- 4-minute read + time to design your own
The best leaders have a personal manifesto that guides their decisions and actions.
So what is a manifesto?
A personal manifesto is a set of principles and standards—a declaration of your core values, what makes you tick and why you do what you do.
In its full glory, it helps you tap into your dreams and aspirations for yourself and the world you live.
Your manifesto is the wisdom that inspires you and the goals you want to achieve. It's a philosophy you can always turn to, especially when things seem a little shaky. (Like what we're experiencing right now in our world).
The best thing about your manifesto is, it challenges your assumptions. Keeps you focused on what matters most and provides a sense of certainty that you stand for something you believe is essential.
Let your imagination get excited because you can design a manifesto for:
- You personally
- Your business
To give you an idea of how visually vibrant it can be, here is my manifesto. Every time I look at it, I smile. I have a copy framed in my office so I can see it each day. When I feel like times are tough, it gives me hope. And if you resonate with it, I'm more than happy to share it with you until you create your own. Simply download it here.
The best time to create your manifesto is when you're feeling great about yourself and your life. But I get it; it's a challenging time right now. Plus let's face it, we'll rarely do it when we're feeling good because we're too busy having fun and enjoying life.
Therefore, the second-best time is when you have the freedom to sit, ponder and explore what motivates you. [hint: a lot of us have that time right now!] When we take the time to do exercises like this, we are better able to manage our hearts and minds, especially in chaos and crisis. Let's do what we can to emerge on the other side, feeling mentally and emotionally stable and healthy. We will get through this together.
Producer's hot tip: Use this time as an opportunity to visualise the life you want to produce. Here's how to create a positive space and environment to play.
- Block the time out in your calendar
- If you fancy, light a candle or some incense to help bring your senses alive
- Put on some music you love
- Pour your favourite drink
- Pull out your journal, coloured pens or just one colour if you prefer
- Set an intention for goodness to be created
- You can even set a timer
- Google "manifesto" for further examples and inspiration (Lululemon has a brilliant one).
- Invite a friend over and do it together
Five steps for designing your manifesto
Step 1. Create time
Choose to set aside 10, 20, 30 minutes or even an hour. Make a date with yourself. Block it out in your calendar or just decide to it right now! Make it into an occasion to feel good.
When you create time sit with what matters most, you'll find your manifesto has you feeling inspired, open, positive and full of all the good vibes. Think of it as your declaration of wisdom that ignites your vision, gives you purpose, fires up your passion. It's what you believe and the goals you wish to achieve so you can ensure you're feeling fabulous.
Step 2. Put pen to paper and write it down
If you find exercises like this to be easy. Go for it. Do what feels fabulous and create. If, on the other hand, you find it a little challenging, be patient. Permit yourself to be creative. Get a pen and paper and write whatever comes to mind. In this first iteration, I like to write my thoughts all over the page. I don't worry about order, or even what I've written. So try not to edit.
If you need, ponder these statements to help your insights start flowing:
- Write a list of things that make you smile
- When you're grumpy, what helps shift your mood?
- What inspires you to be your best?
- List the attributes of who you want to be known
- Express what would double your happiness
- What do you want to see more of in the world?
- How would you like to make a difference and be a positive influence?
- Create belief statements starting with "I believe..."
- "Ideally, I'd like to be known for doing, being, giving what?"
- "I'm inspired when...?"
- "If I could do anything, it would be...?"
Step 3. Allow simmering
Once you're happy with the words, put it away for a couple of days. Go and live life and do what you love to do [staying safe in isolation, of course] and then come back to it in a day or two. Give it time to brew.
Step 4. Enjoy the process
Review what you've written. Tweak and change it as much as you choose. When you revise your manifesto, you might go even deeper or be more lighthearted or have more clarity or be more profound. Check in to see what feeling it give you?
Producer's hot tip: You want to feel lit up from the inside out.
When you're happy with your manifesto, be creative and playful with the layout. The more visually appealing it is to you, the more often you'll love to read it. Paint it. Draw it. Do what I did and make it on the computer. Then print it out. Laminate it or have it printed on canvas. Do whatever inspires you and puts a smile on your face. That's the outcome you want.
Step 5. Be Brilliant Now
Now you've spent time creating your manifesto it's time to live it every day. Put your beautifully crafted declaration somewhere you will see it daily.
Remember, your aim is to be inspired, excited, compelled, peaceful and full of hope. This exercise is a reminder of your inner brilliance, your core values and beliefs and the type of person you continually aspire to become.
And finally, this is for you. No-one else has to be impressed or even see it. Your manifesto doesn't have to make sense to anyone but you. But, it should light you up and put a smile on your lips, a skip in your step and hope in your heart.
Now, you have a manifesto to keep your focus. The next step could be to make sure you are as influential as you could be.