Some say the word “manifesto” brings forth the thought of either Communists or serial killers. This is understandable – the word has taken a beating over the years.
I was browsing the Internet one day and happened upon The Holstee Manifesto (see below) and I thought that is what I want to do this year versus New Year’s Resolutions.
HOW AND WHY TO WRITE YOUR OWN PERSONAL MANIFESTO
A Manifesto: Defined
A manifesto is defined as a declaration of one’s beliefs, opinions, motives, and intentions. It is simply a document that an organization or person writes that declares what is important to them.
A manifesto functions as both a statement of principles and a bold, sometimes rebellious, call to action. By causing people to evaluate the gap between those principles and their current reality, the manifesto challenges assumptions, fosters commitment, and provokes change.
The Benefits of a Manifesto
What makes a manifesto so valuable is the fact that it is a constant source of inspiration to you, and one that can often be easily read every day. It focuses your mind by reminding you of your priorities.
So your manifesto isn’t so much for you to show people – it’s more of a medium through which your present self can correspond with your future self.
How to Write a Manifesto
There is really no right or wrong way to write a manifesto; the style of it is up to you. You may want to make it very straightforward or launch into impassioned arguments for why you believe in each principle.
Here are a few of my personal suggestions:
Pick the topics. You first need to figure out the topics you want to write about. These are the areas of your life for which you want to declare your principles.
Set down your principles. Write down your beliefs, motives, and intentions about each of the topics you chose. A manifesto is an opportunity for you to lay your cards on the table.
Use strong, affirmative language. Don’s use phrases like “I want to exhibit strength and control…” use the more powerful “I WILL exhibit strength and control…” This may seem minor, but if you use active language, you’ll take it much more seriously. You may wish to punch up the language even further, by using the present tense: “I exhibit strength and control.”
Write it down with pen and paper. You should consider writing your manifesto in a physical book or paper. The physical act of writing on an actual page with an actual pen is symbolically powerful. Sure, you could type yours up in 20 minutes, but there is something special about taking far more time and actually writing it out; as you press the words on the paper, they’re pressed into your mind as well.