A few weeks ago on the Restory Show, Kathi Lipp shared about creating her own personal manifesto. She very kindly offered to give away the how-to. So I took her up on her generous offer and downloaded the very easy to follow instructions. I poured over her (and Cheri Gregory’s) words, then augmented with some helpful posts by Gretchen Rubin because I was going to be leading my Mastermind group through the exercise.
What a great exercise!
A manifesto is a statement of beliefs you currently hold, but it’s also a manifestation of your future hopes. It’s what makes you tick, what’s important to you, what’s a priority for you. It’s best made in community because other people can see things in you that you are sometimes blind to. When we did this exercise as a group, we reflected back on each other, affirming a lot of traits, but also adding a few more. The statement, “I joyfully do the right thing even when it’s hard,” was a direct result of several people affirming that about me.
A great exercise for your family or Bible study group would be to go through these exercises together, giving each other permission to speak into your life (and visa versa). Then after you’ve received feedback, go ahead and craft your manifesto. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect. It’s not supposed to be in stone. You can change it as your life changes, or you realize one of your statements doesn’t quite fit.
This process really helped me clarify who I was and who I endeavored to be (like drinking water…I’m an unthirsty soul who hates drinking anything, so “I love to drink water” is more aspirational than who I am today. But I tell you what, since I’ve written this down, I’ve gotten SO MUCH BETTER at drinking water. Gulp. Gulp. Ahhh.) The other beautiful thing about this is that I now have a framework in writing when difficult decisions confront me. I can look back at it and say, yes, this is me, and this is why I have to say no to that opportunity. It simply doesn’t fit the way I’m made and it doesn’t merge with my goals.
This is different from a New Year’s resolution. Instead of giving me a checklist of tasks, it offers me a framework for success and good decisions.
So without further ado, here is my manifesto:
What about you? Have you created one? What statements define you today? What are aspirational? I’d love to hear your process on this.