Writing Your Life's Manifesto & Why It Gets You Clear on Your Purpose
by Sara Afayee
Have you ever struggled to write out your goals for the year? Have you ever struggled to know what the right next step is for you? Have you ever weighed out pros and cons before making a big decision? A manifesto for your life may serve as a key place to look to when making pivotal and small decisions.
The terms ‘manifesto’ and ‘manifest’ are derived from the same family of words. Manifesting possessions, people, opportunities, events, and experiences into your life is possible through intention and action. Intention and action must be combined in order to accomplish any goal.
A life manifesto is a written declaration of your intentions, motivations, views and values. Writing your life manifesto will help you to write out what is already in your heart and in your head. It will bring it into existence through intentional action. There is extreme power in writing down your intentions and then creating attainable goals that align with those seeds of intention. The best part of your life manifesto is that is 100 percent unique to you. You are the author of the ideas and values that fill the manifesto. Rest assured, your life manifesto can be a flexible, living document that you can change at any point in your life. However, it is something you can take with you from year to year.
A life manifesto serve as:
- A compass to help guide you when you feel ‘lost’
- A statement of your values
- A framework of how you want to live your life
- A guide for how to conduct business
- A guiding light when you feel darkness
- Clarity for when you feel confused or broken
- Positive, joyful language to motivate you on days where you have low energy or no motivation
A life manifesto is a clear path that reveals:
- How you want to show up in the world
- How you will recover from loss and hard days
- How you want to be perceived
- What you want to be remembered for and your legacy
- How you will spend your precious time
- How you will treat people
- How you will treat yourself
- How you will persevere through illness or injury
- How to make life altering decisions
- How to make day to day decisions
Here are two visioning exercises to help you think about how to create your life manifesto. You will need a pen and paper.
Visioning Exercise #1: Close your eyes. Imagine that you were just told you could see into the future and visit with the best version of you. What do they wear? How do they interact with people? What do they like to do with their time? How do they show up for work? What is their attitude like? When you think about the higher version of you (also known as the best version of you), does this manifesto stand true?
Visioning Exercise #2: Close your eyes. Imagine that there is a table filled with people who know you well from all parts of your life. You hear them discussing your best qualities and what your impact has been on them and others. What would you want them to say about your qualities and values?
Creating Your Own Life Manifesto
To start creating your own life manifesto, grab a paper and pen and jot down your thoughts and responses to the following questions:
- What five words do you want to use to describe your life?
- What top phrases do you find yourself saying in times of joy? And in times of sadness?
- What do you know to be true about yourself?
- What is your life’s calling?
- How do you want to show up in the world?
- Above all else, what do you know to be the truth?
- What do you know to be your truth?
SAMHSA’s 8 Dimensions of Wellness is a great way to consider all domains of your life. Ask yourself, what is the most important ‘truths’ in each of these 8 domains:
- Emotional / Mental
Example of a Manifesto
I have provided an excerpt from my own manifesto.
Vibrant, Loving, Joyful
I feel gratitude daily and choose to focus on what I do have, instead of what I do not have.
I acknowledge that I already have everything I need within me to live my best, beautiful life.
I do not have the whole story/background of everyone I meet, so I will choose not to jump to conclusions, judge, or take things too personally.
I create healthy boundaries and live my life in balance.
Money does not dictate how I will live my life.
I value experiences and memories over possessions.
I respect passion in myself and others.
I have the ability to pivot, change, adapt, and thrive.
I believe that every person I meet is for a reason.
I believe that every interaction, mistake, and decision is meant for my path.
I honor my identities, and embrace how culture, gender, and race has impacted my trajectory.
I put out love and kindness to everyone I meet, from strangers to people I have known for a long time.
I bring my attention to all of the positive, uplifting things in my day.
I limit complaining and talking badly about people.
I choose to pay attention to people when I am with them and limit distractions.
I check in with myself frequently to ensure that I am doing okay, and that my cup is full.
I have the ability to change my energy and vibrations to be more positive.
I respect my time. I understand when it is okay to rest and when it is okay to strive hard.
I know love is always the answer.
I know my intention and effort is paramount.
I deeply listen to myself, and others.
I believe we are all interconnected and I need a sense of community.
I contribute to the world just by being me and showing up