Mentors & Gratitude

“Like everyone, to get to where I am, I stood on the shoulders of giants. My life was built on a foundation of parents, coaches, and teachers; of kind souls who lent couches or gym back rooms where I could sleep; of mentors who shared wisdom and advice; of idols who motivated me from the pages of magazines (and, as my life grew, from personal interaction).” – Arnold Schwarzenegger

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” – John F. Kennedy

The ideas that I share are very rarely my own. I’m certain that even the seemingly novel insights were originally planted by outside sources long ago – ruminating, growing, and mixing with other ideas until they surprisingly sprout. I happen to be the fortunate vehicle through which they occasionally choose to emerge.

Everything that I am and create is a direct reflection of the people who’ve supported me, taught me, loved me, laughed with me, shared with me, inspired me, and influenced me. In my work, I do my best to cite original sources, as well as the people who introduce ideas to me. But, the reality is that it’s an impossible task, and many deserving people go un-acknowledged.

I’m incredibly grateful for every single person who has touched my life and work in some way, and wanted to publicly highlight and celebrate many of them here.* They are among the living, and the dead. Some, I haven’t yet had the privilege of meeting in person. Others, I’m blessed to call my best friends.

Thank you!

Who are some of the people who’ve had the biggest impact on you? Are you open to celebrating them today? Check out these tips for saying thanks.


*I’ve included links to people’s work if applicable, especially the resources that I continue to use most often. My apologies to anyone whose name or work I left off the list.

  • Scott Alpizar
  • James Altucher
  • Dylan Arden
  • Izzy Arkin
  • Greg Asad
  • Marcus Aurelius
  • Leo Babauta | Zen Habits
  • Adam Baker
  • Douglas Balchan
  • Doug “Joe” Balchan
  • Eleanor Balchan
  • Jane Balchan
  • John Balchan
  • John Paul Balchan
  • Kristen Balchan
  • Madeleine Balchan
  • The extended Balchan Family
  • James Cushing Bayley V
  • Joshua Becker
  • Robert Beebe
  • Michael Bernard Beckwith
  • Brene Brown
  • Richard Castellini
  • Madeleine Castellini
  • The extended Castellini Family
  • Katie Castle
  • Steve Chandler
  • James Clear | JamesClear.com
  • Deepak Chopra
  • Paulo Coehlo
  • Steve DeWitt
  • Scott & Chelsea Dinsmore | Live Your Legend + Live Off Your Passion + CWA
  • Walt Disney
  • Glenn Dorriss
  • Carol Dweck
  • Albert Einstein
  • Tim Ferriss | Blog + The Tim Ferriss Show
  • Richard Feynman
  • Adam Fitzsimmons
  • Servicemembers and Veterans of the Armed Forces
  • Marie Forleo | B-School
  • Mahatma Gandhi
  • John Garrity
  • Atul Gawande
  • Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Greg Gilmore
  • Malcolm Gladwell
  • Jason Goldberg | The Jason Goldberg
  • Chris Guillebeau | The Art of Non-Conformity
  • Tenzin Gyatso aka H.H. 14th Dalai Lama
  • Peg Haemmerle
  • Laird Hamilton
  • All of my brilliant professors, classmates, and teammates at Harvard
  • Robert Heinlein
  • Andy Hellmuth
  • Charlie Hoehn
  • Wim Hof | The Wim Hof Method
  • Ryan Holiday | Ryanholiday.net
  • Lewis Howes | The School of Greatness
  • Khe Hy | RadReads
  • Michael Hyatt | Michaelhyatt.com
  • Rachel Ianni
  • Brian Johnson | Optimize
  • Noah Kagan
  • Daniel Kahneman
  • Paul Kalanithi
  • Amir Karkouti
  • Josh Kaufman
  • Kellianne Kleeman
  • Madison Klein
  • Bob Koehler
  • Deb Koehler
  • Flo Koehler
  • Lauren Koehler
  • Richard Koehler
  • Scott Koehler
  • Vishen Lakhiani | MindValley
  • Bruce Lee
  • Michael Lewis
  • Jonathan Levi
  • Rich Litvin
  • Sonja Lyubomirsky
  • John Paul II
  • Molly Maddock
  • John Mantia
  • Mike McKenna
  • Austin McLeod
  • Timothy McMahon
  • Kevin Mealy
  • Joshua Fields Milburn & Ryan Nicodemus | The Minimalists
  • Lin Manuel Miranda
  • Linda Morris
  • Elon Musk
  • Cal Newport
  • Paul Nowak | Iris Reading
  • Bill O’Neill
  • Ryan Pilconis
  • Michael Pollan
  • Steven Pressfield
  • Andy Puddicombe | Headspace
  • Adam Renkiewicz
  • Norm Rich
  • August Ritter
  • Tony Robbins
  • Marcia Roth
  • J.K. Rowling
  • Gretchen Rubin
  • Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  • Michael J Sandel
  • Teddy Schreck
  • Eric Schultz
  • Matt Sellman
  • Rob Sender
  • Tal Ben Shahar
  • Ilan Shalit
  • Derek Sivers | Sivers.org
  • Thomas Slattery
  • Adam Smith
  • Jeremy Smith
  • Jacob Sokol | Sensophy
  • My extended Springfield Parents
  • Neil Strauss
  • Darlene Tempelton
  • Leo Tolstoy
  • Tessie Tracy
  • Amos Tversky
  • Bailey Vertovez
  • Leonardo da Vinci
  • Josh Waitzkin
  • Wes Walker
  • Sean Watson
  • Alan Watts
  • Andrew Weil
  • Ken Wilber
  • Jocko Willink