A personal manifesto is a declaration of your core values and beliefs, what you stand for, and how you intend to live your life. It functions both as a statement of principles and as a call to action. A personal manifesto can serve as all of the following:
- As a frame for your life.
- As a compass, pointing you toward what you’ve decided is your true north.
- As a mechanism for focusing your mind and reminding you of your priorities.
- As a source of motivation.
- As a behavior modification system, so that you always act in accordance with your values, even during times of stress.
- As a mechanism to keep you striving to achieve high ideals.
- As inspiration to live your purpose more fully.
- As a foundation upon which to build your life.
- As a way to begin to bring a new life—or a new way of living—into existence.
Below you’ll discover how to write a personal manifesto. In addition, I’ve include my own personal manifesto, in case you need a little inspiration to get started on yours.
Guidelines for Writing Your Personal Manifesto
Begin writing your manifesto by making a list of the areas that you want to address. For example, you could make a list of the most important people in your life and write down how you intend to behave when it comes to each of them. You can also decide to include areas such as the following:
- Dealing with disappointment and hardships.
- Dealing with failures and mistakes.
- Dealing with opportunities and risk taking.
- Daily interaction with others (waiters, cashiers, neighbors, and so on).
- Choosing your attitude.
- Your general approach toward life.
- How you’ll treat your body.
- How you’ll spend your money.
- How you’ll spend your time.
In addition, you can create a manifesto by asking yourself questions such as the following:
- What do I stand for?
- What am I willing to die for?
- What are my strongest beliefs?
- How do I want to live my life?
- How do I choose to define myself?
- What changes do I need to make so that I can live my best life?
- What words do I want to live my life by?
Here are five general guidelines for writing your manifesto:
- Make it uplifting.
- Use strong language (don’t be wishy-washy).
- It can be as short or as long as you like (but don’t make it so long that you can’t read it every day).
- Write it in the present tense.
- Keep it positive.
My Personal Manifesto
Below you’ll find the 26 points that make up my personal manifesto.
1. I shall cultivate peace of mind. I know that I can change the way that I feel at any moment, simply by changing my thoughts.
“Peace come from within. Do not seek it without.” – Buddha
2. I shall always treat myself like someone I love.
“Love Thyself. First you must shine with positive, high-spirited vibrations, and be full of love. In order to do that, I think it’s important to love, thank, and respect yourself.” – Masaru Emoto, in Love Thyself, The Message from Water III
3. I shall trust myself and listen to my inner voice.
“Just trust yourself, then you will know how to live.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
4. I shall meet each day with reverence for the opportunities that it contains.
“This bright, new day… complete with 24 hours of opportunities, choices, and attitudes… a perfectly matched set of 1440 minutes. This unique gift, this one day, cannot be exchanged, replaced or refunded. Handle with care. Make the most of it. There is only one to a customer.” – Author Unknown
5. I shall improve myself every day in some way, whether it’s by dropping a negative belief, learning a new word, or adding to my knowledge of the world.
“I don’t think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.”– Abraham Lincoln
6. I shall not take things personally. I know that what others say and do is a projection of their own reality; it has nothing to do with me.
“Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are a good person is a little like expecting the bull not to attack you because you are a vegetarian.” – Dennis Wholey
7. I’m independent of the good opinion of others.
“The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell truth that is in us . . . the divine flood of light and life no longer flow into our souls.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
8. I give myself permission to be myself. I’m authentic. I live life in my own way.
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”– Ralph Waldo Emerson
9. I shall talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person I meet.
“There are persons so radiant, so genial, so kind, so pleasure-bearing, that you instinctively feel in their presence that they do you good, whose coming into a room is like the bringing of a lamp there.” — Henry Ward Beecher
10. I shall serve goodness every day by even the smallest act of courtesy and kindness.
“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” — The Dalai Lama
11. I shall make my home sacred space.
“Home interprets heaven.” – Charles Henry Parkhurst
12. I shall live in a constant state of gratitude for everything that has been given me.
“Gratitude should not be just a reaction to getting what you want, but an all-the-time gratitude, the kind where you notice the little things and where you constantly look for the good, even in unpleasant situations. Start bringing gratitude to your experiences, instead of waiting for a positive experience in order to feel grateful.” — Marelisa Fábrega
13. I shall celebrate life every day in some way. I shall make happiness and play a priority.
“A philosophy of life: I’m an adventurer, looking for treasure.”– Paolo Coehlo
14. I shall focus on what has gone right in my life, instead of placing my attention on those things that have not gone the way I wanted them to.
“Write the bad things that are done to you in sand, but write the good things that happen to you on a piece of marble.” – Arabic proverb
15. I shall take financial control of my life. I spend my money mindfully and buy only what I truly need and what I truly love. I put my money to work for me.
“Let money work for you, and you have the most devoted servant in the world . . . it works night and day, and in wet or dry weather.”– P.T. Barnum
16. I shall treat my time like the precious commodity that it is.
“When you invest in something you expend resources, but you do so with an expectation of getting a good return on your investment (ROI). Investing your time means that you engage in activities which are calculated to bring you meaningful rewards.” – Marelisa Fábrega
17. I shall monitor my energy exchanges and do more of the things that give me energy and less of the things that take it away.
“The ultimate measure of our lives is . . . how much energy we invest in the time that we have.” – Tony Schwartz
18. I shall think “Yes” instead of “No”. I shall imagine “Yes” instead of “No”. I shall remain open to trying new things. I will constantly stretch out a little further from my comfort zone.
“I’m continually trying to make choices that put me against my own comfort zone. As long as you’re uncomfortable, it means you’re growing.” – Ashton Kutcher
19. I’m the creator of my life. As creator, I decide what I want to create, I plan how I’m going to create it, and I take the necessary steps to create it.
“You can achieve anything you want in life if you have the courage to dream it, the intelligence to make a realistic plan, and the will to see that plan through to the end.” — Sydney A. Friedman
20. I shall focus on those things which are within my control, and act within my sphere of influence.
“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” – Reinhold Niebuhr
21. I create opportunities; I don’t wait for opportunities to find me.
“To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.” – Bruce Lee
22. I shall see mistakes as feedback, I will adjust my aim, and I will try again.
“Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward toward success.” — Charles F. Kettering
23. I shall not misuse my imagination by worrying.
“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” ― Corrie Ten Boom
24. In the pursuit of my goals, I shall act with courage.
“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.” ― Mark Twain
25. I shall strive to make the most of my talents, to be of service, to create value, and to give back to the world.
“Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God.” – Leo Buscaglia
26. I shall persevere until I reach my goals, in spite of any obstacles or setbacks.
“The mighty oak was once a little nut that stood its ground.” — Unknown
A personal manifesto is a powerful tool for living your best life. Read your personal manifesto every day. Live your manifesto.