By Carolyn Campbell

Miriam Webster defines manifesto as a “written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer.” When I first read this, I thought how different our world would be, how much greater the impact our contributions would have, if we acted from a place of committed intention.

We are so accustomed to reacting to life rather than acting from a place of vision and intention. Whether you are creating a business, a career, visual art or a theatrical performance, creating a manifesto is a powerful way to focus your intention and attention on what you aim to create…both for yourself and for others. Why? It provides a determined and expansive context for your actions, and helps others understand how your work can help them achieve their desires, wants and aspirations.

For many, this can seem like a daunting task. In a world of such turmoil in which politicians make blusterous and disastrous proclamations and declarations, we can easily become jaded and reluctant to take our own stand. And yet, imagine how life might be different if we did. My invitation; take time to really ask yourself what you stand for, and if your contribution, however small, could make a difference, how would that feel? Don’t try and take on the world. Instead, let your passion be your purpose.

Sometimes we find our most dear sense of purpose when our lives have been shaken. It can come in many different forms; a divorce, a death, an alarming jolt, or a sudden life transition. Other times it occurs during a healing moment, a performance, an inspiring connection or a life-shifting realization. These are great times to pause and to ask yourself…

  • What do you want to commit to in your life?
  • How will that enrich the lives of others (personally and collectively)?
  • Why is this commitment important today?
  • How does your commitment help people enrich their life and their community?

On a personal level, this act of creating a manifesto will set your life compass, guiding you as you navigate choices and relationships. Professionally, it sets the tone for your outreach, your job search and, most importantly, your belief in your right to do what you do best. As a creator of any sort, writing a manifesto aligns your creative work with your deepest soul purpose.

Some people know their manifesto immediately. Others can feel it, sense it, and see it, but don’t yet have the words. When in doubt, go inside yourself and ask, “What am I seeking? What are others yearning for? How does this relate to what our world is facing?” Taking a stand in an inspirational way may feel vulnerable at first. Writing it down can feel clumsy and awkward. That’s okay. Dare to speak your conviction. Allow it to be a work-in-progress.

Play with your manifesto. Yes, let it be play. Stay out of your head. Write from your soul. Write a few different ones. If you get stuck, take a moment…find your breath of purpose. Feel it. Put on music that inspires you. Dance it! Draw it! Let the words emerge without thinking too hard, and then notice what words pop out at you. Don’t censor them…they are your gems of wisdom. You can ‘wordsmith’ later.

Let this be your shitty first draft. Remember, keep it simple. Dare to inspire change. You don’t have to DO anything different than you’re already doing. All you need to do is state what your work stands for, how it can help people thrive and how it enriches our world.