In Motivation Manifesto, high-performance coach and trainer Brendon Burchard reveals that the main motive of humankind is the pursuit of greater Personal Freedom. We desire the grand liberties of choice—time freedom, emotional freedom, social freedom, financial freedom, spiritual freedom. Only two enemies stand in our way: an external enemy, defined as the social oppression of who we are by the mediocre masses, and an internal enemy, a sort of self-oppression caused by our own doubt and fear.
The Motivation Manifesto is a pulsing, articulate, ferocious call to claim our personal power.
The Author identified three sets of people we should be wary of on our path to greatness and freedom: The Worriers, The Weakling, and The Wicked. He highlighted some of our limiting behaviours such as fear, Loss Pain vs anticipation of hardship. Life Roles: Observer, Director, Guardian, Warrior, Lover, and Leader.
The 9 Declarations of the Motivation Manifesto
- Meet Life with Full Presence and Power
- Reclaim your Agenda
- Defeat your Demons
- Advance with Abandon
- Practice Joy and Gratitude
- Do not break Integrity
- Amplify Love
- Inspire Greatness
- Slow Time
Here are my favourite takeaways from reading “The Motivation Manifesto by Brendon Burchard”
Declaration 1: Meet Life with Full Presence and Power
We regularly miss the energy and blessings around us, and the importance of this very moment. 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.
Should we wish to be free and alive with full power, we must decide to bring the full might of our conscious mind to the present experience. We must choose to feel again. We must set intentions for who we are, for what roles we wish to serve, for how we’ll relate with the world. Without a vibrant awareness, we cannot connect with others or ourselves, nor can we meet the demands of the hour with grace. For this, we now declare:
“WE SHALL MEET LIFE WITH FULL PRESENCE AND POWER.”
Declaration 2: Reclaim your Agenda
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.
We are too often detached from what is most worth fighting for; our busywork consumes our day but it is not our life’s work. Most do not feel a stark, stirring life purpose—they don’t hunger for it in the morning or orient their day to its pursuit. A life of greater joy, power, and satisfaction awaits those who consciously design their life. For this, we now declare:
“WE SHALL RECLAIM OUR AGENDA.”
Declaration 3: Defeat your Demons
Something inside is sabotaging our natural drive toward freedom. It whines and roars for us to stop whenever we push beyond our comforts; whenever we choose to be authentic and loving in a scary world; whenever we seek to make a difference at the cost of our own position; whenever we desire something magnificent that, to obtain, would require hardship and work.
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. For this, we now declare:
“WE SHALL DEFEAT OUR DEMONS.”
Declaration 4: Advance with Abandon
Most of us are not maturing as fast as we are able. We are on constant pause; we wait and we wait, to find out who we are, to declare our dreams, to struggle for what we want, to open ourselves fully to love and to life. 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. Bold and disciplined initiative is our savior; it allows us to rise, to leap, to soar to the heights of true greatness. We must not lose the urgency of this moment as it begs for us to begin something grand and important. For this, we now declare:
“WE SHALL ADVANCE WITH ABANDON.“
Declaration 5: Practice with Joy and Gratitude
We are exhausted. All around us we see faces that look weathered, drooped, stern. We hear conversations that sound increasingly quiet and resigned, like whispers from a tired, disbanding tribe. The emotional energy of the world is flatlining. Well-being has been cast aside for wealth; success favored over sanity.
In the process, some have turned cold toward life, and toward others. Where is the energized, heightened, exhilarated pulse one would expect from such a chosen and capable people? 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 reexamine our attitude toward life. Our supreme duty must be to rekindle the magic of life. For this, we now declare:
“WE SHALL PRACTICE JOY AND GRATITUDE.”
Declaration 6: Do not break Integrity
We compromise too easily when life becomes difficult. Most sacrifice individuality and integrity without a fight, although arrogance prevents seeing this truth. Too many of us believe ourselves strong when a long gaze across our lives would sight a pattern of quitting or withdrawing too soon, often when our loved ones needed us to be strong or right when our dreams were just within reach. For convenience or the wide smile of popularity, we waffle on our word and give up what we truly believe in. But there is a nobility to those who do not let neediness or desperation compromise who they are.
We must not follow any impulse to be weak or heartless. Instead we must have a strong refusal to break, choosing that mighty lift of courage, that soaring commitment to love, that grand ascent to the realm of character that is congruent with our highest values. Freedom and victory belong to those who remain true and strong despite temptation. For this, we now declare:
“WE SHALL NOT BREAK OUR INTEGRITY.”
Declaration 8: Inspire Greatness
Generation after generation is failing to hold the line on the ideals and virtues of humanity. The low hum of mediocrity and the heinous pitch of narcissism have replaced what was once the chorus of society singing to virtue, progress, and selflessness. Our talents and collective focus are not fully invested in personal mastery and social contribution but squandered on voyeurism and base sensationalism. 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. From the squalor of a contaminated moral environment must surface an honorable few, unafraid to challenge the direction of the world. History shall fill in the wake of our actions, so let us be purposeful and let us be great. For this, we now declare:
“WE SHALL INSPIRE GREATNESS.”
Declaration 9: Slow Time
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. Many can only vaguely remember the last time they laughed so hard it hurt, loved so much it led to a beautiful flood, cheered so loudly it strained the vocal chords, felt so deeply it caused a showering of tears, had such a raucously good time that it became legend—moments fully lived. 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.
“Choosing our own aims and seeking to bring them to fruition creates a sense of vitality and motivation in life. The only things that derail our efforts are fear and oppression.“
Every human has a natural inclination to ascend to higher planes of existence, but it rests upon each of us to match that inclination with real initiative. We must remember that freedom can be achieved only by diligent will and volition. Seeking to ascend in life takes grit and resolve, struggle and courage. But to those who make the effort belong all the glories of life and history.
The aims of others (our parents, our teachers, our spouses, our fans) can become our aims if we are not vigilant. Their certitude can replace our quest for something new. Their collective meaning can subjugate our search for our individual meaning. Yes, let us be wary. We can quickly lose ourselves in others and in our culture. We become not free and genuine humans but rather slaves to opinion.
This is the ultimate misery: living a life that is not our own.
“Freedom requires responsibility to choose who we are above and beyond our immediate impulses, needs, and social pressures, so that we can genuinely express the type of person we want to be, live the life we truly want to live, leave the legacy we desire.”
“Fear was given to us as a motive to avoid physical harm and death. That is it. We are the ones who have perverted it into a tool for the ego’s protection. Almost all the fear we experience today has nothing to do with physical threat. We have taken this impulse for safety and bastardized it into ego-driven desires to feel more emotionally comfortable. We’ve hacked its short-term nature into a long-term tool to avoid difficult circumstances in order to satiate our base desires for approval. Fear has become a crutch for emotional weakness. And as with all crutches, we shall fall slave to its use unless we once more condition our strength.”
“Almost all fear we experience today, and its resultant cowardly thinking and behavior, is just imagined social drama created by unchecked mental impulses and conditionings. We are afraid of being rejected, isolated, or abandoned—not of being eaten alive. And those kinds of social fears can be overcome by willful practice.”
THE SOCIAL CONDITIONING OF FEAR
Why are some people more driven by fear than freedom?
It can only be because in the past they were conditioned to be fearful, either by those around them or by their poor application of mental faculties. There is no genetic curse or personality trait that permanently condemns one person to fear more than another—even a genetic predisposition for anxiety can ultimately be flipped on or off by mental conditioning. We are not slave to our history; we can be freed by our conscious thoughts and disciplined habits.
On your path to greatness and freedom be wary of: The Worriers, The Weakling, and The Wicked.
The worriers around us today are often the biggest threat to enflaming our fear. They are the most likely to steal our motivation and destiny because they often seem to be our friends. We are so close to them that their anxiety can bleed onto us. We must learn to control our reactions around them.
Most worriers are not unkind people. They have no clue of the fear they impose on our lives, or the way their incessant voices of doubt oppress our potential. They don’t see that they cause treachery by arguing for us to play it safe. It’s the loving mother who says, “Careful, honey,” at every turn as her child goes about the normal activities of childhood; the coworker who gives ten reasons why we might get in trouble and not a single word about how we might change the world; the lover who incessantly fears we as a couple are going to fail and keeps imploring us to back down from a fight or from the edge of any risk.
These people believe they are thoughtful, loving, and protective. Their cautious words are most often delivered from a loving place. They want good for us. They feel a duty to protect us from hurt, and so they try to direct us toward the well-worn paths that they understand. These are our parents, friends, peers, lovers, neighbors, and leaders.
It’s an awkward social reality:
“We must protect ourselves from being limited by those who care for us as much as by those who blatantly oppose us.”
We must forgive their small thinking and we must look beyond it to see a vaster horizon for ourselves. We must not worry what could go wrong but rather wonder what magnificence could enter our lives when we are consistently expressing our genuine selves and pursuing our true passions.
The next category of people we must anticipate are the weak and slothful, those who speak out against the efforts and hardships required to be remarkable.
It would be too simple to say, “Do not give your ear to a lazy person, as he will surely pour fear and apathy into your soul.” But it is nonetheless a powerful mantra. Choosing not to listen to weaklings demands true personal power, especially for those of us who are good listeners and empathetic friends, as we want to respect their opinions and circumstances. We must be discerning with those we know well and allow close; it is possible to listen lovingly while being careful about what energy we absorb.
As we anticipate the weak-willed, let us also anticipate that woven in the tapestry of human goodness are also threads of mean, power-hungry, deceptive individuals. We cannot avoid the cruel people we will encounter in life—the more of them coming at us, the more we put ourselves out there, the more we seek to lead, the more we express ourselves and our full potential, the more we are motivated to change the world. The more we rise, the more they turn up.
This is not some kind of paranoia.
The fact that there are mean people in the world is not something to fear; it is simply something to acknowledge and prepare for. Businesspeople should not be shocked that the competition will seek to destroy them. No surprise should flash across the face of a new executive when she is met with resistance during her first meeting simply because she is a woman.
Loss Pain vs Anticipated Hardship
Most of the fear we feel in life is simply anxiety arising from our anticipation of two kinds of pain that change might bring: the pain associated with loss or hardship.
The first type, loss pain, is a thought pattern in which we worry that we will lose something we cherish if we take any given action. If we fear changing jobs, it is because we don’t want to lose our compensation, our friendships with certain coworkers, our corner office. This thought pattern plays out in millions of subtle decisions throughout people’s lives. We think, “If I go on a new diet, I’m afraid I’ll lose the joy I feel in eating my favorite foods.” “If I quit smoking, I’ll lose that 20 minutes of peace I get by going outside and taking long drags, so I’m afraid to quit.” “If I leave the jerk, I’m afraid I’ll lose love in my life and never find anyone else to be with.
“The only way to combat this thought pattern is to analyze it closely, then reverse it. Once we sense that we are anticipating loss, we must question whether or not it is true.“
Anticipation of Hardship
The second thought pattern that causes us to fear change is related to the anticipation of hardship. We’re scared to do something because we think it will be too hard on us. We worry we’re not capable, worthy, or ready, and we allow that worry to stop us. But isn’t this a pathetic use of mental powers? Isn’t it true that with enough time, effort, and dedication we can learn most of what we need to succeed?
There is no self-awareness in letting fear reign because of our own mental sloth. We have the personal power to wield our thoughts more forcefully in the daily fight against our fears. Our thoughts will free us or destroy us. Maturity comes in understanding that it is our choice alone to move toward freedom.
“We can choose the courage to put ourselves in the vicinity of the things we fear over and over again until we grow more comfortable and then confident.”
Motivation feels fickle only to those who have been inattentive to their ambitions. An undirected mind has little drive other than the baseline human impulses, sustained motivation not being among them. We must refocus. Giving our ambitions consistent mental attention keeps the drive alive, our energies swirling in anticipation. This can be as easy as reviewing our goals each day, journaling about our desires each night, regularly setting aside moments to visualize what we want and schedule our next steps.
This is where so many people fail. The distractions of the day steal their mental focus and thus their motivation. The real downfall for many people isn’t that they are “unmotivated” people, but that they are simply distracted, too absentminded to sustain motivation. It may be that the world isn’t giving us what we want simply because our own lack of focus makes it unclear what we are asking for.
“We mustn’t let our dreams die in the daylight because we lose focus while responding to the world’s lame interests or false emergencies.”
Life Roles: Observer, Director, Guardian, Warrior, Lover, and Leader.
The first role we can play in our lives is observer, or the conscious viewer. This is the role and responsibility we are charged with through the gift of self-awareness. As observer, we can float above our reality and view the totality of who we are in life and the minutia of how we are acting and reacting in the very moment. It is not a detachment from ourselves or the moment, but rather a careful observance of it.
The second role is the more proactive role as director, the conscious and intentional creator of our lives. If we can imagine life as a movie, then we can imagine ourselves as the one directing each scene and character within it. The director calls all the shots and is the ultimate planner and authority on what each character is doing, why they are doing it, and what they are going to do next. The director chooses where to focus the camera in each second of filming. The director makes well-reasoned choices about the characters in order to shape a compelling and meaningful story.
The third role deserving our attention is that of guardian to our mind, body, and soul. We must stand at the gates of our life and protect ourselves from unwanted contaminants: negative information, people, and habits.
How often we fail in this role. We let such useless information, tripe, and stupidity into our minds. We dumbly consume words, images, and sounds from salacious sources that masquerade their alerts and offers as somehow relevant to our lives. This is the news media that pretends some ignorant and extremist view might enlighten us, the network that says the reality of a few entitled brats being filmed without filter might entertain us, the webpage that cons us into thinking we are miserable without their product. From all this we do not grow wiser but less informed, not entertained but numbed, not wealthier but poorer.
The next role is the warrior. Should we sit in our homes and find life wanting, then we must stand and venture out to fight purposefully for something more. We must be bold, fierce, and unrelenting in chasing our dreams. We must push aside our fears, struggle with conviction, battle through all obstacles. We must want to win, to bring back treasures and glory to our homes, to leave nothing on the battlefields of life but the legend of our courage and might.
Owning the role of warrior requires us to take stock of all the things we are deeply committed to in life. The warrior asks, “What will I stand for in life? How will I bring honor and abundance to my loved ones? What adventures will make me feel alive? What do I want and how hard am I prepared to fight for it?”
“If we have real dreams, then we must fight for them. For the sake of our soul and our families, we must adopt that warrior spirit that is hungry, ambitious, and courageous.”
While on our quests, we must never forget whom we are fighting for. There are people we care for and who need us. No victory is sweet and no life fulfilling without someone to celebrate with and care for. And so let us master our role as lover.
Lovers have a stunning capacity for shining attention and adoration on others. They take a vital interest in others so that they may understand them, care for them, and contribute meaningfully to their lives. They communicate from the heart and seek to enlarge the heart of those around them by giving them respect and empathy.
There are men and women counting on us and looking to our example. They await our direction and action. We owe it to them to be outstanding in our role as leader.
The world is in dire need of leaders. Because we lack them, so many individuals and institutions are barreling blindly in the dark. Society is not being moored to the demands of good character and the expectations to serve the common good. And so the world is intoxicated by greed, mad passions, and intolerance. Without leaders at the helm of humanity, what should be a joyous collective ride toward hope, freedom, and abundance for all is instead a terrible, directionless drive with spoiled brats too ignorant and proud to ask for directions, a careening vehicle headed to catastrophe.
All the best in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.