April 28, 2020

Twelve years ago today I surrendered to Taft Federal Prison Camp. Therefore it seems appropriate to post an article about serving time in federal prison.

A little later today, sometime between 12pm and 3pm, I am also going to film a video that discusses 12 of the biggest mistakes I made before surrendering to prison. I am planning to film the video live on both Facebook and Youtube. I hope the video will force you to analyze your current choices. Then after you have analyzed your choices made changes as you deem necessary. But I would not delay any longer.

Yesterday, NBC’s Today.com ran an article that titled, “Going stir-crazy in lockdown? A former prisoner has some advice. In this article, I discuss a number of ways to succeed through federal prison. One of those ways includes managing pain versus regret. Let me copy and paste a quote from the article:

“For someone in prison, Paperny says, who wastes their time complaining, sleeping, blaming “and then gets to the end of their term and begins to realize, ‘Well what do I do next?,’ now there’s going to be tons of regret for how they serve that time. What I encourage anyone to think about, what I try to do for our clients, is to choose some shorter term pain — like waking early, watching what you eat, developing a new skill, avoiding alcohol, challenging yourself in new ways — some shorter term pain versus a lifetime of regret.”

It sounds simple, he says, but “pain versus regret has helped hundreds of our clients, it’s the way to get through a prison term. And sometimes it can be boiled down to the most basic question. ‘If I do this right now, will it make my life better?’ If the answer is yes, do it.”

That last line I think is the most profound thing I said in the interview. So profound I will write it again: “If I do this right now, will it make my life better? If the answer is yes, do it.”

As you prepare go to go federal prison, make choices that improve your life. Sure, it may lead to some discomfort or shorter term struggle. But if you keep the end in mind, you will force yourself to make tough choices. Perhaps those choices include: investing the time to develop a new skill or waking early to exercise and control what you eat. Perhaps it is taking the time time to write 50 thank you to letters to people who supported you during your struggle. You get the idea.

I needed to go to federal prison to really understand the mantra, “slow and steady wins the race.” If you are going to federal prison, embrace it as I did. Do one good thing today, then build upon it, as I did. Rather than set goals, build habits, as I did. That approach made a different for me and it has made the difference for hundreds of our mitigation and federal prison consulting clients since 2009.

Again, if you wish to read the Today.com article, click here.

If you wish to speak with me, click here.

That is all for today. Now get to work!

Justin Paperny

P.S. If you are heading to prison, I urge you to read Living Deliberately. You will get a better understanding of how to use your time inside to develop content. You will also better understand what it really takes to rebuild your reputation and build a new business after prison. You can get it for free here.