December 16, 2014

How To Qualify For The Halfway House

Perhaps what I enjoyed most about prison was having the opportunity to fall in love with learning again. That passion continues today. Because of that commitment to learn and improve I am always willing to try new things and move out of that cliched comfort zone.

Upon my release, for example, I began public speaking. I had never really done it before. But when the invitations came, I accepted. No notes or powerpoints. I figured I would just talk. Well, that first talk sucked! I mean four minutes into the thing I remember thinking, “my god, this is just garbage. Will they walk out?”

Well I got through it and no one walked out. After that first talk I knew public speaking would not be hard. It was just a matter of practicing and mastering the habits that go with it. I could say the same thing about baseball, running, writing, consulting, whatever. As Aristotle advised more than 2,500 hundred years ago if we want to cultivate a disposition or skill we need to cultivate the habits that go with it.

Back to learning and the purpose of this blog, I have taken on the task of learning to film, edit and publish some of my own videos. On a scale of 1-10, I am a 2. I know my videos need better lighting, editing, and better audio quality. I am working on it, and after listening to the video that I am posting in this blog, I ran out and bought two great microphones, one for my webinars and screen sharing, the other for my videos.

While I improve the editing, setup, and so on, I am very proud to be delivering what I believe to be valuable content. Before filming I sit and think, “what did I need to hear before I went to prison.” Note, I did not say “what did I want to hear.” There is a lot of garbage out there and so called consultants who will tell you exactly what you want to hear. That is not my game.

I am waking early each morning to form outlines for my videos. I have 11 in the queue ranging from a 5 day class I wrote on prison adjustment to home confinement, residential drug abuse program, life in prison, and more, much more. Each video will be about 3-6 minutes or so, including this one I titled, “How To Qualify For The Halfway House.”

Justin Paperny

P.S. I would like to thank my friends Sam Pompeo and Ken Mayer for taking a day off from work to help me set up the studio.

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