A great way to create your future is to make a declaration and ultimately create a manifesto. The basic definition of a manifesto is: a public declaration of your intent. And, there are four basic types of manifesto.
A goal can be a manifesto when we share it with other people. It’s public, it’s a declaration and it’s about what we intend to have happen.
A classic goal is a New Year’s Resolution. A lot of resolutions are made in the joy of New Year celebrations and are soon forgotten. Generally, they’re heavy on declaration and light on the action needed to fulfil them.
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Our second type of manifesto is a list of goals.
Some lists, like your shopping list or to-do list, are declarations of your intent to perform certain tasks or buy specific things, and they’re not manifestos because we don’t really need to make them public.
A bucket list is a list of experiences, achievements and things you want to have happen before you kick the proverbial bucket. Whilst you can keep this list to yourself, it’s much better to share it with others so they can help you fulfill your wish list. A bucket list is a simple form of a manifesto and the ideal way to create your personal manifesto.
Our third type of manifesto presents a set of rules for behaving within a specific context.
The most famous example of this is The Bible’s Ten Commandments. At a simple level, if you want to pursue the Christian faith and live a good life then you need to follow the ten rules or commandments. They suggest you don’t steal things, don’t kill people and treat others as your neighbor.
In the business world, a popular example is Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. It sets out seven practices to repeat if you want to be more effective in your life.
Our four type of manifesto aims to create a new world. It’s not about simple rules, instead, it presents a vision for the future.
One of the most famous moments in the US civil rights campaign of the 1960s was Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech. It’s a manifesto declaring how King would like the world to be. He describes a world where little black boys and little white boys play together. King doesn’t present a list of things to do and he doesn’t present a set of rules to follow. Instead, he paints a picture of how things could be.
Which manifesto do you need?
Here are my suggestions for which manifesto suit you best:
- Personal – create a single goal or a simple list
- Business Expert – create a set of rules for others (ideally your clients) to adopt as practices
- Organisation, Social Entreprise – create a vision of the world you are working to create.
Here’s Ten Famous Manifesto – see if you can identify which type of manifesto they are.