The Manifesto

You are a creative person.  You are a creative person in a lot of different ways – stop doubting that and embrace it. Stop it with the safety nets and the Plan Bs and the approval seeking. Just go be you. Be yourself. After all, no one can ever tell you that you’re doing it wrong.

Forget everyone else’s expectations of you. Live up to and then beat out only your own.

On that note, stop comparing yourself to other people. You are on your path and they are on their path. In this life, it’s you versus you, not you versus them. Everything in the world has been done before, just not – and this is the important part – in quite the way you will do it.

Finish things. When you set goals for yourself, do them. Set a few goals for yourself every day, and complete a few goals every day. Remember that it’s okay if you don’t always finish everything. Life happens.

Be careful to not over-schedule yourself. You need some time to breathe, remember?

Don’t worry about being good at ALL THE THINGS. Pick a few things and be good at them. It feels good to be good at things, and that is good, not vain. When you’re in a rut, remember the things you’re good at and go do one of them. It will make you feel better.

You are your own wildly passionate person, but you aren’t perfect. So stop pushing yourself so hard, honey. There are going to be days when your only goals are to eat and get out of bed. And that’s okay. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Stop collecting so much stuff. You have small hands, remember? In a fire, you’re only going to be able to grab so much on your way out. You probably don’t need much more than those things.

Go outside more often. Remember outside? You like it there. Do something you like everyday. Try to have it be something other than taking a nap, but it’s okay if it’s napping sometimes.

Take a few minutes to plan your day, every day. When things go wrong, stop worrying. Worrying about the problem doesn’t fix it, it just stresses you out. Take a deep breath, then fix it.

Cancel everything when an amazing opportunity arises. Lunches and writing sprints and work can be rescheduled. Pursue growth, pursue love, pursue laughter. Grab life with both hands. You will never regret trying; you will regret having to wonder.

Some things are hard. Sitting up straight, being brave, and asking for help are among those things. But sit up straight, be brave, and ask for help anyway.

Here are some things that are easy to do: Playing with dogs. Reading a lot. Writing a lot. Dance offs in the bathroom. Taking photos. Laughing loudly. Keep doing those things. There’s no such thing as “too much” of those things.

Do easy things and hard things every day. Life’s a balance. 

Go ahead and drink good liquor. You’ll have a headache either way; might as well like the taste that gets you there.

Eat good food too. And try to eat more Good For You Food. You don’t have the metabolism of a 14-year-old soccer player/cheerleader/swimmer any more, so don’t eat like a 14-year-old soccer player/cheerleader/swimmer any more. Respect your body. Mom says you’ll thank yourself for that later. She’s right a lot of the time, so go ahead and listen now.

Her opinion is one of the few opinions that really matters to you. Hers and a small handful of other people. Listen to those people, and ignore every one else. Nod politely, if you have to. But at the end of the day, you’re the only one you have to answer to. Remember that.

Spend twenty minutes every day doing nothing. Call it meditation if you like. Just stare at a wall every day for twenty minutes and let your mind go where it will. This also makes you feel better, and it opens your mind to more creative thoughts.

Stop checking your email in bed. There are better ways to start and end your day.

You know those things you want to do? Stop talking about them, stop reading about them. There is a point when you’ve read and analyzed and thought too much. Stop talking about it and go do it. Just go do it.

Do things you dream about until you almost don’t like them anymore. Then stop. Take a break. It’s okay to take breaks. But then start doing them again. Do them until there’s nothing left to do; Do them until you can finally step back, take a deep breath, and be proud of what you’ve done.

Then go do something else you can be proud of.

Remember: People can choose freedom or be chained to a life they don’t like. You chose freedom.

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