One of my newer obsessions (I have many) is listening to podcasts. I started with The Read and continued to stumble upon more that I found interesting. One such podcast is Happier with Gretchen Rubin. She and her sister, Elizabeth Smart, weekly provide ideas to make life simpler and happier. On episode 76, they suggested writing your own manifesto. This initially sounded far too tedious and taxing, but once I heard some of what they had in theirs I decided to give it a try.
I decided to share this here for several reasons:
- Making it public will keep me honest. Putting it out there means anyone can call me out on any transgressions at any time, which I welcome and encourage.
- It will always be visible. That means I’ll be able to review it no matter where I am as long as there’s internet access, which is quickly becoming everywhere.
- I’m not alone in this. Every time I think I’m sharing something extremely idiosyncratic and specific to myself, someone lets me know they feel the exact same way, so maybe you need the same reminders I do.
Now, I fully intend on making this a living document, so points will be added and revised as I go along. Hopefully, footnotes will be added to mark these changes as they’re made. So, without any further preface, my manifesto…
- STAY IN YOUR LANE: We must only do things that speak to and resonate with who we are. Compromise will not result in situations or outcomes that will satisfy. Nothing should be done with the sole purpose of being “on-trend” or popular. We are on our own path, which means things may not occur when and how others think they should. That really isn’t our business. Our only focus is doing things that interest us, that fill us with purpose, and create a sense of passion and wonder for us.
- EVERYTHING IS SIMPLER THAN YOU SUPPOSE: We have a tendency to overthink everything. This only leads to feelings of anxiety and overwhelm. Even the largest projects are merely an accumulation of smaller tasks. Deconstruction is essential. We will take it apart and take our time when possible. When feeling overwhelmed, we will take a pause to meditate, re-assess, and re-center ourselves.
- NO APOLOGIES FOR WHO WE ARE: Our identity can’t be tailored to anyone’s likes beside our own. Our character can only be changed when/if we are ready. We are operating the best we can with the resources available to us. We will not be made to feel bad because it doesn’t fit another’s wishes for us. We will only apologize for behavior that is outside of our character. We will apologize for things that don’t represent who we are at our core. The rest is not our problem.