Seven Habits of Highly Successful Prisoners–Article Six

By · Monday, February 9th, 2009

Prisoners Should Synergize

By practicing each of the seven habits of highly successful prisoners, remarkable goals can be achieved. When prisoners apply the strategies consistently and deliberately over time, however, a synergy ensues. Synergy creates conditions that make the total effect greater than the sum of the individual effects.

When people in prison launch proactive adjustment patterns, they remove a measure of dependency on prison administrators. Instead of yielding one’s success, or the potential for success, to administrators who set policies, rules, and dictate the infrastructure, the proactive prisoner charts his own course to success.

Prisoners who possess a clear vision of how they want to emerge will focus instinctively on the steps they must first take. They also understand the steps that must follow. Successful prisoners recognize that the surest and shortest distance between two points is a straight line. They advance through their sentences with purposeful, deliberate decisions, ensuring that each step advances their course.

By understanding their environment, prisoners who serve their sentences with a deliberate focus can position themselves to make each day productive. Neither the environment itself, nor their perception of the environment will block their progress. Rather than lamenting over the deprivations through which all prisoners must endure, they focus on the advantages available to them.

In their adjustments, successful prisoners are able to set goals that co-opt others. By creating strategies that enhance the lives of others, the successful prisoner invites others to accept a vested interest in his life. In so doing, prisoners succeed in bolstering their network of support. Rather than serving his sentence as a helpless whiner, complaining about all that has been taken away, the prisoner who adjusts with deliberate focus strengthens those around him while simultaneously strengthening himself.

Each strategy in and of itself will ease a prisoner’s adjustment. When the prisoner embraces them all, however, he can achieve specific goals that others deem impossible for anyone living within the restrictions of confinement. Synergy empowers the individual to serve his sentence from a position of strength rather than weakness.

In my article describing the Quadrant Theory, I offer lessons on how synergy and positive adjustments have powered me through more than 21 years in prison.

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