Kalani Lautele/ Class 4: Life Management Skills

by Kalani Lautele

105. How would you define your life management skills?

My life management skills has improved a lot since my incarceration.  There’s still room for improvements.  It’s challenging managing life skills in prison.  The prison environment puts many obstacles in front of those who strive for success upon release.  With the adversities to managing life skills in prison, one must always be able to adapt to change.

106. What types of decisions influence how you will emerge from prison?

Time management is relevant to how I’ll emerge from prison.  Every morning I wake up with options to do as I please with my day.  I can choose to just pass the time by watching TV all day or playing sports, risk getting injured or getting into a confrontation with someone.  I will leave prison empty handed if I decide to do my time like this.  I once did time like this when I first came to prison.  Now, I spend most of my time studying and preparing for success upon my release.  I want to emerge from prison knowing I didn’t waste my time.  I want to emerge from prison as a man who gained, despite the dehumanizing environment, the skills and tools to be successful upon release and to provide right for his family.

107. In what ways does your daily schedule determine your potential for success upon release?

As long as I stay dedicated and complete the goals on my daily schedule, my potential for success increases.

108. How do personal relationships influence our prospects for success?

My relationship with the men, I’ve been incarcerated with, who’s become like mentors to me has been a blessing.  Each lesson draws me closer to my goals and broadens my perspective on these goals.  They were successful men in society.  Having their guidance and confirmation of my understanding can only mean I’m heading in the right direction towards success.

109. How can we cultivate and nurture personal relationships that may prove helpful through our prison journey and beyond?

My dedication to learning has blessed me with opportunities to attract men with years of experience in the professions I’m interested in.  I have always tried to be open minded and more importantly humble about everything I learn.

110. In what ways did Michael’s decisions at the beginning of his term lead to the opportunities that opened for him through the decades he served?

By being fully committed to his goals, his support network grew.

111. In what ways have the decisions you made from the day of your arrest influenced your life today?

The decision to look at my incarceration as an opportunity was the first step I took towards bettering my life after prison.

112. How would you compare and contrast the initial adjustment decisions of two prisoners who offered their profiles?

One had the discipline and mindset to utilize his time in preparing for the outside world.  The other prisoner, however, had time using him.

113. In what ways does your prison adjustment compare or contrast with the individuals profiled?

My preferred way of serving my sentence is to utilize time and not let the time do me.  My time since has been going by so quickly that I literally feel pressured at the beginning of the day to get as much work done.

114. In what ways does your prison adjustment compare or contrast with the type of career trajectory That Greg Reyes or some of the other successful businessmen described?

Although I love to play sports, I had to sacrifice playing sports on my free time in order to be fully dedicated in preparing for a successful carrier and life after prison.  I’m sure guys such as Greg Reyes had to sacrifice something early on in their career to be successful as they were.

115. What steps can you take in the time that spans between now and your release date to prepare for a law-abiding, fulfilling life?

I will continue to live by my values of keeping strong family ties, a growing education, physical fitness, humility, being open-minded, and faith in God.  By continuing these steps, I am preparing for a law-abiding, fulfilling life.

116. In what ways are your interactions with others in prison and beyond purposeful?

My first day in prison I was fortunate to meet other prisoners who were from Hawaii.  I’m from Hawaii too, so they gave me a care package and the whole run down about prison life.  With that knowledge, I became aware of the volatile environment I was in.  So I choose to interact with just a few people.  I tried to be around like minded people rather than the so called crash dummies.

117. How do your interactions with others relate to the individual you aspire to become?

I aspire to be a technical trader and businessman after my release from prison.  My dedication to studying these careers has attracted men who was successful in these professions.  They were more than willing to mentor and help me succeed at becoming a good trader or businessman.


118. What types of activities, interests, and discussions motivate or inspire your closest acquaintances?

I have very few acquaintances in prison and my discussions with them are the same.  We conversations about life in general.  We all have goals of being successful after prison.  With me being the youngest among them, I have learned that life has so much to offer.

119. In what ways will the relationships you cultivate help or hinder your aspirations?

There is one relationship in prison that has helped me become the person I am today.  He was a mentor as well as a older brother to me.  He taught me the importance of utilizing prison to educate myself and to always be open minded about everything.  He taught by example.  I don’t think I’d be the person I am today if I have not met this great man.

120. If Red had a stable job with opportunities for growth, what do you suppose would have tempted him to revert to crime?

Maybe it was the peer pressure of old criminal buddies or it could be that he valued crime more than his job.

121. In what ways could a prisoner manage his life to persuade prospective employers that he lives by different values from men like Red?

A person can work towards higher learning.  Documenting achievements can show responsibility and what you value now than before.

122. How does an individual’s diction influence perceptions?

When I started communicating with successful businessmen I didn’t understand some of the words used in our conversations.  I would see some of these words in the newspapers or magazines they read such as the Wall Street Journal, Investors Business Daily, The Economist, etc.  So I began to make flash cards of words I didn’t know the meaning of.  A person’s diction can say a lot about their level of success.

123. How does an individual’s personal grooming and presentation influence opportunities?

Grooming and appearances can say a lot about a person’s character.  I believe a job interview starts with the appearance of the individual.

124. With regard to the attitude attribute of the Straight-A Guide, what does it mean to make a 100 percent commitment?

Making a 100% commitment means to always be persistent at what you do.  One example is my goal to be physically healthy. I need to be 100% committed to exercising by being persistent and not making an excuse to miss a workout.

125. How would you assess your acquaintances with regard to the attitude attribute of the Straight-A Guide?

I like to surround myself with like minded people.  I try not associate with those who does a lot of “happy talk”, as Michael Santos would refer to, because they talk about everything they are going to do but never seem to take steps towards any of those directions.  If I associate a lot with the “happy talk” people, I could find myself doing the same thing too.  It’s weird but it can be contagious I guess.

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