The Local Brew

So now, of course, it's time for me to get all self-important and shit while I drag my own manifesto out alongside these others and compare them.

I'll start by recapping the problems with them: Robin Sharma's rules for being awesome are too hard to remember, and too numerous, and don't tell you what to do. The Cult of Done doesn't tell you to be any good at things. The Ira Glass bit on "the gap" is great, but disorganised (as it was extemporaneous), and the Holstee Manifesto is just too hard to remember. Which brings us to my own Badass Manifesto.

See, this is how it's done.

The Badass Manifesto
The Core Teachings

The fundamental ideas here are to keep the whole thing under 50 words, and it's 49. (You can either not count the numbers, or not count the title and "all else is commentary" closing; even if you insist on counting all of them it's less than 60.) It's also a point of the design to keep it to something people can remember - seven plus or minus two - which means understanding that people may forget two of the principles. Let's take a look at that.

Whether you remember the first five, the middle five, or the last five - you have a working manifesto. Go ahead, check it out. Fundamentally, you can get away with just the middle three.

Have to be pretty stupid not to manage three, don't you?

The entire system is designed so the core is, in fact, the core. The fourth principle: all badasses know they are badass.

Just know you're a badass. That's the central idea. The literal centre of it. Expand it out one in either direction: people can be badass at anything, and badasses prefer doing their own things.

That core works, too. Those three principles are sufficient to be rather badass. But let's take it out one more in each direction: every person can become a badass up front, and badasses know why they do things on the end. That improves it. Each one adds to the principles, but can also be dropped without doing overmuch damage.

FInally, we add the first principle - nobody was ever born a badass - and the seventh, badasses all have unique origin stories. These are important principles, but if you're missing either of them - or even both of them - you're still able to be pretty badass.

This is why I designed things the way I did - and the reason it took a lot more than twenty minutes, too. What if a part fails? What if people can't remember the whole thing? What if someone just isn't too bright? Does it still work, or does it need to be altered?

Every principle has value in and of itself, and mnemonics have been created for every step. The bucket, the beetle, the lizard, the dog, the monkey, the man, and the chief. The SLIM and FAT acronyms. Story structure: want, need, desire, plan, struggle, discovery, triumph. It's all designed to fit together and help you remember.

The entire problem with most systems is that they don't hammer a point home in half a dozen ways to make sure it actually sinks in. It's not rigid; it's a system you can alter and modify to your own needs. But it needs to serve as a useful guide. Even if you alter and modify it, the existing path should help you divine a productive direction, a useful process. "Here is one path, any old random bullshit might also work" is not very helpful.

I work pretty hard to make something more helpful than that.

So on Monday, we'll talk about some actual work processes that have been useful to me this past week. Actual how-to shit, and all that.