Over the past several years prison has instilled in me an unusual set of habits. In the morning I make my bed, if I don’t it bothers me. I tuck in my shirt when I leave my house, if the button seam doesn’t align with my zipper seam, I won’t leave until I make sure it is just so. I brush twice a day, usually three if I eat three meals (I can be a munch hound). I have a tendency to fill my time up with something, almost never am I just sitting there.

I am not saying that I am successful, I am in prison and far from it. However, I know from speaking with successful people that this is a quality that is necessary for my personal success. It’s how I lost 125 pounds, it’s why I am getting my Associates Degree, it’s why I can teach classes and create curriculum, it’s a big reason why I can change unhealthy habits within myself as I find them.

To me that is success. Being able to do things that are necessary to make yourself happy and at peace. It starts with doing the little things in life. don’t let your dishes pile up into a giant sink full before you do them. It literally takes less than 30 seconds to wash a glass. Surely you have 30 seconds, even if your in a hurry, in fact, 30 seconds is the average time of a commercial…just sayin’.

It means taking pride in what you present to people. Your home being neat and orderly and clean means that your life in general is matching. Not always, but, it at least is a damn good start. when you show up to a friends house and your car is the only one that is full of garbage and is being held together by the dirt…you cannot tell me that you do not notice it. I know, it used to be me.

Start doing the small things for yourself. Make your bed before you go to work or leave the house. You are less likely to get into it before it’s bedtime at least. Take the time to look good before you leave to go meet people. Even if your just going to the grocery store, I am not saying put on the stilettos to buy watermelon…I mean brush your hair and look presentable. I can promise you that as I go to everyday places I am going to be looking for social contacts, everywhere. I am looking for people that we can mutually help one another in our careers, our social lives and personal lives. People that are motivated and diligent.

I was given the example of a soldier. If you have a soldier with his shirt halfway untucked, brass unpolished, boots all untied, generally unkempt and next to that soldier was another who was put together. Shoes polished, brass shined, appearance was well-kept…who are you going to depend on more realistically to save your life? Who are you going to want next to you in battle? The one who took short cuts and doesn’t pay attention to detail or the one who does? This applies with everything.

With Love,