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Watch > Episode > Wes Watson - 10 Years In Prison: How Jail Taught Me Appreciation, Gratitude & Discipline

Wes Watson - 10 Years In Prison: How Jail Taught Me Appreciation, Gratitude & Discipline


Inspirational speaker, fitness trainer & ex-convict

Wes Watson is an inspirational speaker, fitness trainer, and ex-convict.

Watson grew up in San Diego, California, skating, surfing and snowboarding, before getting involved in dealing marijuana. This began a downward spiral which ultimately led to Wes being given a 10 year term in the Californian penitentiary system.

After his release, he created Watson Fit, designed to free people from their mental prisons and smash their fitness goals. Watson’s YouTube channel, GP Penitentiary Life, inspires hundreds of thousands, with his detailed and gruesome stories inside the penal system.

Most of us look at prison as a place where people wind up after their life plans have failed. We look at it as the end of a story, not a beginning.

It doesn’t have to be, though.

For Wes Watson in California, the prison was the place where he developed himself. He transformed into a person who inspires millions through his YouTube channel full of life lessons as well as fitness training tips.

Who is Wes Watson?

Wes Watson has a story like far too many people in the prison system. His crimes began at a young age when he started smoking marijuana around age 12. By the time he hit 14, he realised weed could be a way for him to make money, not spend it. That’s when he began dealing.

Over the years, Wes rose through the ranks and grew in his influence as a drug dealer. Unfortunately, as it often does, the business came with violence.

Eventually, thanks to an act of violence in retaliation for a customer’s unpaid debt, Wes was arrested. He received a laundry list of charges including assault with a deadly weapon, battery with serious bodily injury, robbery, burglary, and more. He was sentenced to ten years in prison.

Throughout this time, Wes developed himself as a person. He took the opportunity to learn life lessons that he now uses to guide and inspire people around the world.

The Lessons We Take from Wes Watson

As painful as his prison time was for Wes, it was also formative. There are countless lessons he learned along the way.

Regret is Dangerous

Some of the key messages in Wes Watson’s inspirational stories are about karmic debt. Doing things you regret turns into a vicious cycle.

When you do something you aren’t proud of, it weighs on you. That added negativity makes you more likely to do give in to a vice again and do something else you regret. This adds even more to the negativity, and the cycle continues.

Instead, Wes emphasises practising self-control and making every choice based on what will make you proud later.

Take Pride in the Process

Having goals is fantastic, but as Wes explains, true power comes from enjoying the process of earning those goals, not the rewards.

If you are working toward a goal and it doesn’t turn out the way you had hoped, you’re likely to lose focus and give up. If you learn to enjoy the hard work and self-sacrifice of working toward your goal, no circumstance will stop you.

You Can Create Who You Want to Be

For so many, the prison system turns life into a downward spiral. They’re surrounded by negativity so they start to live life with that on their shoulders. Even when they’re released, the negativity is there so they find themselves re-offended and landing back in prison.

Wes emphasises that we have the power to control our thoughts. If you train yourself to use that control and push away negative thoughts, you can be anyone you want to be.

Character Construction Paves the Way

Most motivational speakers talk about the importance of goals like physical fitness. As Wes explains, though, you need character before you can make those goals happen.

Your character is the foundation for anything you set out to do. You could have all the plans in the world but if you don’t have the discipline to follow through, your plans will fall flat.

As Wes himself shows, you can build your character any time and anywhere, even in prison.

Learning from Wes Watson’s Experiences

A prison is a place where no one wants to be, even though some people use it as a way to push forward in life. Thanks to Wes Watson and his generosity in sharing what he’s learned, we can get the benefit of that wisdom without the trauma of prison.


Watch the trailer for this exclusive video interview with Wes Watson:


00:00 | Trailer.
02:38 | Brian’s thoughts on the episode.
04:18 | Brian’s introduction.
06:36 | The message that resonated with Wes Watson as he watched the premier of Reconnect in New York.
10:17 | Why Wes Watson produces videos about life in prison and what it is he thinks attracts people to them.
13:10 | Wes Watson explains what he means by karmic debt.
14:36 | The struggle Wes Watson has to control his new comfort zone as he re-integrates with the world out of prison.
18:58 | Using anger which is one of his vices is in truth trading tomorrow’s happiness for today’s.
21:18 | Any man that does violence always feels bad afterwards. The goal Wes Watson wanted for his fellow prisoners and now for those who watch his videos.
29:21 | What it is like entering prison in the USA.
42:58 | Prisoners try to deal with an internal issue with an external solution like drugs and alcohol not understanding that internal issue will never go away without learning self-worth.
44:55 | How Wes Watson came to the realisation of what he needed to do to gain self-love.
49:25 | Wes Watson sees the societal background that creates those who live as if they have nothing left to lose.
51:32 | The only thing that is real is conscious congruity.
55:03 | What he says to those who think they need to go to prison to get hard and defines what is really hard.
56:43 | When he was in prison, he had no forward plan. The excuses people make that get in the way of helping themselves.
59:09 | Wes Watson becomes emotional when talking about relationships.
1:03:54 | Too much kindness breeds unaccountability.
1:07:25 | The experience of being institutionalised. The realisation he came to about talking to camera.
1:12:33 | If you just focus on your weaknesses that would be enough to get where you want to go in life, We are always looking for happiness in the same place we lose it.
1:16:50 | What it is like to be a Father.
1:19:14 | What it was like to come out of prison
1:24:52 | Do people have to hit rock bottom before they learn the lesson?
1:25:35 | Wes Watson’s biggest surprise about being outside and the hardest point of being outside: did he wish he was back in prison?
1:27:16 | How people treat him now and when he was on parole.
1:28:11 | The reaction of his previous fellow inmates and those he used to mix with.
1:29:29 | What he will be doing in two years time.
1:33:57 | What is Wes Watson’s superpower.
1:35:07 | How much he sleeps.
1:37:39 | What Wes Watson thinks of Dan Pena and his delivery.
1:41:23 | What scares Wes Watson.
1:42:02 | Best day of his life.
1:43:47 | Worst day of his life.
1:47:23 | What keeps him awake at night.
1:47:50 | Does hie think we are going to make it in this world.
1:48:44 | Success secrets.
1:49:27 | Brian’s summing up.


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