Jack Canfield Jack Canfield author. speaker. motivator.

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.

Seth Godin is a prominent author, blogger and speaker. [www.squidoo.com/linchpin]

 
Krishna Kaur Krishna Kaur yogi. philanthropist. dynamic teacher.

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 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]

 
Sophie Chiche Sophie Chiche mom. big dreamer. lady in red.

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.

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 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.

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 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.

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.

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 Shannon Bindler Strategist. Writer. Life Coach.

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]

 
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.

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

 

realize

Ben LaBrot Ben LaBrot floating doctor. kindness promoter. life grasper.

Dr. Benjamin LaBrot from California, USA is the founder and director of the non-profit Floating Doctors medical relief team. [www.floatingdoctors.com]

As I get older, I find the things that give me most meaning get simpler and simpler. Just knowing that I was loving and kind today — the only thing in the world I have any real control over — is more fulfilling than anything else I’ve tried. Though it’s an impossible ideal to achieve all the time, I get the most satisfaction from aiming in that direction.

While growing up, I watched my dad make house calls across Los Angeles. I accompanied him to his patient’s homes and got to know them as friends whose health was important to us personally. I didn’t realize until much later that this kind of dedication was not normal among physicians. When I entered medicine and frequently noticed its absence, I saw how much influence over a patient’s health is lost when the commitment to basic human kindness is forgotten.

The moment I set foot in any hospital, I’m likely to meet any number of people who would take my place and all my problems (that seem so large to me at the time) in a heartbeat. In medicine, I’m reminded everyday what real problems are. This helps give me perspective. I try to remember that I’m not being kind just for others, but for myself — for it is in serving others that we make ourselves free.

When we’re young, we’re told that basic kindness is one of the most important things in life, but we really don’t understand just how meaningful it can be until we’ve been on the receiving end of kindnesses during a time when the lightest touch could wither or heal us forever. Gradually as we give or receive it, we have the opportunity to learn the value of service to others.

The ‘secret’ to a meaningful life is not necessarily in the grandiose plan or the world-shaking invention. It is in the small things. Meaningful life happens in the moments between the big happenings.

All of life is a series of leaps of faith into the unknowable future. It’s always easier to stay with what we know or expect…but the path to making our dreams real usually lies through undiscovered country for which there is no map. We have one chance in life, just one opportunity to live. In geriatrics, I’ve never heard a patient say, “I wish I’d taken fewer risks.”

– Ben LaBrot

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