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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?

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    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:

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    • 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.

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    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)

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    Teresa Griffith

    Teresa is a passionate writer who shares about productivity tips on Lifehack.

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    Last Updated on July 3, 2020

    30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

    30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

    In today’s world, true peace must come from within us and our own actions. Here are 30 small things you can do on a regular basis to increase your overall sense of harmony, peace, and well-being:

    1. Don’t go to every fight you’re invited to

    Particularly when you’re around those who thrive on chaos, be willing to decline the invitation to join in on the drama.

    2. Focus on your breath

    Throughout the day, stop to take a few deep breaths. Keep stress at bay with techniques such as “square breathing.” Breathe in for four counts, hold for four counts, then out for four counts, and hold again for four counts. Repeat this cycle four times.

    3. Get organized and purge old items

    A cluttered space often creates a cluttered spirit. Take the time to get rid of anything you haven’t used in a year and invest in organizational systems that help you sustain a level of neatness.

    4. Stop yourself from being judgmental

    Whenever you are tempted to have an opinion about someone else’s life, check your intentions. Judging others creates and promotes negative energy.

    5. Say ‘thank you’ early and often

    Start and end each day with an attitude of gratitude. Look for opportunities in your daily routine and interactions to express appreciation.

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    6. Smile more

    Even if you have to “fake it until you make it,” there are many scientific benefits of smiling and laughing. Also, pay attention to your facial expression when you are doing neutral activities such as driving and walking. Turn that frown upside down!

    7. Don’t worry about the future

    As difficult as this sounds, there is a direct connection between staying in the present and living a more peaceful life. You cannot control the future. As the old proverb goes, “Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.” Practice gently bringing your thoughts back to the present.

    8. Eat real food

    The closer the food is to the state from which it came from the earth, the better you will feel in eating it. Choose foods that grew from a plant over food that was made in a plant.

    9. Choose being happy over being right

    Too often, we sacrifice inner peace in order to make a point. It’s rarely worth it.

    10. Keep technology out of the bedroom

    Many studies, such as one conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, have connected blue light of electronic devices before bed to adverse sleep and overall health. To make matters worse, many people report that they cannot resist checking email and social media when their cell phone is in reach of their bed, regardless of the time.

    11. Make use of filtering features on social media

    You may not want to “unfriend” someone completely, however you can choose whether you want to follow their posts and/or the sources of information that they share.

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    12. Get comfortable with silence

    When you picture someone who is the ultimate state of peace, typically they aren’t talking.

    13. Listen to understand, not to respond

    So often in conversations, we use our ears to give us cues about when it is our turn to say what we want to say. Practice active listening, ask questions, process, then speak.

    14. Put your troubles in a bubble

    Whenever you start to feel anxious, visualize the situation being wrapped in a bubble and then picture that sphere floating away.

    15. Speak more slowly

    Often a lack of peace manifests itself in fast or clipped speech. Take a breath, slow down, and let your thoughtful consideration drive your words.

    16. Don’t procrastinate

    Nothing adds stress to our lives like waiting until the last minute.

    17. Buy a coloring book

    Mandala coloring books for adults are becoming more popular because of their connection to creating inner peace.

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    18. Prioritize yourself

    You are the only person who you are guaranteed to live with 24 hours a day for the rest of your life.

    19. Forgive others

    Holding a grudge is hurting you exponentially more than anyone else. Let it go.

    20. Check your expectations

    Presumption often leads to drama. Remember the old saying, “Expectations are premeditated resentments.”

    21. Engage in active play

    Let your inner child come out and have some fun. Jump, dance, play, and pretend!

    22. Stop criticizing yourself

    The world is a hard enough place with more than enough critics. Your life is not served well by being one of them.

    23. Focus your energy and attention on what you want

    Thoughts, words, and actions all create energy. Energy attracts like energy. Put out what you want to get back.

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    24. Assign yourself “complaint free” days.

    Make a conscious decision not to complain about anything for a whole day. It might be harder than you think and the awareness will stick with you.

    25. Surround yourself with people you truly enjoy being in the company of

    Personalities tend to be contagious, and not everyone’s is worth catching. Be judicious in your choices.

    26. Manage your money

    Financial concerns rank top on the list of what causes people stress. Take the time each month to do a budget, calculate what you actually spend and sanity check that against the money you have coming in.

    27. Stop trying to control everything

    Not only is your inner control freak sabotaging your sense of peace, it is also likely getting in the way of external relationships as well.

    28. Practice affirmations

    Repeat positive phrases that depict the life and qualities you want to attract. It may not come naturally to you, but it works.

    29. Get up before sunrise

    Personally witnessing the dawn brings a unique sense of awe and appreciation for life.

    30. Be yourself

    Nothing creates more inner discord than trying to be something other than who we really are. Authenticity breeds happiness.

    Featured photo credit: man watching sunrise via stokpic.com

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