When I worked in advertising, I loved writing brand manifestos. I did it first, before writing any of the other content, because it helped set the tone for everything else. Manifestos are meant to have energy, be a rallying cry, and feel aspirational. And that goes for brands and humans. When you think about it, manifestos are literal statement pieces. To me that means they should be bold, and take a stand. Other than that, there aren’t any real rules, especially not if you’re writing one for yourself.
I just rewrote my own and I’m feeling supercharged by it. It’s a total work in progress (like me) and I hope– scratch that– fully expect it to evolve over time. For now, a peek behind the curtain b/c I like you to see the mess + maybe there’s something in here for you too:
Instructions on how I want to live, from the wise part of me:
You are a once in a lifetime event. Time to rsvp. Don’t hit the snooze button
Wake up, come as you are. Match your outsides to your insides
and let’s ride.
Ignore fairytales, you are already whole
Life is too short to wait on the sidelines
You’re already chosen
You are the hero and story
You’re here to inspire joy and wonder,
so gawk at the universe
feel everything while you can, tell about it
It’s okay to yell, friction makes the pearl
Get up, stand up, make it into art
Celebrate breathing, you don’t have to make it fancy
Take a bite out of every sandwich like your mama taught you
Talk to strangers like she said not to, and love hard, be a hugger
Stay open, even in the cold. Trust the unfolding
Curiosity is magic and so are you.
Spend time with trees and animals
It will help you remember the rhythms of nature and time
Pay with attention, all things grow with attention.
The earth is your garden
Let her feed you. Let her teach you.
Inspiration is everywhere. Give it all away.
Attend to the man living in the box on the corner
whose world you cannot imagine
Kindness ripples. It boomerangs.
Keep promises to yourself, you goddamned cheetah
Be the fullest version, take up space, you earned it lifetimes ago.
there’s room for everyone.
Forgive.Your soul wants peace.
Be generous and grateful
Lead with heart. Never stop learning
Travel, full stop. Dare yourself, and others
Share your ideas and your art. Be a lamp in the darkness.
Create with abandon
Swear if it makes you fucking happy.
Mix metaphors and colors. Keep trying new things.
Find the funny
When you don’t like what’s happening, change it
When you can’t change it, change your perspective
Ask how you can make the best of today
Romance the psyche
And serve and love and serve
These instructions are not written, they are etched on hearts they are
Invisible to most so look with all your senses, open wide
study the silence between the words to find meaning, you will recognize truth here
Turn your face towards the sun and away from the screen
Make things and in turn, those things will make you
Create because it makes you come alive
Trust you will find the thread
The laundry can wait
You were invited here. We were all invited here.
You are a one time event.
This is your life. Your masterpiece to create. Your calling to answer. Pick up, we’re all whispering. Pick up.
And… fin! That’s it. Long, I know. That’s me, not some unstated manifesto requirement. What I want to know is, does this inspire you to write your own? If you do, here’s the part two: Don’t leave it on your computer or stuffed in a drawer somewhere. Actually print it out and– you’ll love this, I know– say it to yourself in the mirror. Say it loud, and proud. If it doesn’t feel good, revise until it does. Say it each morning, if you’d like. It’s meant to inspire you to greatness!
I’m actually playing a game with this manifesto. Instead of saying the whole thing each day, I’ve printed it out and cut it into pieces– sentences, actually. Starting tomorrow, I pull one piece out of a hat, and live that one for the day. I’ll let you know how it goes. Let me know about yours, too.