There are certain messages that serve to get you “back to one” when you find you’re going off course. Whether you use tools such as a manifesto, a personal mission statement, a vision board or a list similar to Benjamin Franklin’s “13 Virtues”, taking the time to identify with one and then keeping it handy is worthwhile – and perhaps even imperative. But in a lot of cases you don’t have to “reinvent the wheel”; there are some awesome inspirational manifestos that have already put out there for you to look at and use as a means to set you back on course. Some come in the form of an image, some as a video, and some as nothing more than a blog post. One of those styles of presentation may resonate with you more than others, and yet you may want to have a selection to look at for the times where you need more than just a quick jolt of inspiration. In fact, some of these may be in the form of “pseudo-manifestos” in that they have only some elements of a manifesto that they focus on, but are powerfully delivered nonetheless. If you’re looking for inspiration, look no further. I’ve assembled 10 awesome inspirational manifestos right here for you to see.
1. The Holstee Manifesto
This is one of the best known ones on the web. It is a complete manifesto, not centering on one aspect in particular. The Holstee Manifesto seems to have pioneered what could be termed as an “onslaught” of typography manifestos (and pseudo-manifestos), some of which are on this list and many of which are not. Yet there’s nothing quite like the original, is there?
2. Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)
Baz Luhrman, best known as the director of films like “Strictly Ballroom” and “Moulin Rouge!”, released this song back in 1999. The lyrics are straight from an essay by Mary Schmich from 1997 called “Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young” and the song climbed music charts across the globe. Some wise words set to a catchy tune.
3. the lululemon manifesto
The corporate manifesto for thsi athletic wear company may very well be a bellwether for a shift in the culture of the new enterprising set. While the lululemon manifesto does tie in what their employees should to do in order to be able balance both work and life (which are for many, essentially one in the same), it is worth aspiring to for those who don’t work for the company as well.
4. Women in Business Manifesto
While this one may be directed at women in business, it certainly can apply to a much larger demographic. The message conveyed by the Women in Business Manifesto is another example of typography imagery done well.
5. Frank Lloyd Wright’s 10-Point Manifesto for His Apprentices
This one also is directed at a certain group – and a very niche on at that. But again, Wright’s manifesto has much to offer anyone if they look beyond the group for which it was originally intended. There are some great attributes to strive for in there.
6. Incomplete Manifesto for Growth
Straight from the manifesto’s creator, Bruce Mau:
“This design manifesto was first written by Bruce Mau in 1998, articulating his beliefs, strategies, and motivations.”
Apply this manifesto where you see fit, because it does fit in places suited for you.
7. 279 Days to Overnight Success
Chris Guillebeau’s “The Art of Non-Conformity” website is full of inspiration, and this downloadable PDF is no exception. If you’re a writer looking to take the steps to making it your full time vocation, this manifesto is worth the free download. If you’re not a writer, it’s worth it all the same.
8. The Expert Enough Manifesto
This manifesto comes straight from the blog founded by Corbet Barr. The Expert Enough Manifesto illustrates what the site “is all about” — and it may hold things inside that you find that you’re all about as well.
Leo Babauta, former Stepcase Lifehack contributor and creator of “Zen Habits”, has put together a simple and effective manifesto with the downloadable PDF known plainly as “focus”. Just make sure you don’t start reading it until you’re done with this list. After all, the theme of the manifesto is…focus.
10. The Passive Aggressive Manifesto
“Let’s face it… words, no matter how pretty and sweet they might be, don’t really mean all that much if they don’t make you do anything.”
(Is it ironic that perhaps those manifestos which he spoofed prompted him to create this manifesto? Hmmm…) A fun and insightful read no matter how its creation was prompted.
BONUS: 6 More Insanely Awesome Inspirational Manifestos
These manifestos are also amazing; give them a look to see if you can glean anything from them to inspire you to action.
- Do The Work – Steven Pressfield
- The Checklist Manifesto – Atul Gawande
- The Fire Fly Manifesto – Jonathan Fields
- Great Work Manifestos – Michael Bungay Stanier
- A Lesser Photographer – CJ Chilvers
- The Writer’s Manifesto – Jeff Goins
What manifestos do you find inspiration in and use to help you move forward? I’d be interested to hear your suggestions in the comments.