“Be such a man, and live such a life, that if every man were such as you, and every life such as yours, this earth would be God’s paradise.” Phillips Brooks
How can I fulfill Brooks’ quote? What is my life’s purpose? What am I called to do? Is it one or many things? What will be my legacy? Can I influence my legacy? What is my destiny? Who am I called to impact and influence? How will I know? What is my dream? How do I know if I am successful?
These questions haunt me. I am unsettled by them. They require answers. And that I live out a life worthy of the answers. This document is my roadmap to the answers. Should I achieve everything here in my lifetime, it will have been an extraordinary life lived. If the Lord calls me home before I finish, it will have been a life well lived. If I am called home and have not achieved these things, it will have been a life mediocre. A life mediocre is not acceptable.
Why a Manifesto?
Manifesto defined: A public declaration of principles, policies, or intentions, especially of a political nature. This document is my declaration of principles and intentions.
Over the past year, I struggled with getting my head around the above questions and for several months have read books (40 days of purpose, The Secret, Dreams, Tribes, etc.) and thought about dream boards, goals and objectives, and other popular tools used to help people navigate their life purpose. Each of these things in standalone did not help, but together they became a powerful tool that shaped my thinking. This document if the result of these past several month’s effort. It is a living document and will be updated and changed at least annually as part of my personal growth.
I am a: Follower of Jesus Christ, Husband, Father, Son, Brother, Leader, Outdoors Lover, ex-Adrenaline Junky, Learner, World Traveler, and Businessman. I truly enjoy life and the challenges a life well lived brings.
While life’s road may not always be easy, I understand it’s the most difficult times that shape our character and destiny. May I always embrace the challenging times; enjoy the easy times; savor the little things; dance with my wife, daughter and granddaughters; and teach my son and grandsons to do the same.
My decision making will be based on Good Decisions and Daily Discipline toward the completion of this Manifesto. I will avoid shortcuts and stay the course no matter how big the obstacle or difficult the task.
If my God is for me, who can stand against me? 1 Peter 2:12
Faith: I will pursue God’s purpose in my life and lead my family to do the same. We will honor God in all we do by being faithful with our finances, lives, service, and loyalty to our church and the kingdom. We will never settle for average and will pursue all things with excellence and dedication to our purpose.
Marriage: God provided me with the perfect bride. I will honor, protect, support and nurture my best friend, life partner and loving wife until one of us is called home. I will be the romantic she deserves, support her endeavors, and continue to grow to be the man she deserves by being honest and trustworthy in all I think, say and do. I will dedicate time to our relationship and not take our love for granted.
Family: Partnering with my wife, I will be the leader of my family. I will teach my children to think independently and use sound judgment in forming their opinions and making decisions. I will support their life’s pursuit of achieving their purpose, even if I do not agree with it. I will remain involved in their lives for as long as I live, with the goal of parenting being to raise children that at age 30 are raising Godly families and that the next generation has the same goal. May I be up to that challenge and help others in pursuing the same goal. Together we will raise a generation of leaders after God’s heart.
Learner: I will never stop learning new things and pursuing higher thinking. I will respect others opinions and try to gain knowledge even when I disagree with their views. I will be an independent thinker who will not be lead astray by fads or the newest thing. I promise to make every personal engagement a learning experience by actively engaging relationships that are meaningful and help me to grow. I will read books, newspapers, Blogs and any other source to widen my understanding. I will always be willing to admit I am wrong and learn my lesson from mistakes.
Relationships: I will follow the Golden Rule and foster sound relationships and friendships with those that I can help lift up, and those that will lift me up and encourage and guide me during both good and bad times. I will be open and honest in my relationships and not try to use others for my gain. I will give away as much as I can to others and support those that God nudges me to help.
Leadership: I will lead by example by living out the principles illustrated by Jesus by embracing those different than me and modeling love in all I do. I will take the time to lift others up and be a positive influence in the world I have access to. I will not pass judgment on others and will be an encouragement to those who are hurting. I will help develop and nurture the next generation of leaders through mentoring, service and sharing my life experiences.
Teacher: I will share my life experiences with others and help them to live full lives and reach their potential. I will help lift others higher by mentoring and sharing my life lessons openly without expectation of anything in return. I will be a dedicated lifelong mentor to the few that allow me to serve them. For those I serve, I will be the example of how to help others unconditionally.
World Adventurer: I will live each day to the fullest and take advantage of every opportunity to seek out and experience new and exciting places, things and people. I will never sit back and live for the old days, there’s too much to experience in life to focus on the past. May I always remember the past and use it to motivate me to live tomorrow with all I have. When the game of life is over, may I have left it all on the field in pursuit of the adventure.
Business: I will pursue God’s purpose in my work and business and will pursue success in His eyes. I will resist falling into this world’s idea of work success. With my wife, we will define success on our terms under God’s direction. If that direction leads to material items, I will give Him all the glory and use those things for His kingdom – not mine. If not, I will give Him all the glory and use what I do have for His kingdom and be happy doing it.
Finances: I will spend less than I make. I will be faithful to God’s guidance and call on our finances and will allow Him to control our finances for His will and purpose. We will not make poor decisions by seeking advice and prayer before making any major financial decision. I will never be so set in my ways that I will not cut my losses and move on. I will retire when God tells me it is time, not a day before.
Life Style: I will pursue an image that portrays my family and I in a manner that challenges others to reflect on their lives and strive to be better. We will honor God and model His love in everything we do by encouraging and helping others whenever and wherever there’s a need that God directs us to meet. I will continuously work on my physical and mental fitness by eating right, maintaining a healthy BMI, exercising at least 3 times per week, having annual physical and dental exams, and supporting my wife in her pursuit of her life style.
Entertainment: I will have good friends that enjoy a variety of interests and will not pursue entertainment over purpose. Entertainment will provide relaxation and includes travel, dinning out, theater (all arts for that matter), sporting events and other things that God created for our enjoyment.