By Robert Wood, Social Media Advisor – Prison Scholar Fund

The essence of a viable plan for success upon reentering society is the clear articulation of your strategic intent not only within your mind, but in writing as well, an understanding of what needs to be done to realize the execution of your plan, and the will to execute that plan to completion regardless of the obstacles and distractions that you most certainly will face with the passing of time. The earlier within the available timeframe that you make these decisions, the more time you have to gain the knowledge and capabilities necessary for superior execution of your success strategy. An increase in, or introduction to, knowledge related to your strategic intent is a must. The three things I would like to briefly address regarding the execution of your strategic plan for success are knowledge, execution, and strength of will.

Knowledge will definitely be a factor in any endeavor you choose to undertake, and it is imperative to your success that you obtain the appropriate knowledge to accomplish the things necessary to fulfill your goals. The best place to begin looking is at school programs, whether they are G.E.D., high school equivalency, or college programs. The quicker you get started with your course of study the quicker you can incorporate it into your overall program and begin gaining the knowledge to succeed in your endeavors. Regardless of where you begin, please keep in mind that it’s not how you start but how you finish and that through planning, executing, and adapting as needed you will surprise many people. You may even be one of those surprised by your own accomplishments. It is also an excellent idea to read books and magazines related to your planned endeavors to get deeper knowledge and stay abreast of the cutting edges of technology in the areas of your interest. Cutting edge knowledge is always an advantage.

Once you begin learning the things you need to know to succeed, you will need to execute them as often as possible. In the event you can’t do this in real time please review mentally as often as possible and mock execution of your endeavor and related competencies in as close to real fashion as possible. This will keep you involved in your craft and give you a definitive edge when the execution is real. Also be sure to constantly scan the world, via news and/or newspapers and magazines for changes in technology or regulations related to your craft. As a job seeker or a business person, familiarity with the latest breakthroughs will be an excellent competitive competency and it’s one you should have if at all possible. Even if only through mock execution, familiarity with the newest technology puts you at a very formidable advantage.

What may be the most important element involved in creating and executing a viable success strategy is building a competitive competency called will, which allows you to go further, endure tougher situations, and accomplish more even under very stringent conditions. You must stick to your plan once you undertake it, amend it if conditions require, but never quit. Make up your mind that failure is not an option and the pursuit of your goals will be relentless and only interrupted when it is absolutely critical to do so and then re-engaged immediately upon resolving the critical situation. This is what it takes to create and execute a winning strategy for success, and it is also what it takes to succeed.

Robert Wood, our Social Media Advisor, is a volunteer for the PSF. His Tweets can be found on Twitter @prisonscholars under the hashtag #RLW_PSF. He can be reached via any of our social media outlets or emailed at the following address: rlw@prisonscholars.org.

If you’d like to hear more from PSF, please sign up for our quarterly newsletter, where Robert is a valued contributor. Just submit your name and email address. If you’d like to get involved with the PSF in a volunteer capacity, please email us volunteer@prisonscholars.org.