Ep. 119: How to Write Your Personal Manifesto

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Today we talk about how to write your personal manifesto and why it’s worth doing. 


A personal manifesto is a declaration – even if simply a declaration to yourself – about what your core values and beliefs are and how you want to live your life. 


It’s usually a combo of what you want to create in this life (intentions), a statement of your values, and also, because y’all here have a little – or a lot – of rebel in you, a somewhat rebel list of the way you want to live this life, what you want to do and how you want to do it. 


And I say rebel because it will ideally, call you to challenge the status quo and assumptions about how things “should” or “need” to be.  

A proper manifesto is also provocative. It gives you the ziji to make changes that you need to make so that you’re aligned: your internal values are consistent with your external reality. 

When you take the time to sort this all out, you have a lot more clarity, and your manifesto can act as a sort of North Star, giving your life not just meaning, but direction. 


In Buddhism, we talk about taking refuge in the Buddha, dharma, sangha – it reminds us where we want to be, what our priorities are, and how we can come back home. A participant at a silent retreat I was on  – a personal retreat – they said, “in Mandarin, the translation for “refuge” was coming home, and not just coming home, but coming home after a long journey.” 

That’s a different energy, right? What if this manifesto is what guided you and could hold space for you, even after a long journey where you felt you had nothing left? 

A manifesto is a bit different from a business mission and vision, which are meant to unite people under a common vision or mission, whereas a personal manifesto is meant to ignite action. Light a fire under your ass (like Carl Marx’s Communist Manifesto, right?).  

So it’s not just a statement of what you believe in, but also a call to action, and a way of being you are devoted to. 

A manifesto helps you take action when you don’t have motivation, because you have devotion. It helps you act in alignment even when the defection is hitting the oscillation. When you read it, it inspires you to live your purpose – full out. It can also help you teach people how to treat you 

What are the possible components of your own manifesto? 


You can start by asking yourself: 

What do you believe in? 

What do you want to do in this life? 

What are life’s truths and wisdom that you want to share and that guide you in your own life? 


Notice that in the Rebel Buddhist manifesto (check it out here), there is no “As freedom seekers, we try to…” 


“Do or do not. There is no try.” (Yoda). 

It’s, “As freedom seekers we…do x,y,z.” 

Not try to do x,y,z. 


So no try, ok? 


After writing it, what matters most is that we are living it. And when we’re not, to use that moment of awareness not to shame ourselves, but to just get back on track. We get curious instead of judgmental, and then we get back on track.  

It’s a compass, not a straight jacket. It’s a way for you to drop conformist bullshit – or even the concept that there is a “normal” or an “average” to begin with – so you can get clear about who you are and what you stand for and live it. A way to ziji up! 

Socrates said, ”The unexamined life, for a human, is not worth living.” 

Writing your own personal manifesto has you examining your life until now as part of the process, and it’s worth doing.  

So, rebels, What do you believe in? What do you want to accomplish in this life? What do you know to be true?  

Today get started with one line. What do you take refuge in that could hold space for you, even after a long journey, where you felt you had nothing left? What would help ignite aligned action for you? 

Start with just one line for now. You’ve got this! 


In this episode you’ll learn: 

// Why you should bother writing a manifesto 

// How to use a manifesto when you’re not motivated to do what you need to do 

// Three questions that make writing one easy 

// Something you can do today, right now, to get started 


// Grab a copy fof the Rebel Buddhist Manifesto here 

// Ep. 7: Know Your Values – The Rebel Buddhist Manifesto  


// We recommend you use Canva for templates to use to make yours beautiful!