Defining our own Life Manifesto – the core values that make us happy- is one of the most important things we can do, yet most of us live without even thinking of this.
In this post, let’s talk on the importance of discovering your Life Manifesto. I’m sharing a simple method that I’ve used for myself, along with practical uses.
WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU WERE COMPLETELY FREE?
Let’s start with a “simple” question:
Question: If you wake up tomorrow with zero obligations and all the money you need for your entire life, what would you do?
Please close your eyes for one moment and answer this to yourself before continuing the reading…
Welcome back! If you quickly came up with answers, I congratulate you. You’re most aware of yourself than many people I know. If you went blank, welcome to the club!
MOST OF US DON’T KNOW WHAT WE WANT
Truth is that many of us don’t know what we really want.
We are so used to not having freedom that we ignore the possibility of living on our own terms.
We all know what we don’t like – maybe it’s our job or the lack of money. Also, we are all conditioned to look for happiness by having more material things – car, house, toys. However, few people take the time to dive into themselves to define what they really like in life, what they’re all about.
Many motivational speakers and self-development programs fail in helping us to answer this question. They motivate us assuming we know what we want. They’re like: “Live your dream”, “Go for it”, “Be yourself”. YES! We feel the energy! We want to live our dream! But there’s a problem… we have no idea of what exactly that means for us.
Now, even though we realize that we don’t have a clue of what we need, the task of figuring it out looks so hard that we prefer to ignore it. Distractions, toys, a busy life and false success standards keep us away of the needed introspection.
WE NEED A LIFE MANIFESTO
We all should have a Life Manifesto, which is a declaration of the most important things we value in life.
If you don’t know what is it that brings you joy, peace and wellbeing, you might be walking blind, following wrong success schemas.
A Life Manifesto is the handful of core values that make us happy.
Our goals and projects should be aligned with our Life Manifesto for us to feel good. If we declare our Manifesto for happiness and then we build our life on top of it, there’s no lost.
DEFINING YOUR LIFE MANIFESTO IS HARD… IF YOU DO IT THE WRONG WAY
Laying down our Life Manifesto is a challenging task. We don’t like complex things.
“Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it”– Henry Ford.
How in the world can you narrow the richness in life to a few factors? Well, it’s indeed quite impossible to seat for an hour, think and define them. It’s too much to process. You can’t think in all your life during only one moment.
But there’s a secret here that I discover – ok I might not be the discoverer but I like to think so. See, there are three keys that can completely change how you approach this important, personal project of defining your Life Manifesto.
THE KEY TO LAND YOUR LIFE MANIFESTO, EASIER
There’s a smarter, easier and more effective way to define your Life Manifesto, if you start from these foundations:
- Your Happiness is Given by General Feelings, instead of specific goals and things. This is a key distinction to have in mind, because it shifts your focus from specific projects to a broader spectrum when it comes to the quest of happiness.
- It’s About Discovering, not Defining. The idea that we can arbitrary define what we want in life is only half-true, because each one of us comes with a personal formula for wellbeing. This formula is often not clear for us at a conscious level, so we must discover it.
- Observe Yourself and You’ll Discover. To discover our formula for wellbeing, the best method is to observe ourselves and find our patterns. When you don’t know how something works, you observe it for some time, you take notes and find rules.
By observation, you’ll be able to identify recurring activities you look for to feel good. Behind these activities, you’re pursuing core feelings. You might be surprised on how exact your behavior is, and you’ll notice things you didn’t know about yourself.
5 EASY STEPS TO YOUR LIFE MANIFESTO
Based on these three guidelines for discovering your Life Manifesto, let’s get to it! Put on your mad scientist hat and conduct the Life Manifesto experiment on yourself:
CHOOSE A PERIOD OF TIME DURING WHICH YOU’LL WRITE DOWN EVERYTHING YOU DO. Use simple sentences where you can see the main activity performed. Be especially aware of what you do when you’re not on duty for someone else (job, family, etc.).
HIGHLIGHT THE ACTIVITIES THAT MAKE YOU FEEL GOOD. At the end of each day, put an emotion on each activity. Separate good-feel emotions to a different list. Let’s call these your “feel-good activities list”.
GROUP FEEL-GOOD ACTIVITIES INTO CATEGORIES TO DISCOVER YOUR PATTERNS. With days, as your feel-good activities list grows, you’ll start seeing similar doings that bring you joy without fail. They might be trivial things that you didn’t know you do so often. Start grouping them into categories. With enough days of observation, you’ll find that everything starts to fall into these categories.
REFINE YOUR FEEL-GOOD CATEGORIES. Now go ahead and rename, mix and narrow down the list of feel-good categories. Make them a small set of only 3-5 categories that make perfect sense for you.
DECLARE YOUR LIFE MANIFESTO: With a small set of defined areas or categories that make you happy, now you have the foundation for your Life Manifesto. Declare it and write it down!
In my life, I want FREEDOM, LOVE, HEALTH, ALIVENESS, WISDOM. Period! This is my personal Life Manifesto. Yours will be different, it’s yours.
READING YOUR LIFE MANIFESTO
As you got to this declaration by unravelling yourself, you’ll know perfectly well what each area means for you. In this example:
- FREEDOM for me means to be able to move and explore the world. This includes financial freedom to be unattached to any location, a schedule and a salary.
- LOVE is about the love for my family, my friends, the people around me and beyond; there’s nothing without love and it extends to animals and nature as well.
- HEALTH is being aware of my body and mind and nurture them by being active and mindful.
- ALIVENESS is looking for those things that ignites me: being creative, connected to nature and many more exciting experiences.
- WISDOM is about knowledge, I’m an avid learner and practitioner of interesting stuff on our human nature.
Remember, all of this came out by observation. I feel good when I’m living in these areas. You don’t really define this. Instead, you discover it. And when you do, it makes perfect sense. It’s pure YOU.
USING YOUR LIFE MANIFESTO
Defining your Life Manifesto is a big step! Now you have a guide of yourself that you can use every day. So, use it!
- For Wellbeing: when you don’t feel good and you’re not sure why, refer to your Life Manifesto to identify what’s missing in your life. It’s normal to be unbalanced from time to time, but it’s important to be able to balance at will. For example: you might be lack of physical activity (HEALTH) because you’ve been too busy with your business; or you might be working in some projects that don’t align with any value on your Life Manifesto.
- For Business: when you want to start a business, you have better chances of success if you do something that you believe in. Your Life Manifesto is a good starting point to pick your industry and your type of business. For example: as FREEDOM is my main core value, I’m working in business models that don’t tie me to specific clients or a rigid schedule. In addition, I’m passionate about this topic of financial freedom, so an internet business based in content about it makes perfect sense for me.
- For Achieving Your Goals: It’s very easy to set goals and then get distracted along the way, finding excuses to not be disciplined. To keep your journey steady, there’s nothing more powerful than your strong WHYs, and these are contained in your Life Manifesto. For example: today I’m going to the gym because I want to be HEALTHY, this is a core value in my life so it’s way more important than my stupid laziness at any moment.
- For Relationships and Networking: it’s a fact that the people around you makes you better or weakens you. Often times, we don’t even notice how our friends and family shape our lives. They influence what we do, what we think, our goals, our idea of success. If you have your Life Manifesto, you must strive to connect with people who want the same as you, who live the same reality you want in your life. For example: I want FREEDOM, I connect with entrepreneurs; I want HEALTH, I connect with active people; I want LOVE and kindness, I surround with kind people.
- For When You Become Millionaire: having money and financial freedom means that you have lots of time to do whatever you feel like. As a wealthy person, you need a clear Life Manifesto to live with direction, now that you aren’t attached to anybody else’s schedule. The same way many Employees build their lives around their job, many rich people build theirs around making money, forgetting who they really are and what they need for happiness.
A Life Manifesto is a vital component of our lives, especially in these times where we have so many options and information and gurus influencing us. Yet, most people don’t even think about it. They live in auto-pilot, enjoying their lives randomly instead of defining and using their formula for wellbeing.
When you summarize your core values for happiness in a Life Manifesto, you have a powerful tool to guide you in your projects, your relationships and the way you use your time.
Take the time to land your Manifesto using the easy guide in this post. Observe yourself and you’ll discover yourself!
A Life Manifesto is the key to live with intention and connected to the real you!
MORE RESOURCES TO INSPIRE YOU
- Claim Your Power (book): A 40-Day Journey to Dissolve the Hidden Blocks That Keep You Stuck and Finally Thrive in Your Life’s Unique Purpose
- Holstee Manifesto (reference manifesto). This is a very popular life manifesto for reference. They also offer a free newsletter to make you think in the most important things in life. I read it and love it.