The Never Ending Manifesto — 1.0

At this point in my life, I feel like I need to write a list of rules for myself. Something concrete enough to hold myself to, yet flexible enough so it won’t constrict me needlessly. This is for myself only, yet I would ask my friends to hold me to it, even when I don’t want to. Furthermore, I would ask my friends — and anyone reading — to consider something similar for themselves.

It comes in three parts:

The Meta-Manifesto — A set of rules for this manifesto.

  • Keep it simple: It is kinda ironic to say this in the manifesto for a manifesto, but it is important to say. Occam’s razor and all that stuff.
  • Change things when it is needed, not when it is wanted: Just because the going gets tough, its no reason to make the going easier at the sacrifice of your principles.
  • This is your manifesto: It is no-one else’s. Do not boast, nor judge, based on this manifesto.

On the subject of art:

  • Do not do the same thing others have done in the same way: Even if the picture is from another angle, the color is different, or the subject matter has it’s own little twist, make it your own flavor. Everyone has done scenic pictures of mountains, lakes, and forests. Get them coming to you for something only you offer. That said, do not close your mind to outside influence. Learn from the success and mistakes of others, capture current styles, and always stay current. But always take the extra step.
  • Know what you can’t do, and what you haven't done before. Knowing the difference between the two is important. I know I can’t draw, and I don’t think I could fix a car’s engine. That is to say, I have spent a while trying to draw with little success, but I have never tried engine repair, and with the right training I could be good at it. Keep your options open, but know your limitations.
  • You will always need a new [tool]: Don’t let that stop you from making what you want to make. If you need the tool to proceed, get it. If you can get by without it, do that.
  • Projects you do by yourself are cool. Projects done with others are amazing: The process of creation is best shared with others. You become more objective, you can appreciate the end product more, and it can strengthen bonds.
  • Make it impact people in a positive way: Get them thinking, get them feeling. Make them better for having seen your work.
  • Make the best thing you have in your ability to make.

On the subject of Life:

  • Be kind to others by default.
  • Respect those who deserve it.
  • Be clear with those who you dislike.
  • Love even when you don’t want to.
  • Do hard things for the sake of doing them: Nothing great that has been done was easy. Nothing easy was done greatly.
  • Do everything well and full: If you do it right the first time, you don’t tend to need to do it again
  • Bragging never gets you anywhere: At best, you gain hollow appreciation, and at worst, you gain contempt.
  • Research everything fully, from all angles.
  • Remember there can be anywhere from 1 to 20 sides to an argument: There is rarely only two sides.
  • Polarization and dogmatism is the death of compromise: And by extension is the death of democracy.
  • If it isn’t broken, it does not need fixing: But it can always be improved.
  • Remind people you care about them: Sometimes they could really need a reminder that someone does.
  • Put effort in how you appear to others: The clothes you wear, how you wear them, how you hold yourself, and how you speak show the level of respect you have to those around you.
  • Stay classy and keep it clean: If you won’t, who else will?
  • Don’t spend you money foolishly: Buy things that will last, and don’t waste your money on cheap thrills.
  • You are worth an amazing partner: Don’t settle for less, or for the convenient. Don’t settle for anyone who will make you sacrifice any aspect of yourself. Don’t settle at all.
  • Keep an open mind, even to old ideas.
  • Any man with money can put a suit on: It takes a proper gentleman to wear a suit well.
  • Hope for the best, prepare for the worst: Doing so will have all your bases covered.
  • And lastly: Be the best you that you can be.
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