I am motivated when people believe in me. I used to do things to please others
Every year starts with so much promise. During the first quarter of the year, everyone believes in their full potential, especially me.
New Year’s resolutions are a person’s desire to be different — better.
Everyone starts the New Year with at least one resolution. Some want to lose weight, others want to exercise more, some want to spend less and others want to make more.
I have noticed that most resolutions that involve weight control and exercise help boost gym memberships but not necessarily gym attendance and participation.
I have discovered that although the desire for improvement is present, the will power to see it through can wane depending on the day, mood, and weather.
New Year’s resolutions are not the only thing that fluctuates, criminal justice reform ebbs toward leniency or floods toward severity depending on what is ‘politically correct’ and ‘socially acceptable.’
Resolutions can be misconstrued as lasting improvement instead of the beginning of a process toward improvement. Similarly, justice-system reform is mistakenly seen as a solution without actually dealing with the systemic issues that led to the conditions in the first place.
New Year’s gym membership offers and criminal justice reform efforts are opportunities that can promote personal initiative, accountability, and responsibility but they are no guarantee of success.
Individuals are the only ones that can guarantee their own success. They have control over whether or not something benefits them, and to what extent.
However, resolutions and reform efforts pave the way because they embody our hope in our capacity to change and improve.
I believe that we are all incentivized to perform better, and be better, when others believe in us.
I am motivated when people believe in me. I used to do things to please others.
In fact, I made a lot of bad choices because at the time I felt it was what I needed to do to belong.
However, eventually I met people who believed in me even when I did not recognize my own potential; their encouragement paved the way for me.
I discovered that small incentives empowered me because I felt validated and that I mattered in spite of my circumstances.
I made small behavioral changes like waking up earlier so I could read more or going to bed later so I could write one more letter.
Through those small changes, I reaped significant benefits such as better reading comprehension and enriching correspondences with family and friends.
No one could have told me that those extra hours of reading and writing were preparing me for the role I have now for the San Quentin News.
Nevertheless, none of this would have been a reality without the support of many people and the reforms that planted a seed of hope and the possibility of social redemption.
I am convinced that New Year’s resolutions and justice reform will benefit those that position themselves for success by surrounding themselves with people who believe they can be better, and do better not just for the first quarter of the year but for life.