Journal Entry 


Picture of Michael Santos

Michael Santos

Subject: Facing Adversity: Lessons for Leaders Undergoing Criminal Trials

In our society, leadership often comes with a magnifying glass that scrutinizes every action, decision, and statement. The higher the position, the more intense the scrutiny. Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States, is no stranger to such challenges. Since leaving office, he has faced legal challenges and investigations, a testament to the intense scrutiny that leaders, especially of his stature, undergo.

While I served 26 years in prison, I immersed myself in the stories of leaders who faced adversity, from Nelson Mandela to Mahatma Gandhi. Their stories taught me that resilience and a strong sense of purpose could guide one through the most challenging times. When people like President Trump or any other leader face legal challenges, they may benefit from guidance:

1. Acceptance: The first step in any challenge is acceptance. Understand the situation you’re in, acknowledge it, and then strategize on how to navigate through it. Denial can only delay the inevitable.

2. Educate Yourself: In prison, I read extensively, preparing for a world that would be vastly different upon my release. Similarly, if you’re facing legal challenges, educate yourself about the process, the potential outcomes, and the best strategies to handle them.

3. Seek Support: Surround yourself with a trustworthy team – legal experts, family, friends, and mentors. Their support will be invaluable.

4. Stay Active: While I was incarcerated, I kept myself active, both mentally and physically. I ran many marathon distances around prison tracks and every insitution that held me. It’s essential to keep your mind and body engaged, helping you stay positive and focused.

5. Reflect and Grow: Use this time to reflect on your actions, decisions, and their consequences. Every experience, good or bad, offers a lesson. Embrace it and grow from it.

6. Plan for the Future: Regardless of the outcome, always have a plan for the future. I always knew that I wanted to help others upon my release, and that vision kept me going. What’s your vision?

Your challenge: Reflect on a time when you faced adversity. How did you overcome it? What tools or strategies did you employ? Share your story with us by building a profile that memorializes your commitment to preparing for success upon release. Send an invite to [email protected] to get started.

Remember, every leader, from Mandela to Trump, faces challenges. It’s how you respond to these challenges that defines you. Stay resilient, stay focused, and always strive for growth.

Michael Santos, Founder of Prison Professors

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