Best Self Magazine

Radical Responsibility: The Key To Moving From Suffering To True Agency & Freedom

Radical Responsibility: The Key To Moving From Suffering To True Self-Agency & Freedom by Fleet Maull. Photograph of several open doors going down a hallway by Filip Kominik
Photograph by Filip Kominik

From addict, drug smuggler and prison inmate to social entrepreneur and revered meditation teacher — one man frees himself from emotional handcuffs 

Here’s a sobering story. In 1985, I was sentenced to 25 years without parole for drug trafficking. My life as I knew it was over. I was 35 years old, well-educated, with talent and potential, and I had completely torched my life — burned it to the ground. My nine-year-old son would now grow up without a father. As I considered what lay ahead, I made a crystal-clear, radical commitment — to eradicate all negativity from my life and somehow use my education and talents to accomplish something of value during my time in maximum security prison, something that might allow my son to hold his head up and be proud of his dad. I couldn’t change the fact that I was in prison, but I could choose how I spent my time there, and I was determined to lead a life of service from that point forward.

My philosophy of Radical Responsibility involves voluntarily embracing 100% responsibility or ownership for each and every

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