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Acts of Kindness

We owe a debt of gratitude to our road-testers

July 2023
— Reading Time: 2 minutes

You are by now aware that Justin and I have finished writing our book and are preparing our manuscript to submit to a variety of publishers. We received endorsement of our plan to include case studies in our book – people’s real responses to the 7-Step guide – from our Manuscript Assessor.

Consequently, we sent the draft of our manuscript and companion workbook, to twenty of our my manifesto mates. We deliberated about how long we should allow them to complete the work and settled for a two-month turnaround.

We have learned a great deal from this exercise already. A few road-testers finished early. They found themselves excited about pushing through to completion, and no doubt ‘burnt the midnight oil’ to do so. Thank you so much to them.

Another few found insurmountable obstacles in their way. The obstacles may have been internal, of the nature of concerns arising as a result of doing the work, which they felt ill-equipped to tackle right now. They may have been external; the demands of the rest of their lives – the non-manifesto writing ones – just simply wouldn’t allow them to proceed. They assured us, in both contexts, that it wasn’t a fault of our book, but an incapacity to find the time and the resources to devote to themselves in this way right now. This has provided further food for thought for us and for them. We are most grateful for their efforts.

Others have arrived on the due date or have been slowly trickling in since. Many of the road-testers underestimated how much time they would need. Deep reflection – sometimes not done in quite this way before – gave them the need to pause. What is this about me that I have discovered? Oh, is that what I have not really been aware of? What are the implications for me now of knowing this? All considerations I hope you agree, are part of a rich examination of a life being lived. All worthy of their attention.

We have been overwhelmed by the vulnerability and the generosity of all our road-testers. Their words, beautifully expressed and hard-won, have been inspiring and deeply humbling. We have been given a privileged window into their very souls. We feel enriched, entrusted, and expanded as a consequence of their efforts. Our book will be better and is more likely to touch all of you who embrace it whole-heartedly.

Our pivot, our venture into authorship in this form, fuelled by best intentions to serve our readership with a practicable guide to creating their own current, unique, personal manifesto, has received a great impetus from the efforts of our road-testers. Their responses demonstrate the effectiveness of our process and reflect their generosity; they did it for us, they did it for you, but predominately, we hope the greatest benefit is for themselves. The reward for us all, is clarity.

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