Last week, I posed the question to all my readers, “What’s your life manifesto?” As the week came to pass, I found myself thinking about this question. As a result, a couple follow-up questions came to my mind, which included:
- What if someone doesn’t have a life manifesto? How do you create one?
- What is the call to action? How do you live out your manifesto?
I felt it was important to answer these questions and to provide some additional feedback. Once I started putting together the answers, there was a poignant moment when I told myself, “Wow, this all begins with one simple concept.” If you can hang in there long enough, then I’ll share with you just exactly what the concept is that I’m thinking about.
Question 1: What if you don’t have a life manifesto – how do you create one?
For starters, there is nothing written in stone that says you must have a mantra by which you live your life. I’d be willing to bet that most people haven’t put much thought into it. And, you know what? That’s completely okay.
I believe that having a creed of sorts by which to live provides you with the motivation to continue pushing forward in life. Some people are okay with living an average life. However, if you aren’t one to settle for the status quo, and if you aren’t a fan of complacency, then a manifesto is a great place to start.
Now, if you don’t already have a manifesto but are looking to create one, I implore you to work on it over an extended period. Keep it simple at first, because it likely won’t hit you all at once. Revise, edit, change, and keep working at it until you can say, “This manifesto defines the person that I strive to be.” Because the person you strive to be is one of integrity, character, and authenticity.
Question 2: What is the call to action – how does one live out their life manifesto?
A call to action simply means ‘what are the next steps’. In other words, something is said or done, and there is a follow up item that needs to be completed. For example, if you currently have a life manifesto, or you are in the process of completing one, the call to action would be to live out those words that you penned on paper.
If you thought coming up with a manifesto was challenging, just wait until it comes time to live it out. I’ll be honest and share that it’s a struggle sometimes to live out the words that I put on paper each week. For anyone who chooses to be vulnerable in such a manner, it creates an expectation that is, at times, challenging to meet.
However, your life philosophy can best be lived out when you stay rooted in the core values and beliefs that you have set for yourself. Ask yourself the question, “What’s most important to me in my life?” It could be your wife, your husband, your kids, your siblings, your work, your hobbies, your friends, your ‘fill-in-the-blank’. Whatever is most important in your life is usually where you will find your values being lived out..
The second part to living out your manifesto is to have a clear vision of what it is you are moving towards. This could include something simple (yet challenging) such as striving to be a better person each day, or it could involve something complex (still challenging) such as overcoming an addiction. How you carry yourself in these processes will determine whether you are sticking to the words you have put on paper.
The One Simple Idea
The first big idea in this article was to determine how to begin creating your own manifesto. To recap, this is the part when you ask yourself, “Who is the person I strive to be”. Once you have a grasp on this, then you can take action on the second big idea – to develop your motivational road map to help get you from your ‘here to your there’.
I have found that the person who strives to grow and to develop is often seeking something more in life. A mindset of these types of people is to never settle for anything less than they deserve. They know what they want, and they go after it.
As I mentioned earlier, after reflecting on the idea of a life mantra and the questions previously posed, there is one simple idea that is often the driving force behind both creating a manifesto and living one out.
It’s called a dream. Big or small – a dream is a dream. It could be the side project in which you find enjoyment or pursuing what you feel is your life’s work. How you carry yourself is pursuit of your dreams is what people will remember – it will define you in many ways. For when you pursue your dreams, you are working towards what is most important in your life. A manifesto helps to motivate, to keep on track, and to remind you that having dreams is what makes life tolerablehaving dreams is what makes life tolerable.
And after all, having a manifesto is what reinforces that today is possible.