And this started me thinking about how many things come in threes for me. One area that stands out is the three ways in which I've most changed since paroling from 12 years of prison and walking out the doors of Folsom a little over a year ago. Some friends have even pointed out to me some of these big changes they've noticed. One friend who has known me over thirty years said what was most noticeable is my dramatically increased level of discipline. This may be largely responsible for my jump in creative production--I am writing more and creating more projects and following through on them more effectively than ever before.
So we have:
Next, and related to that, is preparation. I never used to prepare for anything, going way back to tests in elementary school all the way through my career as a speaker--just thinking about what I was going to say in the moments before walking out onto the stage. I prided myself on my spontaneity and ability to work without notes. An example of this was the huge summit conference in 1967, when Russian premier Kosygin came to talk to President Lyndon Johnson in Glassboro, New Jersey. As the closest location of all six Westinghouse Broadcasting radio stations, we at KYW in Philadelphia were largely responsible for the coverage, though the two top network anchors were handling the actual summit coverage. I was with the press pool in the gym at Glassboro State College. All of a sudden, communications went down in the auditorium, where the actual discussion between the Americans and the Russians was taking place. And, as one of the newest reporters/newsmen on the scene, I had to adlib my way through the next two hours as the technical staff worked on the problem. After this experience, thinking on my feet in any situation was a breeze.
But now I have added more preparation into my work, as exemplified with going over a coaching client's answers to my 110 Questions For 2010 before doing our session, and jotting notes, and even designing some specific tasks and subjects based on those answers. It's new for me, and therefore interesting and fun. So:
And finally, collaboration. I have always been a loner, most writers are. And this has served me well. Solitude has been my friend, and I can't ever remember ever feeling bored or lonely while keeping my own company. But now, after paroling, I find myself enjoy the benefits of enlisting the support and assistance of others. Several entrepreneurs have reached out to me to help with my Internet education, and I am contemplating a whole host of ways to join together in rewarding and profitable ventures with others. So, definitely:
And if I were to add a fourth new skill I've developed since being in prison, actually it was a big help during my incarceration, it would be actually counting my blessings.
My listing of three daily triumphs is part of that process. Of course, years ago, I developed the Joyful and Triumphant Fund, in which every great event in my life would be celebrated with a hundred dollar bill (more on this in my Moneylove Manifesto at http://www.MoneyloveBlog.com). But this has greatly expanded, I am most certainly more immersed in gratitude and appreciation today than earlier in my life. And one of the things I am most grateful for and feel most blessed by are my friendships. Though I don't recommend it as a strategy, prison definitely lets you know who your real friends are.
This area also tends to come in threes for me. At least in terms of three friends who have been there through it all, and with whom I maintain very close contact on a frequent basis. That's Susannah Lippman in New Mexico, Rupa Cousins in Vermont, and Mary Ann Somervill in Florida. Two are former lovers (no, I won't tell you which two, even us men sometimes have to maintain an air of mystery, and you will have to read all my blogs and books, past and future, to find out) and all are today dear and precious friends. I learn from all of them, they are all in some form of healing and extremely aware, and have created interesting and satisfying lifestyles for themselves, and never seem to get older. In fact, they are glowing testimonials to the benefits of being my friend--and attracting them as friends will forever be a shining example of my brilliance and magnificent judgment in choosing and good fortune in having their friendship.
Sorry if I seem too full of myself and self-congratulatory today. I forgot to put on my Gloat Prevention Patch before starting to write this.