brain-badges

The Manifesto

We've been working toward this for a long time, but it's the way things had to be.

If you think back all the way to the beginning, where we talked about the bucket brain, we talked about how your bucket needs to be filled before you can move forward. So that's what we've been doing: filling your bucket. Getting you ready to understand the system.

It's not a hard system. It's less than fifty words.

Of course, it's more complex than those fifty words, but your bucket had to be filled before you could understand that. Similarly, Newton's law of inertia - while easy to state - requires a certain minimal understanding of force and mass and acceleration before you can understand what it means.

And the relation among force and mass and acceleration (F = ma) is in the second law, because the first law must be understood before you can grasp the second. The first law is why mass is even in the equation to begin with: because of inertia, force does not and indeed cannot translate directly and entirely into acceleration.

Finally, you have the third law - for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction - which again requires some understanding of the first two before it makes sense. And the three of them together wrap up into a neat little self-consistent system.

All well-defined systems work like that, and the Badass Manifesto is no different. And similarly, while Newtonian physics are a good working model at certain levels of study, the deeper you go the more complicated it gets. You start getting into thermodynamics, which is more applicable to radiation and light, and the notion of classical physics pivots on Einstein's theory of special relativity.

Which is a major element of any manifesto: it's a starting point. A generic, widely-applicable set of principles which are good to get you headed down a particular path but are unlikely to result in a specific destination.

There's a particular little movement called the "Cult of Done" which has a similar sort of manifesto. They have thirteen rules. They're primarily geared toward artists and designers, but they apply to everything. And this is their manifesto.

donemanifesto

Now, there's one thing in particular that I want you to notice about this.

There is absolutely nothing in here to help you decide what to do.

Getting things done, yes. All kinds of "get things done" in there. But what things?

Anything.

That's what makes things hard. The part where it can work for anything. The single most difficult part of the Badass Manifesto is the Direction aspect of the BADASS method - figuring out what, exactly, your badassery is going to be. And, like all manifestos, the manifesto can't really be all that much help with it.

A manifesto is, by definition, generic. It has to work for as many people in as many situations as it can. It has to be short, have a definite number of principles, and those principles need to be easily stated and remembered.

So by all means, start with the manifesto - just understand that to get farther down the path, you're going to need more than this.

I'll begin by laying it all out simply, and we'll cover it in detail as the week progresses.

The Badass Manifesto

Nobody was ever born a badass.

Every person can become a badass.

People can be badass at anything.

All badasses know they are badass.

Badasses prefer doing their own things.

Badasses know why they do things.

Badasses all have unique origin stories.

I don't have a snazzy graphic yet, but I'll be building a bunch of them over time and you'll probably be able to get them plastered all over cups and shirts and posters and shit like that for a few bucks. We are a nation of whores and I am no exception.

But tomorrow, the rubber meets the road and we start laying down the real core of all this - covering two rules each day with the seventh and summation on Friday.

In addition, as I write this: the first draft of the book is very nearly done. So by the time you read it, I'm probably through the first editing pass and into the first round of revisions. It's approaching publication rapidly. This is scary. The end of any project, when you turn it loose into the world... well, that's dangerous. You don't own it anymore, once it's out there. It starts to belong to everyone who reads it. That's where it stops being mine, and starts to become yours.

I trust you with it. You're amazing. Every last one of you.