Live Dangerously

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

I wrote my manifesto.

For anyone who doesn't know, a manifesto is (according to the all-knowing Google) "a public declaration of policy and aims." As I understand it, businesses and organizations use their manifestos as a way of clarifying their beliefs for themselves and their potential customers.

On a personal level, a manifesto can serve as a daily reminder of what you stand for and what you want your life to look like. It's a way of holding yourself accountable. It's motivation to live in a way that you would be proud of.

Writing a manifesto was a somewhat daunting idea, because I take everything so very seriously. I wanted it to not just be a check mark on a list (writing a personal manifesto was on my 101 Things list), but something that would actually encourage and motivate me in life.

I read several different articles before I ever started crafting my manifesto, and got some great ideas from various blogs and websites. (For anyone interested in creating their own personal manifesto, HERE and HERE are the posts I found most useful. I also used THIS as the inspiration for my formatting.)

From there, I sat down for about an hour and dedicated myself to completing my manifesto. I figured out several particular areas I wanted to address- how I treat myself and others, how I deal with failure, etc. 

Once I had an idea of what I wanted to cover in my manifesto, I wrote down some key questions like "What are my strongest beliefs?" "How do I want to live my life?" and "How do I choose to define myself?" Taking time to answer these deep questions and really think about what I believe was a very cool thing, and it's something I recommend that everyone do periodically.

Next, I wrote down a bunch of little quotes or phrases that I think are important to remember- worry less, go the extra mile, be curious, pursue your passions, etc. I didn't spend a lot of time on this step, but just wrote things down as I thought of them.

I then divided all of those little quotes and phrases into three groups- How I Treat Life, How I Treat Others, and How I Treat Myself. This made things easier when it came time to actually put my manifesto together.

But before I did that, I took all of the quotes and phrases I'd written down and simplified them. "Never stop hoping" became "Hope always." "Think outside the box" became "Think dangerously." 

And then I was finally ready to put my manifesto together. Because of all the planning I had done, I already had exactly what I wanted to say. All I had left was to put together in a way that was simple, easy to read, and sounded nice

And now, without further ado, I give you my personal manifesto!


I am incredibly happy with how my manifesto turned out. I wanted it to reflect things that I struggle with as well as things that I really believe, and it does. It may not all make sense to someone who isn't me, but that's okay. We are all such unique individuals, and we all have our own struggles and strengths.

Before I finish, I want to mention one line in particular that I knew from the beginning was going to be part of my manifesto.

Live dangerously.

This is something that I think is really important and yet struggle with immensely.

You see, I deal with a lot of anxiety as a part of my life. It's really difficult for me to admit that I struggle with anxiety because it's so contrary to everything I value. I value logic, reasoning, and rationality. It's very important to me that things make sense

And my anxiety... more often than not simply doesn't make sense. There is no logic behind my anxiety, and yet it's still there. I can walk myself through all of the reasons why I'm not making sense, but that doesn't always ease my mind.

And as hard as it is for me to say, I've definitely let my anxiety rob me of experiences I would have enjoyed. I've let fear get the better of me more times than I care to relive (of course, seeing as I'm also an obsessive perfectionist, I have difficulty stopping myself doing that, too), and there are things I regret not doing which I can never go back and change.

As I've gotten older, it's become even more important to me that I never get to a point in life where I look up and realize that I've forgotten to live. I don't want to have more regrets that exciting experiences. I don't want to be so afraid of failing that I never try.

I actually had an experience just this past week or so that reminded me how valuable it can be to take a risk.

I signed up to audition for a play that would be preforming this summer. The group that's doing it is fairly competitive. I've seen several of their shows, and the people who get parts are amazing. From the beginning, I was reminding myself and the people around me that I'm auditioning for the experience, because there's a pretty good chance that I won't get a part.

As the audition date got closer and closer, I started second-guessing my decision. I had really no idea what the audition process would be like, I'd never auditioned for something as competitive as this before, and I was beginning to search for a way out.

Somehow, I survived. I made it to the audition without giving up. I had done everything I could to prepare. I was as confident as I could be in the monologue I had to preform. I was freaking out, but I was there.

And you know what?! In spite of all my anxiety, it ended up being one of the best experiences I've ever had. I came out of the audition feeling like I could have climbed Mount Everest. I knew that I had done the best job I could have, and whether or not I got a part, I was just happy with how it had gone and the fact that I had done it.

I was pleasantly shocked and astonished this morning when I opened to my email to find that I even got a callback!!!


What is one thing that would be in your personal manifesto? Let me know in the comment section below, over at my Facebook page, or you can email it to me at anastasiarosewrites[@]gmail[.]com! 


101 Things: Counting Down

I've actually checked off several items from my list in the past few days. #19 (Plan your own funeral), #45 (Do something terrifying), #33 (Take a day trip someplace new), #87 (Write your personal manifesto), and #93 (Have a photo shoot with someone outside of your family).

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  1. I guess the part that stands out the most from your manifesto, that God has been working in me to get me to see, is Love Dangerously. For me, it's not so important to live dangerously simply for the sake of experience and the wish to avoid regret. Nor to think dangerously, for that is what has long gotten me into trouble. But to love dangerously - now THAT is what I am called to as a follower of Jesus. THAT is the example that I have been given to copy. And THAT is, I think, the hardest thing of all the statements in your manifesto. Love dangerously. Give beyond what you think you can and find that His strength is left when yours has run out. Forgive when it seems like the hurt is never going to end. Bless when every fiber of your being wants to curse the world. And give thanks when it seems like there is nothing left to be thankful for.

    I'm not very succinct, am I? ;)

    P.S. I would love to read your eulogy.

    1. Love Dangerously is definitely one of the things here that is most difficult for me, and if I decide to break down the entire thing, that little bit alone will get its own post. For me, both Live Dangerously and Think Dangerously harken back to my Living Water Hats experience, and seeing the things God can do in my life if I'm not afraid to let Him. The comfortable, safe option would have been to just forget about it and move on. If I had let my fear of failing and looking silly stop me, none of that would ever have happened. If I had allowed myself to be dissuaded by the fact that it seemed next to impossible for a thirteen year old to raise $1000, none of that would have happened.

      It never fails to amaze me that we can all read the same words, and yet because of who we are and what we've experienced, they can mean something different for each of us. That's why I love writing and reading so much. (Or, at least, one reason.)

      And maybe it was a bit verbose, but I do love a good wordy comment now and then.

      P.S. No eulogies for me. Too formal. I'm leaving behind plans for a party. ;)