Ahh, the changing of the seasons. Bittersweet, isn’t it?

The long dog days of summer are slowly winding down into darker September evenings. Every student from preschool to college age is seen touting around backpacks. Pumpkin spice lattes are overtaking every coffee shop. Boots and coats sprawl across every ad you see. Aside even from these cultural cliches, nature even somehow feels a bit more enriched — hikers, bikers, and runners all basking in the orange sunrise and dewdrops of a crisp morning.


Maybe it's the kid in us, but September sure feels like a fresh beginning. A slate for self-reflection. We're usually all more eager to learn for some reason, dedicated to writing down (and checking off) to-do lists and formulating yearly goals, perhaps reading a bit more.  It's like a warm fire settling in our soul — cozy and inviting, but always flickering — our covered “coals” suddenly glowing with a simmering spark, a thought, a feeling.

No matter how your summer has been this year (be it fun or draining),  we all could use a mindful reboot for fall.  It can be overwhelming knowing how and what aspect of life to focus on though — do we organize our house? Start attacking our long-awaited dreams? Get our finances in order? Fitness? Love life? Career goals? Gah, too much to learn!!

Well, take a seat. Get ready to listen closely (and take notes) from these 7 seriously inspiring life teachers.  Each of these entrepreneurs offer something unique and authentic  — free therapy, really.  They help us navigate life’s highs and lows, pursue our passions, be productive, slow down, be grateful, get fit, handle hardships, relationships… (you get the drift)

And for those eye-rolling at self-help gurus, hang tight. Keep your mind open, and dig around to find that one personal life coach whose  vibe you connect with (there’s someone for everyone).  At times when even the best of friends and family can’t help you, a powerful outer persona can be an army of support.


At the end of the day, we are all lifelong students, just trying to reconnect with our best and brightest selves.

Below is a list of 7 empowering people to help you jump-start your journey.

Connect with them through their blogs, books, podcasts, TED Talks, newsletters, social media accounts, workshops… even personalized one-on-one training/advice, if you desire.  

Let's get studying, shall we? 

7 Empowering People to Help You Jump-Start Your Personal Development Journey

Brian Tracy

 — personal/professional development trainer, speaker, author —

Do you get hives just thinking about the “where do you see yourself in 5 years?” question? Do you fantasize about working for yourself? Want to seriously shake things up at the business you work for? Dream of getting (and dominating) your dream-career interview? Well, take some tips from one of the world’s best business and personal improvement trainers (and New York Times Best Selling author) Brian Tracy.

Don’t be fooled by this guy’s suited-up “salesman” figure plastered on many of his 65 written books… or the ambitious titles — I mean, Goals! How To Get Everything You Want Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible sounds like a BS crash diet we’re bound to fail at in the long run, right?


Tracey somehow transforms even the most basic life tips (i.e. productivity, learned optimism, goal execution, self confidence) to an “aha” brain awakening. His short and sweet advice paragraphs feel more like a consistent confidence jog we don’t tire of. He keeps readers’/listeners’ momentum high. . and when we’re feeling overwhelmed with time as it is, Tracy’s to-the-point wisdom is just what we need sometimes.

Start with his book Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life: How To Unlock Your Full Potential for Success and Achievement. (and write down all the easy strategies you want to try out)

A few Articles and Videos from Brian Tracy:

  1. How To Find Your Dream Job
  2. Discover the Importance of Lifelong Learning
  3. The New Mental Diet

Leo Babauta

— a mindful minimalist who blogs at ZenHabits.net —

Leo Babauta is walking proof that “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a simple step”.

About 10 years ago he was once your everyday (unhealthy) Joe who was heavy in every aspect of the lifestyle (his weight, his unhealthy junk food and smoking habits, his debt, his clutter). Today, Babauta is a vegan, a traveler, a writer, and a more mindful husband and dad to his 6 children.

Like having life-chat coffee conversations with an ol’ friend, Babauta’s blog posts are warm, inviting, real — an exchange of honest tips, discussing trial experiments (i.e. The Year of Living Without (One Chosen Item omitted Month, like coffee, an iPhone, etc) and mindfully questioning if or how we’re living “the good” life — one of, simplicity and sentimental experiences.

So take a breath, slow down and enjoy that coffee/tea — all with a fix of ZenHabits.org  

A few Articles and Videos from Leo Babauta:

  1. The mindfulness of social photo sharing
  2. Family gatherings: the ultimate mindfulness training ground
  3. Life’s missing white space
  4. Letter to an 18-year old on the career road less traveled

Maria Popova

 — creator and one-woman writer of Brain Pickings blog —

Miss your in-depth college literature classes? Well, get your human condition (and essay-like analysis) fix right here at the Brain Pickings blog.

While the majority of blog posts strive for short word counts and tight 1-3 sentence paragraphs, Maria Popova goes against the grain, describing her one-woman site too beautifully accurate to not (fully) share:  it’s a  cross disciplinary LEGO treasure chest, full of pieces spanning art, science, psychology, design, philosophy, history, politics, anthropology, and more: pieces that enrich our mental pool of resources and empower combinatorial ideas that are stronger, smarter, richer, deeper and more impactful.”

Bookworms especially will love the Brain Pickings “club” — there is a never-ending library of posts to explore, after all.

A few Articles and Videos from Maria Popova:

  1. Against Self-Criticism: Adam Phillips on How Our Internal Critics Enslave Us, The Stockholm Syndrome of the Superego, and the Power of Multiple Interpretations
  2. Famous Advice on Writing: The Collected Wisdom of Great Writers

The MinimalistsJoshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus

— Minimalist lifestyle entrepreneurs, authors, and speakers —

Want to strip away the excess “baggage” of your life, and get back to your essential core? The Minimalist guys have you (and 4 million plus other followers) covered.

Both Fields and Nicodemus went from unfulfilling six-figure 9-to-5 corporate positions to starting their own live-with-less lifestyle — getting back to the basics, and appreciating the simple things. They started the business, which up quickly with a solid fan base.

They are so fun to listen to on their podcast (#1 in Health category for iTunes), and despite their quick rise to fame, they sound as humble and down to earth as it gets.

Then if that connects with you, check out their books and their Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Things (2016’s #1 indie documentary). And take their key slogan to heart: “Love people, use things. The opposite never works.”

A few Articles and Videos from Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus:

  1. Podcast 27: Passion (audio)
  2. Authentic People (blog)

Rebecca Campbell

— Hay House author; intuitive/spiritual mentor —

This is for all the females (and empaths) out there — what exactly are you doing when you feel like your brightest, best self?  What fuels your fire? Lights you up?

That invincible feeling you get — that is your soul calling you to your highest gift. And Hay House spiritual author and Lightworker entrepreneur Rebecca Campbell is calling all women to step into their true passions, their light, their “you-ness”. She defines a Lightworker in her Light Is The New Black book as “someone who makes a conscious decision to answer the call of Source (light) over the call of the ego (fear)” (pg. 36).

Do you listen to your intuition? Do you know what makes you feel equally softened (in heart) and strengthened (in soul)? Learn to tune in. Take time out exclusively for yourself. Ignore the inner critic, and get “glowing” on whatever project or activity is (and has been) calling to you — are you itching to switch careers paths? Start a blog? Draw? Revisit an ol’ childhood favorite activity? Whatever it may be, explore and unleash those secret desires. Learn to let the radiant, real “you” inside step out.

And ladies, whenever you feel stuck, know that Campbell's beautiful words of encouragement are only a page/click away: books, blog, videos, online courses, inspiring Instagram photos/mottos

A few Articles and Videos from Rebecca Campbell:

  1. The Woman Who Initiated My Spiritual Path
  2. What Is Rising In You? 
  3. How To Survive As An Empath In The City
  4. What The Heck Is My Soul Purpose?

Tim Ferris

— productivity entrepreneur, The Four Hour Workweek —

Want to strive to have your most successful, healthiest, and productive life yet? Look no further.

Tim Ferris wrote 3 New York Times and Wall Street Journal Best Sellers (including the The 4-Hour Workweek, The 4-Hour Body, and The 4-Hour Chef), all which offer fresh life/health tips. He’s also an angel investor/adviser for multi-billion companies like FaceBook, Uber, and Twitter). 

If you’ve ever wondered how a super successful person navigates their day/night, the Tim Ferris podcast is your one-stop answer. Terris is laid-back, but still digs deep when interviewing big-name stars and entrepreneurs like Jamie Foxx, Shaun White, The Alchemist author Paulo Coelho, and beyond. Each open up about their habits, rituals, lifestyle, thoughts. . .you name it.

You'll be addicted one show in — and trialing out some of the celebrity's success tips.

A few Articles and Videos from Tim Ferris:

  1. Interview with writer Ryan Holiday: Useful Lessons from Workaholics Anonymous, Corporate Implosions and More
  2. Interview with Kelly Starrett (a well-known CrossFit trainer):  The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly With CrossFit

Michael Neill

— transformation coach, author; Inside-Out Revolution —

What are you thinking right now? Okay, now, what do you physically see around you? Pause. Now, what are you feeling?

Got your answers? Good. Now tune into about 20 minutes of transformation coach Michael Neill (videos/books/podcast/weekly Hay House talk show). When finished, ask yourself the same questions…

Our level of awareness in any given moment determines the quality of our experience. – Michael Neill

You'll be amazed at how “thinking about thinking” opens up an entirely new world of thinking.  (sorry, there's a lot of thinking going on — but hopefully we can learn to feel more instead).

We really do have the power to see life as a glass half full, or half empty.  Michael Neill suggests that our minds are a projector (casting out our thoughts/feelings onto our lens of the outer life), not a camera which depicts the real world as “it is.”  Hence, we must train our hearts/spirit to be more powerful than our ego-based monkey minds.

Read Michael Neill's The Space Within: Finding Your Way Back Home and realize no matter how quiet, loud, or chaotic your life feels like, you always have comforting clarity within you.  (plus, the book has some really amazing long metaphors and scribbled drawings)

A few Articles and Videos from Michael Neill:

  1. Inside-Out and Outside-In  (video)
  2. Why Happiness is Temporary (But Well-Being is Forever)  (blog post)
  3. A Hybrid Model of Success (blog post)

Extra (Credit) Education to Explore

Hope we’re all feeling inspired to turn over a new leaf this fall (school-approved pun intended).

What other motivational mentors/entrepreneurs do you look up to? Share with us in the comments!

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hannah Profile_picAuthor Bio: Hannah Fredenberg

Hannah Fredenberg is a retail copywriter with a passion (sometimes for fashion) but largely for psychology and lifestyle/wellness topics. When she's not writing M-F about clothing and accessories, you can find her running outside, hitting up the yoga studio, or reading a book (or two) for hours on end. Check out her copy-writing portfolio at https://hannahfredenberg.contently.com/ or contact her through Twitter (@Hfredenberg) or email at [email protected]

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