The first time I truly inspired myself was when I wrote this letter. It was October, 2005 in Santa Barbara and I was a participant in LifeLaunch, a personal discovery and renewal workshop offered by the Hudson Institute. I was there in the mindset of fulfilling a pre-requisite for their coaching program and then I wrote a letter to myself that changed me forever.

Dear David,

I’ve always believed in you and I’ve always known that the special combination of qualities, talents, skills and attributes that have come together to form your personality would sustain you in leading a vibrant, meaningful and exciting life.

Why did you stop taking risks? What are you so afraid of?

Where’s the high school kid who talked his way into meeting Kissinger and owned the stage? Where’s the boldness – the sheer force of personality that changes the energy of a room, draws people to you, creates opportunity and brings you joy? I challenge you to reclaim that. I challenge you to lead the second half of your life – starting now – to deliver what is most essentially you: strength of character, passion for aesthetic beauty, and absolute belief that you can and should associate with the best and brightest minds of your generation.

Stop second-guessing yourself. Knock off this shit about measuring up, comparing, critiquing. Reclaim the 16-year-old and choose that you are going to apply all of that positive confidence and deliberate living in a new and more powerful way. Think about it: with all that you’ve learned – all of your experience, reading and maturity – if you combine that with the risk-taking, possibility-craving attitude of that young man you will be an unstoppable, irresistible force. 

Somewhere along the way you started to play it safe, to stay clean. You got too serious and you dampened the purity of you. I implore you, I challenge you, to lighten up, get dirty and take some risks – model a life lived in exultation and expectation.

I am proud of you.

I want to be inspired by you.

3 thoughts on “Self-inspired

  1. David your letter is incredibly inspiring for the rest of us as well. Your evolution since this letter has also been inspiring to watch. Thank you for sharing and reminding us the inherent value in living in alignment with one’s true self, of getting messy and taking risks, and of limitless possibility for ourselves. Lisa

  2. Wow, this is really powerful. I would love to:1. Get from you this exercise so that I can do it myself and with future teams I lead.2. Would love your thoughts on creating an exercise around finding a way to emotionally and intellectually step “into” this letter every morning before your feet hit the ground. Embodying this mentality could lead to what Lisa said…limitless possibility.Love it! Thank you for this blog and most especially your transparency.Melissa

  3. Thanks to you both – the exercise is to write a letter to yourself from the future, age 70 or so. What does your wiser, more experienced self have to say to you about the life you have before you? Of course, we find that we already have the answers. It’s the simplest, most profound form of inspiration I have experienced.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s