A Personal Manifesto

Live your life by a set of core values you believe in and make decisions based on those core values. Define these nebulous terms for yourself: happiness, success, freedom. Show up. Do the work. Concern yourself only with things within your control. Don’t let the value of an effort be anchored to its results. Empower others, don’t belittle them. When faced with other people’s bad behavior, ask yourself when you have acted like that. Tell the truth. Think for yourself. Surrender immediately when shown to be in error. Give yourself the luxury of changing your mind. Emphatically listen to people. See the world through the lens of gratitude. Be just. To do harm is to do yourself harm. Take care that you don’t treat inhumanity as it treats human beings. The best revenge is to not be like that. Be kind to yourself. Eat well, move your body. Listen to good music. Go outside, walk barefoot. Do things you enjoy doing. Consume things that inspire you, energize you, move you. Devote time for reflection and introspection. Read and write, often. Expend creative energy so it doesn’t swallow you whole. Be intentional with your time and deliberate with your actions. Always go to the funeral. Become comfortable with discomfort. Do manual labor. Call your friends. Maintain connections with people you enjoy being around. Don’t let good relationships slip away due to negligence. Don’t underestimate the fundamentals. Cultivate awareness of yourself, of others, and of your environment. Do your best to contribute to the common good of the world. Endlessly strive for the ideals, but do so with the understanding you will never achieve them. Through it all, invite forgiveness—for yourself and for fellow humans. Lighten up and laugh. Take a break, go stargaze, and ponder what a miraculous blessing it is to be alive.