In about three weeks, I will surrender to prison. It is a crisis in my life. In some ways, the challenge ahead feels frightening. By writing these daily journals, I am able to stay positive, focusing on what I am able to do today rather than live in fear of what is to come. Focusing on the present moment helps us to build a deliberate plan for the future.
I may not be able to accelerate the turning of calendar pages, but I can use the present moment to follow a strategy that I have learned through my first seven decades of life. That strategy requires that I take methodical steps:
Step 1: I must define success as the best possible outcome.
Step 2: I must come up with a plan that will guide me from where I am to the outcome I want to achieve.
Step 3: I must put priorities in place.
Step 4: I must develop my tools, tactics, and resources to emerge from this experience stronger.
Step 5: I must make adjustments as external circumstances expose me to change.
Step 6: I must hold myself accountable, always advancing the plan.
Step 7: I must stick with this plan, even when the crisis feels unbearable.
I know that I cannot change the past, and I cannot predict the future. But I can control the present moment. So I am choosing to focus on the present moment, and to make the most of it. Writing these daily journal entries opens this opportunity to make the most of my time with the people I love, my wife Vivian, our daughters Dina, Jenan, Katrina, and our eight grandchildren.
Each day, I wake up and I set an intention for the day. My intention is usually something simple, like to be kind to myself and others, or to be productive and make progress on my goals. Throughout the day, I check in with myself and ask myself if I am living in accordance with my intention. If I am not, I gently redirect my attention to the present moment.
For example, if I find myself worrying about the future, I take a few deep breaths and bring my attention back to the present moment. I ask myself three questions:
What is happening right now?
What am I feeling?
What am I grateful for?”
Focusing on the present moment helps me to stay positive and to stay focused on my goals. It also helps me to manage my stress and anxiety.
I know that my prison sentence will be challenging, but I am confident that I can get through it. I am committed to living in the present moment, and to making the most of each day.