Perhaps we can skip the chest beating part, as well as the spray painting. Here is where I’m going. After contemplating sucking less last week, I wanted something much more positively stated, in writing, to remind me of what I aspire to be. I know I know…a “personal manifesto” — it sounds so annoying, or does it? Why not have a list of ideals you remind yourself of on a daily basis? Why not have an operating system for your behaviors and actions? My use of the word “ideals” is intentional. Speaking for myself, I am nowhere near achieving some of my principles consistently. So what? Isn’t it great to have something to reach for?
This all started for me because I’ve been digging into the teachings of James Altucher recently and found his article on personal manifestos. But I have to hand it to Marelisa Fabrega, who has a blog I resonate with, which includes articles on growth, productivity and creativity. She perfectly encapsulates what I wanted to capture and why…in a personal manifesto.
Here is my challenge to you, given that you probably have spent many hours of your professional life creating business plans, marketing plans, account plans, MRDs, product stories, product launch plans, PR plans, event plans, countless PowerPoint presentations, etc.. Why not take 60 minutes and write down a few words that help guide YOU? I have to believe it will bring more fullness to every aspect of your life.
OK, here goes. I’ll show you mine if you show me yours. Oh hell. I’m showing you mine anyway. Enjoy your week!
My 21 Point Personal Manifesto
- Energy – I recognize that energy is the currency of life, and one of the “things” that people count on me for the most. Therefore I seek to continually improve my ability to generate energy, through eating healthy foods, vigorous exercise, and continual movement throughout the day interspersed with paced relaxation.
- Learning – I value continuous learning and growth. I strive to better myself everyday, recognizing that while I am “complete” as I am, I want to learn more so I can contribute more. I am open to learning from everyone and everything including a range of written materials. I also learn from my own mistakes and so-called “failures.”
- Goal Focus – I am goal focused, and recognize that a goal delayed is not a goal denied. Modifying goals is fine, changing plans to meet goals is even better, and I constantly look for the teachable moments from mistakes I make in goal attainment. What I learn and who I become in attaining my goals is more important than the actual goals.
- Contribution – I have a broad definition of contribution – creating and adding value for others every day.
- Inner Guidance – I am guided internally, by my own signals and intuition. This means I may “do things” that others regard as odd or weird. That is OK, particularly if it serves a useful purpose in furthering these principles.
- Connection – I connect to God/Spirit/Creator every day. This is through praying, meditating and thinking/contemplation.
- Listening – I continually work on improving my listening skills so I can behave more empathetically with people and understand where they are at, with no judgment – and advice only if they ask for it.
- Suggesting – I make constructive suggestions and/or ask eliciting questions to help and guide people in all realms of their live. I do not criticize negatively or in ways that are not actionable.
- Laughter – I look for small moments of joy in everyday life, laughing and bringing laughter and more lightness to those around me.
- Respect – I show respect and compassion for other people, regardless of who they are or what station in life they are at. I do not tease, criticize, label, judge, or make fun of other people, nor do I gossip about them. And in return I don’t accept these behaviors from other people. In this regard I treat “blood” (family) the same as “water” (friends).
- Golden Rule – I treat other people as I wish to be treated. I strongly believe in the Law of Atraction, i.e., that what we send out is inevitably what we get back in return.
- Unity – I think and behave in adherence with my belief that we are all one. “Separation” is not my bag.
- Becoming More Aware – I continually increase my levels of moment-to-moment awareness through redirecting my thoughts, and through deep breathing.
- Expressing Gratitude – Conveying gratitude is always key for me. I write down what I’m thankful for daily, express with my family what I’m grateful for, and demonstrate gratefulness by seeking to both help and thank others, and lighten their spirit.
- Forgiving Myself and Others – It is OK to “fail myself and others.” And I continually work hard to forgive others more quickly and more fully. Every day is a new day. And everybody, including myself, does the best they can.
- Patience – I recognize that things in life happen when they are intended to, which is not necessarily on my schedule.
- Self-Love – I treat myself with respect and compassion. While I am certainly imperfect I love myself with all my imperfections, just as I am.
- Inner Peace – I value inner peace more than happiness. I can tangibly “feel” what inner peace is like in those moments when I think I have it. And I believe happiness is a byproduct of inner peace.
- Creativity – I admire “creation,” have a broad definition of what constitutes creativity, and believe we are all creators if we align ourselves in that mindset. I seek to “create” in any form every day.
- Learning from Adversity – While I don’t “like” adversity I recognize it makes me more resilient and often helps me learn faster, particularly when I ask, “what else could this mean?”
- Spending – I am focused on gaining 100% financial independence for our family. This means I am deliberate in defining “needs” versus “wants.” While we enjoy an abundant life, I save money every year — living below and when possible well below our means. I don’t know anyone named Jones – keeping up with them has no appeal.