An open letter to my previous self.

I was cleaning some old emails out and found a set of goals I had written in 2012. (Included at the end) The date was 12/12/12 of all days. As I was reading them, I started to get a little emotional. One, I can’t believe how low some of the goals are. Two, I can’t believe I actually accomplished several of them. Three, I’m so happy I took the first step toward them. If there are a few things I have mastered, they would be goal setting, focus, and consistent hard work and action toward accomplishing my goals without giving up.

Someone once asked me, “if you could go back in time and tell your previous self what you’ve accomplished, would you believe it?” This was a great question and the short answer is no way! The more I think about this question, the more I wonder what my life would have been like if I wouldn’t have taken the first step by writing these goals. To be honest, the thought scares me…

“There is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it.” Napoleon Hill


I’m writing you today to express my concern for you, your family and your health. I would ask you to have an open mind and please take my comments and concerns knowing I only have your best interests at heart. I know you, but you don’t know me. I know you better than anyone, I know your struggles, your weaknesses and your strengths. I also know what your future holds if you will just take my advice and apply it every day with persistence and tenacity. Whatever you do, however your goals change and when you come face to face with your struggles and failures, remember this: Don’t ever give up. The path is long and difficult, you will see success one day and failure the next, but don’t ever stop moving forward. Know now that the life you will live is so much better than the life you have now. When in doubt just put one foot in front of the other. You will not have all the answers, you will encounter temporary defeat, this will be the hardest thing you will ever do, but when you wake up in 3, 5, 10 years you will be thankful, your kids will be thankful and you will have the opportunity to touch lives in a way you can’t even dream of yet. Don’t ever give up.

Your weaknesses- You have many weaknesses. Do not worry, you have the power to make any weakness a strength. You need only to find your vision for the future. You are missing a strong set of goals. You are missing a purpose. Without a purpose and a vision for the future, you are a lost soul wandering through the desert looking for water, but not knowing what direction to go. Find your vision and purpose and you will overcome your weaknesses. Only you can make the decision and take the necessary action. You can no longer blame others for your shortfalls. You can no longer expect anyone else to guide you. You can no longer wait for an outside force to change. Only YOU have the power to do or not to do.

Ask yourself- What do you want? What would you have to do every day to attract what you want? What action can you take to get there? Write down what you want, reread it everyday day and take action. This is how you will overcome your weakness. Don’t ever give up.

Your strengths- You have many strengths. Unfortunately you do not use many of your strengths. Only you can make the decision and take the action needed to maximize your strengths. If I can point out your most important strength. You are a fighter. You can handle more pain than anyone. You have been through tough times and thrived. When you have a vision, you have an unstoppable will. Find your vision and you will unleash a power within. You have only scratched the surface of your capabilities. Do not be alarmed with your full potential as you do not know how powerful you are. When you think you have reached your potential, keep looking and keep digging as you will find more strength to carry you through tough times. It is the strength you find in darkness that will carry you through the light. Do not give up.

Keep this letter and reread it when you encounter temporary defeat. Do not dwell on failure as it is only temporary. Read it when you encounter success. Celebrate success but don’t stop moving forward. Do not stop learning. Your life and success will not outpace your personal development. Continue to learn and be coachable. Teach as many people as possible. The person who teaches receives the most from the lesson. You will have the opportunity to make a lasting change in many people’s lives. You have the power to be a leader and show what is possible through your actions. Do not take this opportunity for granted and do not squander your gift. Don’t ever give up on the person you can be.

Thank you and always remember no matter how hard it is, just take it one at a time and you will eventually reach your goals.


Your friends, your family, your wife, your kids, and many people whom you don’t even know exist, including me.


gary grad.jpgdb49a-mountains

Published by Gary Stotler

Gary Stotler is a father, running, fitness, weight loss and personal development addict. Formally 400 pounds, Gary has naturally lost 200 pounds, created a coaching & speaking business and has become a 100 mile ultra-runner. Holding a degree in Psychology & Sociology, certifications from the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a personal trainer, mindset & behavioral modification coaching, a certification in DISC personality assessment coaching and he is a certified speaker, coach & mentor with the John Maxwell Team. Gary firmly believes, if we take One Step at a Time, nothing is impossible. He is determined to let his actions show people what is possible and hopes to help you shake up your thoughts, change your actions and create your future.

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

  1. Wow! That is a really powerful letter to your former self. The former Gary, or anyone just like him, would read that and undoubtedly say, “Great! I have a cheerleader, and it is called ‘believe in myself’!” There is no one greater to cheer for you, than you. But, there happens to be the extra bonus of family and friends, who are also ready to cheer.
    Great message Gary!👍


Leave a comment

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

%d bloggers like this: