How to Write Your Manifesto

Writing your personal Manifesto is a great way to get to know yourself.  Particularly if you use the method that I created and used for my Manifesto.  It really doesn’t take very long to do it and it is something that can change over time.  It will change over time.  Just like you.\r\n\r\nWriting a Manifesto\r\n\r\nFirst of all, I would encourage you to have a look at my Manifesto.  You can also read about what each part means to me and how I incorporate it into my life here.\r\n\r\nThat should give you a good enough start on knowing what a personal Manifesto is.  For me it is my rules for life.  My main rules any way.  These are the rules that I have learned, experienced and developed.  They are how I operate. They guide my life and they are personal to me.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAt this stage you may wonder why I share them if they are personal to me… The answer is simple.  When I was creating my Mission Statement and my Manifesto I learned a few things about myself.  And we can all do with learning more about ourselves.  I was reminded about what is important to me, what keeps me sane in a sometimes insane world and what I should be doing more (or less) of to give me the sort of life that I would like to have.\r\n\r\nThat life, is pretty much, a happy life. If I am happy, what else do I need?\r\n\r\nAnyway, how did I write my Manifesto?\r\n\r\nIt was simple really.  I sat at my desk (which was clear of clutter – that’s important for me), I closed my eyes and I started to think about what things are important to me. What makes me happy.  What makes me sad.  What I value.\r\n\r\nAfter a few minutes I started to write a list and I didn’t stop writing until my mind went blank.  I didn’t explain or analyse any item on the list.  I just let the ideas flow. When my mind went blank I stopped writing.\r\n\r\nThen I started to think about what my purpose in life is.  Both in terms of my work and my private and social life. As morbid as it sounds, a good way to do this is to think about what you would like to hear people saying about you when you are dead.  For me it was simply a matter of thinking about how I can make a positive contribution to society.\r\n\r\nAgain, I just let the ideas flow without analysing or judging them and when the ideas stopped I put down my pen.\r\n\r\nI then listened to a song that I find relaxing, making sure not to be thinking about what I had written.  Then I thought about everything already mentioned and started to write again.\r\n\r\nWhen I ran out of items to scribble down I put the paper away and didn’t look at it again until the next day.\r\n\r\nThen I analysed it over a couple of hours.  I made notes and merged items that were similar and worked well together. Some items on my Manifesto are still fairly similar but there is enough of a difference that they deserve their own place.\r\n\r\nI then got to work explaining what each part means to me and my friend Jason Devine got to work on the graphics for me.\r\n\r\nI didn’t particularly need to write out what each part means but it is an easy way for people to understand what I mean.  The graphic that Jason did for me is brilliant. I have it framed and it sits above my desk.  I see it every day that I sit down to do some work.  I find it really inspiring and kinda cool to see what makes me tick all on one A4 poster.

Question: I hope that makes sense to you! Let me know if you have any questions. And please share your manifesto when you create it! You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Spend Time by Yourself

I enjoy spending time by myself.  I am sure you have figured that out already.  For me, it is a good time to be still and reflect on what I am doing with my life. To take stock of what is going on and to appreciate it all.\r\n\r\nSolitude\r\n\r\nSometimes, I like to read and write, sometimes I like to go exploring and sometimes I like to spend an hour or two meditating.  After all, variety is the spice of life.\r\n\r\nThe important thing is to do this on a regular basis.  Unless I am away leading a retreat or a course I am able to spend time alone most days.\r\n\r\nPeople often ask me if it makes me feel lonely spending time by myself.  I never feel lonely.  When I am not alone my days are full of people or doing other things that I love.  The time I spend by myself is for me and me alone.\r\n\r\n

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Spend Time in Nature

I love to spend time in nature.  I am particularly drawn to sea.  No surprise there, Ireland has some of the most stunning coastlines in the world.\r\n\r\nIreland\r\n\r\nI love the sea so much that I set-up a company in back in 2013.  We took take people exploring along the coast; fully kitted up with wetsuits, buoyancy aids aka PFD’s and helmets.  The trips involved adventure swimming, rock scrambling and cliff jumping.  So much fun!\r\n\r\nSpending time in nature can be anywhere for me though, mountains, forests, rural countryside and beaches.  It’s all good. The air is fresh and there is so much to sea.\r\n\r\nI have my favourite places that I like to go to.  To clear the head, reconnect and recharge.  I love to find new places too and I love to share them with people.  Isn’t that what exploring is all about?\r\n\r\n

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Take Time Out

This is so important

Life is busy. We live in a world where we are expected to be busy. Being busy is often viewed as a way of measuring how successful we are. Being busy means we don’t actually take time to breathe. We stop noticing the beauty around us and within us. We are plagued by emails, social media and a need to be available 247.\r\n\r\nContemplate\r\n\r\nI was speaking to a friend today and he was telling me about being “caught in the rat race”.  I was telling him that I make a point of not being in that race.\r\n\r\nI take time out and I take it often.  I switch off my phone, turn off the internet and relax, nap, walk or meditate.  This time is all for me and for me taking time out means being alone.  It is good for my soul.\r\n\r\n

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Don’t believe everything you are told

We live in an age when there is an abundance of information at our finger tips.  Never before have we had access to so much information.  This is great but it can also be dangerous.\r\n\r\nNewspapers\r\n\r\nRemember the adage, every story has three sides.  This is true.  Media outlets have their own agendas and we have to be careful with what we read.  It is important to get as wide a picture as possible before we decide what we believe.\r\n\r\nI am not just referring to the media though.  We are subjected to so much information.  It comes at us and it comes fast.\r\n\r\nNot believing everything you are told goes hand in hand with knowing your truth.  Unless you can experience something it is impossible to know the truth of the matter.  It is someone else’s truth and their version of it.\r\n\r\n

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Do your best, all the time

Funny.  I was thinking about this and how it is such a simple rule and how it is something I have done my best to follow since I can remember.  Then I remembered, it goes way back to when I joined the Cub Scouts.  I was in the Scouting movement until I was 19 and “Do you best” was part of the Scout promise. It was something we said pretty much every week.\r\n\r\n100% effort\r\n\r\nThis is basically giving 100% to everything that you do.  Not always easy but definitely rewarding.  It takes discipline and the rewards are great.\r\n\r\nReminds me of this story\r\n\r\n

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Know, love and be yourself

I was listening to the radio just the other day when I heard a song come on that took me right back to when I was 15 or 16.  I could remember, quite vividly, being at the local teenage disco.  I remembered dancing to that song and how I was comparing my dancing to some of the other boys.  Boys that I would have looked up to and I wished I could dance more like them.\r\n\r\nLove yourself\r\n\r\nI have no idea at what age in my life I started to compare myself to others.  Nor do I know when I stopped comparing myself to others.  I do know that I don’t do that anymore.  Something that I have learned over time, no doubt.  As I have matured and re-learned to be happy in my own skin.\r\n\r\nI know that I am me.  I like me.  There is no one quite like me.  And that is great!\r\n\r\n

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Respect Our Planet

I am very fortunate to have spent most of my working life in the great outdoors. Of course there are times I have paperwork to do or meeting to attend but the vast majority of my work has involved being outside.  And when I am not working I love to go exploring.  Living in Ireland and travelling the world means there is lots to see.\r\n\r\nPlanet Earth\r\n\r\nThis love for the outdoors has been with me my whole life and I have yet to meet anyone who does not love beautiful scenery and fresh air.\r\n\r\nI think it is important to have permanent appreciation for the world we live in.  We all have a part to play (no matter how small) in keeping the planet as pristine as possible.\r\n\r\nI subscribe to a tree planting programme that allows people to sponsor the planting of trees.  And I am forever gathering up litter when I am out walking.  Small contributions but if we all do a little it would be great.\r\n\r\nI like to think that my biggest contribution is exposing people to the beauty of the world.  The more people that see it, the more that will change their attitudes and hopefully play a more positive role in protecting our planet.\r\n\r\n

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Connect With Others

People are great.  I love people.  I love spending time with people.  I love sharing stories and hearing about their lives.\r\n\r\nCoasteeringNI\r\n\r\nThat doesn’t mean I connect with everyone I meet and not everyone connects with me.  And that’s ok.\r\n\r\nThe people I do connect with, even if only fleetingly, enhance my life.  I learn from other people.  People inspire me and sometimes, they say or do something, that influences me in a way that they will never know.\r\n\r\nThe more I put myself “out there” and meet new people, the more I grow as a person.  The world is vast and its people are all different and that brings a colour to my life that is rich and diverse.\r\n\r\nAnd the guys in that photo are all great!\r\n\r\n

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Give Great Hugs

Hugs are awesome!  I love hugs!  They have to be real hugs though; none of those slapping each other manly hugs or wimpy weak hugs where you hardly make contact with the other person.\r\n\r\nHugging\r\n\r\nHugs are a fantastic way to really connect with people and you don’t even need to speak!\r\n\r\nTry hugging someone and while you do it, close your eyes, centre your thoughts and let your love for that person reach out to them.  You will feel great and they will too. Make sure they know you are going to hug them though! Don’t want you getting a slap or a punch in the face.  Probably makes sense to ask someone you know too!\r\n\r\n(By the way, I know that might sound a bit airy fairy but it works and you will both feel great – I wouldn’t suggest it otherwise)\r\n\r\n

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