Inspiring People


Finding the Joy in Your Job

How excited are you about your job? Watch this recent clip of Boston weather reporter Jim Cantore experiencing repeated strikes of “thundersnow” and you’ll see an adult expressing childlike zeal about his job assignment in a way that can’t help but make you smile. How often does a Weather Channel segment go viral like this one has? I’d never even heard of “thundersnow,” and I know nothing about being a meteorologist, but I sure want to have whatever this man is having. While it’s possible that all the white powder falling around......

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Can Ruth Bader Ginsburg See the Future?

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was at the University of Michigan recently to give the 2015 Tanner Lecture on Human Values. A U.S. Supreme Court justice of more than 20 years, Ginsburg talked about topics ranging from gender equality to campaign financing to family life, as well as her nickname, Notorious RBG (a play on the late rapper Notorious B.I.G.). In discussing her most memorable cases – impassioned dissents that helped pave the way for prohibiting racial discrimination in voting, and banning employment discrimination based on race, religion, gender and national origin – one......

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Bob Dylan Uncovers Sinatra

Bob Dylan’s new album of ballads from the American Songbook is remarkable, heartfelt, and vulnerable. All ten tracks have one thing in common: they were interpreted and made popular by Frank Sinatra. Yes, the enigmatic ’60s counterculture icon, the raspy-voiced rebellious rocker, is rendering songs made famous by one of the smoothest nightclub crooners of all time. But I don’t think Dylan is selling out.?Shadows in the Night reveals an irrepressible, creative spirit once again upending expectations. Ever idiosyncratic, Dylan does what he always does – arranges, appropriates and interprets to create......

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What Defines Winners and Losers?

In the last week there were two big sports stories that invite us to think about what defines winners and losers. The Super Bowl-bound New England Patriots were accused of deflating footballs in their 45-7 win over the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC title game. Especially in the cold and rain, underinflated balls (did I really just write that?) are easier to handle. Though Patriots coach Bill Belichick and star quarterback Tom Brady denied any knowledge of underinflated footballs, or of breaking any rules, football players past and present believe it was......

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Where Is Dr. King's Dream?

Today we remember Martin Luther King Jr., last century’s premier exemplar of morality in public life. There will be ceremonies, speeches, television specials, editorials – and there will be very serious protests and demonstrations: Millions of Americans are outraged by the shooting deaths of young Blacks, by racial economic inequality, by a return to segregation in our education system, by the disproportionate incarceration of Blacks… And millions of White Americans not only have no understanding of what Blacks are experiencing, but themselves feel alienation, dislocation and rage. We live in a strange......

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On Wisdom - Irwin Kula with Brad Hirschfield

We recently announced a new video series – On Wisdom – at The Wisdom Daily. On Wisdom will feature interviews with noted innovators in business, the arts, medicine, religion, academia and more. In addition to hosting these inspiring individuals to talk about wisdom with co-founders Brad Hirschfield and Irwin Kula, the two sat down to discuss what wisdom means to them, and how they use it in their daily lives. In the second part of their Q&A together (the first part can be viewed here), Brad interviews Irwin about why he wanted......

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A 'Wild' Idea: The Past Need Not Imprison You

The movie Wild is perfect to see during this last week of the year, when millions of us will make resolutions to change our life (that the vast majority of us will not keep for more than a few weeks). This film, starring a remarkable Reese Witherspoon, is a meditation on what to do when we get stuck in life, when the circumstances of our life control our destiny, when we are weighed down by our past. Based on Cheryl Strayed’s 2012 best-selling memoir Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found, the......

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The One and Only Joe Cocker

I was blessed to grow up with some of the greatest rock’n’roll ever recorded. Recently, one of the most original and emotionally powerful singers of the genre, raspy-voiced Joe Cocker, died of lung cancer at age 70.? To the many tributes already written, I can only add what this mad dog of an Englishman meant to me. Joe Cocker became famous for songs he didn’t write. In a culture that obsessively worships novelty, Cocker’s originality was improving others’ songs by adding a profound new resonance. What courage it took in 1969 to......

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Triumph of an Unbreakable Spirit

I found myself celebrating Easter this Christmas, and I was quite moved by the experience. No, my calendar was not off; I’m not even Christian. So what was going on? I went to the December 25 opening of the new film Unbroken. Directed by Angelina Jolie, the feature film was my first exposure to the true story of Louis Zamperini, the Olympic runner, American soldier and World War II POW. Indeed, I’m one of the few people who never read Lauren Hillenbrand’s bestseller Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience,......

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Misty Copeland Dances to Stardom

Do you know who Misty Copeland is? In case you don’t follow ballet: Copeland is the only African-American soloist with the legendary American Ballet Theatre (ABT). She currently has the lead in ABT’s The Nutcracker at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Let me put in perspective how rare an accomplishment this is. When Copeland joined the ABT 14 years ago, at age 18, she was the only African-American female in a company of 80 dancers. It remained this way for eleven years. In 2007, she became the first Black female soloist in......

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