How Do You Stay Positive Everyday? - Daily Love with Mastin Kipp

How Do You Stay Positive Everyday?

TheLastMileBy James Dillard
Los Angeles County Jail (Twin Towers)
I think back to the way I was living my life prior to being arrested, and remembering that most of my days merely blended into one another because more often than not my drug addiction kept me awake around the clock. I can remember always being in a state of anxiety, worrying and  wondering how I was going to make it from one moment to the next – not to mention one day to the next.Its thoughts such as these that motivate me to remain positive and upbeat in the midst of so much negativity, understanding that my reality would most likely be much worse had I not been “rescued” from myself.For 32 years I’d lived a self-destructive lifestyle, selfish in my mannerisms and demeanor, reaching brief levels of simulated success only to self-sabotage and bottom out in in drug induced haze.

I guess it would stand to reason that I didn’t like myself very much, and that’s probably a pretty accurate assumption, since most of my principles were motivated by outside elements (vanity).You see, it wasn’t until I had been in jail long enough for the “fog” to lift from my brain that I was able to receive some information that allowed me to begin to understand that unless I became active in restructuring my life and redefining myself, ultimately changing my whole belief system, I was doomed to repeat the very same patterns of an addictive life.So what drives me to stay positive every day?My motivation comes  from my desire not to relive all of the negative experiences I’ve had. I wake up thanking God for another opportunity to “re-do” life, and every day that I’m able to learn something new, I know I’m being empowered with resources that will allow me to make more responsible decisions.So what drives me to stay positive every day?I realize that my attitude has an effect on those around me, and maybe I can impact someone else in a positive way to develop a desire for something different, or inspire someone to reflect back upon their life and get honest with themselves, or motivate someone to make a life-altering decision of their own to change their life for the better.So what drives me to stay positive every day?

Understanding that I am blessed to be a blessing to others. It is my duty to step up and be accountable. (Tweet-worthy!)

What drives me to stay positive every day?

The alternative is unthinkable, besides, it’s a very strenuous job maintaining a negative attitude when the pay-off of a positive attitude are phenomenal in so many ways.

Yes, I am driven to stay positive every day.


All communications between inmates and external channels are facilitated by approved volunteers since inmates do not have access to the internet. This program with Quora is part of The Last Mile LA. Twitter:  @TLM