Steven Dybvad Book Report, July 30, 2012 – “Triumph” by Michael G Santos

by Steven Dybvad

Book Report – 7-30-2012

“Triumph” by Michael G Santos

This book is the first book that I have picked up to read in my first month at Lebanon Penitentiary.I chose to read this book first because the words on the cover caught my attention; “Conquering imprisonment and preparing prisoners for reentry”.  Naturally these words spoke to me.

I learned a great deal from this book.  It has helped me better understand how to work the Straight A Guide program more successfully.  I read about many different men with many different backgrounds and cultures from life’s better and worse.  I learned how each of these men made a conscious decision to prevail when the entire system around them was doing the exact opposite; and that’s trying to bring them down, ensuring that they return to the very system that wants them to come back.  Michael wrote clear and specific instructions
on how to implement each of the seven attributes that help make this program work.  Attitude, Aspiration, Action,
Accountability, Awareness, Achievement and Appreciation.  Each of these words holds meaning and substance, enriching our lives in this great journey to success.  A 100% commitment to using each of these attributes is necessary to ensure the life improvements that we are striving for.

Embracing and living by an empowering attitude positions one’s self to thrive.  Better understanding the nature of our adversity, the more capable and affective we can be at mastering our attitudes in return helping us overcome our struggles.  Good choices start with a good attitude.  Triumph begins with an empowering attitude.

For great aspirations, we depend upon our attitude.  With a great attitude we aspire to live as productive, contributing members of society.
Aspirations to build a new improved life requires 100% commitment to such aspirations turning them into reality. They should synchronize with ones values.

By proving worthy of the network that supports and sponsors me, I must take action.  Any prisoner can say that they want to succeed.  By taking action we make a daily commitment to this program.  We know what we must do each day and we do
it.  We must cut the chains that try to keep us down and we rise toward becoming the best man we can become.  Michael Santos says that with daily action steps, we can transcend the prison experience by preparing ourselves to leave stronger, wiser, happier, living for our family rather than suspending our thoughts.  Meaningful growth doesn’t materialize by accident.

Accountability is a gauge and an invaluable tool.  Keeping a log of our improvement on our goals holds us accountable and keeps us grounded on course.  Accountability logs are maps to success.

Prison dulls our senses, but all of these tools provided sharpen our awareness.  By taking action and holding ourselves accountable, we heighten our awareness to seize opportunities.

When fully involving our mind, our heart and our will in every aspect of our life, we achieve.  We celebrate every achievement, no matter how small, because progress is never made easily.  There will always be rough spots and setbacks with obstacles which make every achievement worthy of praise.

So we celebrate, but we must also show appreciation for the blessings that we receive along the way.  I appreciate my family, for I never could have made it this far without their loving help and resources.  Michael states that if we embrace the Straight-A-Guide and appreciate our achievements, we strengthen ourselves, we begin to climb out. We must apply ourselves fully, with positive attitudes and a 100% commitment to strategic, incremental actions and steps. Together we offer an unmistakable proof that if we follow the steps that
the Straight-A-Guide has laid out for us, we undoubtedly have a future of success ahead of us.

This entire book will contribute to the success upon my release from prison.  Triumph taught me how to more thoroughly implement my tools and knowledge of the Straight-A-Guide.  Because of this book I have already created and activated more detailed goals that help keep me focused on the prize ahead; the life of success and sustaining that success with a 100% commitment to walk out of prison as a strong and honorable man who can stand on my own two feet, living as a role model for my family and community.

3 Responses to “Steven Dybvad Book Report, July 30, 2012 – “Triumph” by Michael G Santos”

  1. Stephen Lenhoff says:

    I’ve read your blog as far back as I can go. You may not remember me, but when I was out of work, I mowed lawns for Allen and that’s where I met you. Your blog is both courageous and inspirational. I’m not sure how much additional reading you want to take on, but there is a book called “The Resolution for Men” by Stephen Kendrick. I’m also going to be praying for your continued progress and I personally know anyone who’s willing to do the hard work on themselves can change for not only for themselves, but for those are expectantly awaiting your release to the new life you have before you.

    God Bless,

    • Stephen,

      Thank you so much for your response to my blog. I do remember you, you’re a great guy!

      Your encouragement for me to keep on pressing through these struggles and on to a better life for myself and my family is greatly appreciated. I look forward to reading your suggested book, The Resolution For Men. I can’t tell you enough how great it feels to have so many people pulling for me believing in me and having faith that I’ll be leaving this life behind me and on to a much better future. These are the toughest times I’ve ever had to endure, I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. But I know that the harder it gets, the stronger it makes me in the long run and the more I realize that this was never the life for me to begin with.

      Thank you for your prayers Stephen and God Bless you too!

      Your friend,


  2. Stephen Lenhoff says:


    You are being lifted up in prayer in ALL things. I will be writing you as well. I will hand write my letters, put a stamp on it, and wait. Old School – I will avoid using the “easy” tools of communicating – because it’s just not fair. I want to share your pain and in that pain find peace and understanding. I will walk as much of your pathway as I can from the outside. It’s important to me that I work just as hard as you work at sharing your thoughts. I will send you my mailing info and I’d actually like to come visit you.

    I appreciate the journey you are on, perhaps more than most, for in many ways – I’m in my own personal prision due to an addiction – of which I’ve been sober since July 3rd. You shall have a great friend in me. We will prove to the nay-sayer’s that we are resolved to making the changes to have the life God has designed us to lead.

    In His Grip,

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