Jul 9, 2011

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Holstee Manifesto

If you’ve skipped over reading the whole of the Holstee Manifesto above then I suggest you scroll back up and read through it. Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere, take the time to absorb it a bit.

Now, I’m going to imagine you’re in one of three camps. There’s the “that’s a nice idea, but it’s impractical” camp and the “I wish my life was like that” camp (if you’re in the third “My life is like that” camp – bravo). In early 2010 I would have read this and dismissed it as fanciful and dreamy. Now, in 2011, let me tell you why it’s not.

This is your life

There is no way your unique appearance, personality, opinions and character can be reproduced. You are unique and that makes you irreplaceable. Also, you impact the people around you every day, from the smallest of things to the largest of things. You can’t control everything around you, but your choices are yours to make.

Do what you love and do it often

Or, I prefer, “Find what you love and do it often”. If you know what inspires you, motivates you and captures your passion then I’m sure you can find ways to do it, because you want to. Don’t let something good gather dust when it should be used. If you don’t know what that is yet – try things out, but be warned, it’ll likely involve some risk, but balance the risk of looking silly against the reward of finding your passion. It took me until I was 24 to find my passion in life and I think I’m ahead of the curve.

If you don’t like your job, quit

This is a hard one and one of the first to trigger the “fanciful” alarm bells, especially if you’re in a financial position where you are supporting others. I’m not saying everyone can apply everything in the Manifesto, but work can become like a nice, protective money blanket that keeps us warm and eases our fears. If you’re in a job you don’t like then are you trading your happiness for security and is it worth it?

Open your mind, arms and heart to new things and people

This is all about mindset. If you close your mind, arms and heart then you won’t consider, embrace or experience what’s before you. Our focus in life can be toward ourselves and what we want or towards others and what we can do for them and with them. If we look out we suddenly see a world of nations, cultures, ideas and people – some of them hurting, all of them loved by God.

It still sounds fanciful to me

How about we rephrase the points I’ve picked out?

“You are unique, you have choices in your life. Follow your passion, do what you love and don’t let your job limit you. There are so many people, experiences and things in the world that you can do – don’t let fear stop you.”

I realise that people are still enslaved today. I know all too well that sex trafficking is a huge industry and that this statement is not universal. This makes it all the more important that we who have the choice recognise that we have it, appreciate that we have it and actually exercise it.

I realise that some don’t have the ability to leave their jobs and follow their passion. I’m not saying you need to quit your job to do what you love – there are evenings, weekends and holidays where you can do what you choose, but only if you use the time wisely. To those that do have that ability, you can appreciate that you have it.

Finally, if we let fear get the better of us, we can end up risking nothing and gaining nothing. I don’t want to look back on my life and wonder what might have been.

So do it

I have. In 2010 I took leave from my job and volunteered with Youth With A Mission. I spent 9 months overseas, 6 months of that serving others in Philippines and Kona, Hawaii. It was a risk for me to fly overseas for 9 months, to trust people I’d never met, put myself in new cultures and risk rejection.

It was an incredible experience and one that’s left a mark on me. This blog wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for my time over there and I do plan on posting some stories of what I did. This is why I switched camps from “fanciful” to “possible” – because I’ve done it and I know that right now people are doing it too.

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