Lives are complicated. We are complex creatures capable of jumping on a train of thought and riding forever, round and round a track hopelessly confused. That is why big projects, like writing your manifesto, benefit so greatly from parameters.
Don’t think of these questions as limitations, but more like guidelines marking out a nice, well-lit path. And by no means do you have to use these particular prompts; this is all about you and your manifesto.
Enough talk, let’s get to it!
Divide and Conquer
Think of this like a recipe. If you’re mixing together a cake, you add flour, sugar, eggs, etc. We’re going to do the same thing with our manifesto. To start, I created five categories that touch upon different kinds of responses.
I had the easiest time writing answers for “loves” and pretty much every other category except values. It makes a lot of sense though; values are at the very center of your person. Think of them kind of like flour for our ingredient analogy. It’s the foundation for everything to follow. If you have a tough go like me, this list might be helpful.
Creating a Chart
I’m normally a pen and paper kind of person, but an Excel sheet worked so well for our next part. When baking, you don’t just willy nilly throw your ingredients together. There’s a recipe to follow, instructions to read. My spreadsheet works in much the same way; measuring my passions, values, etc saved me from just staring at a blank screen.
My questions, like “What do I believe?” has an immediate follow up statement. “I believe…eggs over easy and toast is the best breakfast ever.” See, not difficult. You can make your chart as big as you want, and have as many answers as you like. My example is just that, an example. I plan to add more before I jump onto creating word art, or any final piece.
I’m actually quite surprised at how far down some of my answers are compared to how life unfolds. I identify as a sick person and a creative before I identify as a librarian. However, I’m more passionate about helping kids. My values and beliefs have always changed with the times, but for hard work to be the first answer in my beliefs column kind of shocks me! Only proof that personal manifestos are actually quite helpful in showing us how we change.