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

 

curiosity

Larry Zucker Larry Zucker narrative therapist. question asker. listener.

Larry Zucker is a narrative therapist who believes in people's abilities to create – and find support for – many different and wonderful ways of showing up in relationships and community. [www.larchmontassociates.com]

What’s most meaningful to me is staying engaged in meaning-making with people. Whether I’m doing it in my work as a therapist or at a cocktail party, I enjoy making sense of things with people.

My real North Star, my guiding light, for staying in meaningful connection with people is curiosity – trying to understand what it is about the other person that’s so different from me. How does their brain work? How do they tick? What matters to them? What do they hope for? What are they actually wrestling with that’s different from what I wrestle with?

If I forget that the real fun of meaning-making is done with other people rather than in my own head, I remind myself to reignite my curiosity. I look for things I can do or ask that keep my curiosity alive. I try to figure out what I want to know more about, or who I want to know more about. What do I want to understand that I don’t already understand?

When we’re focused on what we already know, we tend to ask questions to teach rather than to learn. And when we do this, we reinforce the generalizations and taken-for-truth assumptions that obscure what’s truly unique in each person’s story. Careful attention to things we don’t yet know or understand – putting ourselves in position to learn from our conversational partners – keeps curiosity both real and subversive, in the sense that it helps the unique voice and experience of our subject emerge.

The main instrument of curiosity is the question. Asking questions involves a negotiation, since a question is a kind of intrusion. When I ask a question, I don’t presume that I have a right to an answer. I can live without an answer because, for me, the larger purpose of the question is to generate still more questions for reflection, for wonder, and for seeding the imagination. Sometimes, peoples’ responses to my questions surprise and delight me, but my favorite moments are when I see them surprise themselves: responding with knowledge they didn’t know they had, with beliefs they hadn’t fully articulated, or with plans or intentions they hadn’t committed to until they heard their own words come out of their mouths.

I must constantly fight against my tendency to secretly believe that I know everything; this only leads away from meaningfulness and into isolation and loneliness. When I catch myself drifting toward that arrogant position, I just try to be honest with myself and try to understand how it’s happened again. After all, meaningful conversations with myself are curiosity directed inward.

– Larry Zucker

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