Before this week, I had no idea people who weren’t political leaders or companies outlining its philosophies were writing personal manifestos. It had never even occurred to me to look it up. But I was recently challenged to put one together and I really enjoyed the experience. It’s quite different than writing out your yearly goals because it makes you get much more introspective and get to the heart of your beliefs and outlook on different areas of your life.
I did a bunch of research before putting mine together, but I found this website immensely useful with its explanations and examples. I particularly liked the Dalai Lama’s and Lu Lu Lemon’s.
And so, without further ado…
Written in 2011, The Natifesto is a collection of statements based on my values, strategies and motivations. What’s right for me, may not be right for you. Then again, it wasn’t written for you. I don’t know how many of these will change or stay the same over the years, but this is me today and how I’ll strive to approach every project (and life situation).
I) Grab your life by the balls and OWN it.
You’ve achieved great things in your life whether you can always recognize it or not. Comparing yourself to others’ successes only makes you forget this essential fact. Be confident. Believe in yourself. Then dazzle the world.
II) Take better care of your body.
Don’t just focus on nourishing your mind, nourish your body. It’s the fortress that lets you to explore the places you haven’t seen yet or walk over to your mom to give her a big hug. Your body should be a priority. You need it to travel the world.
III) Continue laughing and don’t forget to smile.
You were recently told to copyright your laugh and add it to your show credits. Your laugh is distinct and infectious. And it fills you with endorphines, which make you happy. Remember to laugh. Remember to smile. It makes you more approachable.
IV) Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
Can’t take full credit for this, but the Dalai Lama sure knew what he was talking about. Learn the rules so you know the parameters, then let your creativity explode. Kaboom.
V) Take a breather.
Sometimes you just need to slow down so you can take a step back to really appreciate the masterpiece you’ve created. And be GRATEFUL for God’s sake!
VI) Don’t be afraid to dream big.
You’re an out-of-the box thinker. You’re often drawn to the road less traveled, whether it’s against your better judgement or not. You have huge ideas and all the tools to execute them. Make those travel shows! Build your businesses! Build your infamy! You’re only limited by your own doubt and insecurities.
VII) Take more showers.
Not because you’re not hygenic, but because, for some strange reason, all your greatest ideas flow out when you’re scrubbing away.
VIII) Be diplomatic but don’t be a pushover.
Your natural ability to see all sides of a situation makes it easy for you to be diplomatic and bridge the gap for others. It makes you more understanding. It’s what makes you well-suited to journalism and communications in general. But at the same time, don’t forget your values and be ready to make a stand. For things to move forward, concrete decisions need to be made.
As they say, many hands make light work. Plus, you LOVE brainstorming because of the energy buzz. Bounce ideas off others, split the work. Everyone has their own brand of awesome to contribute, so what you achieve together can surpass your expectations. Have faith in that.
X) Listen. Then ask strategic questions.
This is something you know you’re good at and love to do whenever you meet someone new or interview them for a story. You need to listen to be able to ask the questions that will only add more value for when you’re telling (or reporting) the story to someone else in the future.
XI) Try to learn something new everyday.
“The unexamined life is not worth living.” Socrates was a pretty smart guy and this is one of those quotes that resonates. You’re innately curious and love to research and learn. Explore cultures and societies and their histories. It helps you grow as a person. Plus adds to your generous conversational skills. Nurture that strength.
XII) Create, create and, for good measure, create!
Because when you don’t, you feel stifled. Like you’re not expressing yourself the way you’d like. Continue to write, to produce, to host, to perform the piano, to sing and dance. And please take some art classes already, your soul is dying to paint.
XIII) Find a way to turn your weaknesses into strengths.
But don’t tell anyone you’re doing it. Mistakes happen. Failures happen. But it’s the mark of a successful person to not get discouraged by failures. You’re human. The mistake is if you don’t learn something from it.
XIV) Make more friends and nuture your relationships.
Being a social butterfly in high school evolved to being a master schmoozer in the “real world.” Continue to make new friends and always nurture your old relationships. It leads to respect, ease of communication and trust, essential elements whether in business or day-to-day shenanigans.
XV) Act honestly and with integrity.
You’re a horrible liar and you need to believe in a product or person or project to be able to sell it. You feel at unease and occasionally passionately furious when something unjust occurs or if one’s integrity is questioned. So be honest and act with integrity. Genuineness is attractive.