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The Self-Destiny Manifesto

“Every moment I shape my destiny with a chisel- I am the carpenter of my own soul.” ~ Rumi

In one of the opening scenes in the movie “Troy” there is a conversation between Achilles and a messenger boy where the boy runs back to the village to wake up Achilles for battle. The boy says, “The Thessalonian you’re fighting…he’s the biggest man I’ve ever seen. I wouldn’t want to fight him.” And before Achilles leaves, he says to the boy, “That is why no one will remember your name.” A little conceited, sure, but Achilles knew where he stood regarding his own destiny. He knew he would make a dent in the universe. He wasn’t conceited, he was convinced. He was confident.

Now, we cannot all be Achilles; he’s a mythological half-man, half-god, after all. What’s important is that he is a metaphor for the divine power within all human beings, just as the messenger boy is a metaphor for the mortal weakness within all human beings. When it comes down to it, it’s easy to remain weak and it’s difficult to become strong.

The self-destiny manifesto is a self-affirmation technique that motivates us to leverage strength in the present by meditating on posterity and how history will view our lives and how we spent it. Did we succumb to our own weakness and merely live a typical, ignorant, low-impact (though high pollution impact) lifestyle, blind to the ways in which our lives effect all things; or did we rise up with strength and courage and live a high-impact lifestyle, awake and aware to the ways in which our lives affect and are connected with all things? As Joe Dispenza said, “Where we put our awareness and for how long, maps our destiny.”

The self-destiny manifesto is a declaration to posterity. It is a motivational intent to be the best version of ourselves now, in the moment, so as to make a difference, preferably a healthy difference, for posterity’s sake.

It’s staring down destiny from across the poker table of fate and declaring, as Cheryl Strayed said (paraphrasing) “I don’t have a right to the cards I believe I should have been dealt. I have an obligation to play the hell out of the one’s I’m holding.”

And then proceed to play the hell out of them so that history has a reason to put you in its books and posterity has a reason to look back and say, “Wow! at least they tried to make a difference instead of just sitting around waiting for someone else to do it.”

A self-destiny manifesto is a personal impression, a soul-print on the universe. It’s a spirit-stamp that affects the cosmos in a way that ripples through time, causing history to take notice. Part self-affirmation, part personal action, a self-destiny manifesto is a motivational tool that gets us off our asses and out of our comfort-junky mindsets so that we are able to transform our typical humdrum lives into atypical adventurous lives. As Helen Keller said, “Life is either a great adventure, or nothing.” A self-destiny manifesto is a tool toward leveraging greatness into our lives so that adventure becomes a possibility.

Is adventure relative? Perhaps, but not according to history. The Achilles character knew this. And it’s our responsibility to understand it. We choose how we are going to live tomorrow. We choose if we are going ot remain ignorant to the interconnectedness of all things and our impact on it, or aware of our interdependence and what we can do independently to maintain a healthy balance.

We choose if we will remain inactive and indifferent and merely go along with the cog-in-clockwork menace of the man-machine, or become a proactive and aware force of progressive evolution willing to make a difference in the eyes of our ancestors, whose world we are borrowing for a time. As Heraclitus said, “The content of your character is your choice day by day, what you choose, what you think, and what you do, is who you become.”

At the end of the day, the self-destiny manifesto is a self-challenge, a double-dog dare to begin the important work of our lives. It is more than a declaration, it is a launching off point, a benchmark, a cornerstone from which to begin learning the basics of crafting our own personal destiny.

As Nietzsche said, “He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk, and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying.” As such, each self-destiny manifesto will be as unique as our own fingerprints, which only we can write, nobody else. It’s just a matter of fusing what we love to do most in this world with courage, and then putting it into the form of manifesto.

There will be failure, there will be trial and error, there will be ups an downs, zigs and zags. There will be vicissitudes. But as long as we have our will and our self-destiny manifesto to keep us self-empowered, we can teach posterity how to love us. As Daniel Jonathan Parker said, “If you can be anything in this world, be curious. And then, be brave.”

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  • Gary 'Z' McGee, a former Navy Intelligence Specialist turned philosopher, is the author of Birthday Suit of God and The Looking Glass Man. His works are inspired by the great philosophers of the ages and his wide awake view of the modern world.

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