Imagine your perfect life. What would you be doing? Where would you be living? How would you be using your skills and talents? Who would you be with? Redefining success means re-creating your life so it fits who you are now (not some image of yourself in the past that may no longer be current).
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 Rena Greenberg.
Rena Greenberg is an author, healthcare expert, and educator whose programs are sponsored by over 75 US hospitals and 100 major US corporations, including Disney, Home Depot, and AT&T. She has helped over 200,000 people find their journey to health.
Rena’s weight loss and smoking cessation programs as well as her organic CBD line of wellness products, have been featured widely in the national press.
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?
From a young age, I discovered a creative power that I could tap into to lift up my circumstances. I was at the time, attending a mediocre public high school in Somerset, New Jersey. My parents were riddled with financial worry and expensive college was not on the table.
One day, I was sitting in Art class, flipping through a box of college catalogs. The name, Fashion Institute of Technology, jumped out at me. Filled with newfound enthusiasm I read about this thriving campus in the heart of New York City, with deep-rooted connections to international industry. I was sold.
I knew in my heart, FIT in Manhattan, was where I belonged. Enthusiastically, I made an appointment with my guidance counselor, who informed me that I would never get into FIT and no-one from Franklin High School ever got into FIT.
Did her negative prediction stop me? No! Why? Because I felt a deep connection to a creative force within me. I proceeded to enter and win two art contests. One of the “prizes” was the “opportunity” to paint a mural on a local junior high school library wall. Pictures of this mural along with other art I put together and an essay are what got me accepted into Fashion Institute of Technology (financing was taken care of), and started my life at the age of 17, living in New York City, fulfilling my greatest fantasy.
Within two years of living in New York, I was the recipient of another “miracle.” One day, out of the blue, a young woman I hardly knew, who worked across the hall from me, asked me, “How would you like your own rent-controlled apartment?” “Definitely!” I responded. She invited me to come home with her that day on the F Train, so she could introduce me to her landlord, in Park Slope, Brooklyn. That day, at the age of 19, I secured my own apartment, across from beautiful Prospect Park, which I enjoyed for 10 years, living practically rent-free.
I love these stories because these experiences paved the way for me to have so much faith in possibility, no matter what the circumstances.
Future “miracles” included creating a weight loss and wellness program that was reviewed and sponsored in over 75 hospitals and 100+ corporations, such as Disney and Home Depot, and helping over 200,000 people break free from addiction and lose weight.
That then led to Hay House publishing my first book and PBS airing a special on my weight loss program about how to tap into the mind using hypnosis for permanent weight loss.
Through my work, some of my clients lost over 100 pounds and were featured with me on Good Morning America, Nightline, The Doctors Show and over 165 TV and news stories. Believing and experiencing first hand that anything is possible when you put your heart and efforts in the right place, also gave me the resources to later create a top CBD brand. These are some of the experiences that have shaped who I am today. Not focusing on limitation, but instead seeing unlimited possibility.
We all have myths and misconceptions about success. What are some myths or misconceptions that you used to believe?
I used to believe that success was only possible for privileged people.
How has your definition of success changed?
I now believe that success is possible for anyone who is willing to adopt a “success mindset.” This requires being realistic and listening to objections and concerns, but not allowing yourself to be controlled by fear or negativity. A success mindset necessitates connecting to the part of you that longs to create and share your positive power, creativity and gifts with the world. In my experience, when you are coming from your heart in this way, doors open, and everything you need shows up.
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?
For me, the number one thing is the realization of how interconnected we all are. The pandemic showed us this connectedness more than ever, especially early on, when it first hit. It’s sad to see how, over time, we as a collective, began pointing fingers and blaming each other for our responses and the escalating situation, rather than sticking together.
To me, that just points to an opportunity to understand ourselves and our human condition better. No matter what, it seems that we have been created to want to find an “other” and to be part of a tribe that is at odds against that “other.”
This happens in families, in work situations, and throughout the world, and has been especially highlighted these last few years.
At the same time, if we can recognize this destructive tendency, it’s an opening for us to contemplate what it would be like if we could expand our inner circle to include all of humanity — without needing to separate ourselves off into groups that attack and undermine each other, either overtly or subtly.
Bringing that to fruition would require developing excellent communication skills that would allow us to take in other people’s perspectives, without a demand to dominate with our own views.
The biggest takeaway from the pandemic is realizing our vulnerability as well as the value that each person contributes. As goods and services become scarce, the benefit of the pandemic may be to start to truly appreciate the supportive role so many people play in keeping our society functioning. The pandemic gives us the opportunity to increase our gratitude not just for our own friends and family, but for all of humanity.
What do you see as the unexpected positives in the pandemic? We would love to hear a few of your stories or examples.
We hear stories everyday about how the pandemic encouraged people to re-examine their lives and their priorities. I have a client, named Rocky, who came to me for weight loss in September 2020, about eight months into the pandemic. He was in a panic, at 307 pounds, and gaining. He told me he felt desperate to lose weight.
We did my signature Gastric Bypass Hypnosis program. During the hypnosis, I gave Rocky the suggestion that his stomach was smaller and he was happier with less food and healthier food. He had no actual surgery — it was all virtual! He ended up losing over 100 pounds. This story and so many other similar ones make me so grateful to be doing the work I do.
We’re all looking for answers about how to be successful now. Could you please share “5 Ways To Redefine Success Now?” (Please share a story or example for each.)
5 ways to Redefine Success Now
- Imagine your perfect life. What would you be doing? Where would you be living? How would you be using your skills and talents? Who would you be with? Redefining success means re-creating your life so it fits who you are now (not some image of yourself in the past that may no longer be current).
Often, we manage our lives by default — meaning we choose the easiest and most familiar path. Or, we simply keep repeating the same thoughts and mental movies that we were running yesterday (unconsciously). Self-hypnosis means consciously and mindfully choosing the life that you intend to create for yourself.
2. In the past, it may have seemed that more was always better. More things. More friends. More job opportunities. More food. It can be so refreshing to rethink the whole concept of wanting more and realize that often, less is far better — embracing quality, not quantity. My 95-year-old mother has a funny quote on her desk, “One good friend is worth 1000 relatives,” (Of course, my mother has wonderful relatives!).
When we really stop to appreciate all that we do have, it’s amazing how much happier we can actually be with less. During the pandemic, many of my clients down-sized, selling their bigger homes, exchanging their big house for a more quaint, comfortable, smaller dwelling, that embraced more of a community lifestyle.
Victoria is a client of mine who lost 80 pounds with my weight loss hypnosis system. She told me that she enjoys food so much more now that she is eating less. I love that! It’s so true that less of anything that is completely cherished and savored, can be worth so much more than a surplus of items/food/people that are not truly appreciated.
3. Redefining success means realizing what’s truly important. For many of us, it’s our time. Time is priceless. Time with loved ones. Time spent in nature. Time doing the things that make us happy. Time with creative pursuits. Time listening to music or appreciating art. Time exercising and feeling your body come alive. Time spent with your beloved pets. Time spent giving the kind of service you feel called to. Time spent in communion with your own Spirit. Time spent in silence.
Time is golden, precious and irreplaceable. Though you can lose your possessions and your money, no one can ever take your knowledge or memories from you. I think for many of us, the pandemic gave us an opportunity to re-think how and with whom we want to spend our time.
4. Striving for progress, and not demanding perfection, from yourself. So often, we approach life with a whip, being extra hard on ourself. Success means seeing how far you’ve come and all the positive changes you have already made in your life, and really acknowledging that and expressing gratitude to yourself for your personal transformation.
5. Success is changing the demands you have of other people and life and instead cultivating acceptance and appreciation. Lowering our expectations of others can be very freeing. That doesn’t mean settling. It does mean increasing our patience and tolerance. When we develop better communication skills, we are more able to articulate how we feel, what we want and why our desires mean so much.
When we can communicate these feelings more clearly to ourselves and others (without placing blame), it’s much more likely that our needs will be met. Demanding perfection only pushes people away and causes us to scare ourselves and others. Flooding yourself with thoughts of disappointment impresses upon you a sense of failure and hopelessness. Instead, it’s completely possible to re-write the subconscious program and infuse your mind with new images that guide you in getting your needs met while fostering love in your relationships, not resentment.
How would our lives improve if we changed our definition of success?
We would feel a greater sense of contentment, rather than the constant need to strive for more. Our nervous systems could relax and we could live from a place of peace and safety, rather than fear.
Interestingly, when the parasympathetic nervous system (the relaxation response) is activated, rather than the sympathetic — fight or flight mode — we have greater access to our own creativity and intelligence. Paradoxically, when we let go of the compulsion to strive and achieve, productivity and fulfillment are more likely to increase.
What’s the biggest obstacle that stands in the way of our redefined success? And what advice would you offer about overcoming those obstacles?
The biggest obstacle standing in the way of redefining success is our attachment to the old paradigm. Human beings are creatures of habit and change does not come easily for many of us. This, coupled with the deeply ingrained belief system that we have to do more, be more and have more in order to be worthy of all the gifts life has to offer, are two of the greatest obstacles.
The best way to overcome these challenges is to have a willingness to open our perspective and imagine a new possibility. Slowly, we can incorporate more relaxation time into our lives, enhance our communication skills to improve our relationships, and set the intention to increase our own self-awareness. These steps can begin to lead the way to transformation.
Where do you go to look for information and information about how to redefine success?
One of the blessings of the Internet is that there is so much information, and much of it is valuable. But you do need to dig to find it and be discerning. I recommend researching and exploring many sources of self-help, personal growth and spiritual development information to find ones that you resonate with.
Take your time and explore fully to avoid the pitfall of being consumed by the “dogma” of any one tribe. Having followed many healing and spiritual paths myself over the years, one of the hard lessons I learned is that people instinctively want to turn over their power to a leader or “Guru.”
There is no shortage of individuals leading groups, who believe and preach that their ideas are so much different and somehow better than any other. One red flag is if you are being pressured to accept or join in with any particular set of beliefs or doctrine. Mentors are wonderful and can be life-changing. However, when you are seeking, you are often in a vulnerable state, so my recommendation is to make sure whatever the source of your life-changing information is, it leads you to a state of empowerment, and is not ultimately dis-empowering.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
My spiritual and personal growth, wellness, weight loss and hypnotherapy work can be found at: EasyWillpower.com.
My premium CBD line can be found at: RenasOrganic.com.
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this. We wish you continued success and good health.