Advertising
Advertising

Why Everyone Should Write a Manifesto

Why Everyone Should Write a Manifesto


    Does the word “manifesto” bring to mind fanatical writings of communist dictators? Or do you remember some of these awesome manifestos that Lifehack posted a few months ago? Or these ones?

    Advertising

    Although some manifestos are a bit extreme, the definition of manifesto from the Oxford American Dictionary is simply this:

    Man•i•fes•to (noun) – A public declaration of policy and aims, esp. one issued before an election by a political party or candidate.

    While you may never go into politics or try to take over the world, writing a manifesto is a great way to

    • Clarify your beliefs
    • Examine your motivations
    • Create personal “policies”
    • Describe what kind of world you’d like to live in
    • Write down your goals

    Distilling these “policies and aims” down on paper helps you think about what you truly want out of life, which in turn helps you:

    Advertising

    • Make good decisions
    • Evaluate opportunities
    • Stick to your priorities when conflicts arise in your schedule or otherwise
    • Reach your goals

    Your manifesto doesn’t have to be extreme or written in stone; you can review it annually and make changes as you grow personally. In fact, it might be neat to keep the old versions and see how your beliefs evolve over time. It doesn’t have to be a long document or take ten months to write. If you’re stumped on how to start, try the outline below.

    • I believe that everyone _______ (has these qualities and rights).
    • I believe it is important to _______ (do certain things).
    • In my world, people treat each other _______ (in these ways).
    • In my world, _______ (describe the environment, economy, etc).
    • My personal policy is _______ (to behave a certain way).
    • I believe that I am uniquely equipped to _______ (do something).
    • My overarching personal goal is _______ (add sub-goals if desired).
    • My overall business/career goal is _______ (add sub-goals if desired).

    You don’t have to share your manifesto with anyone; it is for you alone. If you are single, it may help you attract the right mate, and you may enjoy talking about the topics you’ve covered with potential mates to see how compatible they are. Or share it with a few close friends and see what their reactions are. It’s a great way to start one hell of a conversation.

    Advertising

    Write your manifesto with an open mind and a desire to clarify things for yourself — it’s not a soap box from which to preach. Nobody likes a know-it-all or an opinion-pusher. Since writing a manifesto requires you to really think about your reasons for your beliefs and opinions, you can unintentionally come across as arrogant (or annoying) if you start ranting and reciting your manifesto to those who are less “put together.” Everyone has their own personal viewpoint, and I think we all agree that each one deserves our respect.

    (Photo credit: Fountain Pen via Shutterstock)

    Advertising

    More by this author

    Top 20 Time Wasters and the Top 5 Worthwhile Activities How Failure Helps You To Succeed and Grow Ultimate Hacks For The Best Christmas Ever 3 Things to Keep in Mind When Making Decisions How to Deal with Annoying People

    Trending in Communication

    1 How to Be Patient and Take Charge of Your Life 2 What Is Self-Actualization? 13 Traits of Self-Actualized People 3 5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today 4 5 Warning Signs That You’re a People Pleaser 5 How to Think Positive Thoughts When Feeling Negative

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on December 10, 2019

    5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

    5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

    Here’s the truth: your effectiveness at life is not what it could be. You’re missing out.

    Each day passes by and you have nothing to prove that it even happened. Did you achieve something? Go on a date? Have an emotional breakthrough? Who knows?

    But what you do know is that you don’t want to make the same mistakes that you’ve made in the past.

    Our lives are full of hidden gems of knowledge and insight, and the most recent events in our lives contain the most useful gems of all. Do you know why? It’s simple, those hidden lessons are the most up to date, meaning they have the largest impact on what we’re doing right now.

    But the question is, how do you get those lessons? There’s a simple way to do it, and it doesn’t involve time machines:

    Journal writing.

    Advertising

    Improved mental clarity, the ability to see our lives in the big picture, as well as serving as a piece of evidence cataloguing every success we’ve ever had; we are provided all of the above and more by doing some journal writing.

    Journal writing is a useful and flexible tool to help shed light on achieving your goals.

    Here’s 5 smart reasons why you should do journal writing:

    1. Journals Help You Have a Better Connection with Your Values, Emotions, and Goals

    By journaling about what you believe in, why you believe it, how you feel, and what your goals are, you understand your relationships with these things better. This is because you must sort through the mental clutter and provide details on why you do what you do and feel what you feel.

    Consider this:

    Perhaps you’ve spent the last year or so working at a job you don’t like. It would be easy to just suck it up and keep working with your head down, going on as if it’s supposed to be normal to not like your job. Nobody else is complaining, so why should you, right?

    Advertising

    But a little journal writing will set things straight for you. You don’t like your job. You feel like it’s robbing you of happiness and satisfaction, and you don’t see yourself better there in the future.

    The other workers? Maybe they don’t know, maybe they don’t care. But you do, you know and care enough to do something about it. And you’re capable of fixing this problem because your journal writing allows you to finally be honest with yourself about it.

    2. Journals Improve Mental Clarity and Help Improve Your Focus

    If there’s one thing journal writing is good for, it’s clearing the mental clutter.

    How does it work? Simply, whenever you have a problem and write about it in a journal, you transfer the problem from your head to the paper. This empties the mind, allowing allocation of precious resources to problem-solving rather than problem-storing.

    Let’s say you’ve been juggling several tasks at work. You’ve got data entry, testing, e-mails, problems with the boss, and so on—enough to overwhelm you—but as you start journal writing, things become clearer and easier to understand: Data entry can actually wait till Thursday; Bill kindly offered earlier to do my testing; For e-mails, I can check them now; the boss is just upset because Becky called in sick, etc.

    You become better able to focus and reason your tasks out, and this is an indispensable and useful skill to have.

    Advertising

    3. Journals Improve Insight and Understanding

    As a positive consequence of improving your mental clarity, you become more open to insights you may have missed before. As you write your notes out, you’re essentially having a dialogue with yourself. This draws out insights that you would have missed otherwise; it’s almost as if two people are working together to better understand each other. This kind of insight is only available to the person who has taken the time to connect with and understand themselves in the form of writing.

    Once you’ve gotten a few entries written down, new insights can be gleaned from reading over them. What themes do you see in your life? Do you keep switching goals halfway through? Are you constantly dating the same type of people who aren’t good for you? Have you slowly but surely pushed people out of your life for fear of being hurt?

    All of these questions can be answered by simply self-reflecting, but you can only discover the answers if you’ve captured them in writing. These questions are going to be tough to answer without a journal of your actions and experiences.

    4. Journals Track Your Overall Development

    Life happens, and it can happen fast. Sometimes we don’t take the time to stop and look around at what’s happening to us at each moment. We don’t get to see the step-by-step progress that we’re making in our own lives. So what happens? One day it’s the future, and you have no idea how you’ve gotten there.

    Journal writing allows you to see how you’ve changed over time, so you can see where you did things right, and you can see where you took a misstep and fell.

    The great thing about journals is that you’ll know what that misstep was, and you can make sure it doesn’t happen again—all because you made sure to log it, allowing yourself to learn from your mistakes.

    Advertising

    5. Journals Facilitate Personal Growth

    The best thing about journal writing is that no matter what you end up writing about, it’s hard to not grow from it. You can’t just look at a past entry in which you acted shamefully and say “that was dumb, anyway!” No, we say “I will never make a dumb choice like that again!”

    It’s impossible not to grow when it comes to journal writing. That’s what makes journal writing such a powerful tool, whether it’s about achieving goals, becoming a better person, or just general personal-development. No matter what you use it for, you’ll eventually see yourself growing as a person.

    Kickstart Journaling

    How can journaling best be of use to you? To vent your emotions? To help achieve your goals? To help clear your mind? What do you think makes journaling such a useful life skill?

    Know the answer? Then it’s about time you reap the benefits of journal writing and start putting pen to paper.

    Here’s what you can do to start journaling:

    Featured photo credit: Jealous Weekends via unsplash.com

    Read Next