Research Paper By Jo Smith
(Life Coach, CANADA)
The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can. Neil Gaiman
You are wonderful and truly scrumptious. Full of creativity, your unique flavours of amazingness are waiting to explode. With an awakening of who you are, your life can become an exciting adventure open to new possibilities. The choices you make and the inspired steps that you take, determine your life journey. Acknowledging and embracing all the magnificent elements of who you are, you can imaginatively piece them together to design a format that reflects the way your want your life to be. With a personally created manifesto by your side, that extra encouragement will guarantee to spark your imagination and activate your desire to design in an everyday way. Simply put, a manifesto that is uniquely created by you, encourages your heartfelt “I want to’s” into becoming a reality of motivated “how to’s”. When you connect and explore your own life with those things that cheer you on, you are catapulted into loving the wonder of your being that faithfully inspires.
I believe in awakening potential possibility into living action. I use a manifesto to simply be that vehicle to help manifest an idea into my reality. It inspires, validates, enthuses, edifies, honours and blesses who I am. My manifesto is a source of continual refreshment and invigoration. The more I read it, the more I experience my affirming truths and beliefs to live out.
Design is creativity with strategy. Rob Curedale
I love design. My career started as a designer, initially specializing in graphic design, which then further developed into advertising graphics and marketing. Design connects, provides purpose and gives you a reason why behind your wants and desires. Using the language of design, from an initial thought through to the completion of a connecting product, I desire to provide strategy to your creativity.
You don’t have to be a designer to know that design is everywhere. It is what prompted you to wear that item of clothing or purchase that beautifully crafted piece of furniture. The intentional use of typefaces, colours and extracts of copy that caught your gaze enticed you to pick out one book from a shelf of many. Design has an intention and moves with direction to reach a specific goal. Whether you are aware of it or not, everything around you is designed, and those design decisions impact nearly every part of your everyday life.
Wikipedia describes design as ‘the creation of a plan or convention for the construction of an object or a system.’ It also explains design as a roadmap or a strategic approach to achieve a unique expectation. Whether it is a blueprint produced to show the look and function of something, an exquisitely produced item or a defined purpose that exists behind an action, design is fundamental.
To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe. Anatole France
The word manifesto comes from the Latin manifestum, which means to manifest, to clearly reveal and to make real. From Wikipedia, a manifesto is defined as ‘a declaration of beliefs, opinions, motives and intentions.’ Whether it contains many words or only a succinct few, a manifesto can be expressed in a variety of original ways.
Traditionally most manifestos have been political in nature, however there are so many other subject areas that they are now known for. A manifesto publically displays what is important. It highlights what a person or an organization believes and then gives some insight into how that is expressed or conveyed. A defined manifesto sets an intention that actively helps align behaviour to that of a wanted lifestyle based on what is truly believed.
Just For You
Creativity is the power to connect the seemingly unconnected. William Plomer
A manifesto has the power to connect you to your desires, values and purpose. Creating your own manifesto will help anchor those beliefs as a declaration of who you are, what you want and how you intend to live out your life. It emphasizes what is already known and leaves room for those areas that you may not have even uncovered yet, connected to or explored. Those strategically placed words gently nudge you into all the wonderful truths that move your heart, your soul, your mind and your strength. Validating the whole of you with the fullness of your identity and your destiny, this manifesto cultivates your breathtaking existence. It is a powerful reminder of your core message that aligns with who you truly are. When expressed with meaningful typography, colour enthused imagery or just simply scribed, the words motivate action and become a catalyst that lead to a memorable transformation. Like a precious piece of artwork, you want to keep looking at your manifesto, over and over again. Every time you do, your heart responds with a resounding “yes”. What makes your manifesto so valuable is that it is a constant source of inspiration for you. It sets the tone for the moment, for the day and for where you want to lead your life. As a ‘pick me up’ when doubt creeps in, a manifesto reminds you of those truths you know and continue to want, even if not yet fulfilled. Like an encouraging big hug, speaking the words out loud nurtures a deeper awareness and understanding of meaning. It is the repetition of those affirmations that continue to connect you to your beliefs opening up a space that allows positive change to occur. When you fully engage with a manifesto that resonates, it evokes contagious joy and heartfelt thankfulness, celebrating all that is in your life, as well as a desired hope for all that could be.
How To Create Your Manifesto
Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Design is knowing which ones to keep. Scott Adams
You can embrace who you are and intentionally live out your shining amazingness by tapping into your original blueprint. The very essence of who you are has already been thoughtfully designed and lovingly created. A manifesto created by you will help endorse those foundations. It will put language to your thoughts, visuals to your musings and colour to your heart’s direction. You are the empowered designer, leading your own life to determine what can be possible and then shaping a format that beautifully reflects that. Simply put, ‘knowing which (ones) to keep.’
I believe everyone is creative. It does not matter who you are or what you do; you have something amazing to say with a voice that is ready to explore a variety of original combinations. There are no wrong or right ways. There are no rules and there are no limits. Creativity is a reflection of your wonderful uniqueness for that given moment with a combined freedom of ‘allowing yourself to make mistakes.’
To be creative, all you need to do is create. Past experience may tell you otherwise or disempowering underlying beliefs may prevent you from exploring further. However, just start by creating. Like most things, it takes practice. Receive the truth that you are creative, choose to believe it and then activate it. That is when the fun of intentional life designing begins.
You have the potential to explore and discover a unique, flavoursome, styled manifesto. With a playful approach, you can experiment with your ideas, writing them down and drawing them out. Like a jigsaw puzzle, you can piece together your words and formulate sentences until they fit. Move them around some more until they fit again. Adding extra words or editing existing ones when new thoughts arrive provides your manifesto with room to grow. It can even multiply into many, each one with a targeted subject area. As an evolving piece, it is not static or rigid and flows naturally in the direction of where you are guiding it.
Inspired from a personally well-loved design process, here are a few steps that will put your thinking into action to help you make your manifesto become a reality. This guide will help you generate, develop and produce your ideas in a way that sits comfortably with you.
So with excitement and much enthusiasm, I want to show you how to create your own manifesto. Be prepared to jump in!
STEP 1. Problem Analysis
Just start! This may sound obvious, however sometimes we may feel stuck before we have even begun. The goal here is to establish your design brief by deciding what you want your manifesto to be about. Being specific at this stage helps crystalize your thoughts for the rest of the project. You may not immediately know, so to help you, break the whole area down in to parts and ask yourself lots of enquiring questions. “What is unique about my manifesto? What do I want to say? What is the purpose of my manifesto? What is my reason why? What format will best reflect this? What colours, textures or typefaces will I choose, if at all? Who is my target audience? Where will my manifesto be placed? When will it be used? How will I produce my manifesto? How will I know it is complete?”
Your answers will show you different options. If you feel you have too many options, you may want to simplify and focus on one particular area. All you really need is to have something you can connect to and feel strongly about. Your manifesto can be whatever you want to make a statement about, in any area of your life.
My ‘step 1 problem analysis’ outcome
I want to create a manifesto full of affirmations that encourage, validate and inspire me to connect to who I am and my love for life. A reminder of my unique flavours of amazingness, I want it to evoke a fresh energizing experience every time I read them. As a personalized note to myself, I want to stick my manifesto on my office door and read it out loud as part as my daily routine. I want to awaken potential possibility into living action.
STEP 2. Research
Gather as much information about your subject area as possible. Read books, blogs, articles and quotes. Browse the internet and see what others have already produced in the area you feel inspired to explore. Manifestos are everywhere! Document anything and everything that catches your gaze or piques your interest. If using colour, collect swatches from a paint shop or tear them out from a magazine. Tune into letters and capture the feeling the shapes evoke in different styles – capital, lower case, serif or sans serif. See how different textures translate into different meanings. Like a sensory library, this is a collection of inspiration that you can keep referring to and keep expanding.
My ‘step 2 research’ outcome
The Holstee manifesto. Holstee create products and experiences for an inspired life. Their manifesto is where they began and what keeps moving them forward. Originally written to celebrate aspects of life they truly valued for themselves, their message has spread far and wide. It is a reminder of those things that matter most in life. Here is an extract.
This is your life. Do what you love and do it often. If you don’t like something, change it. If you don’t like your job, quit. If you don’t have enough time, stop watching TV. If you are looking for the love of your life, stop; they will be waiting for you when you start doing things you love.
The Lululemon manifesto. Lululemon make technical apparel for sporting activities and are passionate about sweating everyday. Breathing deeply, drinking water and being outside are also top on the list of their values. Originally inspired by a series of hand written notes from the founder, Chip Wilson, this manifesto is evolving. You may have seen it printed on their famously recognized shopping bags and from time to time, their clothing products. Here is an extract.
Creativity is maximized when you are living in the moment. Sweat once a day to regenerate your skin. Love, listen, listen, listen then ask strategic questions. Breathe deeply and appreciate the moment. Your outlook on life is a direct reflection of how much you like yourself.
The Bruce Mau: Incomplete Manifesto For Growth manifesto. Bruce Mau of Bruce Mau Design, a design and innovation studio, collated these statements that display his beliefs, strategies and motivations in approaching design projects. Here is an extract.
Allow events to change you. Forget about good. Process is more important than outcome. Love your experiments. Go deep. Capture accidents. Study. Drift. Begin anywhere. Everyone is a leader. Harvest ideas. Keep moving. Slow down. Don’t be cool. Ask stupid questions. Collaborate.
STEP 3. Concept
In as few words as possible, establish exactly what you want the core message to be. You want your concept to be immediate and instantly apparent in your final piece. When your target audience sees it or reads it, what is the feeling you want them to experience? Start playing again with words and then choose your strongest thought that connects you to it. This is your anchor or your power statement for the whole piece. It may also help to think of your concept as the title.
My ‘step 3 concept’ outcome
STEP 4. Idea Development
This is where you investigate and explore your concept to the fullest of its potential. This is a fun discovery stage where you begin to see a notion be made visible. With a method that encourages you to play with words, colour, texture, shapes and sizes, let your thoughts, feelings and creativity flow. Ideas may come to your mind surprisingly at any time. Without any filter, seize those words or images that are intuitively being awakened. A pen and paper, writing on sticky notes, collaging, brainstorming, typing on a keyboard or even speaking out loud, use anything that will inspire this playful process. Be ready for when random thoughts appear that help document what is inside of you.
My ‘step 4 idea development’ outcome
Love and be loved. Laughter. I can. The colour red. Blue skies. I will. Trust. Listen. Acknowledge. Challenge. I care. Desire. Passion. Accountability. Question everything. Identity. Destiny. Movement. Direction. Be myself. I am a success. Forgiveness. I am created for greatness. Connection. Share. Family. Friends. Creativity. I love me. Heartfelt thankfulness. Uniqueness. Amazing. Truly scrumptious. Discovery. Wonder. Brave. Intuition. A cuppa and conversation. I am. Receive and give. I am so worth it. Ever be me. I have choices. Permission to learn. Enthusiastically inspired. Life. Curious. I believe. Open. Allow. Nourish. Heart. Soul. Mind. Strength. Play. Shine. Surprise. Celebrate. Life adventure.
STEP 5. Synthesis
From the explosion of words (and if applicable, colour, texture, shapes and sizes), you have options and with those, an array of choices. Through a selection process choose from your palette of sensory discoveries only those that connect with your brief for the project, your original intention. Research and plan the best way to convey your message. Push the idea and question again what your manifesto truly means, how significant it is and what would be the most authentic way to display it. Piece together all the parts and collate all you have. You may want to review it, picking out the strongest points and expelling the unnecessary. Enjoy the creative freedom when merging your ideas with designing.
My ‘step 5 synthesis’ outcome
I love who I am and I love what I do. I love me. Being myself is enough. I am so worth it. Through exploring a world of possibilities, my identity and destiny are continually being revealed. Self-investment is not selfish. I receive freely. I am blessed. I say thank you and thank you again. I live in the fulness of my uniqueness. I trust the journey. Intuition is my friend. If in doubt, I choose the colour red. If still in doubt, I put the kettle on and make a cuppa. I get excited about those things that are yet to be discovered. I cherish my wonder and my wander. I appreciate the answer “no” just as much as the desire for “yes”. I welcome boundaries. If I don’t like something, I choose to shift sideways and see a new perspective. From a place of curiosity, I question everything. I energetically enthuse and cheekily challenge. I am excitable. I am allowed to shine. I am created for greatness. My heart is open to want. Cherished family moments nourish my soul. I believe in me. I am brave. My body is created to move and play everyday. Awareness is vital. Perfection is overrated. Forgiveness is huge. Forgiving myself is even bigger. I laugh a lot. I cry a lot. I connect and I care. I listen to what is being said and listen to what is not being said. Conversations spark my creativity. I am creative and it really is ok for my ideas to be different. Friends love. Blue skies invigorate. I design and I allow. I recognize what is not yet focus on what is. I have options. Choices are empowering. I am open to be surprised (sometimes). Verbally processing brings clarity. I continually give myself permission to learn. Acknowledgment validates. Celebration affirms. Desire motivates. Accountability nurtures movement. I love living my life and passionately sharing it with others. I desire to give back. I love to love. I am my biggest cheerleader. There is room for more. This journey is my adventure and I am fully alive. Ever be me.
STEP 6. Production
It is time for your conceptualized ideas to turn into a tangible product. Your action makes your manifesto into a wonderful reality. Create, design, produce and then share it with the world! Display your manifesto on the wall, add it to a blog post or upload it to Facebook! Find the best place for it to be exhibited that suits its original intent. Keep it close to you so that it can speak to you at any given time. See it everyday and connect to that core message that continually awakens your truths and inspires your incredible growth.
My ‘step 6 production’ outcome
STEP 7. Evaluation
Your evaluation of your manifesto will be personal to you and to the design brief you originally created. “What could you improve? What would you like to add if you were to take the project any further? How does the manifesto answer your brief expectations and fulfill your intentions?” To assess the effectiveness of the product you have produced, what is a final destination now may actually be the beginning of a new one in the future. You may want to open up the space for it to further evolve and be designed into something else. Your design brief may also change too. Be aware of how you are connecting to your manifesto and what further discoveries about yourself you would like to add or take away. Remember, you are the empowered designer of your own created masterpiece where ‘creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes and design is knowing which ones to keep.’
My ’step 7 evaluation’ outcome
This is a snapshot of a manifesto from my today’s designed life. What was a potential possibility has now been awakened into a living action. It has space to receive some further colour and be further explored with another typeface, however this current conversation captured for all to see is the voice of expression I beautifully connect to right now. Those carefully chosen and hand written words inspire me. They validate who I am and excite me to explore something more. They edify, honour and bless me. I am able to keep reading and experiencing these randomly placed and unordered sentences over and over again. Placed on the back of my office door, I am constantly prompted to speak them out loud. The more I hear them the more I believe them. They affirm. This manifesto may stay the same or has room to evolve as my today turns into a tomorrow. Just like a conversation, it will naturally develop into another snapshot of creative flavours waiting to be declared.
If you can dream it, you can do it. Walt Disney
You are your own brand and created as an original. As the designer of your own life, you have the creative freedom to explore how your own blueprint will go through its own design process from beginning to end. Being the brand, you have the choice to discover your own marketing strategies. In other words, knowing who you are, knowing how to express that and then knowing how to connect to those around you in your sphere of influence. In design speak, you are a truly remarkable product and one that has tremendous value to add to others.
I now invite you to confidently go, create and design away! Give yourself permission to let your hair down, to be bold and adventurous. Do not let fear, or the past, hold you back. Dare yourself to design your life.
Manifest your passion.
You can. And it might just change your life.
What are you waiting for?