– Susannah Charleson

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