I try to see each new unexpected event as an opportunity. As an entrepreneur, almost every day brings something unplanned, and it’s not always a good surprise. I lean into each new situation and just make the best out of it. I work on detaching myself from what I can’t control, so that it doesn’t bog me down and I focus on action around what I can control. Onward and upward!
I had the pleasure of interviewing Julie Campistron, Co-Founder & CEO of Stop, Breathe & Think. The app features a personalized experience with an emotional check-in that allows you to be aware of your mental state, track your mental wellness over time and engage in short mindfulness activities that are tuned to your emotions. To date, over 13M emotional check-ins have happened through Stop, Breathe & Think, and recent academic research has proven the impact of the app on anxiety decrease. The app won the 2017 Webby People’s Voice Award for Best Health App and is paving the way for kids, teens and adults alike to raise the way to everyday emotional wellness.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I have been an executive in the tech space for the last 18 years. The year I turned 40, I realized it had become increasingly important for me to focus my time on a business with a mission I was passionate about, and that had meaning. When Jamie offered me to be the CEO of Stop, Breathe & Think, I found a company that was doing good, and making a true impact, and that was the path I wanted my career to take.
What does it mean for you to live “on purpose”? Can you explain? How can one achieve that?
It means two things to me. The first is the idea of putting your intention out there. I don’t believe in very structured life plans. Nothing in life really goes according to plan in the first place. But I do believe in setting direction, and that’s what I mean by “sharing your intention with the universe”. I think communicating your goal and taking regular action towards it helps make it happen. The milestones might not be the ones you intended, but ultimately the fact of living “on purpose”, with intention, will get you there. The second is having alignment with who you are, your values, what is important to you. Whether it’s spending focused time with those you love, applying the values that are important to you to how you work, or dedicating time to the activities you cherish, living “on purpose” is making sure you stay true to what matters to you.
Do you have an example or story in your own life of how your pain helped to guide you to finding your life’s purpose?
I’m not sure pain helped me find my life’s purpose, but it has definitely helped me know myself much better, and the path I wanted to take. I lost my father to cancer when I was 21. At the time of his death, I did what I did best at that time. I put up my armor, I got real tough, and I plowed through. But quickly the armor cracked, the grief was there alongside a lot of unresolved issues I had around my father, and I went into a depression. With the help of a good therapist at the time (and I so wish I had known about mindfulness then!), I was able to lean into that pain, and through it understand so much about who I was, and what was important to me. Since then, each painful moment in my life has been a growing opportunity, and I am grateful for what I have learned through that journey.
The United States is currently rated at #18 in the World Happiness Report. Can you share a few reasons why you think the ranking is so low?
It’s hard to answer this question without feeling like you are grossly generalizing, but I feel like we are still too focused on materialism, what people think of us and how what we own can impact that. We are a society addicted to instant gratification and quick “highs” that consumerism tends to exacerbate. Instead, the ability to focus on what you have now, relationships, real moments of connections with others, nature or culture, brings more sustainable satisfaction and helps promote a sense of peace and happiness.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
Stop, Breathe & Think’s mission is to make emotional wellness tools accessible to all, in particular younger generations. We believe that if we succeed, it will lead to more kind people, compassionate communities and a peaceful world.
What are your 6 strategies to help you face your day with exuberance, “Joie De Vivre” and a “ravenous thirst for life”? Can you please give a story or example for each?
1. Most days I start my morning by watching the sunrise. I love how each day is so different, and I am always in awe of what patchwork of colors each sunrise brings. It inspires me and gives me some good, positive and serene energy that carries through the day.
2. My 8 year old son is a living example of “ravenous thirst for life”. Hanging out with him always brings me a ton of joy. His energy is incredibly contagious and any time I need a boost of “joie de vivre”, I chat with him; about his passions (he has many) or his projects (he has even more).
3. I try to see each new unexpected event as an opportunity. As an entrepreneur, almost every day brings something unplanned, and it’s not always a good surprise. I lean into each new situation and just make the best out of it. I work on detaching myself from what I can’t control, so that it doesn’t bog me down and I focus on action around what I can control. Onward and upward!
4. I go for it. When I’m about to take a risk and shake things up, I ask myself “what is the worse that can happen”? And most of the time that “worse case scenario” isn’t that bad in comparison to the adventure, learning opportunity and upside of taking the chance. Whether moving to the US from France 18 years ago, or becoming the CEO of Stop, Breathe & Think, I feel that challenging yourself to doing things that scare you a little is a way to embrace life and “live on purpose”
5. I end each day by acknowledging what I am grateful for, what went well that day, and it helps me ease into sleep.
6. And when all else fails…..I smile. Feels a little silly sometimes, but I swear it works. Oh, and I also call my girlfriends. Nothing like a good BFF to get your moral back up, make you laugh, and reinforce that grateful feeling.
Do you have any favorite books, podcasts, or resources that most inspired you to live with a thirst for life?
I love fiction and big “saga novels”. Those stories are always full of adventures and unexpected twists. They have made me curious of what’s in store for me, good and bad. Life is such a wild roller-coaster that I can’t help but want to know what’s going to happen next 😉
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” that relates to having a Joie De Vivre? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh. This quote to me illustrates how important attitude is. Even if circumstances aren’t joyful, if you decide to smile, it can make your context change. This is hard to do sometimes and still work in progress for me!
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
We are collaborating with experts on some powerful new programs that will launch in Q1. More to come soon…..
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I don’t have to look very far! Through Stop, Breathe & Think, we are already inspiring a movement. Its goal is to bring accessible emotional wellness tools to kids everywhere, and help them build their resilience and a compassionate attitude towards themselves and others.
Thank you so much for joining us.