Weldon Long Went from Prison to Paradise...
Today he's Passionate About Helping Others!
Weldon Long is living proof that people can make a positive change in their lives. Once convicted of a felony and living in a 6x10 prison cell, today Weldon inspires countless people to live their dreams and become all that they wish to become in life.
I was so impressed when I heard Weldon’s story that I contacted him for an interview. After speaking with Weldon it became clear to me that I had been speaking with a very special man. Before writing this story, I sat down and read Weldon’s recent book “The Upside of Fear,” a chronicle of his life from 1987 through the books printing in 2009. It’s an inspirational story that dispels any myths that we must remain victims of our circumstances, regardless of how difficult.
In 1987 Weldon Long arrived in Colorado as a 23 year old high school drop-out. In his words “I was drunk and broke for 20 years. Many of those years were spent in federal prison.” To be exact, Weldon spent 13 years behind bars. His troubles began one night when he was driving around and decided to pick up a hitch-hiker. “We spent some time together, driving around and drinking” Weldon recalls. “After a while we decided to rob a guy as he came out of a restaurant.” The robbery led to a car chase and an eight year prison sentence for Weldon.
In 1991, after serving just half of his prison term, Weldon was released only to find himself soon back behind bars. In his words ““At that point, I hadn’t learned anything, in fact I was worse. I had a huge chip on my shoulder. When I was younger I thought I was going to do some cool things with my life; but after getting out of prison I had kind of adopted that I was a criminal. I was out for a year when I went back to prison. From 1987 to 1996, I spent about six of those nine years locked up.”
So what changed? How did this three time loser make the transition from prison to paradise? According to Weldon, he had a moment of clarity - an epiphany, when he heard the news that his father had died. As he recalls “I was facing seven more years in prison, my son was three years old, his mother and I were not getting along, I had no education, no money, no future, and then something interesting happened. In the days following my dad’s death, I began to stop and think: my father’s last memory of me was that I was in prison again. Looking back, I realized how pathetic I must have looked in his eyes.”
That was a turning point for Weldon. It illustrates to me that human beings can change given the right motivation. That motivation can be “desire” based or it can be “fear” based. For Weldon the desire to make something out of his “pathetic” life, if only for his father, was strong enough to create change. Weldon attributes three books to helping him develop an understanding of how the human mind works and its inherent ability to achieve good things. The three books he read, over and over are: “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, by Stephen R. Covey, “You Can Work Your Own Miracles,” by Napoleon Hill, and “Real Magic,” by Wayne Dyer. Weldon is quick to tell people “The lesson I took from these books was that we’re all completely responsible for our own actions. I had spent my entire young life blaming the judges and the prosecutors and all these other people, and never taking responsibility for my own actions.” Today Weldon takes responsibility for his actions.
While in prison, Weldon Long created a long list of what his new life would some day look like. His list included a beautiful home, a loving wife, an education, financial stability, and most important, that he was a man of character. So for seven years Weldon meditated, visualized and thought about how he would feel when he was released from prison and able to experience this new life. During that time he worked on his education. Remarkably, he became so focused on his education that he earned a Law Degree and an MBA.
Once out of prison, Weldon started to work on his dreams and the passion he developed in prison – to become all those things he had spent so many years visualizing. Today, he and his wife, Janet, own a home on Maui and a number of successful businesses throughout Colorado. His most recent venture is one of giving back. Weldon Long is the author of the book, The Upside of Fear and shares his life experience in the form of speaking engagements, individual and group coaching and a host of innovative web-based programs to help others develop their full potential.
For more information about Weldon Long please visit him at www.weldonlong.com