Everyday personal growth. It is so important for us to heal and put good things into our minds, especially with the inane social media posts, the noise of the bickering news, and the seemingly moral decline of society.

Have you ever noticed how often we equate success with more? Whether that’s more products, more profits, more activities or more accomplishments, we buy into the belief that we have to do more to have more to be more. And that will sum up to success. And then along comes The Great Resignation. Where employees are signaling that the “more” that’s being offered — even more pay, more perks, and more PTO — isn’t summing up to success for them. We visited with leaders who are redefining what success means now. Their answers might surprise you.

As a part of this series I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Douglas Robbins.

Douglas Robbins started his writing journey from a tender age when one of his teachers tasked the class with composing a poem. In that moment, he discovered the profound potency of words, an unparalleled revelation.

According to Robbins, “With time, I delved into writing more earnestly, for it was the only vocation that ever resonated with me. It wasn’t so much a deliberate career choice as it was a necessary step.”

As Robbins progressed through his formative years, pursued higher education, and entered the workforce, he persevered in writing during his spare moments. Amidst the frustration of successive dead-end jobs, he ultimately resolved to take a leap of faith into the only profession that truly made sense. He elucidated:

“After enduring years of waking up unfulfilled and dreading each day in my thankless corporate job, I made a pivotal decision. Despite having limited funds in my bank account, I resolved that if I were to determine my fate, it would be through the craft of the pen.”

In 2019, he unveiled “Narican: The Cloaked Deception,” his inaugural work in a captivating sci-fi series.

Released last year, “Love in a Dying Town,” is a poignant narrative of struggle, love, and unwavering commitment set against the backdrop of a declining factory town. He will be releasing Baseball Dreams and Bikers coming on 10/24.

Robbins currently resides in proximity to the serene Catskill Mountains alongside his wife and family. He finds solace and exhilaration in motorcycling and the discipline of martial arts.

Thank you for making time to visit with us about the topic of our time. Our readers would like to get to know you a bit better. Can you please tell us about one or two life experiences that most shaped who you are today?

My name is Douglas Robbins, and I am the author of six books including the upcoming Baseball Dreams and Bikers due out 10/24. I am also the host of the popular podcast the Den of Discussion where topics range from mental health to spirituality to writing and politics, anything that touches the human condition. I live just outside of the Catskill Mountains in NY with my family, dog Zeke and cat Jasper.

Absolutely, so one, I think the formative years, like many, chiseled my sense of self and my sense of the world. School never felt right. And I don’t mean from being awkward, which of course it was, but there seemed to be some deception, some lie, that was not being discussed. This belief encouraged me to write and to find my own truth.

And two, because of this, I felt unseen. My writing informs this idea that we all want to be seen. And that so much is swept under society’s rug.

We all have myths and misconceptions about success. What are some myths or misconceptions that you used to believe?

This is such an important topic that really gets at the root we as individuals and our society suffer from. My belief had also been that is comes from the outside and outside only: that possessions and goods equal success. That’s the brainwashing that school and society inculcate. And as kids you don’t have a deeper sense of that meaning. Of course, it’s nice to have things and go on trips, but there is much more to success than has been forced down our throats. We are more than shiny baubles.

How has your definition of success changed?

As a kid and then a teen I don’t think I understood much as we’re all just shuffling through the system trying to figure it out while dealing with shame and awkwardness while developing and figure out our place in the world…. But deep within my psyche I knew that much we had been told was a lie: nationalism, consumerism, religion, race, social-economic status, these taught pillars of beliefs we get trapped within and isolate us creating a never-ending cycle of want to chase the carrot of consumerism. Where was community? Where was humanity?

In junior high school, I could hang out at different tables and groups during lunch though I never felt part of any of them…Strength in numbers? Like mindedness? I didn’t have this. Not completely anyway. I also didn’t care about Jordache jeans, and this isolation scarred me deeply.

In the woods near my home was the only place I ever felt safe and truly connected. It wasn’t about want but being. And in those moments, I felt peace and success.

The pandemic, in many ways, was a time of collective self-reflection. What changes do you believe we need to make as a society to access success post pandemic?

I think collectively people are slowly waking up to what’s truly important. Is it working 80 hours a week so you can buy x? Or is it spending more quality time with people we love?

I saw a meme recently that said the only people who will remember all the late-nights and missed dinners, are your kids.

i remember living in NYC during 9/11 and it was the worst of humanity, but it also brought out the best of humanity. There was kindness and compassion on the streets everywhere you went. Crime rates disappeared…Then a few days later, President Bush said to go back and shop again to buy stuff…For a fleeting moment humanity trumped society and capitalism. That same notion is bubbling up again and gaining traction to live more meaningful lives.

What do you see as the unexpected positives in the pandemic? We would love to hear a few of your stories or examples.

The pandemic really shifted the dynamic of work, location, and work-life balance. I live about two hours north of New York City and ever since 2020 so many people have left the city and moved here. The virtual working has shifted the demographic. People have been leaving cities across the country in droves, moving to more affordable places.

A hundred plus years ago people moved to cities for employment, off the farms, but that is no longer the case. Now they are leaving the cities for peace of mind. I wouldn’t want to raise my kid in the craziness, pollution, depravity, and grime of the city. Here we have fresh air, farms, fresh running water and great beauty. I love the city, but don’t want to live there again.

Plus, there’s no traffic here.

We’re all looking for answers about how to be successful now. Could you please share “5 Ways To Redefine Success Now?”

Okay, 5 ways to redefine success.

One, everyday personal growth. It is so important for us to heal and put good things into our minds, especially with the inane social media posts, the noise of the bickering news, and the seemingly moral decline of society.

Healing is imperative to one’s success. So often we want to run from the things inside that bother us. But truth be told, we must run toward these issues. You heal it once and you’re done. If not, you will be hounded by this unresolved pain forever and you will never reach that success you want.

Two, doing something you love. Hold on tight. Life is a bumpy road and not a straight line. So many pulls at us to give up and give in. Don’t do it. Hold on tight to what you love. Don’t let the pain and fear beat you. Besides, it’s mostly just in your head anyway.

Three. Honoring others to be their best is a key to success as well. Hopefully, the era of the damaging narcissist is coming to an end. They are selfish and damaged people who only care about themselves. We are here to love and expand, but wounds can prevent that from happening. This is why we must heal ourselves along the journey. When one is happy one is not usually greedy, but when one is hurt and damaged, that’s where anger, selfishness and destruction reside. As the saying goes, hurt people hurt people.

Four. One must understand their convictions and their boundaries. If not, we are flapping in the wind. What do we stand for? What are we willing to do? And what lines are we unwilling to cross for good and bad?

Five. We just honor our truths and live a meaningful life. You cannot live an authentic life walking in another’s shadow or being a lesser, inferior version of someone.

How would our lives improve if we changed our definition of success?

It you change intent and focus everything changes. No more pitting people against each other. No more corporations owning the public arena, politics, and controlling the narrative. If they are not in it for the betterment of humanity than they are at odds with humanity. Humanity evolves as can each one of us. So, we can no longer pay for their short-term record profits, keeping us all entrapped. By shifting our priorities, everything would change for the better.

If society was more about community than much of what plagues us, would simply disappear.

What’s the biggest obstacle that stands in the way of our redefined success? And what advice would you offer about overcoming those obstacles?

Personally, that we listen to these external voices of materialism. If materialism is your identity, you may want to reevaluate why. And on a larger scale, societally, what holds us back is the old guard. The old industries that don’t want to change, the old ideas perpetuating the same failed myths. The old definitions of what success means. Capitalisms is very powerful and we all like stuff.

Where do you go to look for inspiration and information about how to redefine success?

Nature, or on the road riding my motorcycle, seeing new things creates new thoughts, new beliefs. I love to read or take self-improvement courses or listen to a podcast that inspires me. What goes in becomes us. If we are what we eat, well, we are what we think and what information we consume.

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, with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He, she or they might just see this if we tag them.

Ed Mylett is very successful across the board. He also has an inspiring podcast that is always food for thought and healing.

Pema Chodron is a Zen Buddhist monk who taught me in one of her books, that life is always change. It doesn’t begin when we reach solid ground.

David Goggins Ex-Navy Seal is an inspiring force of nature who has transformed his life from being 300 pounds to become ultra-marathon runner among other things.

Bernie Sanders because standing for principles matter and in politics they matter even more.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

They can find me at douglasrobbinsauthor.com. As mentioned, I have new book coming out 10/24 called Baseball Dreams and Bikers. eBook pre-sale is available now. They can also find me at my podcast The Den of Discussion.

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this. We wish you continued success and good health.

Thanks. This has been great.