Seth Ferranti/ Class 4: Life Management Skills

by Seth Ferranti

105. How would you define your life management skills?

Life management skills are resources that a man can draw upon in his time of need and to focus on everyday life and the things that he needs to do in order to reach his highest potential. By setting goals and then using life management skills to clearly define and detail those goals I am able to bring them to completion. My word is my bond and I do what I say I am going to do. There is no in between with me, that is how I manage my life, that is how I use my life management skills. I rely on them in everyday life and in setting  my goals and in everything I do. Without them I would not be able to do the things I have done nor accomplish the things I still will accomplish. My success or lack thereof can come down to how I manage my life.

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

The decision to change, the decision to get rid of any negativity or negative self talk which exists in my mind that might influence my previous criminal thinking patterns. I must replace all in my head and in my life with positivity. I must recognize where I am deficient and what led to my incarceration and the thinking erros that led me here. With self realization comes self awareness and with self awareness change is possible. I have to channel my anger and use it constructively. I cannot lash out and not care as I have in the past. This is my chance to succeed and do something positive in my life for my family, my community and myself. I have done what I can from prison, succeeded with my writings and other endeavors but I can do so much more and I have a lot more to offer. These are the decisions that will lead to my success as I emerge from prison.

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

In prison you have to structure your day and routine so that you are focused on your inevitable goal of reemerging successfully into society. Many roadblocks and obstacles will obstruct your path but you must do everything you can to overcome them in a positive manner. If you can accomplish things and get them done in here than imagine how easy it will be when you get back on the street. In prison you will have such severe restrictions on your communications, movements and the things you are allowed to do that setting goals and accomplishing them will seem monumental but where there is a will there is a way and you have to put your mind to work and figure out what you want and what you need to do to get through the day and do your time productvely. Using your time wisely and preparing for your release utilizing every minute of every day during your incarceration will ead you to success in the real world.

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

How you adapt and how you conduct your personal relationships will determine your prospects for success. From your family relationships to your spouse or girlfriend to how you interact with staff and other prisoners will all determine your ability to do your time drama and trouble free. Mastering the aspects of life inside will help you even more when you emerge from prison and reintegrate back into society. Your personal relationships define you. How you carry and conduct yourself is paramount to your future success in the real world. You must exhibit the values you have adapted and stick to the code you have used. DOn’t cry to your family about how hard your time is, just do it. They don’t need to hear you. Be strong and be a man and do the time, don’t let the time do you.

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

By accepting your limitations and by doing what you can from here you can nurture any relationship. You have to realize every relationship is give and take. If you are used to providing with material means or with your physical presence you have to adapt because when you are in prison you can’t provide or nurture in that way so you have to find different ways, be it a letter, a phone call, an email. You have to realize that exactly what you are going through your family and loved ones are going through also. Not to the same extent as you but they are feeling the effects of your incarceration also. So you have to take heed of that and speak softly and be there with the kind of support that you can provide withich will mostly be mental and emotional. Once you are inside things will change so don’t expect them to be the same. You must change with them if you expect to keep your personal relationships alive and well.

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?

Mikes highly-disciplined, values-based adjustment to his preparation to release related directly to the decisions he made at the beginning of his bid to educate himself and do everything he could to make sure he was ready for his ultimate release. Just because you are in prison doesn’t mean your time is frozen. So don’t freeze yourself out. You are still living, you are just living a restricted life. So find out how youc an live and live in the angles and shadows that you are allowed. You have to find the curves of your circumstances and emerge yourself into those curves so that you can live and have an affect on people in the outside world. This outside contact will help you to live and connect with people in whatever way you choose or whatever way you can/ Just because you are in prison doesn’t mean you are dead to the world. You are only dead if you allow yourself to be. I have refused to be dead. I will live through my interactions on this website and all my other work and writing. That is how I have reached out to the world while being buried in the belly of the beast. I refuse not to be heard. My voice has something to say and to me is important.

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

My decisions from the day of my arrest have led to my possible future endeavors. I have chosen to educate myself and stay productive and write books and contribute tot he world from prison. I ahve chosen to stay in shape and work out and keep my body young and in good shape by exercising and eating right and getting proper sleep. I have chosen to let go of things I can’t control so that I can remain focused on the things I can control and keep my life stress free. I do not woory about things in the world that I can’t control. I just worry about myself and what I can do to improve mty chances of being successful when I emerge from prison. Everything for me is forward moving and progressive and I refuse to remain stagnant or be complacent. I am proactive instead of reactive I am getting myself ready for my eventual release everyday and every minute.

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

Redneck Rick has and kept the convict mentality and that is why he ended up back in prison. He felt safe and secure in prison. He was somebody in prison and when he went to the outside world he found that he didn’t get the same props are respect that he did in prison and he didn’t like that. His whole world and everything he valued and his ideals where built on the prison convict model and he found in the real world that the convict ideal didn’t work. You can’t spend your time in prison trying to get respect and be the man in prison and then come out and expect to succeed, you have to be able to navigate the treacherous waters of prison so that you are doing everything to prepare yourself for your future release. Buying into the prison mentality or street mentality is a sure way to make sure you end up back in prison. Yes you have to be assertive in prison so that youa re not walked and tread upon but you have to practice ideals and values which will lead to your success when you are released. It is a fine line to walk and its obvious that guys like Redneck Rick didn’t have the werewithal to do it. In contrast as you can see from these entries I have had the werewithal to walk the fine line and

maintain my self respect and prepare myself for my evenetual release. Mike wrote about my triumphs in the book too and I will continue to work hard and move forward, accomplishing my goals and doing all that i Have set out to do.

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

I think that besides Mike, who is/was my mentor, that no one else in the book compares to me and what I have done and accomplished. I have gotten three college degrees during my incarceration, published 5 books written almost 500 articles that have been published in magazines and on the internet and in other books. I believe tyhat besides Mike I am one of the most prolific prison writers whose work is featured on the internet today. I have a goal of having 10 books out and having 10 screenplays written byt he time i get out in late 2013, early 2014 and I will stick to that goal and put in the time and effort I need to get that done. So in essence I compare nicely with the other dudes that experiences successes in the book.

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?

I believe my adjustment compares favorably with the type of career trajectory of some of the successful businessmen that were described. i started out small publishing little pieces in magazines, then i started writing feature stories and little articles and chapters for book and finally I wrote and got my own book published and now I am at five currently in publication. I plan to keep gettting my work published and to write more full length feature scripts. I have three written so I have seven more to go. Then is my objective and plan and I will adhere to it sot hat my trajectory will keep going up and growing.

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 can keep moving on the path I have been on and keep working out and working on my different projects. By applying  myself and putting into practice all that I ahve learned concerning my writing, marketing and distributing my books through mail marketing and social media I can help to build the business Gorilla COnvict Publications that I founded into a viable company that will be able to support me and my family. That is my ultimate goal to make a living off my work that I have created from here.

116. In what ways are your interactions with others in prison and beyond purposeful?117. How do your interactions with others relate to the individual you aspire to become?

I work to be positive in my interactions with other prisoners and to let them know taht they can be successful too if they put in the hard work necessary. I try to be a positive role model and lead by example. There is a lot of negativity in here and I try to stay away from that and be diplomatic in my endeavors and help people by using my people skills to communicate with others for the benefit of everyone locked up with me.

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

I aspire to be the type of person who can communicate and get things done. I aspire to be a man of my word. I believe that these attributes will lead to success when I get out. I am practicing now all that I intend to apply when I get out. From helping to resolve problems and being a part of the solution.

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

We talk about book deals and film deals and moving into the entertainment business and forming production companies and forming companies and running businesses and marketing. We read about social media and try ot imagine the way that we can apply that to what we are doing with our writing. We try to connect with like minded people who have something going on so that we can all connect and bring together what we are tyring to do and help each other in all of our endeavors.

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

The relationships that you can develope in prison will help to cultivate your aspirations. You have to realize that when you come to prison you are going to find out who really cares and who really loves you. Because its like that old saying “out of sight, out of mind.” When you aren’t there everyday people will forget you real fast. So anyone that remains a part of your life when you come to prison really want to be a part of your life and what you are trying to do. For most of us going to prison is our lowest point. Most of your friends, associates, wives, girlfriends etc. etc. will abandon you to your fate without a second thought. So when you come to prison you really find out who cares and loves you. SO when you find that out you need to cultivate those relationships and realize that these are the people who will be with you through thick and thin. DOn’t take them for granted. Let them know everything you are doing and thinking and how youare changing and what you expect out of life when you come home.

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

For a lot of people in prison their is a great temptation to go for the easy cash. They have an attitude like, “If I have a gun I can get money.” They will always take the easy way out. Committing crime, robbing people and selling drugs is the easy way ouot. Its easy for people in prison to risk their life in these endeavors because one common thing about most of the people in prison regardless of anything else is that they are risktakers. They don’t mind taking risks, even with their lives. And also it is easy, that is why they call it easy money. It takes too much to be normal and work a stable job and get gradual growth in salaries and responsibilities. Dudes in here want what they want now and they don’t want to put in the hard work to accomplish their goals over years. They want instant gratification. They don’t like people telling them what to do. They want to be their own boss. That is why they will risk all for a chance at a big score.

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

By working a program like this, the Straight-A-Guide, a prisoner can show how he has changed and realized his criminal thinking errors that led to his incarceration. By showing his growth and developement with his journal entries on this website he can show a commitment to change. He can showcase the values he has learned and adopted and lived by. In prison it is easy to be bad but it is doubly hard to be good. Even more so than on the street. SO any prisoner that has turned his life around in the belly of the beast can use the record that he is recording on this website to persuade prospective employers that he lives by different values than those that he had when he was out there living a life of crime.

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

How you speak and how you address others influences how people see you. Being in prison a long time I have a serious issue with changing how I talk. I talk like a convict because I have been around convicts for 20 years. You have to express yourself in a certain way to be understood and respected by the individuals in here that surround you on a daily  basis. hey mistake kindness for weakness and you have to talk the talk and walk the walk even when you are doing something postive for your future. But I know that is a big area I have to l work on, improving my speaking skills so that I don’t seem and come across as an ex-con.

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

Personal grooming and presentation also influence opportunities. In here dudes get tattoos, grow facial hair and goatees, braid their hair or grow it long to look fearsome and intimidating because that is the culture. Prison is a very macho environment. You don’t want to have that smooth baby face or look like a pretty boy because you might get some unwanted attention. But in the real world it is opposite. You need to groom yourself and look clean cut even triple so if youa e an ex-convict. That will already be held against you so you have to be even more clean cut to overcome your stigma of being an ex-con.

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 percent commitment means that you have to go all in. There is no inbetween, there is no waffling. You have to be committed 100 percent in whatever you do. You have to do things for other people the same as if you were doing them for yourself, better even. Without a 100 percent commitment you will not succeed. You can’t half ass it. You have to be all in all the time. Even more so now that you have the stigma of being an ex-con.

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

I try to acquaint myself with other positive people who are doing positive things and are committed to them 100 percent. It is a matter of being around like minded people who are moving forward and trying to do something with their life instead of just doing prison/criminal type stuff. That type of life is dead for me. I am all about legitimate oppportunities now. I strive to make contacts in that realm that can help me achieve what I want to achieve. It all about that positive mental attitude.

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