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Manifesto Musings

Healthy Hardship

January 2024
— Reading Time: 2 minutes

A central purpose of having a current, unique, and personal manifesto is not to be happy. This may surprise some of our readers, and please don’t think we have anything against being happy – we are big fans of this feeling. We are also delighted when many of our clients report increased levels of calmness, contentment, and inner peace – all possible synonyms for the term ‘happiness’. In many ways we view happiness as simply a lovely ‘side-effect’ that comes along with revealing and living your manifesto.

Before discussing what the central purpose of a manifesto is, can I share some possible issues when an individual, or a community, relies too heavily on the term ‘happiness’. Of course, all parents want their children to be happy, and this is not just when the children are young. My Mum has recently turned 80 and I know she is still heavily invested in wishing me to be happy! So, let’s take it as a given that it is normal, and fine, to wish for your loved ones, your neighbours, and yourself to be happy. However, if we focus too greatly on seeking happiness, we are frequently (and wrongly) programmed to avoid discomfort, fear, challenge, prolonged effort, and testing situations. And, it is precisely in many of these difficult or uncomfortable experiences that we find growth, wisdom, and fulfilment.

For many, fulfilment can be viewed as another synonym for happiness, but we believe it has the significant advantage of being open to and accepting of pain, struggle, and hardship. It can be entirely possible to be fulfilled, but at the same time feel stressed and overburdened.

So, let’s move to a central purpose of having a personal manifesto. We believe it is to assist a person to have clarity about who they are, what they stand for, and the direction they wish to take in their life. Another way of thinking about this is that at my manifesto we believe: “It is common to have a full life. It is less common to live life fully.”

When an individual is energised, equipped, and empowered with their personal manifesto they can live their life fully – they can experience being fulfilled. Whilst the individual won’t always feel happy, they know what is important to them, what they stand for, and the direction they are heading. With a personal manifesto the individual will not seek to avoid discomfort as they recognise this is part of living in alignment with their manifesto.

An individual prepared with a personal manifesto may well even shift their perspective and welcome elements of healthy hardship, knowing this is an essential part of their pathway to happiness fulfilment.

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