Thursday, May 7, 2009
Those who have been following my daily blog know a little bit about me. They may read a lot more if they order a copy of my book Lessons From Prison. In it I describe growing up in a loving home and the privileged adolescence I enjoyed. That background brings back many fond memories, and it prepared me for life as a contributing citizen. What it did not prepare me to handle was adversity.
I know that many people would find value in the message I have crafted about confronting adversity. Adversity is part of the human experience. We may not all have to advance through a prison system, though we all confront adversity in one form or another. When it strikes, I think we can draw strength from keeping a clear perspective.
I’ve based a 60-minute speech that I call “Confronting Adversity” on stories that I wrote about in Lessons From Prison. That speech will help those in the corporate audiences I expect to address. By listening to the bad decisions I made while confronting adversity, those in my audience will have a better understanding of the importance of value-based decisions.
When adversity uprooted my life, as a consequence of my being reared in affluence, I had this sense of entitlement that precluded me from grasping the strategies necessary to navigate my way through the adversity successfully. Instead, like many people do, I made decisions that I hoped would sweep the adversity under the rug. I was an ostrich.
This speech will describe all the bad decisions I made. I’m not referring simply to those that led to my problems with the law. I’m talking about the futile steps I took to hide from the problems. Costing me money was the most meaningless consequence. Responding inappropriately to adversity cost years of my life and frustrated those who love and care for me.
I have learned a better approach. The lessons I’ve learned from prison convince me that rather than hide from adversity, we empower ourselves by embracing it. In confronting adversity, we are like a ship with a deep V hull that powers through the most wicked of waves. That is the lesson I have learned, the example I strive to set, and the message I devote my life to sharing. I’m convinced that my audiences from the corporate sector will appreciate the message.