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

 

play

Mark Simmons Mark Simmons author. entrepreneur. playful brit.

Mark Simmons is an author, branding expert, and entrepreneur who believes in the power of ideas to change the world. He founded the social enterprise useless.org. [www.useless.org]

Being British taught me never to take things too seriously, including myself. Otherwise, how could we Brits cope with our weather, the poor services, and the huge number of people crammed together on such a small island? Oh yes, right, there’s always the pub. We’re known for our pubs, but also for our sense of humor – it’s our coping mechanism for getting through life without going mad.

There’s a spirit of playfulness about most of the Brits I know. We’re quick to find the humor in any situation, however dark or depressing the situation might be. We love to prod and poke at conventions and we rarely accept things at face value. In many cases, this playfulness is a precursor to creativity, and over the years it’s led to innovation in the arts, fashion, music, and more.

Play helps us look at familiar situations in a new light and deal with unexpected problems that are thrown at us. Having too rigid a view of the world leads to inflexible thinking. It makes us do what’s been done before, regardless of changes in circumstances. Then we’re in danger of repeating the same mistakes, unable to break away from the familiar pattern.

While working in creative industries and dealing with some very talented artists and creative thinkers, I’ve learned that an ability to switch perspective, to take another point of view, leads to important creative breakthroughs.

It pays to act like children sometimes – to act your shoe-size, not your age – because children rarely take things for granted. They haven’t learned the rules yet and so are always asking why, which forces us to consider questions we might have otherwise simply left unasked. The only stupid question is the one not asked. When Einstein was a schoolboy arriving home from school, his mother didn’t ask him how well he did on tests, but whether he had asked any good questions.

I rarely profess to know the answers to anything (I often don’t even know where I left my shoes), but I do try to ask questions that point me in the right direction. I believe that the answer to a problem is often buried just beneath the surface and if we only ask the right question it will pop right out and reveal itself. Remaining playful has kept my mind open to new possibilities.

Now, how about a quick drink at the pub?

– Mark Simmons

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