Alignment, Ease, Energy & Flow: manifesto

What do you believe in and stand for?
What principles guide your daily thoughts and actions?
How do you intend to live?

I sat down one day last year and asked myself those very questions. An hour or so later, I had my manifesto, a declaration expressing my intentions and views. You can see the original manifesto here.

I encourage you to write your own manifesto. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. And you don’t necessarily have to make it public like I did mine.

Just grab a pen and paper and write what you believe in and stand for. Write what you live and do. Write about the kind of world you want to live in. Write what defines you.

In revisiting my manifesto today, I’ve added a bit more color and texture. Perhaps something here will be a spark for exploring your own world view.

My Manifesto

This is not a dress rehearsal.
This isn’t practice for a later performance. This—right now—is your one amazing life.

Choose to respond rather than react.
Reacting is easy in the moment, but often the reaction is hard to live with in the long run.

Often one of something is plenty.
More is not always better. There’s focus and gratitude to be found in the practice of less is more.

Mindset matters.
I can’t control circumstances, but I am 100% responsible for the mindset I bring to every situation.

The journey is often more important than the destination.
Embracing this has been the greatest gift of the last few years. After all, most of life is made up of the journey.

Gratitude is available 24/7.
No matter what’s going on, even through grief and disappointment, gratitude is available and waiting.

Stop living someone else’s life. Just stop.
I keep two truths front and center: Others’ expectations of me belong to them, not me. Comparison is the thief of joy.

Say a lot of small “nos” so you can say a bigger “Yes!”
I say “no” to the vast majority of things every single day so I can say “Yes!” to what really matters to me.

What you focus on multiplies.
This just might be the secret formula for a great life. When I focus on what’s right and what’s working, there’s just more and more of it!

Your worth does not equate to your productivity.
A marked off To Do list says nothing about me as a person.

Fear is for moving through, not for staying stuck in.
Here’s my three-step response to fear: Own it, feel the fear, and take action. It’s amazing how those three steps keep me from getting stuck in fear—and stuck in a very small comfort zone.

Growth doesn’t happen in your comfort zone.
My confidence grows whenever I figure out where my comfort zone ends and then purposefully go beyond it.

Give yourself the gift of being engaged in life.
To show up and be fully present in my life is the best gift I can give myself—and the world around me.

Clarity is worth seeking.
I’m on a never-ending quest for clarity. It’s worth the time and energy to figure out who I am, what I want and how I’m meant to contribute.

Waiting to be happy is the worst kind of wasted time.
I refuse to suffer from I’ll Be Happy When… Syndrome. I choose to be happy now even as I work toward my goals and dreams.

Reinvention is your right.
Reinventing myself has saved me from half living. I believe we all have the right to cast off who we’ve been so we can embrace who we really are—today.

There’s more to life than marking off your To Do list.
Sure, I get things done, but I’m not so busy being productive that I forget to live my life.

Your environment either feeds you or it doesn’t.
I’m careful about who and what I surround myself with because it has an impact. I make sure it’s a positive one.

Loving someone is an act of bravery.
Loving is brave and I am brave because I love. It’s funny how it works both ways.

Awareness without action is half the equation and doesn’t add up to much.
I love to read and reflect, and both create awareness. But I’m very clear that without action there is no transformation. And transformation is always what I’m after.

Contribute; then contribute some more.
Contribution is my right and responsibility. I have something of value to offer, and I owe it to the world not to leave my contribution undone.

Midlife crisis or midlife awakening? You decide.
How we frame things matters. I’ll choose awakening over crisis every time.

Don’t let consumerism consume you.
You can’t buy your best self.

Living your strengths is incredibly attractive.
There is so much more energy and ease in living your strengths rather than trying to overcome weaknesses.

Keep in mind: Listen and silent have the same letters.
So many of us only hear. We don’t really ever listen.

You teach people how to treat you.
My people pleasing days are behind me and boundaries are a beautiful thing.

Relationships don’t evolve unless you do.
I’m not interested in the status quo when it comes to relationships. I want to see where we can grow, separately and together.

Knowing what’s enough changes everything.
I’ve done a lot of work to dial down my definition of enough.

Kindness counts is not a cliche.
Being friendly, generous and considerate make a difference. Kindness to others begins with kindness to self.

Have a relationship with yourself.
I make it a priority to spend quality time with myself. When I’m alone, I’m in pretty good company.

Passion and purpose aren’t just for other people.
As long as you believe these are for others, they’ll be missing from your life. Stop shortchanging yourself. Step up and lay claim to passion and purpose.

Don’t let your livelihood kill your zest for living.
Been there, done that. Never again. Have the courage to find work that engages and fulfills.

Don’t forget to look both ways, but then get into action and cross the street.
Take a strategic pause to figure out who you are and what you want. Then don’t wait another minute to take action.

What’s true for you?

What are the overarching principles by which you try to live your life? Will you write your manifesto today?