Manifesto Meaning – Write a Manifesto to Create Your Future

How do you create your future? That’s a pretty important question for all of us – personally, in our careers and in business. And how can you write a manifesto (manifesto meaning) to do this? Today, I’ll answer both of these questions.

Manifesto Meaning

Let’s start with manifesto meaning. What does the word manifesto mean?

I think one of the best ways to understand what a word means is to look for its origin – its etymology.

The word ‘manifesto’ comes from Latin. It originally meant obvious – to make things obvious.

It was later interpreted to mean to make things public. Source: Oxford Languages

Later in the 17th century, this became:

  • Italian = Manifestare
  • English = Manifest

From this base, to make things public we have the modern manifesto definition: to make your intentions public.

For example, traditionally, if you were going to marry your sweetheart, you would make your intentions known to their father for approval. Then you would ask your sweetheart for his/her hand in marriage. Next, you would make your intention to marry public to friends and family at an Engagement Party and through a newspaper announcement.

A Manifesto is an Umbrella Term

A Manifesto is an Umbrella term for creating your future

To make your intentions public or obvious the simple way to do this is just to blurt it out.

  • I’m quitting my job.
  • I’m going on holiday.
  • Or I’m starting a new business.

And this is what a manifesto has in common with a vision, mission, purpose, intention and goal. It’s an umbrella term for declaring your intention.

Easy. Done. Yes but… There are two more things you need to make this work.

Why are Manifestos so Powerful?

To write a manifesto and create your future you need to understand the key word that gives a manifesto meaning.

In this post, What’s a Manifesto – A Three-Part Manifesto Definition, I define a manifesto as a public declaration of your intent.

The key word here is declaration.

So what’s a declaration? Well, there are two parts here.

  • When a judge sentences a criminal to ten years in jail, she is creating the future for that person.
  • But before that, the judge or the jury declares the person guilty.

So these are the two parts of a declaration.

  1. A statement of how the world is. Guilty.
  2. And a statement of how the future is going to be. Jail.

Three Steps to Define Your Manifesto

To write a manifesto and create your future you need these two steps plus one more.

Here’s a famous historical example of how to do this.

Declaration of Independence painting by John Trumbull
Declaration of Independence painting by John Trumbull

The first is your statement of how the world is.

In 1776, when the founding fathers of America wrote the Declaration of Independence they didn’t just say, ‘We’re quitting being a British colony and we’re going to start our own thing.’ They included 27 reasons why living under British rule was not working. For instance, they were paying too much tax and they didn’t have the right to create their own laws.

In other words, they declared the current situation and what was not working. It’s like stating the problem you want to solve.

The second is the declaration – this is how you want the world to be.

This is your solution. And the founding fathers declared, ‘We are no longer under the control of the British. We are now independent states.’

While this created the United States of America, the job wasn’t done just yet. There was one more step.

The third is they needed to create promises and commitments to make this a reality.

This is crucial because the British didn’t just say, ‘No worries mate, we’ll just leave then.’ No, they were going to fight for what they believed. And this created the War of Independence which lasted seven years. While speaking the future creates the idea of what you want, it doesn’t magically make it appear in front of you.

What will you promise to do or commit to that will have you fulfil your declaration?

Everyday examples

To simplify this for you, here are a couple of everyday examples.

Career and Work

  1. My job sucks. (declaration of how things are)
  2. I quit. (declaration of your intention)
  3. And I promise to find a better job. (promise and commitment)

Planning a Holiday

  1. I’m worn out and tired. (declaration of how things are)
  2. I need a break – a holiday. (declaration of your intention)
  3. I’m going to book a rental by the beach for a week. (promise and commitment)

Summary – Manifesto Meaning and Three Steps

The three declarations to write a manifesto

The original meaning of the word ‘manifesto’ is to reveal, make obvious or make public. And today, a manifesto is a tool for creating the future.

To make this happen you need to declare three things.

  1. Declare how things are currently.
  2. Declare how you want things to be.
  3. And create promises and commitments to make it happen.

What do you think? Which parts of this video strike a chord with you? Add a comment below and let me know.

More on What is a Manifesto and How to Create Yours

To help you create your manifesto (and your future) you might like to read these posts next:

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