Sunday, December 7, 2008


We can often change our reality by choosing where to put our attention. People often ask how in the world I survived twelve years in prison. I answer that I not only survived, I thrived. Friends were constantly amazed at how upbeat my letters were. I often encouraged them rather than the other way around. One of the major reasons I could do this was because I utilized a concept I first talked about in my bestselling series of motivational tapes by Nightingale-Conant. It’s simply to view anything bad, scary, or disappointing that happens in your life as a temporary aberration, an out-of-the-ordinary event that is very temporary in nature.

Even though twelve years is a long time, in a long life it is only a temporary block of time. The other part of the equation is to view any success as part of a continuing and permanent trend to your highest goals. I remember one of the first cartoon gags I wrote that was sold. Bunny Hoest and John Reiner did it for PARADE MAGAZINE, which has a circulation of nearly one hundred million thanks to being included in so many Sunday newspapers. It showed a portly middle-aged man, who looked remarkably like me despite the fact that Bunny had never seen me. He was in a his underwear holding some newly issued prison clothes as one guard says to another, “He says as a former CEO, he’s entitled to a corner cell.” My fellow inmates in building 5 at Old Folsom got a big kick out of that one. And I saw it as the beginning of many more gag sales, much more recognition, spreading fame and influence in the cartoon world. That didn’t really happen, but I generated a lot of heat visualizing that it would. I saw it as the beginning of new success in my life, and it did lead to all sorts of success experiences.

This was underlined at my trial. I and my closest friends saw my harebrained scheme to hijack an expensive motorhome as an aberration, a temporary break in the productive, law-abiding life I had led. Many acted as character witnesses. My old friends, Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, co-creators of the CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL books, the undisputed bestselling books of the nineties, wrote long letters to the judge on my behalf, saying the Jerry Gillies they knew would never commit such a crime, and it had to be a temporary loss of sanity. We hear a lot about “temporary insanity” but never about temporary sanity. Sanity is the default mental state. Anything else is an aberration. At this moment in early December, as I await my first shipment of XOCIA products, I am broker than I’ve ever been in my life. But I’m not poor, and I have an inner certainty that this new business venture, my first in nearly fifteen years, is going to take off in a burst of permanent momentum. The Law of Attraction, which I first talked about thirty years ago, is a permanent law. You can dent it a bit, but never destroy it. This current economic situation is a temporary one, Any personal deprivation you are now experiencing is temporary. And in the future, as you look back on this time in your life, you will see it is the time when you made a strong change for the better. You deserve it, a lot of people want you to have it, and its manifestation has already begun.

Jerry Gillies
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