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.
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.