Journal Entry 

 February 19, 2024: Forced Adjustments 

Picture of Michael Santos

Michael Santos

Adjusting to Changing Circumstances: Embracing Life’s Curveballs

Dear readers,

Life has a way of throwing curveballs at us, often when we least expect it. The ability to adjust to changing circumstances is not just a skill; it’s a testament to our resilience and determination. It’s about recognizing that while we cannot control every aspect of our lives, we can control our reactions and the choices we make in response.

Recently, I encountered one such curveball. A routine blood test revealed that my cholesterol level was 1.5 times higher than the recommended range. As someone who has always been active, particularly as a runner, this came as a surprise. I believed that my physical activities would shield me from such health concerns. But numbers don’t lie, and neither does our body.

My wife, Carole, a registered nurse, advised a change in my diet, particularly cutting out red meat. She has been telling me to do so ever since I got out of prison. But after 26 years of eating prison food, I enjoyed eating steak. 

I must admit, the thought of giving up my beloved 16-ounce ribeye steaks was daunting. But faced with the alternative of starting on a statin drug, I realized that adjustments were necessary. As I approach my 60th birthday, these are the new challenges I face. Life is constantly evolving, and so must we. 

This personal experience reminded me of the inspiring stories of many great individuals who faced adversity and chose to adapt. Nelson Mandela, imprisoned for 27 years, adjusted to the confines of a cell, using the time to strategize and inspire a nation from behind bars. Mahatma Gandhi, faced with the might of the British Empire, chose non-violent resistance, adjusting his tactics to the needs of the moment. Both these leaders, in their unique ways, exemplify the power of adaptability.

The essence of these stories, including my own, is not about the challenges we face but how we respond to them. It’s about making choices that align with our long-term goals and well-being. Whether it’s a change in diet, a shift in strategy, or a complete overhaul of our approach, the key is to remain flexible and open to change.

For those of you navigating your own challenges, whether inside or outside prison walls, remember that every challenge presents an opportunity for growth. Our course, “Preparing for Success after Prison,” emphasizes this very principle. We teach individuals to be the CEO of their lives, to set clear goals, and to adjust their strategies when faced with obstacles.

In conclusion, life’s unpredictability is a given. But with the right mindset, every challenge can be turned into an opportunity. As we adjust and adapt, we not only survive but thrive.

Stay strong, stay adaptable, and always keep moving forward.

Warm regards,

Michael Santos, Founder of Prison Professors

Your challenge: Reflect on a recent challenge you faced. How did you adjust and adapt? What lessons did you learn? Share your story with us.