A Manifesto for Life


Image by wili_hybrid via Flickr

A manifesto is a public declaration of principles and intentions. It aims to declare a point of view, denounce a problem or convene a community to a certain action. Although mostly of a free form they do have certain key elements:title, identification and analyses of the problem, arguments to support the authors point of view, date, place and signatures from the authors and their supporters.

While visiting my usual blog yesterday I came across two very interesting manifestos in a post from 99 Percent blog.

The first from the architect Frank Lloyd Wright

Written as a series of “fellowship assets” meant to guide the apprentices who worked with him at his school, Taliesin. This manifesto has the mark of a poet even though it was written by an architect.

  1. An honest ego in a healthy body.
  2. An eye to see nature.
  3. A heart to feel nature.
  4. Courage to follow nature.
  5. The sense of proportion (humour).
  6. Appreciation of work as idea and idea as work.
  7. Fertility of imagination.
  8. Capacity for faith and rebellion.
  9. Disregard for commonplace (inorganic) elegance.
  10. Instinctive cooperation.

The second on comes from designer John Maeda

Maeda elaborates on 10 laws for business, design, and life:

  1. Reduce: The simplest way to achieve simplicity is through thoughtful reduction.
  2. Organize: Organization makes a system of many appear fewer.
  3. Time: Savings in time feel like simplicity.
  4. Learn. Knowledge makes everything simpler.
  5. Differences: Simplicity and complexity need each other.
  6. Context: What lies in the periphery of simplicity is definitely not peripheral.
  7. Emotion: More emotions are better than less.
  8. Trust: In simplicity we trust.
  9. Failure: Some things can never be made simple.
  10. The One: Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious, and adding the meaningful.

Each one of these manifestos represent not the solution to a problem, but a way to live, and although John Maeda’s manifesto is more practical and was made as a set of guidelines for design, it has still validity when talking about other areas of human behaviour.

With these to manifestos at heart I tried to great my on manifesto.

Manifesto for a happier existence:

In a world of complexity and constant overflow of information, we search for an anchor to keep us grounded. And guidelines to keep us going in the right direction.

  1. Be true to yourself. If you’re not you will become like everyone else, without ever truly become anyone.
  2. Be kind. To everyone and anyone. Anger, discontent or bitterness are a waste of energy.
  3. Be daring. Always strive for something more, and always look for a place where your uncomfortable before returning to where you’re comfortable.
  4. See. See what surrounds you: nature, people, the world. See it, and take awe in it!
  5. Imagine. Always strive for imagination, it’s what keeps us alive.
  6. Simplify. All the important thing in life are simple.
  7. Love. Yourself, those around you, the world.
  8. Do all you can do. Leave noting for tomorrow. Live as if tomorrow isn’t there.
  9. Be all you can be. Never think you can’t do something. You’ll never know unless you try.
  10. Be happy! It’s a miracle we’re even here don’t forget it.

What’s your manifesto? Does any of these speak to you? If so why?

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2 thoughts on “A Manifesto for Life

  1. Jennifer says:

    Bravo! Bravo!
    Great writing!

    Choose Happiness & Success!

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