Peace — Let peace be your thermometer in life. This has been a constant in my life for many years. Peace will guide you during the most chaotic times in life and business, seek peace and find your way to greatness.
It sometimes feels like it is so hard to avoid feeling down or depressed these days. Between the sad news coming from world headlines, the impact of the ongoing raging pandemic, and the constant negative messages popping up on social and traditional media, it sometimes feels like the entire world is pulling you down. What do you do to feel happiness and joy during these troubled and turbulent times? In this interview series called “Finding Happiness and Joy During Turbulent Times” we are talking to experts, authors, and mental health professionals who share lessons from their research or experience about “How To Find Happiness and Joy During Troubled & Turbulent Times”.
As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Tiffany R. Easley.
Tiffany, Author, Transformational Life Coach, and Speaker leverages her 42-year cancer survivorship to help women who have been impacted by a chronic or terminal diagnosis navigate the trauma associated with the diagnosis, live a life of purpose and SOAR in their greatness. She uses the 5R strategies of SOAR to help them focus on the right vision, right responsibilities, right plan, right motive, and right position.
Learn more about Tiffany and SOAR on her website .
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
My childhood back story is laced with many challenges. I battled ovarian cancer at the tender age of 3 years and numerous other chronic illnesses until age 19. I missed the fun of growing up, but as I entered into my adulthood, I made a conscious decision to own my life’s story and rewrite it with passion, purpose, and impact. I learned to SOAR Beyond any challenge life sent my way and to choose joy in every moment.
What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.
Surviving a disease with a mortality rate of 20% inspired me to pursue a career which would give me the space and opportunity to be the voice of courage, change, and triumph. I chose to turn my survivor story into a platform for helping others move from surviving to thriving in every area of their life. Along the journey, I met many people who encouraged me. They showed me what it meant to fight even when the odds are stacked against you. Jordan fought her cancer battle and won while teaching me the power of winning even when it means you have to let go of those you love. My mom taught me humility and resilience in her fight with chronic kidney disease. She helped me see joy and happiness are inside jobs and I must always be willing to put in the work. These individuals help me be a better Coach each day.
None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?
Raymond Easley was a man of faith, wisdom, and was the one person who encouraged me through every struggle I endured. The summer prior to my Freshman year in college I had major brain surgery and there were many complications which left me completely debilitated. Raymond (Uncle Gene) as I affectionally called him, encouraged me to push through the challenges and never give up on going to college. I entered college and on graduation day, my uncle was in the stand to see me graduate.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?
In 2008 I had reached a crossroad in my career which would require me to make a difficult decision of staying in my comfort zone or moving on to something new. At the time I had a supervisor who saw my level of potential and challenged me to apply for a position. After my internal battle of whether I was a good fit for the job, I decided to apply for the position; but kept procrastinating about when to complete the process. As I am sitting at my desk, my supervisor asks me to come to her office and has me take a seat in her chair, pull up the application on her computer and submit the application at that very moment. A few weeks later, I was chosen for the job. I learned so much from that one moment which still guides me today. First, never take time for granted. I could have missed a great opportunity. Second, always be open to receive guidance from your leaders. The final lesson was in order to grow you oft times have to change your environment.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?
I am currently developing The Tiffany Easley Show. This show brings fun, fabulousness and fashion to the forefront for the Survivor THRIVERTM and their SOARing Lifestyle. I will introduce our viewers to my THRIVETribeTM and fellow survivors who will share from their area of expertise. We will provide our viewers with insight, inspiration, and information to assist them along their journey from trauma to triumph.
You are a successful leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?
Vision — while battling cancer as a young child, I always envisioned starting a business to help others who faced chronic illness by providing them with resources, strategies, and tools to successfully navigate their diagnosis.
Strategy — I created SOAR as the strategy my company uses to serve their clients. This strategy connects 5 of our key principles and helps us fulfill our vision.
Collaboration — I cannot run my company alone. It takes a team, and it takes collaboration. We are better together. I value the input of my various coaches, web team, design team, and production team.
For the benefit of our readers, can you briefly let us know why you are an authority about the topic of finding joy?
I am an authority on finding joy because when life gave me every reason to be unhappy and without joy, I found joy and embrace it every day. I embrace joy in my personal and professional life always remembering that having joy is a choice that I will always make.
Ok, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview about finding joy. Even before the pandemic hit, the United States was ranked at #19 in the World Happiness Report. Can you share a few reasons why you think the ranking is so low, despite all of the privileges and opportunities that we have in the US?
I find this ranking to be very eye opening; yet not surprising. I believe many in the United States are not happy because they are expecting things to make them happy. Happiness and joy are inside jobs, requiring a level of self-awareness, accountability, and responsibility. If you want to be happy and experience joy, it is a personal choice which requires personal action each day.
What are the main myths or misconceptions you’d like to dispel about finding joy and happiness? Can you please share some stories or examples?
- Joy and happiness are not contingent upon what others think about you. When I became an entrepreneur, I was focused on what others thought about me. Their opinions of my “why” mattered more than my own. I learned that I had to believe in my “why” and when I believed they would respect my choice to believe.
- Joy and happiness do not have a price tag and cannot be bought. You must first desire to have joy and happiness. Once you have the desire you are willing to put in the work to maintain it. As I built my business, I learned to remove anything that hindered me from maintaining my joy and happiness.
In a related, but slightly different question, what are the main mistakes you have seen people make when they try to find happiness? Can you please share some stories or examples?
People attribute joy and happiness to tangible things. You can only find joy and happiness when you truly find yourself. When I found myself and my “why” which is to help others SOAR, I found joy and happiness.
Fantastic. Here is the main question of our discussion. Can you please share with our readers your “5 things you need to live with more Joie De Vivre, more joy and happiness in life, particularly during turbulent times?” (Please share a story or an example for each.)
- Self-Awareness — Be true to who you are and embrace your uniqueness. When I understood who I was and began to show up as my true self, I was able to help others in the most authentic way.
- Peace — Let peace be your thermometer in life. This has been a constant in my life for many years. Peace will guide you during the most chaotic times in life and business, seek peace and find your way to greatness
- Collaboration — we all need assistance. We cannot build a business alone. Learn to collaborate with others and work together to reach your goals.
- Vision — without vision there is no direction. Create a vision so you know where you are going. I started my business with a vision to be an on-line resource and as I continue to develop the vision I am able to elevate the on-line business strategy.
- Strategy — you must plan. Understanding the bottom line and where you desire to go is necessary. You cannot grow a business with a strategy. Being strategic looks at the bottom line and develops a plan to make it happen.
What can concerned friends, colleagues, and life partners do to effectively help support someone they care about who is feeling down or depressed?
As friends, colleagues, and life partners, it is important to listen first to understand and without judgement. Let the other person know you are present in the moment with them and for them. Only offer advise if asked and remember to treat them as you would want to be treated if the tables were turned.
Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
I would unleash the SOAR Movement. Inspiring everyone to tap into their greatness, live their best life and help someone else.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂
How can our readers further follow your work online?
LinkedIN: @ Tiffany R Easley
Facebook: @Tiffany R Easley Enterprises
Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success and good health!