Do you have a code that you live your life by? Have you incorporated a list of principles from someone important to you or even from your favourite quotes on the Internet?
A few years ago I was introduced to the Holstee Manifesto by a lecturer in my HR Masters studies and we used it within the Coaching unit. He had a large framed poster version of the Holstee Manifesto and it was full of the phrases and truisms that can help us lead an effective and authentic life.
In a lot of my work with people, I aim to help them achieve authenticity. In their speech, in their internal communication with themselves and in their outward body language. It also starts with what we believe. What we read and tell ourselves inside our heads. For this reason, I would like to share not the Holstee Manifesto, but the 'Life Manifesto' (www.onelifeposters.com). I wanted a poster for myself of the Holstee and it wasn't until it arrived via post, that I realised I had ordered a different manifesto. The point is the same. The words are there to remind us of what is important.
According to Oxford, a Manifesto is 'a public declaration of policy and aims, especially one issued before an election by a political party or candidate.' Most of us won't take on politics in our lives, but developing a Manifesto or a Philosophy is still important. A statement of beliefs if you will. What you stand for?
This article cannot give the Life Manifesto a full review and discussion, but I would encourage you to read it. I often use it with my clients, and ask them how it makes them feel. What phrases stand out immediately as important. What sections resonate with them?
I would like to highlight which phrases resonate with me.
Some opportunities only come once, seize them.
This is really true. As much as I like the idea that more doors will open in your life, there are some things you can only do once. Parents understand this. Once your kids are old, their childhood is gone. I remind myself, that I am where I am because I want this opportunity to be a great father. Not an absent father, not one who missed his kids life and growing up. My son will only be 5 once. I will be 39, once.
Accept the thing in life you can't change.
This reminds me of the words of Aletta Rochat I mentioned a few posts ago. We must accept certain things in life. Not settling, but allowing space between decision and outcome for what has to be. Pushing any other way only leads to frustration. Learn to deal with things and move forward.
Decide what you want in life and go for it.
Making decisions is something we should all be better at. For some, this is their work, so they get better at it. Even if decisions don't work out, don't dismay as more can be made. Some decisions are made in the moment, others are made after some gut or rational consideration. Others we forget. What time did you decide to get up this morning? Did you get up at that time or snooze? Decide.
Try not to care what other people think of you.
This is a difficult one. We all want to be accepted, loved, admired and valued. If we place more value on what others think, this leads to disappointment. Try therefore to make your own decisions, be firm in your values and worry less about what others think of you. It doesn't always help.
Smile at others and laugh as often as you can.
Smiling is free and adds value to both the smiler and the person receiving it. We need to smile more. Embrace the small things and smile and laugh. See the playful side of life. It changes our chemistry as well.
Time passes and we don't get it back. So make small changes. Smile, make decisions, see your life as meaningful and give it some purpose. Have a manifesto, or read someone else's.
A few years ago I gave a motivational speech and a close friend was present. I presented a lot of thoughts from the authors I was reading at the time which helped my ideas. The speech was well received. My friend said though, you know, you don't always need to tell us the ideas of others, but instead package them and find ways to tell these ideas through your story.
You are the one we want to hear from.
Since then I have developed my own Manifesto, my own way of living. It is influenced by new books, authors and ideas but ultimately, I am the mixing pot that puts the ingredients together in my way. To bake my own cake. The recipe will work as it has for others, but my cake will be all the more better, as I have added a few of my own ingredients. Go and do the same! In time I will reveal my Manifesto!
David Corcoran is a Executive Voice Coach. He helps people take responsibility for their communication. This Blog contains his regular musings, thoughts and ideas. He is based in Vienna, Austria.