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Manifesto Musings

Unheard of

January 2024
— Reading Time: 3 minutes

Justin and I coached each other and co-created our individual personal manifestos when we were developing our initial concept for our my manifesto experiences. Even though we have since both written a current version when developing our book My Manifesto, I still love that version passionately and its phrases still dance around my head and inform my living. I have since read two quotes which I love in relation to language and illuminate the feeling I have to the language of my manifesto. One by Ludwig Wittgenstein and one by Brene Brown. First the Wittgenstein: “The limits of my language mean the limits of my world” and the Brown: “Having access to the right words can open up entire universes.”

Wow to both of these! To relate the Wittgenstein to a personal manifesto. When you write your personal manifesto – and we do hope you will with our book as your guide (you just have to wait until August!)—with the aid of our seven steps, you are being prompted by our questions and exercises, to find the words which resonate with you. The power of finding just the right word for just the right thought that you are searching for to match exactly what you want to capture is at the level of profound. And with Wittgenstein’s wisdom added, I understand that I feel this way too because with the word or phrase I have chosen, I have built, indeed I would say, I have stretched my world.

With Brown’s extension — and we must thank her for her positive choice of language — we have spelt out exactly what language can do. Not only can it show us the limits of our world, but the right word can open up, create, entire universes! There is the wow factor! This is the experience I, we, and all those who have dug deep or cast the net wide for the right words have had. Combine this with revealing your best life as you are doing when writing your personal manifesto, and I understand why I am so affected by the language that I choose.

A sampling of my words from my current manifesto: ‘replenish’, ‘authenticity’, ‘bravery’, ‘integrity’ , and already it is apparent what matters to me and what my world looks like. To love myself and my world, to find the words which encapsulate the thought, the idea of me and my world, both inspires and emboldens me.

A whimsical metaphor for the effect on me of having my personal manifesto and living my manifesto life according to my chosen words, is contained in this story: it was time for my bone density scan. My height was to be measured. As I walked over to the radiographer, she commented, “You are walking tall.” When she measured me, she said, “You are taller than you were when you were last measured two years ago.”

When visiting my GP for the follow-up visit, she heard this story and checked my record. When she also saw that I registered taller this time, she said, “Unheard of.” Indeed.

What I would like to attribute this unheard-of fact to is this: with my manifesto, I am standing taller because I know who I am, the extent of my world and my place within it.

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