The Motivation Manifesto
By Brendan Burchard
Author Brendon Burchard wrote this book to inspire readers to claim their personal power. Through the nine declarations he presents, he explains what it takes to make the shift from living an ordinary, often unfulfilling life, to living an extraordinary life of purpose and joy. Most importantly of all, he explains the importance of making this shift, and provides the motivation to make it happen.
He writes: We have patiently suffered long enough, hoping that someone or some kind of luck would one day grant us more opportunity and happiness. But nothing external can save us, and the fateful hour is at hand when we either become trapped at this level of life or we choose to ascend to a higher plane of consciousness and joy. In this ailing and turbulent world, we must find peace within and become more self-reliant in creating the life we deserve.
My Top 3 Takes from the Summary
The natural foe to life is not a distant death, but a present, in-the-moment detachment from living.
Courage is a choice. Without self-mastery, we are slaves to fear.
We must remember we are not the sum of our intentions but of our actions.
Claim Your Personal Power
The nine declarations to claim your personal power are:
The first declaration is: We Shall Meet Life with Full Presence and Power.
The message in this declaration is that we should live in the present – the here and now. Many of us miss the good things that are all around us because we’re dwelling on the past or focusing on a distant future instead of being fully aware of what we’re experiencing in the present moment. The author writes: It’s as though we prefer to be elsewhere doing something else, as if we are living in distant time zones, hours behind or ahead of the joyous tick and bliss of Now. We have forgotten that the natural foe to life is not a distant death, but a present, in-the-moment detachment from living.
In choosing to ‘meet life with full presence and power’, we’re choosing to feel and experience life as it happens, something the author describes as having a ‘vibrant awareness’ of now. Without it, we’re unable to fully connect with other people, or ourselves. The present is where we’ll find joy, passion, love, and laughter.
The second declaration is: We Shall Reclaim Our Agenda.
The point the author makes in this declaration is that we’re all guilty of being distracted from what‘s really important. He writes: We have ceded control of our daily lives. Amid incessant distraction, our discipline in pursuing high ambitions has vanished. The white space of a free day seems unfathomable because we have become hypnotized by a false but compelling need to respond to all the needs of others. We are pulled at from every angle, torn from meaningful efforts by frivolous pursuits or false emergencies, and we are often unsure how to balance our lives with the needs of those we love.
What he means by this is that we’re often busy in our daily lives, but we’re not often busy pursuing what we feel most passionate about, or what brings a true sense of fulfillment in life. In choosing to ‘reclaim our agenda’, we’re choosing to consciously design our lives, and in so doing, a life of greater joy, power, and satisfaction will be ours.
The third declaration is: We Shall Defeat Our Demons.
By demons, the author means worry, doubt, fear, and all other negative emotions that hold us back in life. He highlights the natural tendency for most of us to stay within our comfort zones and to beat a hasty retreat whenever the going gets tough. He writes: Our internal demons poison us with worry and fear whenever we might be vulnerable, stunting our growth and vitality. Our destiny is decided by how well we know our demons of Doubt and Delay, how well we defend against them, and how many battles we win against them each day of our lives. Without self-mastery, we are slaves to fear. With it, greatness and transcendence are ours.
In choosing to ‘defeat our demons’, we’re choosing to conquer self-doubt, inconsistency, and procrastination, and in so doing, choosing to become the best version of ourselves it’s possible to be.
The fourth declaration is: We Shall Advance with Abandon.
The message in this declaration is that we spent too much time in life waiting for just the right moment, or waiting for someone else to give us the go-ahead. The author describes this as living our lives ‘on constant pause’ while we wait for some kind of permission to consider what it is we really want in life or to open ourselves fully to love. He writes: We await personal courage to arise within us, or for society to grant us some ill-defined permission to activate our potential. We have forgotten that courage is a choice and that permission to move forward with boldness is never given by the fearful masses. Most have forgotten that seeking change always requires a touch of insanity. If taking action before the perfect conditions arise, or before we receive permission, is unreasonable or reckless, then we must be unreasonable and reckless. We must remember we are not the sum of our intentions but of our actions.
In choosing to ‘advance with abandon', we’re choosing to be bold, to act on initiative, and to rise to the heights of our true greatness.
The fifth declaration is: We Shall Practice Joy and Gratitude.
The harsh reality pointed out in this declaration is that ‘the emotional energy of the world is flatlining… We are exhausted.’ The author believes that wealth is now favoured over well-being, and success is favoured over sanity, and many of us have effectively switched off and withdrawn from life, and from others. He writes: Why do we not hear more laughter and life? Where is the vibrant, mad fury and passion of the fully engaged human? Where are the people burning with charisma and joy and magnetism? Where is the appreciation for life’s spark? We must re-examine our attitude toward life. Our supreme duty must be to rekindle the magic of life… Perhaps the severest requirement of the good life is to have the constancy of mind to maintain our joy and gratitude even amid hardship, pain, and injustice.
In choosing to ‘practice joy and gratitude’, we’re choosing to open our hearts and minds to the many blessings life provides if we simply take the time to notice and acknowledge them.
The sixth declaration is: We Shall Not Break Our Integrity.
The message here is that not many of us are as true to our words as we might like to think we are. All too often, we go back on promises made to ourselves and others, and all too often, we give up on what we truly believe in when walking away makes for an easier life. The author writes: We compromise too easily when life becomes difficult… But there is a nobility to those who do not let neediness or desperation compromise who they are. Freedom and victory belong to those who remain true and strong despite temptation.
In choosing not to break our integrity, we’re choosing to remain true to who we are and to live life according to our values in everything we think, say, and do.
The seventh declaration is: We Shall Amplify Love.
Through love, we experience human kindness, empathy, compassion, forgiveness, courage, and generosity. The powerful message the author puts across in this declaration is that choosing to love and to be loved allows us to live a more meaningful life. Too many of us hold back, fearful of being vulnerable, but only by amplifying love can we achieve a true sense of peace and fulfillment in life.
The eighth declaration is: We Shall Inspire Greatness.
With this declaration, the author dares us to demand more of ourselves in life. He writes: Generation after generation is failing to hold the line on the ideals and virtues of humanity… Too often we don’t call out a wrong or expect ourselves or others to act with routine integrity, excellence, or love. There has been a worldwide failure in leadership, birthing an apathetic populace, unjustifiable poverty, unconscionable greed, and a globe ravaged and booby-trapped by war. So many people are afraid to demand more – to dare, as have the great leaders of the past, to incite the directionless with bold challenges to rise and contribute. We must do better.
In choosing to ‘inspire greatness’, we’re choosing to live a life of honesty, courage, excellence, responsibility, respectfulness, service, and purpose that will inspire others to follow in our footsteps.
The ninth declaration is: We Shall Slow Time.
The clear message in this declaration is that too many of us are rushing through life without stopping to smell the roses. The author writes: Hurry has become the master. We have stopped sensing the stillness, the stunning fullness and beauty and divine perfection of the moment. Most barrel through life, unaware of their senses and surroundings, deaf and blind to the magical qualities of…this…very…moment. We are not supposed to miss it all, this life, but we do, all frazzled, stressed, and stripped away from Now. The cost is immense – so many moments blurred by speed and worry and panic, all stacking onto hectic days, all creating the catastrophe of an un-experienced, joyless life. We must s – l – o – w it all down, not just to become more present in the singular moment, but also to elongate that moment so that we truly sense it. Life is meant to be a vibrant, deeply felt, growing mosaic of long, meaningful moments. It is to be a grand, fully engaged, and unconditionally committed love affair with our daily experience.
In choosing to ‘slow time’, we’re choosing to not only smell the roses, but to notice their very presence in the first place, taking us full circle to the ‘vibrant awareness of now’ described in the first declaration. In slowing time, we’re able to feel and experience life in the moment, rather than rushing from one unimportant distraction to the next, and it’s in the present moment that we’ll find joy, passion, love, and laughter if we give ourselves time to appreciate all that life has to offer.
In the book’s introduction, the author asks, “Why, having been endowed with the courageous heart of a lion, do we live as mice?” The nine declarations he sets out for the reader have been carefully put together to help them free themselves from fear and take back control of their lives once and for all by stepping into their personal power. It’s a call to overcome doubt, anxiety, and fear, and to leave negative distractions behind, making it a call to live a life that’s purposeful and free. In his own words, he says: At the end of our lives, we all ask, ‘Did I live? Did I love? Did I matter?’ The Motivation Manifesto aims to ensure that the answer to all three questions will be a resounding yes.
The motivational writing style of the author makes each declaration feel like a command that must be carried out at once, but this is no bad thing. His words are both powerful and empowering, and the reader is left in no doubt that “personal power is directly tied to personal responsibility, which most people avoid.”
Bio of the Author
Brendon Burchard is a bestselling author, founder of High Performance Academy, a legendary personal development programme for achievers, and of Experts Academy, the world's most comprehensive marketing training for authors, speakers, life coaches, and online thought leaders. Named as 'one of the top motivation and marketing trainers in the world' by Larry King, Brendon has dedicated his life to helping others find their personal power after surviving car accidents, brain injuries, countless failures, and the demands of running his global online training company.