Preparing Goals That Lead to Happiness and Success

By · Friday, November 2nd, 2007

With more than 20 years of prison behind me, I expect to serve somewhere between 51 and 63 more months as a federal prisoner. Because I am an old-law inmate, prison officials must compute my good time differently from most others. Besides that, I have a sliver of parole eligibility. On account of those complications, I cannot be certain of when officials will release me.

As far as I know, I am the only old-law prisoner confined at Taft Camp. I’m currently disputing the method administrators use to calculate my release date. Either way, with a worst-case scenario of 63 more months of confinement (inclusive of six months anticipated halfway house), I find it more important than ever to prepare for release.

During the past 243 months that I’ve served, I’ve used goals to guide me through this term. That strategy has helped me immensely, and I will continue to rely upon both short- and long-term goals as I move forward. I am preparing an outline for that goal-setting project now. The goals will relate to the life I anticipate leading upon release. My hopes are to build a career that allows me to draw upon my experiences. Navigating through a quarter century of confinement brings skills and strategies that I want to share with others.

Many people suffer through obstacles in life. I read about problems in society with alcoholism, obesity, personal finance, divorce, and other struggles. Yet the same disciplined, calculated approach that has helped me thrive through confinement can help others find peace and balance and stability. I am preparing for a career to help others master strategies that will enable them to conquer adversity.

Although prisoners, or people confronting the criminal justice system, may find value in my work, the strategies I want to share will lead anyone to a more fulfilling life. I am striving to package the lessons I have learned in an effort to help others harness the power of the human spirit. My experience as a long-term prisoner proves that we can rely upon that power to transcend temporary circumstances and forge our way into brighter, more satisfying futures.

As I did in 2003 when I moved into my final decade of confinement, in January I will publish a detailed strategy to carry me through my final five years of this term. I take this responsibility of goal setting very seriously, as I am convinced that goals represent an essential component success. The written list of goals becomes the compass ro road map I rely upon to thrive through adversity.

Announcing clearly-defined goals by writing and publishing the list is an essential component of the strategy. In identifying the goals, we simultaneously encourage others to hold us accountable.

  1. When we say what we intend to achieve
  2. Conceptualize a plan to help us succeed
  3. Make consistent progres toward those goals
  4. We build upon our self-esteem and our sense of efficacy.

Those who follow my work will find that the goals I set relate to a hierarchical set of values in my life. My hopes are that they will lead to happiness and success. As I have learned from the wisdom of Ghandi, I create happiness and success when everything I say, and everything I think, and everything I do, is in harmony.

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