Career
47 Affirmations to Energize Your Career
26Nov 2018
Comments Off on 47 Affirmations to Energize Your Career
comments

Where you are today is a result of everything you chose to believe in your past.

Where you will be tomorrow is a result of everything you choose to believe today.

So ask yourself…                 

What do you believe about your career, as it is now?

What are the thoughts and feelings that come up when you think about your work?

Are you ready to take conscious control of these beliefs, thoughts and feelings, to create the most empowered, impactful, fulfilling career imaginable — using everything you have in this very moment??

Harness the power of affirmations every day this month, and you will magnetize extraordinary new energy into your career and your life!

Here are 47 Affirmations to Energize Your Life’s Work:

Amazing opportunities exist for me in every aspect of my life

As I follow my heart, I discover my destiny.

All my actions are in perfect harmony with my purpose.

Each day I see my life’s purpose more clearly.

Every day I find more ways to contribute to the greater good.

Every day I follow my bliss.

Every day I further my life’s work.

I am creating a life of passion and purpose.

I am forever motivated and inspired by my life’s work.

I am true to my own path.

I say in my own lane, and honor the pace of growth in my own career and life.

“I can not do everything, but I can do something. I must not fail to do the something that I can do.” – Helen Keller

There aren’t any problems that don’t have solutions.

“EVERYTHING is figureoutable.” –Marie Forleo

I awake each morning with gratitude for all that I get to do.

I have found my niche in the world.

I make a positive difference in the lives of others.

I love what I do.

I “work to become, not to acquire.” – Elbert Hubbard

I am so grateful to have the opportunity to create value in this world through my daily work.

I am creating the career of my dreams.

Amazing opportunities are appearing in my life out of nowhere.

I have unlimited potential, only good lies before me.

The joy I find in my career is reflected in my overall happiness.

I am appreciated and rewarded well wherever I work.

I am opening my consciousness to a greater prosperity and part of that prosperity is an increased salary.

I am deeply fulfilled by all that I do.

It’s not what I do, but how I do it… I treat every task as an opportunity to create more beauty, abundance and joy.

How I do anything is how I do everything.

My unique creative talents and abilities flow through me and are expressed in deeply satisfying ways.

I feel the fear and do it anyway.

I am grateful for the discomfort of growing in my career, as I expand myself to create all that I’ve wished for.

“The best way to predict my future is to create it.” – Abraham Lincoln

I have everything I need to create my own opportunities.

I am confident radiating who I am in all situations

My mistakes do not define me or dictate my future success.

I have the courage to go after what I truly want

Everyday, I tap into more of my potential

I unselfishly share my gifts with the world and give others permission to do the same.

I choose community over competition in my work and my life.

I am fully myself and completely authentic in my career.

I manifest unexpected opportunities every day because I am aligned with my calling.

Harmony permeates my experience, and my work flows in productive and joyful ways.

I serve others willingly, gladly and gratefully.

I am inspired, creative and productive.

I am calm and comfortable speaking in front of others. I have confidence in myself, and I relate easily with others.

I truly believe that humans exist to bless and prosper each other. I reflect this belief in my daily interactions – Louise Hay

16 Must-Read Books to Ignite Your Career
12Nov 2018
Comments Off on 16 Must-Read Books to Ignite Your Career
comments

Wanna know one of the quickest and easiest ways to take your career to the next level?

READ MORE BOOKS!

Reading books (or listening to audiobooks) is one of the single best investments you can make in your entire life (career included)!

With this in mind we’ve gathered together a list of our favorite, most life-changing books in the career category.

If you’re looking to really go the extra mile this month (in work AND in life), pick up one of these books and get inspired!

Now we’d love to know… What’s on your reading list in the career category?

Leave your recommendations for us in the comments below!

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t
By: Jim Collins

Over the course of five years, the author’s team analyzed the histories of twenty-eight “good-to great” companies. After sifting through mountains of data, Collins and his crew discovered the key determinants of greatness – why some companies make the leap and others don’t.

Click here to purchase your copy today.

Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done
By: Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan

Whether you’re running an entire company, in your first management job, or just looking to step up your effectiveness… this book will show you how to get the job done and deliver powerful results.

Click here to purchase your copy today.

Lovemarks: The Future Beyond Brands
By: Kevin Roberts

This groundbreaking book injects a powerful dose of vision and emotion into the world of marketing and advertising, and celebrates the central role design plays in creating emotional connection with consumers.

Click here to purchase your copy today.

Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Everyday
By: Todd Henry

Die Empty is a tool for people who aren’t willing to put off their most important work for one more day. The author explains the forces that lead to stagnation, and introduces powerful practices that will keep you on a true and steady course toward fulfilling your soul calling.

Click here to purchase your copy today.

7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Leadership
By: Stephen R. Covey

Dr. Covey’s book is one of the most inspiring and impactful books ever written. Discover critical lessons about the habits of successful people, and find out how you can easily apply them to enrich your entire life’s experience.

Click here to purchase your copy today.

The Four-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich
By: Timothy Ferris

Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, experiencing high-end world travel, or earning a monthly five-figure income with zero management, The 4-Hour Workweek is the blueprint.

Click here to purchase your copy today.

The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results
By: Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

You want LESS (fewer distractions, commitments and stress)… and your want MORE (productivity, income and fulfillment)! This book shows us how we can have BOTH, by learning to master what matters most and focus on the ONE thing.

Click here to purchase your copy today.

How to Win Friends and Influence People: The Only Book You Need to Lead You to Success
By: Dale Carnegie

This classic book has carried countless people up the ladder of success, and will show you how to take any situation (or relationship) and make it work for you! Get ready to make life-changing connections and achieve your maximum potential.

Click here to purchase your copy today.

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It
By: Michael E. Gerber

Grow your business in a predictable and profitable way by dispelling the most common myths, and avoiding the assumptions that can get in the way of running your business with this eye-opening read.

Click here to purchase your copy today.

The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
By: Eric Ries

Most startups fail. But many of those failures are preventable.  The Lean Startup is a new approach being adopted across the globe, changing the way companies are built and new products are launched.

Click here to purchase your copy today.

Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose
By: Tony Hsieh and Rob Ten Pas

Written by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, Delivering Happiness shows how a very different kind of corporate culture is a powerful model for achieving success-and how by concentrating on the happiness of those around you, you can dramatically increase your own.

Click here to purchase your copy today.

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
By: Greg McKeown

The Way of the Essentialist isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s about getting only the right things done. It is not a time management strategy, or a productivity technique. It is a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution towards the things that really matter.

Click here to purchase your copy today.

Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALS Lead and Win
By: Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

Detailing the mindset and principles that enable SEAL units to accomplish the most difficult combat missions, Extreme Ownership demonstrates how to apply them to any team or organization, in any leadership environment.

Be sure to check out this month’s LifeNote on Extreme Ownership too!

Click here to purchase your copy today.

Outliers: The Story of Success
By: Malcolm Gladwell

In this stunning book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of “outliers”–the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks (and answers) the question: what makes high-achievers different?

Click here to purchase your copy today.

Steve Jobs
By: Walter Isaacson

Based on more than forty interviews Jobs conducted over two years, Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries.

Click here to purchase your copy today.

Do The Work: Overcome Resistance and Get Out of Your Own Way
By: Steven Pressfield and Seth Godin

Could you be getting in your way of producing great work? Have you started a project but never finished? Would you like to do work that matters, but don’t know where to start? The answer is Do the Work, a manifesto that will show you that it’s not about better ideas… it’s about actually doing the work.

Click here to purchase your copy today.

Why “Good Enough” Never Is
06Nov 2018
1
comments

“How you do anything is how you do everything.”
-T. Harv Eker

Whether it’s in work or in life, “how you do anything is how you do everything.”

What we believe T. Harv Eker meant when he spoke these wise words is this…

Every task, every job, every chore, every interaction is another opportunity for you to express all that you are — to convey your values, practice your virtues, and radiate out into the world that which you love most.

For this reason, “good enough” never truly is enough for Lifebook Members, especially when it comes to our life’s work.

Taking the easy way out, though tempting at times, ultimately means compromising our deepest values and missing out on life-changing opportunities to align ourselves with what we want most in life — which (for most Lifebookers) is to realize our extraordinary potential!

Let’s take a look at this visual representation of what it looks like to move from ORDINARY to EXTRAORDINARY in your career…

—————————————————————————————————

—————————————————————————————————

Now let’s take a deeper look at some of our favorite concepts in the chart:

Always Being Asked vs. Anticipating Needs Before They Arise

Whether it’s your employer, customer, spouse, friend or child… When you can anticipate the unexpressed needs/wishes of those around you, and then take action to exceed their expectatations, you provide an unexpected and delightful experience and make a loud statement that you care. You prove yourself to be conscious, self-responsible, inuitive and committed. And ultimately, you manifest greater opportunities for your own personal and professional growth.

Doing Bare Minimum (or just enough) vs. Giving It EVERYTHING I’ve Got

If you’re looking to coast along with a mediocre offering so you can make it to a mediocre retirement, then by all means, do the bare minimum. But if you want to create passion, excitement and prosperity (in your life, and the lives of others) you’re going to need to step outside your comfort zone, push yourself to learn, grow and expand, and work toward something bigger. Instead of remaining stagnant and doing bare minimum (and then complaining about how you feel stuck), generate your own positive energy and spread it out to those around you.

Waiting For Approval vs. Proving Value Through Results

Grace Hopper said, “It’s better to ask for forgiveness than it is to get permission.” You have the power to create extraordinary results, but only if you take action. And there’s nothing employers love to see more than their team taking deliberate action to create powerful results — even if it does mean blazing your own trail from time to time.

Being Professional vs. Being Passionately Creative

The time for soulless corporate professionalism is coming to an end, and a new era of passionate, soulful, TURNED ON creativity is taking its place. Now more than ever, the world needs vibrant, uplifted, liberated free-thinkers who are living 12-category smart lives and making an impact on the world simply with the energy of their thoughts, feelings, actions and contributions.

Criticizing Problems vs. Offering Valuable Solutions

“It’s better to create something that others criticize than to create nothing and criticize others.” Instead of directing your energy unconsiously, by complaining, criticizing, and giving your power away — turn the situation around, and consciously direct your energy toward positive, all-inclusive, creative and inspiring solutions.

Generic Interactions vs. Providing Personal Depth

Now more than ever people are seeking authentic human interactions – connectiong with others that feel geniune, down to earth, and deeply real. We all yearn to truly relate with each other in ways that empower, inspire and connect us to something greater than ourselves… and most people can smell fake from a mile away. Every social interaction you have is another chance for you to show up more fully as your true yourself — more accepting, more present, more receptive, more whole. This level of personal depth is moving and deeply affecting to others, and it has the power to completely shift the energy of any situation you walk into.

Creation vs. Innovation

In these exponential times, it’s not enough to simply do, make or create… if we want to set ourselves apart from the rest we must learn to innovate. We must learn to fall in love with experimenting, and find exciting new ways to do things. It’s time to take your creativity to the next level — into extraordinary, revolutionary, fearless cutting-edge works of art (no matter what industry you’re in).

So ask yourself…

Are you doing just “good enough” when it comes to your career?

Which lines in the chart spoke the loudest to you, and how can you implement them in your own career/life?

How can you move from ordinary to extraordinary in your career this month??

Share your answers with us in the comments.

And as always, thank you so much for reading VIPS, and being endlessly committed to realizing your own extraordinary potential!

9 Secrets of Lifebook’s Working Moms
12Feb 2018
1
comments

A woman is the heart of her home.

Our energy is woven into the very fabric of our families. No matter what we’re doing, if we’re unhappy, everyone is unhappy. And conversely, if we’re content, everyone is content.

The beauty (and sometimes, the burden) of motherhood is that we are at the center of our family’s universe.

For better or worse, we are the heartbeat of our home.

This is why we feel so much pressure to be and do everything in our lives.

As mothers, wives, career women, homemakers, and a dozen other things, we often feel like we’re being pulled in a million different directions… and it can be difficult to maintain a positive, patient, loving, happy attitude when we feel exhausted and divided.

So how can we create more balance and coherence within the different categories of our lives?

Lucky for us, there are tried and true strategies we can use to create real, powerful change right now.

This month, nine stunning Lifebook Career Mamas banded together to share their very best advice for creating balance and harmony within the many roles they play.

Read, smile, laugh and cry along with us as we honor these brilliant ladies, and support one another on our wonderful journeys of becoming the best women we can possibly be.

As always, once you’ve had a chance to read through each of the posts, share the love by commenting at the bottom of the article.

We want to know what daily steps you take to maintain your inner strength!

Enjoy! :) More…

11 Powerful TED Talks for Stepping Up and Making a Difference
13Nov 2017
Comments Off on 11 Powerful TED Talks for Stepping Up and Making a Difference
comments

TED is one of the best organizations on the planet.

Their 2-to 18-minute videos help to inspire and spread ideas and creativity in ways humans never could have dreamed of just a few decades ago.

In addition to spreading ideas and inspiration, TED is one of the best ways to start surrounding yourself with passionate world experts in the 12 categories.

And all for free, at the click of a button.

What a miraculous world we live in!

Below are 11 of the most powerful videos we’ve seen relative to the career category.

These videos can profoundly alter the way you approach your career, and the world.

Whether you’re in the mood for a full-length TED Talk marathon, or just scheduling one of these videos to watch each day this week — we hope you enjoy the show!

11 Powerful TED Talks for Stepping Up and Making a Difference

1. Simon Sinek – How Great Leaders Inspire Action

Simon Sinek presents a simple but powerful model for how leaders inspire action, starting with a golden circle and the question “Why?” His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright brothers — and as a counterpoint Tivo, which (until a recent court victory that tripled its stock price) appeared to be struggling.

2. Steve Jobs – How to Live Before You Die

Drawing from some of the most pivotal points in his life, Steve Jobs, CEO and co-founder of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, urged graduates to pursue their dreams and see the opportunities in life’s setbacks — including death itself — at the university’s now famous 114th Commencement on June 12, 2005.

3. Brené Brown – The Power of Vulnerability

Brené Brown studies human connection — our ability to empathize, belong, and love. In a poignant and funny talk at TEDxHouston, she shares a deep insight from her research — one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity. This is a powerful talk to witness and share.

4. Elizabeth Gilbert – Your Elusive Creative Genius

Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses — and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person “being” a genius, all of us “have” a genius. It’s a funny, personal and surprisingly moving talk.

5. Rory Sutherland – Perspective Is Everything

The circumstances of our lives may matter less than how we see them, says Rory Sutherland. At TEDxAthens, he makes a compelling case for how reframing is the key to happiness.

6. Sir Ken Robinson – School Kills Creativity

Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity.

7. Cameron Herold – Let’s Raise Kids to Be Entrepreneurs

Bored in school, failing classes, at odds with peers: This child might be an entrepreneur, says Cameron Herold. At TEDxEdmonton, he makes the case for parenting and education that helps would-be entrepreneurs flourish — as kids and as adults. Filmed in Edmonton, Canada.

8. Amy Cuddy – Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are

Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy argues that “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can boost feelings of confidence, and might have an impact on our chances for success.

9. Jonathan Fields – Turning Fear into Fuel for Brilliance

How to turn fear from a source of anxiety and paralysis into fuel for action and achievement.

10. Larry Smith – Why You Will Fail to Have a Great Career

Throughout his three-decade career here at the University of Waterloo, Larry Smith has inspired legions of students to take up the mantle of economics with his passionate and homespun tales of economic wizardry. A renowned story-teller, teacher and youth leadership champion, Larry has also coached and mentored countless numbers of students on start-up business management and career development strategies.

11. Benjamin Zander – The Transformative Power of Classical Music

Benjamin Zander has two infectious passions: classical music, and helping us all realize our untapped love for it — and by extension, our untapped love for all new possibilities, new experiences, new connections.

Solve The World’s Problems As Your Career
20Dec 2016
1
comments

Written by Lifebook Member Juraj Bednar

In recent months I have met many inspiring people. They are generous, fun to be around and solving the world’s problems. Diabetes, partnerships, waste, security, retirement – all of these are huge problems, and I met people that are doing all they can to fix these problems. I think this is the best career move any individual can make; and for me, these people are an inspiration.

Many things in this world piss me off, and there are some things I can fix. On the other hand, I met a lot of young start-up entrepreneurs that are working on “apps” that just seem profitable. They don’t fix a pressing issue that people have. I think making the right decision in your career is important and “fixing world’s problems” is the most overlooked guiding principle in our careers. People study law, business or medicine just because these professions “pay well.”

Solving pressing problems usually pays well too. If it is something that people care about, they are willing to pay for the problem to go away.

The solutions don’t have to be perfect. Some products and services solve huge problems, and it took two weeks to implement them! One of the main misconceptions of entrepreneurship is that it is hard, that only certain people know how to create a profitable business and that you need to attend business school, read business books, become part of a startup networking group or a mastermind. It is not true. You need to find the right problem to solve, find the right financial model that works for you and do it.

Sometimes, the solution feels crappy. The website could be nicer; the product could be leaner and without bugs. But if it does solve the problem then solve it! More…

How to Create a 12-Category Smart Strategic Career Plan
17Nov 2015
3
comments

“I know the price of success: dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen.”
– Frank Lloyd Wright

What, exactly, do you want for your career over the next year?

Like any area of life, you can’t achieve the next level of your career unless you know precisely what it looks like.  Only after you examine this area deeply, and paint a clear and vivid picture of what you want can you create the blueprint to bring it into reality.

And we’re here to help you accomplish ALL of those things.

With Lifebook’s 12-Category Smart Strategic Career Plan you will:

  • Get deeply in touch with your life’s purpose (and create a purpose statement to keep your career on track)
  • Create a more complete, compelling and attainable career vision than ever before
  • Set powerful new career goals that are rooted in your overall life vision, and will accelerate you toward it
  • Integrate your career vision into the other 11 categories of your life to ensure mutual support and holistic growth
  • Deeply explore the emotional barriers currently holding you back, release them from your life, and experience new levels of courage and freedom
  • Bring consciousness and balance to your greatest strengths and weaknesses
  • Assess current external factors that may support or hinder your career growth
  • Answer thought-provoking career questions to create unprecedented clarity and conviction in this vital area of your life

And now you have access to this powerful tool absolutely free. More…

The World’s Toughest Job (and 24 people who applied for it)
08Sep 2015
1
comments

Now THIS is an amazing little experiment.

We can’t say much, lest we spoil the surprise, but we will tell you the basics…

Mullen (an advertising agency) posted a job ad last April with this description: World’s Toughest Job: Provides the Most Extraordinary Joy.

The requirements sounded nothing short of brutal:

  • Standing up almost all the time
  • Constantly exerting yourself
  • Working from 135 to unlimited hours per week
  • Degrees in medicine, finance and culinary arts necessary
  • No vacations
  • The work load goes up on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s and other holidays
  • No time to sleep
  • Salary = $0

The job ad got 2.7 million impressions from paid ad placements. Only 24 people inquired. They interviewed via webcam, and their real-time reactions were captured on video.

Check out what happened below. Watch until the end for full impact. More…

After 14 years in business, Russ finally broke through
10Aug 2015
Comments Off on After 14 years in business, Russ finally broke through
comments

It’s been a long journey with a lot of hard lessons to get me to the point where I trust in myself and my abilities to do the right thing. Before Life Book, I was so focused on being a success in business and my career that I totally dismissed most of the other categories of living a fulfilling life. And, of course, I found myself not creating success in my career because I was ignoring my life! I spent many years searching for the “magic pill” that would change everything for my business. I hired and fired more coaches, mentors and gurus that it actually sickens me to think of all the time, energy and money I wasted looking for that magic bullet. Although, I can’t dismiss this experience because this journey of falling on my face and getting back up is what brought me to my current state of reality. More…

18 World-Changing Leaders Who Will Ignite Your Imagination
12May 2015
Comments Off on 18 World-Changing Leaders Who Will Ignite Your Imagination
comments

We’ve identified some of the most influential visionaries of all time and chronicled 18 intriguing real-life tales that are sure to fascinate and inspire.

These are some of the world’s most iconic innovators, spirited explorers, noble politicians, and virtuous peacekeepers; and in honor of Life Vision month, we wish to pay homage to the men and women whose life stories serve as an inspiration to our world.

18 World-Changing Visionary Leaders

Thomas Jefferson (and all the Founding Fathers)

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson was an American Founding Father, the principle author of the Declaration of Independence, and the 3rd president of the United States of America.

A leader in the Age of Enlightenment, Jefferson spoke five languages, and was deeply intrigued by science, invention, architecture, religion and philosophy.

He was a fierce spokesman for democracy who expressed a sophisticated and radical vision of liberty with incredible grace. He affirmed that all people are entitled to liberty, regardless of the law. He stood firmly on the belief that, if laws don’t protect liberty, then the laws are illegitimate, and people may rebel. While Jefferson didn’t originate this idea, he put it in a way that set fire to the imagination of people around the world.  He developed a doctrine for strictly limiting the power of government – which he believed to be the most dangerous threat to liberty everywhere.

Some of Thomas Jefferson’s final words were,

“I have done for my country, and for all mankind, all that I could do,
and I now resign my soul, without fear, to my God.”

Henry Ford

Henry Ford

It was Henry Ford’s innovative ideas that revolutionized the automotive/transportation industry, and brought mobility to the masses.  It’s tough to think of a man who carried the torch of business further than Henry Ford.

Ford had a global vision, with consumerism as the key to peace.  He became famous for pioneering the assembly line and in the process, the technique of mass production. Amazingly, Ford jump-started the Ford Motor Company with virtually none of his own money. Ford raised a nominal sum of money from friends for initial working capital purposes. He then proceeded to cleverly negotiate deals with his suppliers that let him purchase parts on credit.

This in turn motivated him to sell his cars quickly – at a profit – so as to repay his suppliers.

After years of diligently reinvesting those profits back into the business, Ford Motor became an industrial giant, and Henry Ford became one of the richest and best-known people in the world.

Walt Disney

Walt Disney

Walter Elias (Walt) Disney was an American business magnate, animator, cartoonist, producer, director, screenwriter, entrepreneur, and voice actor.

During Disney’s young life, he pursued a career in commercial art. After his Laugh-O-Grams company fell bankrupt, Walt turned to Hollywood with only twenty dollars in his pocket.

Walt quickly became a Hollywood figure after the success of his “Alice Comedies,” and married his employee Lillian Bounds, who bore him two daughters.

Disney’s career skyrocketed during the early 1930’s when he successfully released “Steamboat Willie,” the first Mickey Mouse cartoon with sound (which Disney himself provided the original voice), which became an instant success.

During his lifetime he received four honorary Academy Awards and won an astounding 22 Academy Awards from a total of 59 nominations, including a record four in one year, giving him more awards and nominations than any other individual in history. Disney also won seven Emmy Awards and gave his name to the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort theme parks in the U.S., as well as the international resorts like Tokyo Disney Resort, Disneyland Paris, and Hong Kong Disneyland.

Walt Disney was the visionary leader whose pioneering spirit and inimitable creativity made the impossible possible, turned dreams into reality, and built the foundation of The Walt Disney Company.  His very name will forever evoke eternal childhood memories.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey

The odds of success would seem slim for a poor woman born in the backwoods of Mississippi to a teenage single mother.  Especially after such monumental hardships early in life… Being raised in inner-city Milwaukee, raped at the age of 9, and giving birth to her own son (who died in infancy) at the age of 14.  For the average person, these challenges would add up to misery and defeat.  But not to Oprah Winfrey.

Oprah landed her first radio job in high school. She soon transferred to daytime talk TV where, after success powering up ratings for a Chicago TV show, she started her own production company. That production company, Harpo, launched an empire. The Oprah Winfrey show is the highest-rated talk show in TV history, and has won her several Emmy Awards. She’s also an incredible philanthropist who donates a cut of her $1.3 billion net worth to a variety of causes benefitting women, children, and families.

Oprah is currently North America’s only black billionaire, and is, according to some assessments, the single most influential woman in the world.

Ayn Rand

ayn_rand

Ayn Rand was an American novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter, and is known around the world for developing a philosophical system she called Objectivism.

Rand advocated reason (the capacity for consciously making sense of things, applying logic, and establishing and verifying facts) as the only means of acquiring knowledge and rejected faith and religion.

Ayn Rand may have the most humble origins of anyone so far mentioned. She grew up in tsarist Russia, just in time to see her father’s successful pharmacy confiscated by the invading Bolsheviks, and her family made to flee the country.

She began to despise the totalitarian environment she had always known, and boldly left for the United States at age 21, on a student visa. Her goal upon arrival was to make a name for herself as a Hollywood writer. After writing several plays, however, she realized that her true talents were found in fiction writing. Having penned such enduring best sellers as “The Fountainhead” and “Atlas Shrugged”, Rand is now recognized as one of the most influential fiction writers of all time.

One survey, by the Library of Congress, found that book readers ranked “Atlas Shrugged” as the second most influential book in their lives, after the Bible.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

MartinLutherKingJr

Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American clergyman, activist, humanitarian, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement.

He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience. Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s success with non-violent activism, King had “for a long time…wanted to take a trip to India.”  Finally, he was able to make the journey in April 1959, at the age of 30. The trip to India affected King, deepening his understanding of non-violent resistance and his commitment to America’s struggle for civil rights.

Afterward, King helped to organize the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. There, he established his reputation as one of the greatest orators in American history.

During this 17-minute speech, he departed from his prepared text, possibly at the prompting of Mahalia Jackson (a gospel singer who performed at the March on Washington), who shouted behind him, “Tell them about the dream!” In response, King said:

“I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.”

“I Have a Dream” came to be regarded as one of the finest speeches in the history of American oratory. The March, and especially King’s speech, helped put civil rights at the top of the liberal political agenda in the United States and facilitated passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

King has become a national icon in the history of American progressivism.  On October 14, 1964, King received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolence.

Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma-Gandhi-1

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was the preeminent leader of the Indian Independence Movement, employing nonviolent civil disobedience in then British-ruled India to secure the country’s independence.

Born and raised in a Hindu, merchant caste family in coastal western India, and trained in law at the Inner Temple, London, Gandhi first employed nonviolent civil disobedience as an expatriate lawyer in South Africa.

After his return to India in 1915, he set about organizing peasants, farmers, and urban laborers to protest against excessive land-tax and discrimination. While in India, Gandhi’s obvious virtue, simplistic lifestyle, and minimal dress endeared him to the people.

Assuming leadership of the Indian National Congress in 1921, Gandhi led nationwide campaigns for easing poverty, expanding women’s rights, building religious and ethnic amity, ending untouchability, but above all for achieving Swaraj, or self-rule.

Gandhi famously led Indians in challenging the British-imposed salt tax with the 250 mile Dandi Salt March in 1930, and later in calling for the British to Quit India in 1942. He was imprisoned for many years, upon many occasions, in both South Africa and India.

Gandhi attempted to practice nonviolence and truth in all situations, and advocated that others do the same. He lived modestly in a self-sufficient residential community and wore traditional Indian clothing. He ate simple vegetarian food, and also undertook long fasts as means of both self-purification and social protest.

Gandhi’s political feats have inspired movements for civil rights and freedom everywhere, and have left the world a truly better place.

Albert Einstein

albert_einstein

Albert Einstein was born to a middle-class German Jewish family. His parents were concerned that he scarcely talked until the age of three, but he was simply a quiet child. He loved building tall houses of cards, and at the age of twelve he became fascinated by geometry books.

At the age of fifteen, Albert quit high school, disgusted by rote learning and martinet teachers and travelled with his family to Italy.

In 1905, Einstein’s famous Theory of Relativity was published and became one of the two pillars of modern physics.  While best known for his mass–energy equivalence formula E = mc2 (which has been dubbed “the world’s most famous equation”), he received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics “for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect.” The latter was pivotal in establishing quantum theory.

He was visiting the United States when Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933 and did not go back to Germany.  He settled in the U.S., becoming an American citizen in 1940. On the eve of World War II, he endorsed a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, alerting him to the potential development of “extremely powerful bombs of a new type,” and recommending that the U.S. begin similar research. This eventually led to what would become the Manhattan Project. Einstein supported defending the Allied forces, but largely denounced using the new discovery of nuclear fission as a weapon. Later, with the British philosopher Bertrand Russell, Einstein signed the Russell–Einstein Manifesto, which highlighted the danger of nuclear weapons.

Einstein published more than 300 scientific papers along with over 150 non-scientific works. His great intellectual achievements and originality have made the word “Einstein” synonymous with genius.

Steve Jobs

steve-jobs-1955-2011

“The people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world,
are the ones who do.”

And out of those people, there was one man who managed to revolutionize the world, radically changing the computer, music, and movie industries. His name was Steven Paul Jobs. Take a walk through town; you can’t turn one corner without seeing the famous Apple logo in someone’s hands.

Steve Jobs left college on nothing more than the overwhelming feeling that he was not going to find his true calling there. Jobs teamed up with engineering wiz Steve Wozniak to create the world’s first personal computer, leading to a wave of innovation that culminated in the Apple line of products.

After being kicked out of the company he started, Jobs founded animated movie giant Pixar, and served as CEO and majority shareholder until Disney’s purchase of Pixar in 2006.

Later, he returned to Apple to spearhead a Renaissance led by the creation of the iPod, iMac, iTunes, iPhone and iPad, and on the services side, the company’s Apple Retail Stores, iTunes Store and the App Store. The success of these products and services propelled Apple to become the world’s most valuable publicly traded company in 2011. The reinvigoration of the company is regarded by many commentators as “one of the greatest turnarounds in business history.”

Jobs’ contribution to the world has been legendary, and as a result he has been referred to as a futurist, a visionary, a design perfectionist, a master of innovation, and the father of the Digital Revolution.

Bill Gates

bill gates

Bill Gates was lucky to come from a family of entrepreneurship and high-spirited liveliness.  He had an early interest in software and began programming computers at the age of thirteen.  As young teenagers Bill Gates and his childhood friend, Paul Allen, ran a small company called Traf-O-Data, which sold a computer to the city of Seattle that could count city traffic.

After dropping out of the nation’s top-ranked university, Harvard, because he “just couldn’t bring himself to go to class,” Gates ambitiously founded Microsoft with partner Paul Allen.

The company originally set out to sell computer programming languages, but soon veered very far (and very profitably) off of that path. Instead, Microsoft created the now-ubiquitous Windows operating system that powers 90% of the world’s personal computers.

Gates’ vision, “A computer on every desk and in every home” provided a glimpse of the future – where all offices and homes had computers – even though his company, Microsoft, did not make computers at the time and most people saw little need for them. Today, more than 25 years later, computers are commonplace and considered essential work and home tools by the majority of people around the world. Additionally, Microsoft is one of the world’s most successful, respected and profitable companies.

Gates officially retired from Microsoft in 2008, exiting with a net worth of $58 billion, 3rd place on Forbes’ 100 Wealthiest People list, and a reputation for being the best-known entrepreneurs for the personal computer revolution.

Steven Spielberg

Steven-Spielberg

Steven Allan Spielberg is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, and business magnate, and the single most commercially successful Hollywood filmmaker in history.  A lifelong cinema buff, Spielberg began directing his first short movies while still a child.

In a career of more than four decades, Spielberg’s films have covered many themes and genres. Spielberg’s early science fiction and adventure films were seen as archetypes of modern Hollywood blockbuster filmmaking. In later years, his films began addressing humanistic issues such as the Holocaust, the transatlantic slave trade, war, and terrorism. He is also one of the co-founders of DreamWorks movie studio.

Spielberg won Academy Awards for Best Director for Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan. Three of Spielberg’s films – Jaws, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, and Jurassic Park – achieved box office records, each becoming the highest-grossing film made at the time. To date, the unadjusted gross of all Spielberg-directed films exceeds $8.5 billion worldwide, and Forbes puts Spielberg’s wealth at $3.3 billion.  He is considered one of the most popular and influential filmmakers in the history of cinema. 

Leonardo Da Vinci

Renaissance Man

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer. His genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance humanist ideal. Leonardo has often been described as the archetype of the Renaissance Man; a man of “unquenchable curiosity” and “feverishly inventive imagination.”

According to art historian Helen Gardner, the scope and depth of his interests were without precedent and “his mind and personality seem to us superhuman, the man himself mysterious and remote”. Marco Rosci states that while there is much speculation about Leonardo, his vision of the world is essentially logical rather than mysterious, and that the empirical methods he employed were unusual for his time.

Leonardo is renowned primarily as a painter. Among his works, the Mona Lisa is the most famous and most parodied portrait, and The Last Supper the most reproduced religious painting of all time.  Leonardo’s drawing of the Vitruvian Man is also regarded as a cultural icon.

Leonardo is revered for his technological ingenuity. He conceptualized flying machines, a tank, concentrated solar power, an adding machine, and the double hull, also outlining a rudimentary theory of plate tectonics. Relatively few of his designs were constructed or were even feasible during his lifetime. He also made important discoveries in anatomy, civil engineering, optics, and hydrodynamics.  As a result, he is widely considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time and perhaps the most diversely talented person ever to have lived.

Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso

Pablo Ruiz y Picasso was a Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer. As one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century, he is known for co-founding the Cubist movement, the invention of constructed sculpture, the co-invention of collage, and for the wide variety of styles that he helped develop and explore.

Picasso, Henri Matisse and Marcel Duchamp are regarded as the three artists who most defined the revolutionary developments in the plastic arts in the opening decades of the 20th century, responsible for significant developments in painting, sculpture, printmaking and ceramics.

Picasso demonstrated extraordinary artistic talent in his early years, painting in a realistic manner through his childhood and adolescence. During the first decade of the 20th century, his style changed as he experimented with different theories, techniques, and ideas. His revolutionary artistic accomplishments brought him universal renown and immense fortune, making him one of the best-known figures in 20th-century art.

Ferdinand Magellan

magellan-portrait

Ferdinand Magellan was a Portuguese explorer who organized the expedition that resulted in the first circumnavigation of the Earth.

He was born in a still disputed location in northern Portugal, and served King Charles I of Spain in search of a westward route to the “Spice Islands” (modern Maluku Islands in Indonesia).  Soon after Columbus’ westward voyage the Spanish realized that the lands of the Americas were not a part of Asia, but a new continent. Spain urgently needed to find a new commercial route to Asia, and so Magellan and his partner Rui Faleiro presented their project to the Spanish King.  Magellan’s project, if successful, would realize Columbus’ plan of a spice route by sailing west without damaging relations with the Portuguese.

They finally set sail on September 20, 1519.  While his expedition completed the first circumnavigation of the Earth. Magellan did not complete the entire voyage himself, as he was killed during the Battle of Mactan in the Philippines. 

The Wright Brothers

Wright Brothers

The Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, were two American brothers, inventors, and aviation pioneers who were credited with inventing and building the world’s first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight, on December 17, 1903.

From 1905 to 1907, the brothers developed their flying machine into the first practical fixed-wing aircraft. Although not the first to build and fly experimental aircraft, the Wright brothers were the first to invent aircraft controls that made fixed-wing powered flight possible.

The brothers’ fundamental breakthrough was their invention of three-axis control, which enabled the pilot to steer the aircraft effectively and to maintain its equilibrium. This method became standard and remains standard on fixed-wing aircraft of all kinds. From the beginning of their aeronautical work, the Wright brothers focused on developing a reliable method of pilot control as the key to solving “the flying problem.” This approach differed significantly from other experimenters of the time who put more emphasis on developing powerful engines.

Using a small homebuilt wind tunnel, the Wrights also collected more accurate data than any before, enabling them to design and build wings and propellers that were more efficient than any before.  Their innovative ideas and designs changed the world of transportation forever.

Thomas Edison

ThomasEdison

Thomas Alva Edison was an American inventor and businessman. Some of his many inventions include the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb. Dubbed “The Wizard of Menlo Park”, he was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of mass production and large-scale teamwork to the process of invention, and because of that, he is often credited with the creation of the first industrial research laboratory.

Edison is the fourth most prolific inventor in history, holding 1,093 US patents in his name, as well as many patents in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. More significant than the number of Edison’s patents, are the impacts of his inventions, because Edison not only invented things, his inventions established major new industries world-wide, notably, electric light and power utilities, sound recording, and motion pictures. Edison’s inventions contributed to mass communication and, in particular, telecommunications. These included a stock ticker, a mechanical vote recorder, a battery for an electric car, electrical power, recorded music and motion pictures.

His advanced work in these fields was an outgrowth of his early career as a telegraph operator. Edison developed a system of electric-power generation and distribution to homes, businesses, and factories – a crucial development in the modern industrialized world.  His devices profoundly influenced life around the world. 

Frank Lloyd Wright

FrankLloydWright

Frank Lloyd Wright was an American architect, interior designer, writer and educator, who designed more than 1000 structures and completed 532 works.

Wright believed in designing structures that were in harmony with humanity and its environment, a philosophy he called organic architecture. This philosophy was best exemplified by his design for Fallingwater (1935), which has been called “the best all-time work of American architecture”.

His work includes original and innovative examples of many different building types, including offices, churches, schools, skyscrapers, hotels, and museums. Wright also designed many of the interior elements of his buildings, such as the furniture and stained glass.

Wright authored 20 books and many articles and was a popular lecturer in the United States and in Europe. Wright was recognized in 1991 by the American Institute of Architects as “the greatest American architect of all time,” and certainly influenced architecture around the world.

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol was an American artist who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture and advertisement. After a successful career as a commercial illustrator, Warhol became a renowned and sometimes controversial artist. The Andy Warhol Museum in his native city, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, holds an extensive permanent collection of art and archives. It is the largest museum in the United States dedicated to a single artist.

Warhol’s art encompassed many forms of media, including hand drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, silk screening, sculpture, film, and music. He was also a pioneer in computer-generated art using Amiga computers that were introduced in 1984, two years before his death.

He is also notable as a gay man who lived openly as such before the gay liberation movement. His studio, The Factory, was a famous gathering place that brought together distinguished intellectuals, drag queens, playwrights, Bohemian street people, Hollywood celebrities, and wealthy patrons.

Warhol has been the subject of numerous retrospective exhibitions, books, and feature and documentary films. He coined the widely used expression “15 minutes of fame.” Many of his creations are very collectible and highly valuable. The highest price ever paid for a Warhol painting is US$105 million for a 1963 canvas titled “Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster)”. A 2009 article in The Economist described Warhol as the “bellwether of the art market.” Warhol’s works include some of the most expensive paintings ever sold, and he remains one of the most notable artists in history.

 

Sources: Wikipedia