Don’t Wait for Your Ship to Come in—Piecka

Author of Book: Dr. Gary Wood
Date Read: March 16, 2023

Book Report

Book: Don’t wait for your ship to come in…Swim out to meet it

Author: Dr. Gary Wood

Genre: Non-Fiction

Why I Read This Book:

This book was pointed out to me not in the usual ways. Not in the Prison Library. Not referenced in another book I read. But instead, it was referred to me by my parents who were watching CNN and the author Dr. Gary Wood was speaking in an interview and behind him was a picture of this book so my parents liked the title and sent it to me. 

In Federal Prison you do A LOT of waiting. Waiting for the next meal, waiting for count to clear so you can go outside, waiting for your show to come on TV, etc. One thing you could find yourself waiting forever to happen and it never does is waiting for the Bureau of Prisons to help you better yourself and reach your goals. When it comes to bettering yourself, it is 100% on you in Prison, as well as in Outside life.

In his book “Don’t wait…”, Dr. Gary Wood gives you real world, proven techniques to help you jump start your attitude, set goals using research-backed tools and techniques, and uses positive reinforcement to get you moving toward your goals. 

His book is divided into 3 parts:

Insight–Recognizing the need to change.

Ownership–Take stock of your life and set a direction for change.

Action–Reach out and start “doing”.

When you are serving time in Prison, change is obviously needed. Otherwise, you will exit Prison the same person as you entered but since the World continues to move forward while you were away, you could be actually further behind. “Don’t wait…” can be the book you need to actually pull yourself ahead in life and leave Prison with a running start. Or swimming start….

What I Learned From This Book:

A baby learning to walk is very different than a fly trying to leave through a window. The baby uses observation plus trial and error countless times, making adjustments along the way, recognizing what works and what doesn’t, observe some more and repeat some more, and eventually, the Goal of walking like everyone else is achieved. 

The fly simply tries the same thing over and over and over, bashing into a closed window even when another part of the window is open!!  Repeat without change until you die. How does that sound?

When it comes to goal setting, are you the baby or the fly? Do you set SMART (Simple, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, Time Specific) goals or just a random New Year’s resolution that you know will not last more than a month and quickly give up until next year and repeat? Dr. Gary Wood does an excellent job using proven research from other books and studies to explain why it is important to do the simple exercises in the book to understand your inner-self, your values, and your motivations so your goals can lead to serious ACTION. 

“Don’t wait…” is also another book that stresses the importance of proper breathing and meditation to limit stress that can deter you from acting on the goals that you spent time setting. Basic abdominal breathing and count and hold abdominal breathing force you to relax (stress leads to shallow breathing and weakened brain function), make a proper mind-body connection, and the results are slower heart rate, normalized blood pressure, improved digestion, increased energy, improved concentration, improved memory, and even may help make sex more enjoyable. SOLD!!!! In all seriousness, all of this makes your body ready to focus on your goals and take improved action towards them. 

Dr. Wood also stresses the importance of visualizing yourself acting on your goals, seeing yourself take proper action and see yourself having success so your brain believes it already has the roadmap when you physically start acting on your goals. There was a study that showed basketball players that strictly “visualized” shooting free-throws improved almost as much as those players that actually practiced them and the “visual” group improved MORE than those players that did nothing. Again, a proper mind-body connection is key to achieving success and goal setting. 

Why I Will Have Success Because Of This  Book:

Serving time inside Federal prison forces you to do 1 thing more than any–Think:

–Think about what you’ve done.

–Think about what you have NOT done.

–Think about what you will do.

As I said earlier but I think is worth repeating, if you choose to simply “serve your time” while in Prison by sleeping and watching TV, then you will exit Prison the same person as you entered…And how did that work out? Technically, the World is still moving forward while you are in Prison so you will actually be further behind compared to when you started. How does THAT sound?

However, if you want to know how to set PROPER goals, how to set up your mind-body connection for success, and how to actually “get going” to achieve success, “Don’t wait…” by Dr. Gary Wood is a MUST read while you are in Prison.

Personally, I never put much thought into the “science” behind setting goals. I simply thought it was:

1. Set goals.

2. Go!

3. Don’t stop until complete.

Instead, now that I have read this book, I know where my important/core values stand according to what goals I want to focus on, what my strengths and weaknesses are when it comes to beliefs, actions, and attitudes so I can avoid setting goals that are a waste of time (in other words, spend time focusing on your strengths and not trying to improve your weaknesses), and what techniques I will use to keep stress down and energy and focus up. 

As a sort of Bonus, in the last Chapter, Dr. Wood gives an extensive list of extra reading materials and even films to watch to help inspire you to learn more. 

One final side note–Dr. Gary Wood is English so you will notice some words are spelled differently but they are not spelled wrong. 

About Me:

My name is Jeff Piecka and I was sentenced to 34 months in a Federal Prison Camp in Oxford, WI after committing a white collar crime several years ago. I immediately plead guilty and self-surrendered on June 6, 2022. Before self-surrendering, I promised my wife and family that I WILL exit Prison a better husband, son, brother, Christian, future employee, and overall better member of society because I am going to better myself in three ways:

1) Physically–Not just for vanity purposes but a better operating body equals a better operating mind.

2) Mentally–Reading only non-fiction books, newspapers, papers, and magazines that educate and elevate my mind and expand my vocabulary. 

3) Spiritually–For ME, this means learning more from the Bible but it can also mean whatever “Greater Good” you believe in. 

Shortly after self-surrendering and reading Michael Santos’s book “Earning Freedom–Conquering a 45 Year Prison Term”, it inspired me to want to help just 1 person who is possibly heading to Prison so I started emailing my family Posts that my sister uses to post as a Blog on Reddit dot com called “Letters From Federal Prison”. I believe to date it has over 15,000 views and shares plus there are several comments from people advising that the Blog has helped them. This has motivated me to keep writing (which I have NEVER done anything like this before) and REALLY want to help more people when I return to society at the end of the year.