The ultimate prize in life is to live our best lives. After your spiritual and family connections have been satisfied to a pleasing level, there is an inner yearning for something in each of us that we hope for, dream of, and strive to reach. You know, that happy place of dreams fulfilled and self-satisfaction where we can smile from the inside out because that void has been filled in us. In fact, that happy place magnifies in what we do, how we act, and what we say; thereby, creating a glow that others can see through us. Although, there are some who never react to that tingling, inner sensation to fulfill their void of self-satisfaction, more often than not, most people dream about or strive to follow their heart to live their life to the fullest. With that said, how you choose to live and what you strive for in your life is a personal choice. So for those who want it, we encourage you to do what it takes to live your best life, while never forgetting to give back.
For that reason, we have interviewed Robin Richie. Read along as she gives you her take on how you can “live your best life.”
Robin is a New York native. She is a mother, an award-winning multimedia entertainment producer and on-air personality, a highly acclaimed motivational public speaker, a brand consultant, and a creative muse.
In 2008, Robin formed and chaired a teen girl peer group entitled, “YES, Y.A.L.L.” (Young Anointed Ladies of Leadership) to provide insightful advice to girls and young women (ages 12 & up) about their struggles with peer pressure and self-esteem issues from a faith-based perspective.
Additionally, Ms. Richie is a celebrated writer, NYC Public School teaching artist and leadership developer, graphic arts designer, and a fashion runway director. She has 3 decades of high-end performance and production management experience.
In 2019, she was invited to participate in a focus group by the New York City Comptroller’s Office to offer recommendations for Increasing Opportunities for Minority/Women Business Owners Enterprises in New York City.
In 2016, Robin was acknowledged by the Honorable Ras J. Baraka, the Mayor of the City of Newark, New Jersey for her outstanding dedication to the City of Newark through her arts and entertainment platform.
In 2013, she was commemorated with a Congressional Proclamation for excellence as producer and host of her arts and entertainment cable television series “IMAGINE THAT! With Robin Richie” now online (www.imaginethatwithrobinrichie.com). Robin’s New York/New Jersey based, widely popular cable series, served as a formidable platform for renowned entertainers and emerging independent artists. Notable guests featured on the series include multi-Grammy Award winning musicians, Tony Award nominated directors, sports legends, Stellar Award winners, Oscar winning affiliates and a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee. As a result, September 28, 2013 was declared ROBIN RICHIE DAY in New York City.
3WV: Tell us about yourself. Who is Robin Richie?
Robin: I’m from the culturally rich mecca of Sugar Hill, Harlem in New York City. I am a mosaic of many things. First and foremost, I am a woman of FAITH who is spiritually discerning and driven. Secondly, I’m a multifaceted artist, creative director, entertainer, producer, host, writer and public speaker. I embody musical rhythms and love dancing, as if I’m onstage. Thirdly, interior design and photography are lifelong passions of mine. Additionally, I admit that I am also a transformational thinker who often notices what others overlook. Philosophical at my core, I enjoy meaningful conversations, but I am a standup comedian with my closest friends (hearty laugh). Further, as sociable as many know me to be, I am admittedly a bit of a recluse. However, my inner strength is a result of my immense faith in God. Keeping that in mind, I refrain from idle gossip and avoid spitefulness. In fact, a person’s integrity and content of character overrides the celebrity and wealth of an individual in my world. You see, who and how you are as a human being is far more relevant to me. With that said, my desire to see others succeed is both genuine and tremendous.
3WV: What does it mean to live your best life?
Robin: Living one’s best life, in my opinion, is opting to be “happy.” It is engaging life with intentional and purposeful actions that speak to the “here and now,” as well as sowing seeds of positivity in the lives of others. Thus, you are helping to cultivate a continuance of the legacy for future generations. In doing so, you ensure they are aware of, understand, and honor the importance of your ancestral teachings. Also, “Living your best life” is understanding every moment we are alive is an opportunity to do something meaningful that impacts others. Understanding, what might be a minuscule achievement for one person can be monumental for another; yet, realizing that both are equally relevant is key.
3WV: What makes you qualified to speak on the topic?
Robin: I could discuss my accomplishments, achievements, and accolades until the cows come home. However, thequestion is what do most people find truly relatable? Often, we look at our personal success as a barometer of proper measurement. In truth, though that is relative, I know overcoming some of my most difficult challenges where the circumstances looked bleak and were painfully disappointing, ultimately served as the catalyst for my personal victories. Also, I can chalk it up to lots of EXPERIENCE.
3WV: Are you living your best life? What made you choose to go for it?
Robin: I strive to do so. However, living my best life is a continuous process that requires work and maintenance, self-assessments, diligence, and taking occasional inventory of my immediate surroundings and those with whom I share my social circumference. For instance, I periodically ask myself, “Am I on course with my vision? How do I define who I am? Am I even close to living the life that I was purposefully born to live?” Once again for me, my greatest sustaining attribute is my faith.
I was raised in a single parent household by my beloved, late mother. She instilled in me at a very early age the desire to embrace excellence in whatever I did. My mother cheered me forward in all of my early childhood accomplishments. I loved how happy it made her to see me achieve in school, therefore, my earliest intentions were to continue to do so. Though there are a few loved ones in my life who are supportive of my endeavors today, I have never had that level of “consistent” encouragement since childhood.
In the past, dwelling on that absence lead to indescribable feelings of discouragement, self-doubt, and eventually depression. It was a slow, painful process of healing. Without question, it was by God’s grace and infinite mercy in my life that I eventually learned how to redirect those negative emotions in a way that allowed me to heal, while simultaneously, helping others. Further, I firmly believe that living your best life always involves some sort of servitude. Realizing, the world is full of people who’ve thrown in the towel for more reasons than can be counted. I admittedly have shared that same sentiment at different times in my past. However, I eventually discovered the towel I tried to toss away was glued to the inside of my hand (smile). I also come from an era where it was important to do something meaningful in my life, not just for my sake, but for that of my family, loved ones, and my community at large.
3WV: What is a typical day like for you?
Robin: Paying close attention to details is quintessential for me. I awaken quite early in the morning. I am an unapologetic multitasker who create proposals, marketing plans, fundraising pitches, designing visual concepts, and update my social media platforms, while others are getting their final winks of sleep before awakening to start their day. I also teach part-time, so I sometimes tweak my lesson plans, if need be. For instance, I am producing “Women: LEVEL UP NYC Empowerment Symposium” at the New York City Seminar & Conference Center on Saturday, July 20th. This requires a great deal of attention and effort to ensure it is as close to flawless (smile), as possible. I believe the participants and attendees deserve that. Contingent upon the event, project, or task, each day is different with multiple layers of preparation ALWAYS happening.
3WV: How do you handle the roadblocks, disappointments and negativity that come your way?
Robin: As for me in my house, prayer and more prayer! Sometimes, what appears to be a “roadblock” is actually DIVINE INTERVENTION. We’ve got to learn how to discern it as such. Often, I refer to my life as a bit of a “Cinderella story.” When I was 12 years old, my mother, who suffered from heart disease, had a stroke and eventually passed away. My life, as I had known it, was immediately turned upside down and became a roller coaster of uncertainty and great anxiety for several years.
At that time, as you can imagine, I was quite powerless. The flip side is I eventually wound up living in new surroundings, which began the course for lots of adventures, a few mishaps, tremendous blessings, and untold victories. Wisdom and mercy became my surrogates. Courage became my playmate. Not to mention, I had a beautiful stepmother, new friends, and a slew of activities that set me on the creative career path I’ve been on ever since. Out of all that sorrow, anguish, and pain, came many beautiful and wondrous occurrences.
Throughout the years, I’ve found myself having to “rise to the occasion” in many circumstances and arenas. For that reason, I don’t entertain negativity, and have little tolerance for those who make a career of that practice. In fact, I am a solution driven individual and tend to shy away from those whose choose to willfully languish in unpleasantries.
3WV: What were your fears and reservations in the beginning when you made the choice to live your best life?
Robin: For the first half of my life, I lived trying to “douse my own light” for the sake of others who appeared to be intimidated in some ways. I was always concerned that those same people had the wrong impression of me and didn’t know what I could do to appease them, other than to lessen myself.
There was also a time during the first half of my life when I was encapsulated by depression and fear, which began during my childhood. As an adult, it continued to grow in scope. It was never obvious to others because I camouflaged my personal torment behind the success of my talents, eventual entertainment career, and publicized accomplishments. My outer appearance never reflected how I truly felt on the inside. My faith wasn’t as powerful as it is today, either. For years, I suffered in silence. However, I knew I had a God-given ability to inspire and motivate others toward achieving greater measures of success in their lives. It is what sustained me and gave me self-value in my mind. It was almost like the mentality of a martyr. I was very self-sacrificing, internally. Surely, I wasn’t living my best life by any means.
3WV: Did anybody try to talk you out of it or think you were crazy for choosing to go for it?
Robin: I’m an unconventional artist and a “creative.” Sometimes, it’s difficult for a person who does not share those similarities to understand why you relentlessly pursue your vision, gift or craft. They have difficulty understanding that your gifts are like air – a necessity for your survival and well-being. All of the above, at some point, have applied to me. However, when in that sort of circumstance, you must hold steadfast to your faith to sustain you. You mustn’t try to convince others of your aptitude, worthiness or skill unless it’s a potential client or employer (smile). That’s not to say that you should be chasing “pipe dreams,” either. You must be realistic and practical in most instances, and willing to take calculated risks in others. It’s important to weigh the stakes, asking yourself, “Who is affected the most if you fail? Who benefits the most should you succeed?” It is important to avoid allowing others to project their fears onto your dreams, while in pursuit of elevation or happiness. Never forget that anyone who tries to diminish your accomplishments or lacks interest in knowing about your attempts to succeed is not in your corner.
3WV: What drives you?
Robin: GOD… [And] Seeing genuine smiles light up the faces of my lovely students. Also, wanting to leave a legacy that my beautiful, brilliant daughter will be proud of, and someday, will continue to foster.
3WV: How did you overcome the negatives of your past to persevere into the life you wanted? What have you learned about yourself?
Robin: It is my desire through my transparency, I will perhaps inspire your readers who have or are experiencing similar circumstances to persevere. You’ve got to believe that you are GREATER than your situation. I lost almost everything I owned and treasured because I gave up on ME, and this was all within the last decade. My soul ached and my spirit was WEARY. I was in an extremely vulnerable space and turned to many people for assistance for the first time in my life.
I did not know that the journey I was about to embark upon would contain insurmountable disappointments. Indeed, there were several friends and some family who vanished or changed. I was able to bear witness to what and who was false, envious, covetous, and much more, in my life. The veil was removed. Those things and people that were truly not edifying to my existence have since been eliminated. When the smoke cleared, I was still standing… me and GOD, hand-in-hand. Sometimes in life, we learn that those who we thought would be in our lives for a lifetime are only there for a season. Likewise, those whom we sometimes think are on the scene for a fleeting moment prove to be the most faithful and genuine, outlasting the others. Astonishingly, throughout all of this, I was still broadcasting my local, weekly cable television series; and occasionally, running a friend’s radio program on a multicultural station in NYC. My arts and entertainment series, “IMAGINE THAT! With Robin Richie,” ran for 18 consecutive seasons before transitioning to online. As quiet as it is kept, 2019 is the official 20th season.
3WV: What’s the best feeling about doing what you do? Describe it.
Robin: So many things come to mind. Exhilaration, when I’m in a classroom and my students have “Aha!” moments. Also, facilitating one of my motivational workshops and seeing the eyes of a forlorn woman suddenly ignite with the awareness of just how beautiful and capable she truly is, excites my spirit. I enjoy motivating others to excel in their undertakings. I have always enjoyed creating a formidable platform for others to shine.
3WV: In the beginning, did you stay true to your values or did you find yourself being a people pleaser? What about now?
Robin: I’ve always sought to maintain a balance between the two. I mentally try to place myself in the position of who’s on the receiving end of my actions. But, I’ve got to remain true to myself and/or the mission at hand. It’s the only thing I’ve had the most practice in doing (smile). However, at this juncture of my life, I am getting better at redirecting my interests to include myself in pleasures more often than ever before… without guilt (hearty laugh).
3WV: What concrete steps can you offer to someone who wants to live their best life?
Robin: I would advise them to:
- Set S.M.A.R.T. goals (should be specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic and timely).
- Surround themselves with people who are more knowledgeable in their course of study, who offers assistance, and who are not insecure about their progress.
- Seek the opinion of only those who are genuine and honest, and who provide a gentle reminder or a firm shake to stay on course, as needed.
- Choose their friends wisely. If they are not happy for your success or speak negatively when you share yours ideas and goals with them, STOP sharing your ideas and goals with them. They are dream killers and confidence bandits.
- Become for others what they wish to experience for themselves.
- Be certain to genuinely celebrate the successes of others.
- Be mindful of what they say regarding themselves and others. There is a biblical passage which states, “The power of ‘life’ and ‘death’ are in the tongue.” Truer words were never spoken.
- Speak “life” into their circumstances and over everything and everyone they care about. Keep in mind, if you have set goals for yourself, but anchor them in doubt, you are less likely to achieve them.
- Don’t allow yourself to be entertained by distractions or distractors. They will come in many forms of enticement.
- Look forward to what the half-full glass can hold, and never dwell on insignificant happenings.
- Live their truth and best life means because sometimes they’ve got to ask themselves difficult questions that require them to be accountable for their responses – good or bad. There is no magic blueprint or treasure chest to help you figure these things out. Your best life begins on the INSIDE of you. Your glow, essence, and persona will reflect that and people will be drawn to it.
- Refrain from comparing themselves to others and indulging in wasteful emotions, like envy and jealousy. You probably aren’t aware of the perilous roads they had to travel in order to achieve what they have.
- Operate in excellence every chance you get. But while doing so, always leave room for the “exceptional.” Now, GO FOR IT! I’m cheering for you!
3WV: How would someone reach you, if they want to contact you?
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